Lord Byron writes about the praise that he has received for the speech he gave in the House of Lords on February 27, 1812. As noted in my earlier post, some of the individuals that praised Byron to his face were less effusive in private. Lord Holland was such a case. In any event, on March 5, 1812, Byron still swelling with the glow of praise writes to his friend Francis Hodgson:
St. James’s-street, March 5th, 1812
MY DEAR HODGSON,
We are not answerable for reports of speeches in the papers, they are always given incorrectly, and on this occasion more so than usual, from the debate in the Commons on the same night. The Morning Post should have said eighteen years. However, you will find the speech, as spoken, in the Parliamentary Register, when it comes out. Lords Holland and Grenville, particularly the latter, paid me some high compliments in the course of their speeches as you may have seen in the papers, and Lords Eldon and Harrowby answered me. I have had many marvellous eulogies repeated to me since, in person and by proxy, from divers persons ministerial—yea, ministerial!—as well as oppositionists; of them I shall only mention Sir F. Burdett. He says it is the best speech by a lord since the ‘Lord knows when,’ probably from a fellow-feeling in the sentiments. Lord H. tells me I shall beat them all if I persevere, and Lord G. remarked that the construction of some of my periods are very like Burke’s!! And so much for vanity. I spoke very violent sentences with a sort of modest impudence, abused every thing and every body, and put the Lord Chancellor very much out of humour; and if I may believe what I hear, have not lost any character by the experiment. As to my delivery, loud and fluent enough, perhaps a little theatrical. I could not recognise myself or any one else in the newspapers.
My poesy comes out on Saturday. Hobbouse is here; I shall tell him to write. My stone is gone for the present, but I fear is part of my habit. We all talk of a visit to Cambridge.