April 27 1816: Don’t Forget The Cundums!

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On April 27, 1816, Lord Byron writes to John Cam Hobhouse, from Ostend. prior to leaving for Ghent. He wants Hobhouse to send him some condoms.

My dear Hobhouse – We got in last night very well – though it blew freshly & contrary all the way – but we tacked & tided in about midnight. – All are – and every thing is – landed – & tonight we design for Ghent. – As a veteran I stomached the sea pretty well – till a damned “Merchant of Bruges” capsized his breakfast close by me – & made me sick by contagion: – but I soon got well – & we were landed at least ten hours sooner than expected – and our Inn (the “Cure imperial” as Fletcher calls it –) furnished us with beds & a “flaggon of Rhenish” – which – by the blessing of Scrope’s absence – the only blessing his absence could confer – was not indulged in to the extent of the “light wine” of our parting potations. – –

Don’t forget the Cundums – and will you tell Manton that he has put a very bad brush into the pistol case – & to send me two good new ones by your servant (when you come) for cleaning the locks of my pistols. – –

You are in town by this time – having dined at Canterbury or Sittingbourne – pitying us “poor mariners that sail upon the seas” – we are in the agonies of furnishing Berger with stivalli to march en Courier before us – & the last I saw of Fletcher was with two eggs in his mouth. – –

The sick Dutchman set off per packet for Bruges this morning: – – the custom house was very polite – and all things very fair – I don’t know why you vituperated Ostend: – it seems a very tolerable town – better than Dover – better than the Spanish & Portuguese ordinary towns – or any of our Oriental – at least in the Caravansera department. – I shall lay to for you at Geneva – – you have perhaps examined my late Piccadilly premises – and I hope recovered your personals. – –

My best luck – or rather his own – to Scrope – all remembrances to Kinnaird & the rest of “us youth”and ever y rs. most truly Byron

P.S. – If you hear anything of my little daughter tell it me – good I hope. – As to the rest – as the Irishman said in the Dublin Theatre when Wellesley Pole was there – – “Here’s three times three for Lord Wellington and Silence for the rest of the family.” – Tell Scrope that Mr . Levi did us about the Ducats – by ninepence each – I will {thrash} him as I come back. – Mind you write – & fix a time for coming – or’Sdeath and Pin money! – I shall be very indignant. –

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