LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Letters and Journals of Lord Byron
Lord Byron to Lady Hardy, 28 March 1823

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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TO LADY * * *.
“Genoa, March 28th, 1823.
* * * * * *

Mr. Hill is here: I dined with him on Saturday before last; and on leaving his house at S. P. d’Arena, my carriage broke down. I walked home, about three miles,—no very great feat of pedestrianism; but either the coming out of hot rooms into a bleak wind chilled me, or the walking up-hill to Albaro heated me, or something or other set me wrong, and next day I had an inflammatory attack in the face, to which I have been subject this winter for the first time, and I suffered a good deal of pain, but no peril. My health is now much as usual. Mr. Hill is, I believe, occupied with his diplomacy. I shall give him your message when I see him again.

“My name, I see in the papers, has been dragged into the unhappy Portsmouth business, of which all that I know is very succinct. Mr. H—— is my solicitor. I found him so when I was ten years old—at my uncle’s death—and he was continued in the management of my legal business. He asked me, by a civil epistle, as an old acquaintance of his family, to be present at the marriage of Miss H——. I went very reluctantly, one misty morning (for I had been up at two balls all night), to witness the ceremony, which I could not very well refuse without affronting a man who had never offended me. I saw nothing particular
A. D. 1823. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 631
in the marriage. Of course I could not know the preliminaries, except from what he said, not having been present at the wooing, nor after it, for I walked home, and they went into the country as soon as they had promised and vowed. Out of this simple fact I hear the Débats de Paris has quoted Miss H. as ‘autrefois très liée avec le celèbre,’ &c. &c. I am obliged to him for the celebrity, but beg leave to decline the liaison, which is quite untrue; my liaison was with the father, in the unsentimental shape of long lawyers’ bills, through the medium of which I have had to pay him ten or twelve thousand pounds within these few years. She was not pretty, and I suspect that the indefatigable
Mr. A—— was (like all her people) more attracted by her title than her charms. I regret very much that I was present at the prologue to the happy state of horsewhipping and black jobs, &c. &c. but I could not foresee that a man was to turn out mad, who had gone about the world for fifty years, as competent to vote, and walk at large; nor did he seem to me more insane than any other person going to be married.

“I have no objection to be acquainted with the Marquis Palavicini, if he wishes it. Lately I have gone little into society, English or foreign, for I had seen all that was worth seeing in the former before I left England, and at the time of life when I was more disposed to like it; and of the latter I had a sufficiency in the first few years of my residence in Switzerland; chiefly at Madame de Staël’s, where I went sometimes, till I grew tired of conversazioni and carnivals, with their appendages; and the bore is, that if you go once, you are expected to be there daily, or rather nightly. I went the round of the most noted soirées at Venice or elsewhere (where I remained not any time) to the Benzona, and the Albrizzi, and the Michelli, &c. &c. and to the Cardinals and the various potentates of the Legation in Romagna (that is, Ravenna), and only receded for the sake of quiet when I came into Tuscany. Besides, if I go into society, I generally get, in the long run, into some scrape of some kind or other, which don’t occur in my solitude, However, I am pretty well settled now, by time and temper, which is so far lucky, as it prevents restlessness; but, as I said before, as an acquaintance of yours, I will be ready and willing to know your friends. He may be a sort of connexion for aught I know; for a
632 NOTICES OF THE A. D. 1823.
Palavicini, of Bologna, I believe, married a distant relative of mine half a century ago. I happen to know the fact, as he and his spouse had an annuity of five hundred pounds on my
uncle’s property, which ceased at his demise, though I recollect hearing they attempted, naturally enough, to make it survive him. If I can do any thing for you here, or elsewhere, pray order, and be obeyed.”