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By Leslie A. Marchand

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He appealed to Augusta on December 27 to be joint security with him "for a few Hundreds a person (one of the money lending tribe) has offered to advance. . " • This is the first intimation of Byron's involvement with the usurers, from whom in the next three or four years he borrowed until his debts ran into thousands of pounds. Augusta was frightened and offered to lend him money to pay his debts, but he refused. And on January 7 he hinted at some painful cause of melancholy which he could not disclose.

If Byron was nine years old when this sex play began, it must have started in Scotland and have gone on for some time before he revealed it to Hanson. It seems likely that the worst blows he suffered at the hands of May Gray were psychological rather than physical. The disillusioning experience of seeing her devote her caresses to others after their intimacy may well have roused a maddened jealousy that caused the boy to tell Hanson. This experience with an apparently pious girl who had taught him to read the Bible may have been an additional shock and in part the foundation of his lifelong hatred of cant and hypocrisy in religious people.

A famous French 'entremetteuse,' who assisted young gentlemen in their youthful pastimes. We had been acquainted for some time, when something occurred in her line of business more than ordinary, and the refusal was offered to me . . she sent me. a letter couched in such English as a short residence of sixteen years in England had enabled her to acquire. . But there was a postscript. ' "· 40 CHAPTER V: I8os-1So7 Perhaps the Madame had some reason to doubt Byron's "delicaci," for he had entered into his dissipations with the reck- less cynicism of one who was trying to prove his power over women despite the fact that he was "the little lame boy" or, it may be, to prove to himself that he could find in feminine embraces an escape from his too compelling involvement with Edleston.

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