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Lord Byron to John Becher, 26 February 1808

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“Dorants Hotel, Feb. 26, 1808.

“ * * * * * Now for Apollo. I am happy that you still retain your predilection, and that the public allow me some share of praise. I am of so much importance that a most violent attack is preparing for me in the next number of the Edinburgh Review. This I had from the authority of a friend who has seen the proof and manuscript of the critique. You know the system of the Edinburgh gentlemen is universal attack. They praise none; and neither the public nor the author expects praise from them. It is, however, something to be noticed, as they profess to pass judgment only on works requiring the public attention. You will see this, when it comes out;—it is, I understand, of
142 NOTICES OF THE A. D. 1808.
the most unmerciful description; but I am aware of it, and hope you will not be hurt by its severity.

“Tell Mrs. Byron not to be out of humour with them, and to prepare her mind for the greatest hostility on their part. It will do no injury whatever, and I trust her mind will not be ruffled. They defeat their object by indiscriminate abuse, and they never praise except the partizans of Lord Holland and Co. It is nothing to be abused when Southey, Moore, Lauderdale, Strangford, and Payne Knight, share the same fate.

“I am sorry—but ‘Childish Recollections’ must be suppressed during this edition. I have altered, at your suggestion, the obnoxious allusions in the sixth stanza of my last ode.

“And now, my dear Becher, I must return my best acknowledgments for the interest you have taken in me and my poetical bantlings, and I shall ever be proud to show how much I esteem the advice and the adviser. Believe me most truly,” &c.