May 30 1816: Shelley Very Clever

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May 30. — Got up late. Went to Mr. and Mrs. Shelley ; breakfasted with them ; rowed out to see a house together. S[helley] went from Lucerne with the two, with merely £26, to England along the Rhine in bateaux. Gone through much misery, thinking he was dying ; married a girl for the mere sake of letting her have the jointure that would accrue to her ; recovered ; found he could not agree; separated ; paid Godwin’s debts, and seduced his daughter ; then wondered that he would not see him. The sister left the father to go with the other. Got a child. All clever, and no meretricious appearance.  He is very clever ; the more I read his Queen Mab the more beauties I find. Published at fourteen a novel; got ^^30 for it; by his second work ; Mab not published. — Went in caleche with L[ord] B[yron] to see a house ; again after dinner to leave cards ; then on lake with L[ord] B[yron]. I, Mrs S[helley], and Miss G[odwin], on to the lake till nine. Drank tea, and came away at ii after confabbing. The batelier went to Shelley, and asked him as a favour not to tell L[ord] B[yron] what he gave for his boat, as he thought it quite fit that Milord’s payment be double ; we sent Berger to say we did not wish for the boat.

— John Polidori writes for May 30 1816.

 

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