LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Letters and Journals of Lord Byron
Journal Entry: 30 November 1813

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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“Tuesday, 30th,

“Two days missed in my log-book;—hiatus haud deflendus. They were as little worth recollection as the rest; and, luckily, laziness or society prevented me from notching them.

“Sunday, I dined with the Lord Holland in St. James’s-square. Large party—among them Sir S. Romilly and Lady Ry.—General Sir Somebody Bentham, a man of science and talent, I am told—Hornerthe Horner, an Edinburgh Reviewer, an excellent speaker in the ‘Honourable House,’ very pleasing, too, and gentlemanly in company,
456 NOTICES OF THE A. D. 1813.
as far as I have seen—
SharpePhillips of LancashireLord John Russell, and others, ‘good men and true.’ Holland’s society is very good; you always see some one or other in it worth knowing. Stuffed myself with sturgeon, and exceeded in champagne and wine in general, but not to confusion of head. When I do dine, I gorge like an Arab or a Boa snake, on fish and vegetables, but no meat. I am always better, however, on my tea and biscuit than any other regimen,—and even that sparingly.

“Why does Lady H. always have that damned screen between the whole room and the fire? I, who bear cold no better than an antelope, and never yet found a sun quite done to my taste, was absolutely petrified, and could not even shiver. All the rest, too, looked as if they were just unpacked, like salmon from an ice-basket, and set down to table for that day only. When she retired, I watched their looks as I dismissed the screen, and every cheek thawed, and every nose reddened with the anticipated glow.

“Saturday, I went with Harry Fox to Nourjahad; and, I believe, convinced him, by incessant yawning, that it was not mine. I wish the precious author would own it, and release me from his fame. The dresses are pretty, but not in costume;—Mrs. Horne’s, all but the turban, and the want of a small dagger (if she is a Sultana), perfect. I never saw a Turkish woman with a turban in my life—nor did any one else. The Sultanas have a small poniard at the waist. The dialogue is drowsy—the action heavy—the scenery fine—the actors tolerable. I can’t say much for their seraglio—Teresa, Phannio, or * * * * were worth them all.

“Sunday, a very handsome note from Mackintosh, who is a rare instance of the union of very transcendent talent and great good-nature. To-day (Tuesday), a very pretty billet from M. la Baronne de Staël Holstein. She is pleased to be much pleased with my mention of her and her last work in my notes. I spoke as I thought. Her works are my delight, and so is she herself, for—half an hour. I don’t like her politics—at least, her having changed them; had she been qualis ab incepto, it were nothing. But she is a woman by herself, and has done
A. D. 1813. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 457
more than all the rest of them together, intellectually;—she ought to have been a man. She flatters me very prettily in her note;—but I know it. The reason that adulation is not displeasing is, that, though untrue, it shows one to be of consequence enough, in one way or other, to induce people to lie, to make us their friend:—that is their concern.

“ * * is, I hear, thriving on the repute of a pun (which was mine at Mackintosh’s dinner some time back), on Ward, who was asking ‘how much it would take to re-whig him?’ I answered that, probably, he ‘must first, before he was re-whigged, be re-warded.’ This foolish quibble, before the Staël and Mackintosh and a number of conversationers, has been mouthed about, and at last settled on the head of * *, where long may it remain!

George* is returned from afloat to get a new ship. He looks thin, but better than I expected. I like George much more than most people like their heirs. He is a fine fellow, and every inch a sailor. I would do any thing, but apostatize, to get him on in his profession.

Lewis called. It is a good and good-humoured man, but pestilently prolix and paradoxical and personal. If he would but talk half, and reduce his visits to an hour, he would add to his popularity. As an author, he is very good, and his vanity is ouverte, like Erskine’s, and yet not offending.

“Yesterday, a very pretty letter from Annabella†, which I answered. What an odd situation and friendship is ours!—without one spark of love on either side, and produced by circumstances which in general lead to coldness on one side, and aversion on the other. She is a very superior woman, and very little spoiled, which is strange in an heiress—a girl of twenty—a peeress that is to be, in her own right—an only child, and a savante, who has always had her own way. She is a poetess—a mathematician—a metaphysician, and yet, withal, very kind, generous, and gentle, with very little pretension. Any other head would be turned with half her acquisitions, and a tenth of her advantages.

* His cousin, the present Lord Byron.

Miss Milbanke, afterwards Lady Byron.