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LETTERS TO MR. HODGSON.
Davies and Matthews! they don't suit consequence to be noticed by the man of you ; and how does it happen that I — who lectures, I should not hear him without an am a pipkin of the same pottery — continue answer. For you know, an a man will in your good graces? Good night, - I will be beaten with brains, he shall never keep a go on in the morning.
clean doublet.' Campbell will be despe" Dec. 9th. - In a morning, I'm always rately annoyed. I never saw a man (and sullen, and to-day is as sombre as myself. of him I have seen very little) so sensitive ; Rain and mist are worse than a sirocco, what a happy temperament! I am sorry particularly in a beef-eating and beer-drinking for it ; what can he fear from criticism? I country. My bookseller, Cawthorne, has don't know if Bland has seen Miller, who just left me, and tells me, with a most im- was to call on him yesterday.
portant face, that he is in treaty for a novel “ To-day is the Sabbath, — a day I never li of Madame D'Arblay's, for which 1000 gui- pass pleasantly, but at Cambridge ; and,
neas are asked! He wants me to read the even there, the organ is a sad remembrancer. MS. (if he obtains it), which I shall do Things are stagnant enough in town; as long with pleasure ; but I should be very cautious as they don't retrograde, 'tis all very well. in venturing an opinion on her whose Cecilia Hobhouse writes and writes and writes, and Dr. Johnson superintended.? If he lends it to is an author. I do nothing but eschew me, I shall put it into the hands of Rogers tobacco. I wish parliament were assembled, and M**e, who are truly men of taste. I that I may hear, and perhaps some day be have filled the sheet, and beg your pardon; heard ; – but on this point I am not very I will not do it again. I shall
, perhaps, sanguine. I have many plans ; — sometimes write again ; but if not, believe, silent or I think of the East again, and dearly beloved scribbling, that I am, my dearest William, Greece. I am well, but weakly. Yes. ever, &c.”
terday Kinnaird told me I looked very ill, and sent me home happy.
“ Is Scrope still interesting and invalid ?
And how does Hinde with his cursed cheI sent you a sad Tale of Three Friars mistry? To Harness I have written, and the other day, and now take a dose in have nothing now to do but write again, till
he has written, and we have all written, and another style. I wrote it a day or two ago, death splits up the pen and the scribbler. on hearing a song of former days.
The Alfred has three hundred and fifty** Away, away, ye notes of woe3,' &c. &c.
four candidates for six vacancies. The cook “ I have gotten a book by Sir W. Drum- has run away and left us liable, which mond, (printed, but not published,) entitled makes our committee very plaintive. Master Edipus Judaicus, in which he attempts to Brook, our head serving-man, has the gout, prove the greater part of the Old Testament and our new cook is none of the best. I an allegory, particularly Genesis and Joshua. speak from report, — for what is cookery to He professes himself a theist in the preface, a leguminous-eating ascetic? So now you and handles the literal interpretion very
know as inuch of the matter as I do, Books roughly. I wish you could see it. Mr.W** and quiet are still there, and they may dress has lent it me, and I confess to me it is their dishes in their own way for me. Let worth fifty Watsons.
me know your determination as to Newstead, “ You and Harness must fix on the time and believe me, for your visit to Newstead ; I can command
“ Yours ever, mine at your wish, unless any thing particular
Μπαιρών.” occurs in the interim. Bland dines with me on Tuesday to meet Moore. Coleridge has attacked the . Pleasures of Hope,' and
"8. St. James's Street, Dec. 12. 1811. all other pleasures whatsoever. Mr. Rogers " Why, Hodgson! I fear you have left was present, and heard himself indirectly off wine and me at the same time, - I have rowed by the lecturer. We are going in a written and written and written, and no party to hear the new Art of Poetry by this answer! My dear Sir Edgar, water disreformed schismatic ; and were I one of agrees with you,
TO MR. HODGSON.
" London, Dec. 8. 1811.
TO MR. HODGSON.
drink sack and write. these poetical luminaries, or of sufficient Bland did not come to his appointment,
1 The brother of his late friend, Charles Skinner Matthews.
* Lord Byron is here mistaken. Dr. Johnson never saw Cecilia till it was in print. A day or two before publication, the young authoress, as I understand, sent
three copies to the three persons who had the best claim to them, - her father, Mrs. Thrale, and Dr. Johnson.Second edition.
