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Interesting words - Lord Byron's House Party
echsdoc
C. S. Matthews to his sister, May 22, 1809 on Lord Byron's House Party at Newstead Abbey 1809: Our party consisted of Lord Byron and four others, and was, now and then, increased by the presence of a neighbouring parson. As for our way of living the order of the day was generally this: for breakfast, we had no set hour, but each suited his own convenience, everything remaining of the table till the whole party had done; though had one wished to breakfast at the early hour of ten, we should have been rather lucky to find any of the servants up. Our average hour of rising was one. I, who generally got up between eleven and twelve, was always -- even when an invalid -- the first of the party, and was esteemed a prodigy of early rising. It was frequently past two before the breakfast party broke up. Then, for the amusements of the morning, there was reading, fencing, single-stick, or shuttlecock, in the great room; practising with pistols in the hall; walking -- riding -- cricket -- sailing on the lake, playing with the bear, or teasing the wolf. Between seven and eight we dined; and our evening lasted from that time till one, two, or three in the morning. The evening diversions may be easily conceived.
I must not omit the custom of handing round, after dinner, on the removal of the cloth, a human skull filled with burgundy. After revelling on choice viands. and the finest wines of France, we adjourned to tea, where we amused ourselves with reading, or improving conversation, 00 each, according to his fancy, -- and, after sandwiches, etc., retired to rest. A set of monkish dresses, which had been provided, with all the proper apparatus of crosses, beads, tonsures, etc., often gave a variety of our appearance, and to our pursuits.

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