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JOHN C. HOBHOUSE, Esq. M.P.
MY DEAR SIR,
I do myself the honour of dedicating this book to you. It contains a brief account of Lord Byron's last journey, which he undertook for the purpose of assisting in the liberation of Greece. It appears to me that this narrative in every way belongs to you. You are Lord Byron's oldest and dearest friend ; you were the companion of his Lordship's early travels, when he first visited Greece ; when the contrast between its past glory and present
degradation awakened his genius, and lit up
in his breast an intense love for that sacred and unhappy country which endured to the last moment of his life.
I accompanied his Lordship in the expedition which terminated his existence. I conducted the greater part of his public business, every circumstance of which was communicated to me. I kept a diary, containing a minute account of all the events of the day. Every fact which I narrate may, therefore, be received as authentic. My only object is to give a simple narrative of what Lord Byron did in Greece; of the connexions he had there; and the influence he enjoyed. I shall state the benefits afforded by him to that country; benefits which would have become greater and more permanent, if pitiless death, which
always seizes on the noblest prey, had not prematurely bereft us of him.
The glorious events which have assured, as it now appears, the liberty of Greece, have confirmed Lord Byron's anticipations, and have shown that his hopes were as well founded as his designs were nobly conceived. (But the Greek people have not forgotten their benefactor in the day of their triumph—they have a profound sense of the obligations they owe to him, and their gratitude will endure as long as they have a name amongst the nations of the earth.)
I am aware that many of the events which I record may appear insignificantand they would be so under other circumstances :—yet I trust it is not to En
glishmen, and I am sure it is not to you, that I need offer an apology for being too minute in any details connected with the name of Byron and the cause of Greece.
Next to the satisfaction I receive from the conviction of having fulfilled my duty towards the memory of Lord Byron, my best reward will be the approbation of his Lordship's friends, among whom the first rank must be assigned to you.
With the truest esteem,
I am, my dear Sir,
London, January 13, 1825.