LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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The Life of William Roscoe
Chapter XX. 1827-1831
William Roscoe to Sir James Edward Smith, [1827?

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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“I venture to address this to you at Holkham, where I hope you and Lady Smith are now enjoying the society of our excellent friends; and where I deeply lament that my infirm health and increasing personal debility prevent me from being of the party. The time seems to be approaching, when I must possess my soul in patience, and not add to the unavoidable evils of life those which are the result of a fretful temper and ill regulated passions, happy if those evils be not increased by painful and distressing complaints, which, thanks be to God, have not hitherto been my lot. I am well aware, that the powers of my mind have in some degree partaken of the infirmities of my body, but not in such a degree as wholly to deter me from my usual studies and pursuits, although I can only devote to them a much smaller portion of time than formerly, and am some days obliged to abstain from them altogether. The consequence of this is, that I am endeavouring to bring them to a termination with all reasonable speed, being unwilling to leave to be terminated by others that which by my own efforts I may finish myself. I am now revising for the last time the Catalogue of the MSS. at Holkham, with Mr. Madden’s numerous additions, which have more than doubled the size of the work. I have deter-
mined to close my “
Monandrian Plants” in fifteen numbers; the three last of which are now nearly ready, and will, I hope, be published before the end of the year; and I am drawing my controversy with the Americans, as to their penitentiaries, which is now at its height, into a state in which I have no doubt we shall finally understand each other, and I shall be sufficiently repaid for my trouble by the good effects derived from it. The system I have there advocated is equally desirable in this country; but amidst our old institutions and inveterate prejudices, there would be little hope of taking the lead in carrying it into effect; whilst the facilities enjoyed by the American States, of each forming their own internal regulations, render them peculiarly suitable for mooting questions where experience alone can finally decide, and for setting the example to other nations who act in larger communities, and whose motions are consequently slower. I duly receive through the hands of my son Robert my descriptions of Monandrian Plants, and cannot sufficiently express the obligations I feel to you for the trouble you have taken in perusing them, and honouring them with your valuable remarks, of which I shall avail myself in what remains of my work.”