July 6, 2005: Week 1 Diffuse Radiance Week
from The journal of Lord Byron

Sunday, February 27.

Here I am, alone, instead of dining at Lord H.'s, where I was asked,—but not inclined to go anywhere. Hobhouse says I am growing a loup garou,—a solitary hobgoblin. True;—'I am myself alone.' The last week has been passed in reading—seeing plays—now and then visiters—sometimes yawning and sometimes sighing, but no writing,—save of letters. If I could always read, I should never feel the want of society. Do I regret it?—um!—'Man delights not me,' and only one woman—at a time.

There is something to me very softening in the presence of a woman,—some strange influence, even if one is not in love with them,—which I cannot at all account for, having no very high opinion of the sex. But yet,—I always feel in better humour with myself and every thing else, if there is a woman within ken. Even Mrs. Mule, my fire-lighter,—the most ancient and withered of her kind,—and (except to myself) not the best-tempered—always makes me laugh,—no difficult task when I am 'i' the vein.'

Heigho! I would I were in mine island!—I am not well; and yet I look in good health. At times, I fear, 'I am not in my perfect mind;'—and yet my heart and head have stood many a crash, and what should ail them now? They prey upon themselves, and I am sick—sick—'Prithee, undo this button—why should a cat, a rat, a dog have life—and thou no life at all?' Six-and-twenty years, as they call them, why, I might and should have been a Pasha by this time. 'I 'gin to be a weary of the sun.'

Buonaparte is not yet beaten; but has rebutted Blucher, and repiqued Swartzenburg. This it is to have a head. If he again wins, 'Væ victis!'

Lord Byron