LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Letters and Journals of Lord Byron
Journal Entry: 1 December 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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“Wednesday, December 1st, 1813.

“To-day responded to La Baronne de Staël Holstein, and sent to Leigh Hunt (an acquisition to my acquaintance—through Moore—of last summer) a copy of the two Turkish Tales. Hunt is an extraordinary character, and not exactly of the present age. He reminds me more of the Pym and Hampden times—much talent, great independence of spirit, and an austere, yet not repulsive, aspect. If he goes on , I know few men who will deserve more praise or obtain it. I must go and see him again;—the rapid succession of adventure since last summer, added to some serious uneasiness and business, have interrupted our acquaintance; but he is a man worth knowing; and though, for his own sake, I wish him out of prison, I like to study character in such situations. He has been unshaken, and will continue so. I don’t think him deeply versed in life;—he is the bigot of virtue (not religion), and enamoured of the beauty of that ‘empty name,’ as the last breath of Brutus pronounced, and every day proves it. He is, perhaps, a little opinionated, as all men who are the centre of circles, wide or narrow—the Sir Oracles, in whose name two or three are gathered together—must be, and as even Johnson was; but, withal, a valuable man, and less vain than success and even the consciousness of preferring ‘the right to the expedient’ might excuse.

“To-morrow there is a party of purple at the ‘blue’ Miss * * *’s. Shall I go? um!—I don’t much affect your blue-bottles;—but one ought to be civil. There will be, ‘I guess now’ (as the Americans say), the Staëls and Mackintoshes—good—the * * *s and * * *s—not so good—the * * *s, &c. &c.—good for nothing. Perhaps that blue-winged Kashmirian butterfly of book-learning, Lady * *, will be there. I hope so; it is a pleasure to look upon that most beautiful of faces.

“Wrote to H.—he has been telling that I—*. I am sure, at least, I did not mention it, and I wish he had not. He is a good fellow,

* Two or three words are here scratched out in the manuscript, but the import of the sentence evidently is, that Mr. Hodgson (to whom the passage refers) had been revealing to some friends the secret of Lord Byron’s kindness to him.

A. D. 1813. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 459
and I obliged myself ten times more by being of use than I did him,—and there’s an end on ’t.

Baldwin is boring me to present their King’s Bench petition. I presented Cartwright’s last year; and Stanhope and I stood against the whole House, and mouthed it valiantly—and had some fun and a little abuse for our opposition. But ‘I am not i’ th’ vein’ for this business. Now, had * * been here, she would have made me do it. There is a woman, who, amid all her fascination, always urged a man to usefulness or glory. Had she remained, she had been my tutelar genius. * * *

Baldwin is very importunate—but, poor fellow, ‘I can’t get out, I can’t get out—said the starling.’—Ah, I am as bad as that dog Sterne, who preferred whining over ‘a dead ass to relieving a living mother’—villain—hypocrite—slave—sycophant! but I am no better. Here I cannot stimulate myself to a speech for the sake of these unfortunates, and three words and half a smile of * *, had she been here to urge it (and urge it she infallibly would—at least, she always pressed me on senatorial duties, and particularly in the cause of weakness), would have made me an advocate, if not an orator. Curse on Rochefoucauld for being always right! In him a lie were virtue,—or, at least, a comfort to his readers.

George Byron has not called to-day; I hope he will be an admiral, and, perhaps, Lord Byron into the bargain. If he would but marry, I would engage never to marry, myself, or cut him out of the heirship. He would be happier, and I should like nephews better than sons.

“I shall soon be six-and-twenty (January 22d, 1814). Is there any thing in the future that can possibly console us for not being always twenty-five?

‘Oh Gioventu!
Oh Primavera! gioventu dell’ anno.
Oh Gioventu! primavera della vita.’
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