LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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The Life of William Roscoe
William Roscoe to Earl St. Vincent, [April? 1805]

Vol I. Contents
Chapter I. 1753-1781
Chapter II. 1781-1787
Chapter III. 1787-1792
Chapter IV. 1788-1796
Chapter V. 1795
Chapter VI. 1796-1799
Chapter VII. 1799-1805
Chapter IX. 1806-1807
Chapter X. 1808
Chapter XI. 1809-1810
Vol II. Contents
Chapter XII. 1811-1812
Chapter XIII. 1812-1815
Chapter XIV. 1816
Chapter XV. 1817-1818
Chapter XVI. 1819
Chapter XVII. 1820-1823
Chapter XVIII. 1824
Chapter XIX. 1825-1827
Chapter XX. 1827-1831
Chapter XXI.
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“Your Lordship’s repeated kindness encourages me to mention that a work on which I have been employed for several years, the ‘Life and Pontificate of Leo X.,’ is now nearly printed, and will, I expect, make its appearance in the course of two months. On referring to this period it will immediately occur to your Lordship, that a publication on this subject must comprise some topics of considerable delicacy, as well in religion and politics, as in morals and literature; or, in other words, must involve those questions which have given rise to dissension and persecution in all subsequent, times. In the account of the Reformation, I am well aware that my book will give satisfaction neither to the Catholics nor the Protestants; yet, of the two, I apprehend most the displeasure of the latter. The former have been so accustomed to be abused, that they will receive with patience any tolerable

* His Lordship was an enthusiastic admirer of the “Life of Leo.” “A friend of Lord St. Vincent’s,” say Mr. Roscoe’s publishers, “told us, two or three weeks ago, that the old hero was getting up every morning at five o’clock to read Leo X.”

degree of castigation; but the latter, who conceive their principles and conduct to be above all censure, will be surprised to find their early leaders accused of a spirit of intolerance and uncharitableness, which has, unfortunately, continued with but little diminution to the present day. Should your Lordship ever honour the work by a perusal, I shall hope for a liberal and candid construction of my opinions, both on this and other subjects; assuring your Lordship that, however contradictory some of them may appear to the received notions, both of characters and of events, they have not been hastily adopted, nor are they now delivered to the world without the most serious and deliberate conviction that, if they attract any notice whatever, they cannot but be favourable to the cause of civil and religious liberty, and have a tendency to soothe those animosities between nation and nation, and sect and sect, which have so long afflicted our quarter of the world.”