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Feb 16 1812: Byron to Hodgson


On February 16,1812, Lord Byron again writes to his friend Francis Hodgson. Byron opens the letter by referring to the fact that he has sent away the women which likely refers to Sarah Vaughan and another servant named Lucy.  He writes in a rather morose self pitying away that is he is done with women and that he will be leaving England in the coming year.

LORD BYRON TO MR. HODGSON.
8, St. James’s-street, February 16th, 1812.

DEAR HODGSON,
I send you a proof. Last week I was very ill and confined to bed with stone in the kidney, but I am now quite recovered. If the stone had got into my heart instead of my kidneys, it would have been all the better. The women are gone to their relatives, after many attempts to explain what was already too clear. However, I have quite recovered that also, and only wonder at my folly in excepting my own strumpets from the general corruption,—albeit a two months’ weakness is better than ten years. I have one request to make, which is, never mention a woman again in any letter to me, or even allude to the existence of the sex. I won’t even read a word of the feminine gender;—it must all be ‘propria quæ maribus.’
In the spring of 1813 I shall leave England for ever. Every thing in my affairs tends to this, and my inclinations and health do not discourage it. Neither my habits nor constitution are improved by your customs or your climate. I shall find employment in making myself a good oriental scholar. I shall retain a mansion in one of the fairest islands, and retrace, at intervals, the most interesting portions of the East. In the mean time, I am adjusting my concerns, which will (when arranged) leave me with wealth sufficient even for home, but enough for a principality in Turkey. At present they are involved, but I hope, by taking some necessary but unpleasant steps, to clear every thing. Hobhouse is expected daily in London; we shall be very glad to see him; and, perhaps, you will come up and ‘drink deep ere he depart,’ if not, ‘Mahomet must go to the mountain;’—but Cambridge will bring sad recollections to him, and worse to me, though for very different reasons. I believe the only human being that ever loved me in truth and entirely was of, or belonging to, Cambridge, and, in that, no change can now take place. There is one consolation in death—where he sets his seal, the impression can neither be melted or broken, but endureth for ever.
Yours always,“B.”

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