LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Letters and Journals of Lord Byron
Lord Byron to R. C. Dallas, 20 January 1808

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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“Dorant’s Hotel, Albemarle-street, Jan. 20th, 1808.

“Your letter was not received till this morning, I presume from being addressed to me in Notts., where I have not resided since last June, and as the date is the 6th, you will excuse the delay of my answer.

“If the little volume you mention has given pleasure to the author of Percival and Aubrey, I am sufficiently repaid by his praise. Though our periodical censors have been uncommonly lenient, I confess a tribute from a man of acknowledged genius is still more flattering. But I am afraid I should forfeit all claim to candour, if I did not decline such praise as I do not deserve; and this is, I am sorry to say, the case in the present instance.

“My compositions speak for themselves, and must stand or fall by their own worth or demerit: thus far I feel highly gratified by your favourable opinion. But my pretensions to virtue are unluckily so few, that though I should be happy to merit, I cannot accept, your applause in that respect. One passage in your letter struck me forcibly: you mention the two Lords Lyttleton in a manner they respectively deserve, and will be surprised to hear the person who is now addressing you has been frequently compared to the latter. I know I am injuring myself in your esteem by this avowal, but the circumstance was so remarkable from your observation, that I cannot help relating the fact. The events of my short life have been of so singular a nature, that, though the pride commonly called honour has, and I trust ever will, prevent me from disgracing my name by a mean or cowardly action, I have been already held up as the votary of licentiousness, and, the disciple of infidelity. How far justice may have dictated this accusation I cannot pretend to say, but, like the gentleman to whom my religious friends, in the warmth of their charity, have already devoted me, I am made worse than I really am. However, to quit myself (the worst theme I could pitch upon) and
A. D. 1808. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 133
return to my Poems, I cannot sufficiently express my thanks, and I hope I shall some day have an opportunity of rendering them in person. A second edition is now in the press, with some additions and considerable omissions; you will allow me to present you with a copy. The
Critical, Monthly, and Anti-Jacobin Reviews have been very indulgent; but the Eclectic has pronounced a furious Philippic, not against the book but the author, where you will find all I have mentioned asserted by a reverend divine who wrote the critique.

“Your name and connexion with our family have been long known to me, and I hope your person will be not less so; you will find me an excellent compound of a ‘Brainless’ and a ‘Stanhope*.’ I am afraid you will hardly be able to read this, for my hand is almost as bad as my character, but you will find me, as legibly as possible,

“Your obliged and obedient servant,