3 This poem is now printed in Lord Byron's Works. [See Works, p. 530.]
we were not to
being unwell, but M**e supplied all other your dolorous gentlemen : so now let us vacancies most delectably. I have hopes of laugh again. his joining us at Newstead.
I am sure you
Yesterday I went with Moore to Sywould like him more and more as he de- denham to visit Campbell. He was not velopes, at least I do.
visible, so we jogged homeward merrily How Miller and Bland go on, I don't enough. To-morrow I dine with Rogers, know. Cawthorne talks of being in treaty and am to hear Coleridge, who is a kind of for a novel of Madame D'Arblay's', and if rage at present. Last night I saw Kemble he obtains it (at 1500 guineas !!) wishes me in Coriolanus;- he was glorious, and exerted to see the MS. This I should read with himself wonderfully. By good luck I got pleasure, not that I should ever dare to an excellent place in the best part of the venture a criticism on her whose writings house, which was more than overflowing. Dr. Johnson once revised, but for the plea- Clare and Delawarr, who were there on the sure of the thing. If my worthy publisher same speculation, were less fortunate. I wanted a sound opinion, I should send the saw them by accident, MS. to Rogers and M**e, as men most gether. I wished for you, to gratify your alive to true taste. I have had frequent love of Shakspeare and of fine acting to its letters from Wm. Harness, and you are si- fullest extent. Last week I saw an exhi. lent; certes, you are not a schoolboy. bition of a different kind in a Mr. Coates, However, I have the consolation of knowing at the Haymarket, who performed Lothario that you are better employed, viz. reviewing. in a damned and damnable manner. You don't deserve that I should add another “ I told you the fate of B. and H. in my syllable, and I won't. Yours, &c.
last. So much for these sentimentalists, "P. S. – I only wait for your answer to
who console themselves in their stews for fix our meeting."
the loss - the never to be recovered loss the despair of the refined attachment of a couple of drabs ! You censure my life,
Harness, - when I compare myself with “ 8. St. James's Street, Dec. 15. 1811.
these men, my elders and my betters, I "I wrote you an answer to your last, really begin to conceive myself a monument which, on reflection, pleases me as little as of prudence – a walking statue — without it probably has pleased yourself. I will not feeling or failing; and yet the world in wait for your rejoinder ; but proceed to tell general hath given me a proud pre-eminence you, that I had just then been greeted with over them in profligacy. Yet I like the an epistle of **'s, full of his petty grievances, men, and, God knows, ought not to condemn and this at the moment when (from circum- their aberrations. But I own I feel prostances it is not necessary to enter upon) I voked when they dignify all this by the name was bearing up against recollections to which of love -- romantic attachments for things his imaginary sufferings are as a scratch to a marketable for a dollar!
These things combined, put me “ Dec. 16th. — I have just received your out of humour with him and all mankind. letter ;– I feel your kindness very deeply. The latter part of my life has been a per- The foregoing part of my letter, written yespetual struggle against affections which em-terday, will, I hope, account for the tone of bittered the earliest portion ; and though I the former, though it cannot excuse it. I flatter myself I have in a great measure do like to hear from you
more than like. conquered them, yet there are moments (and Next to seeing you, I have no greater satisthis was one) when I am as foolish as faction. But you have other duties, and formerly. I never said so much before, nor greater pleasures, and I should regret to take had I said this now, if I did not suspect a moment from either. H** was to call myself of having been rather savage in my to-day, but I have not seen him. The cirletter, and wish to inform you thus much cumstances you mention at the close of your of the cause.
You know I am not one of letter is another proof in favour of my
TO MR. HARNESS.
" [" The Wanderer, or Female Difficulties," was not 2 On this occasion, another of the noble poet's pecupublished till the year 1814. “ This novel," say the liarities was, somewhat startlingly, introduced to my Quarterly Reviewers," which might be expected to finish notice. When we were on the point of setting out from and crown Madame D'Arblay's literary labours, is not his lodgings in St. James's Street, it being then about only inferior to its sister-works, but cannot, in our judg- mid-day, he said to the servant, who was shutting the ment, claim any very decided superiority over the thou- door of the vis-à-vis, “ Have you put in the pistols ? " sand-and-one volumes with which the Minerva Press and was answered in the affirmative. It was difficult, inundates the shelves of circulating libraries, and in- more especially, taking into account the circumstances creases, instead of diverting the ennui of the loungers at under which we had just become acquainted, - to keep watering-places ?" – Vol. xi. p. 124.)
from smiling at this singular noonday precaution.
