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' and then, and redde the Robbers.
Fine, but Fiesco
is better; and Alfieri and Monti's Aristodemo best. They are more equal than the Tedeschi dramatists. 'Answered-or, rather acknowledged-the receipt ' of young Reynolds's Poem, Safie. The lad is clever, 'but much of his thoughts are borrowed,-whence, the 'Reviewers may find out. I hate discouraging a young one; and I think,-though wild, and more oriental 'than he would be, had he seen the scenes where he 'has placed his tale,-that he has much talent, and, certainly, fire enough.
Received a very singular epistle; and the mode of 'its conveyance, through Lord H.'s hands, as curious as the letter itself. But it was gratifying and pretty.
"Sunday, February 27th.
'Here I am, alone, instead of dining at Lord H.'s, 'where I was asked, but not inclined to go anywhere. 'Hobhouse says I am growing a loup garou,-a solitary hobgoblin. True;-"I am myself alone." The last 'week has been passed in reading-seeing plays-now and then, visitors-sometimes yawning and some'times sighing, but no writing,-save of letters. If I 'could always read, I should never feel the want of 'society. Do I regret it?-um!" Man delights not me," and only one woman-at a time.
'There is something to me very softening in the presence of a woman,-some strange influence, even ' if one is not in love with them,-which I cannot at all account for, having no very high opinion of the 'sex. But yet, I always feel in better humour with 'myself and every thing else, if there is a woman 'within ken. Even Mrs. Mule*, my fire-lighter,
This ancient housemaid, of whose gaunt and witch-like appearance it would be impossible to convey any idea but by the pencil, furnished one among the numerous instances of Lord Byron's proneness to attach
the most ancient and withered of her kind,—and (except to myself) not the best-tempered—always 'makes me laugh,-no difficult task when I am "i' the ' vein."
'Heigho! I would I were in mine island!—I am not well; and yet I look in good health. At times, "I fear, "I am not in my perfect mind;"-and yet my ' heart and head have stood many a crash, and what 'should ail them now? They prey upon themselves,
and I am sick-sick-" Prithee, undo this button'why should a cat, a rat, a dog, have life-and thou ' no life at all?" Six-and-twenty years, as they call them,-why, I might and should have been a Pasha by this time. "I'gin to be a weary of the sun." 'Buonaparte is not yet beaten; but has rebutted Blucher, and repiqued Swartzenburg. This it is to have a head. If he again wins, "Væ victis !"
Sunday, March 6th. 'On Tuesday last dined with Rogers,―Madame 'de Staël, Mackintosh, Sheridan, Erskine, and Payne 'Knight, Lady Donegall and Miss R. there. Sheridan
himself to anything, however homely, that had once inlisted his goodnature in its behalf, and become associated with his thoughts. He first found this old woman at his lodgings in Bennet-street, where, for a whole season, she was the perpetual scarecrow of his visitors. When, next year, he took chambers in Albany, one of the great advantages which his friends looked to in the change was, that they should get rid of this phantom. But, no, there she was again-he had actually brought her with him from Bennet-street. The following year saw him married, and, with a regular establishment of servants, in Piccadilly; and here, as Mrs. Mule had not made her appearance to any of the visitors, -it was concluded, rashly, that the witch had vanished. One of those friends, however, who had most fondly indulged in this persuasion, happening to call one day when all the male part of the establishment were abroad, saw, to his dismay, the door opened by the same grim personage improved considerably in point of habiliments since he last saw her, and keeping pace with the increased scale of her master's household, as a new peruke, and other symptoms of promotion, testified. When asked 'how he came to carry this old woman about with him from place to place,' Lord Byron's only answer was, 'The poor old devil was so kind to me,'
'told a very good story of himself and Madame de 'Recamier's handkerchief; Erskine a few stories of 'himself only. She is going to write a big book about England, she says;-I believe her. Asked by her 'how I liked Miss **'s thing, called **, and answered (very sincerely) that I thought it very bad for her, ' and worse than any of the others. Afterwards 'thought it possible Lady Donegall, being Irish, might 'be a Patroness of **, and was rather sorry for my 'opinion, as I hate putting people into fusses, either ' with themselves, or their favourites; it looks as if ' one did it on purpose. The party went off very well, and the fish was very much to my gusto. But we
got up too soon after the women; and Mrs. Corinne always lingers so long after dinner, that we wish 'her in the drawing-room.
