George Gordon, Lord Byron

  (1788 - 1824)

Mature homosexual relationships and friendships


Byron to Hobhouse, from Patras, Greece, 4th October 1810

Tell M. that I have obtained above two hundred pl&optC's and am almost tired of them, for the history of these he must wait my return, as after many attempts I have given up the idea of conveying information on paper. - You know the monastery of Mendele, it was there I made myself master of the first.

Byron to Hobhouse, from Athens, Greece, 26th November 1810:

I have now seen the World, that is the most ancient of the ancient part, I have spent my little all, I have tasted of all sorts of pleasure (so tell the Citoyen) I have nothing more to hope, and may begin to consider of the most eligi le way of walking out of it, probably I may find in England, somebody inclined to save me the trouble. - Mention ot M, that I have found so many of his antiques on this classical soil, that I am tired of pl&optC's, the last thing I could be tired of, I wish I could find some of Socrates's Hemlock, but Lusieri tells me it don't poison people nowadays.

Robert Rushton

Byron to his mother, from Falmouth, 22nd June, 1809:

Pray tell Mr Rushton his son is well, and doing well.... I like him, because, like myself, he seems a friendless animal.



Byron to Hobhouse, from Patras, Greece, 29th July 1810 (22):

Thus far the ridiculous part of my narrative belongs to others, now comes my turn. - At Vostitza I found my dearly-beloved Eustathius - ready to follow me not ony to England, but to Terra Incognita, if so be my compass pointed that way. - This was four days ago, at present affairs are a little changed. - The next morning I found the dear soul upon horseback, clothed very sprucely in Greek Garments, with those ambrosial curls hanging down his amiable back and to my utter astonishment and the great abomination of Fletcher, a parasol in his hand to save his complexion from the heat. - However, in spite of the Parasol on we travelled very much enamoured, as it should seem, till we got to Patras, where Strane received us into his new house where I now scribble. - Next day he went to visit some accursed cousin and the day after we had a grand quarrel. Strane said I spoilt him, I said nothing, the child was as froward as an unbroken colt, and Strane's Janizary said I must not be surprised, for he was too true a Greek not to be disagreeable. - I think I never in my life took so much pains to please any one, or succeeded so ill, I particularly avoided every thing which could possibly give the least offence in any manner, somebody says that those who try to please will please, this I know not, but I am sure that no one likes to fail in the attempt. - At present he goes back to his father, though he is now become more tractable. - Our parting was vastly pathetic, as many kisses as would have sufficed for a boarding school, and embraces enough to have ruined the character of a county in England, besides tears (not on my part) and expressions of 'Tenerezza' to a vast amount.

And the next day:

My new Greek acquaintance has called thrice, and we improve vastly, in god truth, so it ought to be, for I have quite exhausted my poor powers of pleasing, which God knows are little enough, Lord help me! We are to go on to Tripolitza and Athens together, I do not know what has put him into such a good humour unless it is some Sal Volatile I administered for his headach, and a green shade instead of that effeminate parasol, but so it is, we have redintegrated (a new word for you) our affections at a great rate. - Now is not all this very ridiculous? pray tell Matthews it would do his heart good to see me travelling with my Tartar, Albanians Buffo, Fletcher and this amiable boy prancing by my side. -

John Cam Hobhouse

Hobhouse took leave of Byron on the island of Zea, near Athens, on 2nd July 1810. He writes:

Took leave, non sine lacrymis (not without tears), of this singular young person, on a little stone terrace at the end of the bay, dividing with him a little nosegay of flowers, the last thing perhaps I shall ever divide with him. (Broughton,I,32, quoted in BECP, p268)

Hobhouse to Byron, from Malta, 31st July 1810:

P.S. I kept the half of your little nosegay till it withered entirely and even then I could not bear to throw it away. I can't account for this, nor can you either, I dare say.

Byron to Hobhouse, from Patras, Greece, 4th October 1810

Your last letter closes pathetically with a postscript about a nosegay, I advise you to introduce that into your next sentimental novel - I am sure I did not suspect you of any fine feelings, and I believe you are laughing, but you are welcome.

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