HIS SOLITARY POSITION.
opinion of mankind. Such you will always of a London spring, we were generally (as find them — selfish and distrustful. I except in one of his own letters he expresses it) "emnone. The cause of this is the state of so- barked in the same Ship of Fools together.” ciety. In the world, every one is to stir for But, at the time when we first met, his himself — it is useless, perhaps selfish, to position in the world was most solitary. expect any thing from his neighbour. But Even those coffee-house companions who, I do not think we are born of this disposition; before his departure from England, had for you find friendship as a schoolboy, and served him as a sort of substitute for more love enough before twenty.
worthy society, were either relinquished or “ I went to see ** ; he keeps me in town, had dispersed; and, with the exception of where I don't wish to be at present. He is three or four associates of his college days a good man, but totally without conduct. (to whom he appeared strongly attached), And now, my dearest William, I must wish Mr. Dallas and his solicitor seemed to be you good morrow, and remain ever, most the only persons whom, even in their very sincerely and affectionately yours, &c.” questionable degree, he could boast of as
friends. Though too proud to complain of From the time of our first meeting, there this loneliness, it was evident that he felt it ; seldom elapsed a day that Lord Byron and I and that the state of cheerless isolation, did not see each other; and our acquaintance“ unguided and unfriended,” to which, on ripened into intimacy and friendship with a entering into manhood, he had found himrapidity of which I have seldom known an self abandoned, was one of the chief sources example. I was, indeed, lucky in all the of that resentful disdain of mankind, which circumstances that attended my first intro- even their subsequent worship of him came duction to him. In a generous nature like too late to remove. The effect, indeed, his, the pleasure of repairing an injustice which his subsequent commerce with society would naturally give a zest to any partiality had, for the short period it lasted, in softI might have inspired in his mind; while the ening and exhilarating his temper, showed manner in which I had sought this reparation, how fit a soil his heart would have been for free as it was from resentment or defiance, the growth of all the kindlier feelings, had left nothing painful to remember in the but a portion of this sunshine of the world's transaction between us, - no compromise smiles shone on him earlier. or concession that could wound self-love, or At the same time, in all such speculations take away from the grace of that frank and conjectures as to what might have been, friendship to which he at once, so cordially under more favourable circumstances, his and so unhesitatingly, admitted me. I was character, it is invariably to be borne in also not a little fortunate in forming my ac- mind, that his very defects were among the quaintance with him, before his success had elements of his greatness, and that it was out yet reached its meridian burst, — before the of the struggle between the good and evil triumphs that were in store for him had principles of his nature that his mighty brought the world all in homage at his feet, genius drew its strength. A more genial and, among the splendid crowds that courted and fostering introduction into life, while it his society, even claims less humble than would doubtless have softened and discimine bad but a feeble chance of fixing his plined his mind, might have impaired its regard. As it was, the new scene of life vigour ; and the same influences that would that opened upon him with his success, have diffused smoothness and happiness over instead of detaching us from each other, only his life might have been fatal to its glory. In a multiplied our opportunities of meeting, and short poem of his', which appears to have been increased our intimacy. In that society produced at Athens, (as I find it written on where his birth entitled him to move, cir- a leaf of the original MS. of Childe Harold, cumstances had already placed me, notwith- and dated" Athens, 1811,") there are two standing mine ; and when, after the ap- lines which, though hardly intelligible as pearance of “ Childe Harold,” he began to connected with the rest of the poem, may, mingle with the world, the same persons, who taken separately, be interpreted as implying had long been my intimates and friends, a sort of prophetic consciousness that it became his ; our visits were mostly to the was out of the wreck and ruin of all his hopes same places, and, in the gay and giddy round the immortality of his name was to arise.
* “Written beneath the picture of Miss Chaworth.” [See Works, p. 540.)
