LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Literary Life of the Rev. William Harness
Lord Byron to William Harness, 18 March 1809

Chapter I.
Chapter II.
Chapter III.
Chapter IV.
Chapter V.
Chapter VI.
Chapter VII.
Chapter VIII.
Chapter IX.
Chapter X.
Chapter XI.
Chapter XII.
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“I am going abroad, if possible, in the Spring, and before I depart I am collecting the pictures of my most intimate school-fellows. I have already a few, and shall want yours, or my cabinet will be incomplete. I have employed one of the best miniature painters of the day to take them—of course at my own expense, as I never allow my acquaintances to incur the least expenditure to gratify a whim of mine. To mention this may seem indelicate; but when I tell you a friend of ours first refused to sit, under the idea that he was to disburse on the occasion, you will see that it is necessary to state these preliminaries to prevent the recurrence of any similar mistake. I shall see you in time, and will carry you to the limner. It will be a tax on your patience for a week, but pray excuse it, as it is possible the resemblance may be the sole trace I shall be able to pre-
serve of our past friendship and present acquaintance. Just now it seems foolish enough; but in a few years, when some of us are dead, and others are separated by inevitable circumstances, it will be a kind of satisfaction to retain, in these images of the living, the idea of our former selves, and to contemplate, in the resemblance of the dead, all that remains of judgment, feeling, and a host of passions.

“But all this will be dull enough for you, and so good night; and to end my chapter, or rather my homily,

“Believe me,
“My dear
“Yours most affectionately,