LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Letters and Journals of Lord Byron
Lord Byron to John M. B. Pigot, 9 August 1806

Life of Byron: to 1806
Life of Byron: 1806
Life of Byron: 1807
Life of Byron: 1808
Life of Byron: 1809
Life of Byron: 1810
Life of Byron: 1811
Life of Byron: 1812
Life of Byron: 1813
Life of Byron: 1814
Life of Byron: 1815
Life of Byron: 1816 (I)
Life of Byron: 1816 (II)
Life of Byron: 1817
Life of Byron: 1818
Life of Byron: 1819
Life of Byron: 1820
Life of Byron: 1821
Life of Byron: 1822
Life of Byron: 1823
Life of Byron: 1824
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“16, Piccadilly, August 9th, 1806.

“Many thanks for your amusing narrative of the last proceedings of my amiable Alecto, who now begins to feel the effects of her folly. I have just received a penitential epistle, to which, apprehensive of pursuit, I have despatched a moderate answer, with a kind of promise to return in a fortnight;—this, however (entre nous), I never mean to fulfil.
70 NOTICES OF THE A. D. 1806.
Her soft warblings must have delighted her auditors, her higher notes being particularly musical, and on a calm moonlight evening would be heard to great advantage. Had I been present as a spectator, nothing would have pleased me more; but to have come forward as one of the ‘dramatis personæ,’—St. Dominic defend me from such a scene! Seriously, your mother has laid me under great obligations, and you, with the rest of your family, merit my warmest thanks for your kind connivance at my escape from ‘
Mrs. Byron furiosa.

“Oh! for the pen of Ariosto to rehearse, in epic, the scolding of that momentous eve,—or rather, let me invoke the shade of Danté to inspire me, for none but the author of the ‘Inferno’ could properly preside over such an attempt. But, perhaps, where the pen might fail, the pencil would succeed. What a group!—Mrs. B. the principal figure; you cramming your ears with cotton, as the only antidote to total deafness; Mrs. —— in vain endeavouring to mitigate the wrath of the lioness robbed of her whelp; and last, though not least, Elizabeth and Wousky,—wonderful to relate!—both deprived of their parts of speech, and bringing up the rear in mute astonishment. How did S. B. receive the intelligence? How many puns did he utter on so facetious an event? In your next inform me on this point, and what excuse you made to A. You are probably by this time tired of deciphering this hieroglyphical letter;—like Tony Lumpkin, you will pronounce mine to be a d—d up and down hand. All Southwell, without doubt, is involved in amazement. Apropos, how does my blue-eyed nun, the fair * *? is she ‘robed in sable garb of woe?

“Here I remain at least a week or ten days; previous to my departure you shall receive my address, but what it will be I have not determined. My lodgings must be kept secret from Mrs. B.; you may present my compliments to her, and say any attempt to pursue me will fail, as I have taken measures to retreat immediately to Portsmouth, on the first intimation of her removal from Southwell. You may add, I have now proceeded to a friend’s house in the country, there to remain a fortnight.

“I have now blotted (I must not say written) a complete double letter, and in return shall expect a monstrous budget. Without doubt,
A. D. 1806. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 71
the dames of Southwell reprobate the pernicious example I have shown, and tremble lest their babes should disobey their mandates, and quit in dudgeon their mammas on any grievance. Adieu. When you begin your next, drop the ‘lordship,’ and put ‘Byron’ in its place. Believe me yours, &c.