January 5 1816: —Heigh-ho!

t and byron

On January 5 1816, Lord Byron writes to Thomas Moore.

I hope Mrs. M[oore]. is quite re-established. The little girl was born on the 10th of December last; her name is Augusta Ada (the second a very antique family name,—I believe not used since the reign of King John). She was, and is, very flourishing and fat, and reckoned very large for her days—squalls and sucks incessantly. Are you answered? Her mother is doing very well, and up again.

I have now been married a year on the second of this month—heigh-ho! I have seen nobody lately much worth noting, except S[ebastiani] and another general of the Gauls, once or twice at dinners out of doors. S[ebastiani] is a fine, foreign, villanous-looking, intelligent, and very agreeable man; his compatriot is more of the petit-maître, and younger, but I should think not at all of the same intellectual calibre with the Corsican—which S[ebastiani], you know, is, and a cousin of Napoleon’s. Are you never to be expected in town again? To be sure, there is no one here of the 1500 fillers of hot-rooms, called the fashionable world. My approaching papa-ship detained us for advice, &c. &c. though I would as soon be here as any where else on this side of the Straits of Gibraltar.

I would gladly—or, rather, sorrowfully—comply with your request of a dirge for the poor girl you mention. But how can I write on one I have never seen or known? Besides, you will do it much better yourself. I could not write upon any thing, without some personal experience and foundation; far less on a theme so peculiar. Now, you have both in this case; and, if you had neither, you have more imagination, and would never fail. This is but a dull scrawl, and I am but a dull fellow. Just at present, I am absorbed in 500 contradictory contemplations, though with but one object in view—which will probably end in nothing, as most things we wish do. But never mind,—as somebody says, ‘for the blue sky bends over all.’ I only could be glad, if it bent over me where it is a little bluer; like the ‘skyish top of blue Olympus,’ which, by the way, looked very white when I last saw it. Ever, &c.


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