* (* The meaning of these two lines is so obvious, that it is marvellous how any one could miss it :-* By the death-blow of my hope -- the blow that deprived me of
the original of this picture - my memory grew immortal : - my remembrance of her became so strong that it shows not the slightest symptom of decay; now, when after a lapse of time I look at her picture, the painful feelings of memory are as vivid as on the day I lost her. This
" Dear object of defeated care,
- your wish shall be my law. If my zeal Though now of love and thee bereit,
has already outrun discretion, pardon me, To reconcile me with despair, Thine image and my tears are left.
and attribute my officiousness to an excus'Tis said with sorrow Time can cope,
able motive. But this, I feel, can ne'er be true;
“I wish you would go down with me to For, by the death-blow of my hope,
Newstead. Hodgson will be there, and a My ilemory immortal
young friend, named Harness, the earliest We frequently, during the first months of
and dearest I ever had from the third form
at Harrow to this hour. I can promise you our acquaintance, dined together alone ; and as we had no club, in common, to resort to,
good wine, and, if you like shooting, a manor the Alfred being the only one to which
of 4000 acres, fires, books, your own free he, at that period, belonged, and I being then
will, and my own very indifferent company. a member of none but Watier's – our din
Balnea, vina * *. ners used to be either at the St. Alban's, or “ Hodgson will plague you, I fear, with at his old haunt, Stevens's. Though at times
for my own part I will conclude, he would drink freely enough of claret, he still
with Martial, nil recitabo tibi ;' and surely adhered to his system of abstinence in food.
the last inducement is not the least. Ponder He appeared, indeed, to have conceived a on my proposition, and believe me, my dear notion that animal food has some peculiar
Moore, yours ever.
“BYROX." influence on the character ; and I remember, one day, as I sat opposite to him, employed, I suppose, rather carnestly over a beci-steak, Among those acts of generosity and friend. after watching me for a few seconds, he said,
ship by which every year of Lord Byron's in a grave tone of inquiry, – Moore, don't
life was signalised, there is none, perhaps, you find eating beef-stcak makes you fe
that, for its own peculiar seasonableness and rocious?”
delicacy, as well as for the perfect worthiness Understanding me to have expressed a wish of the person who was the object of it, deto become a member of the Alfred, he very
serves more honourable mention than that good-naturedly lost no time in proposing me
which I am now about to record, and which as a candidate ; but as the resolution which
took place nearly at the period of which I I had then nearly formed of betaking myself am speaking. The friend, whose good forto a country life rendered an additional club tune it was to inspire the feeling thus tes. in London superfluous, I wrote to beg that
tified, was Mr. Hodgson, the gentleman to he would, for the present at least, withdraw
whom so many of the preceding letters are my name ; and his answer, though
addressed ; and as it would be unjust to rob taining little, being the first familiar note he
him of the grace and honour of being, himever honoured me with, I may be excused
self, the testimony of obligations so signal, I for feeling a peculiar pleasure in inserting it.
shall here lay before my readers an extract from the letter with which, in reference to |
a passage in one of his noble friend's JourLETTER 82. TO MR. MOORE.
nals, he has favoured me :
“ I feel it incumbent upon me to explain * My dear Moore,
the circumstances to which this passage al“ If you please, we will drop our former ludes, however private their nature. They monosyllables, and adhere to the appellations are, indeed, calculated to do honour to the sanctioned by our godfathers and godmothers. memory of my lamented friend. Having beIf you make it a point, I will withdraw your come involved, unfortunately, in difficulties name; at the same time there is no occasion, and embarrassments, I received from Lord as I have this day postponed your election Byron (besides former pecuniary obligations) “sine die,' till it shall suit your wishes to be assistance, at the time in question, to the amongst us. I do not say this from any amount of a thousand pounds. Aill of such awkwardness the erasure of your proposal magnitude was equally unsolicited and unwould occasion to me, but simply such is the expected on my part ; but it was a longstate of the case; and, indeed, the longer cherished, though secret, purpose of my your name is up, the stronger will become friend to afford that aid ; and he only waitthe probability of success, and your voters ed for the period when he thought it would more numerous. Of course you will decide be of most service. His own words were,
" December 11. 1811.
proves that Time cannot cope with sorrow,' Mr. Moore, however, expounds the passage thus:-By the deathblow of my hope, in the loss of this object, I laid the foundation of an immortal memory for myself: of my
being immortally remembered. This proves that Time cannot cope with sorrow.'-A most contorted interpretation, and a most exemplary non sequitur !" – Histminster Rev. 1-30.]
CHILDE HAROLD IN THE PRESS.