'To-day C. called, and while sitting here, in came 'Merivale. During our colloquy, C. (ignorant that 'M. was the writer) abused the "mawkishness of the Quarterly Review of Grimm's Correspondence." I (knowing the secret) changed the conversation as
soon as I could; and C. went away, quite convinced ' of having made the most favourable impression on his new acquaintance. Merivale is luckily a very good-natured fellow, or, God he knows what might have been engendered from such a malaprop. I did 'not look at him while this was going on, but I felt ' like a coal,—for I like Merivale, as well as the article ' in question.
'Asked to Lady Keith's to-morrow evening-I think 'I will go; but it is the first party invitation I have "accepted this "season," as the learned Fletcher called
it, when that youngest brat of Lady **'s cut my eye ' and cheek open with a misdirected pebble-" Never
'mind, my Lord, the scar will be gone before the 'season," as if one's eye was of no importance in the ' mean time.
'Lord Erskine called, and gave me his famous 'pamphlet, with a marginal note and corrections in 'his handwriting. Sent it to be bound superbly, and 'shall treasure it.
'Sent my fine print of Napoleon to be framed. It ' is framed; and the Emperor becomes his robes as if
' he had been hatched in them.
Rose at seven-ready by half-past eight-went to 'Mr. Hanson's, Berkeley-square-went to church with his eldest daughter, Mary Anne (a good girl), and gave her away to the Earl of Portsmouth. Saw her 'fairly a Countess-congratulated the family and groom (bride)-drank a bumper of wine (wholesome sherris) to their felicity, and all that, and came 'home. Asked to stay to dinner, but could not. At 'three sat to Phillips for faces. Called on Lady M.— I like her so well, that I always stay too long. '(Mem. to mend of that.)
'Passed the evening with Hobhouse, who has begun 'a Poem, which promises highly ;-wish he would go ( on with it. Heard some curious extracts from a life 'of Morosini, the blundering Venetian, who blew up 'the Acropolis at Athens with a bomb, and be d-d 'to him! Waxed sleepy-just come home-must go 'to bed, and am engaged to meet Sheridan to-morrow ' at Rogers's.
'Queer ceremony that same of marriage-saw many abroad, Greek and Catholic-one, at home, many
years ago. There be some strange phrases in the prologue (the exhortation), which made me turn
away, not to laugh in the face of the surpliceman. 'Made one blunder, when I joined the hands of the "happy-rammed their left-hands, by mistake, into ' one another. Corrected it-bustled back to the altar-rail, and said "Amen." Portsmouth responded 'as if he had got the whole by heart; and, if anything, was rather before the priest. It is now midnight, and
'March 10th, Thor's Day. 'On Tuesday dined with Rogers,—Mackintosh, 'Sheridan, Sharpe,-much talk, and good,-all, except my own little prattlement. Much of old times '-Horne Tooke-the Trials-evidence of Sheridan, ' and anecdotes of those times, when I, alas! was an 'infant. If I had been a man, I would have made an 'English Lord Edward Fitzgerald.
'Set down Sheridan at Brookes's,-where, by-the'bye, he could not have well set down himself, as he ' and I were the only drinkers. Sherry means to stand 'for Westminster, as Cochrane (the stock-jobbing 'hoaxer) must vacate. Brougham is a candidate. I 'fear for poor dear Sherry. Both have talents of the
highest order, but the youngster has yet a character. 'We shall see, if he lives to Sherry's age, how he will
pass over the redhot ploughshares of public life. I 'don't know why, but I hate to see the old ones lose ; particularly Sheridan, notwithstanding all his mé'chanceté.
'Received many, and the kindest, thanks from Lady Portsmouth, père and mère, for my match-making. 'I don't regret it, as she looks the countess well, and ' is a very good girl. It is odd how well she carries
' her new honours. She looks a different woman, and
high-bred, too. I had no idea that I could make so
good a peeress.