HAROLD IN THE
on the occasion of conferring this over
Eftsoons his little heart beat merrily,
With hope of foreign nations to behold, whelming favour, 'I always intended to do
And many things right marvellous to see, it.'»
Of which our vaunting travellers oft have told,
In place of that mournful song "To Ines,"
in the first canto, which contains some of the dreariest touches of sadness that even
his pen ever let fall, he had, in the original 1811-1812.
construction of the poem, been so little fasPRESS — ADDI
tidious as to content himself with such ordiTIONS AND ALTERATIONS.-HINTS FROM nary sing-song as the following: HORACE, CURSE OF MINERVA,
" Oh never tell again to me FIFTH EDITION OF ENGLISH BARDS AND
of Northern climes and British ladies,
It has not been your lot to see,
Like me, the lovely girl of Cadiz.
Although her eye be not of blue, RUSHTON, MR. HODGSON, AND YOUNG COW
Nor fair her locks, like English lasses," &c. &c. ELL.-MAIDEN SPEECH IN THE HOUSE OF
There were also, originally, several stanzas LORDS.-ACQUAINTANCE WITH LORD HOL
full of direct personality, and some that deLAND-PUBLICATION OF CHILDE HAROLD.
generated into a style still more familiar and - ITS INSTANTANEOUS SUCCESS. - PRE
ludicrous than that of the description of a SENTATION OF THE COPY-RIGHT TO MR.
London Sunday, which still disfigures the DALLAS.
poem. In thus mixing up the light with the DURING all this time, and through the solemn, it was the intention of the poet to months of January and February, his poem imitate Ariosto. But it is far easier to rise, of “ Childe Harold” was in its progress with grace, from the level of a strain genethrough the press ; and to the changes and rally familiar, into an occasional short burst additions which he made in the course of of pathos or splendour, than to interrupt thus printing, some of the most beautiful passages a prolonged tone of solemnity by any deof the work owe their existence. On com- scent into the ludicrous or burlesque. * In paring, indeed, his rough draft of the two the former case, the transition may have the cantos with the finished form in which they effect of softening or elevating, while, in the exist at present, we are made sensible of the latter, it almost invariably shocks ;– for the power which the man of genius possesses, same reason, perhaps, that a trait of pathos not only of surpassing others, but of improving or high feeling, in comedy, has a peculiar on himself. Originally, the "little Page charm ; while the intrusion of comic scenes and “ Yeoman” of the Childe were intro- into tragedy, however sanctioned among us duced to the reader's notice in the following by habit and authority, rarely fails to offend. tame stanzas, by expanding the substance The noble poet was, himself, convinced of of which into their present light, lyric shape, the failure of the experiment, and in none of it is almost needless to remark how much the succeeding cantos of Childe Harold rethe poet has gained in variety and dramatic peated it. effect :
Of the satiric parts, some verses on the
well-known traveller, Sir John Carr, may ** And of his train there was a henchman page, A peasant boy, who served his master well;
supply us with, at least, a harmless speciAnd often would his pranksome prate engage Childe Burun's lear, when his proud heart did swell “ Ye, who would more of Spain and Spaniards know, With sullen thoughts that he disdain'd to tell.
Sights, saints, antiques, arts, aneodotes, and war, Then would he smile on him, and Alwin ? smiled,
Go, hie ye hence to Paternoster Row, -When aught that from his young lips archly fell,
Are they not written in the boke of Carr ? Tbe gloomy film from Harold's eye beguiled.
Green Erin's Knight, and Europe's wandering star.
Then listen, readers, to the Man of Ink, ** Hirn and one yeoman only did he take
Hear what he did, and sought, and wrote afar: To travel eastward to a far countrie;
All these are coop'd within one Quarto's brink ; And, though the boy was grieved to leave the lake,
This borrow, steal (don't buy), and tell us what you On whose fair banks he grew from infancy,
1 If there could be any doubt as to his intention of delineating himself in his hero, this adoption of the old Norman name of his family, which he seems to have at first contemplated, would be sufficient to remove it.
had been successively inserted here and scratched out again.
3 Here the manuscript is illegible.
4 Among the acknowledged blemishes of Milton's great poem is his abrupt transition, in this manner, into an imitation of Ariosto's style, in the “ Paradise of Fools."
* In the MS. the names “ Robin” and