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TO MR. MOORE.
Among those passages which, in the excited in me ; and the following is course of revisal, he introduced, like pieces far as relates to literary matters — the of rich inlay,” into the poem, was that fine answer I received from him. stanza “ Yet if, as holiest men have deem'd, there be
LETTER 83. A land of souls beyond that sable shore," &c.
January 29. 1812 through which lines, though, it must be con
My dear Moore, fessed, a tone of scepticism breathes, (as well
I wish very much I could have seen as in those tender verses
you ; I am in a state of ludicrous tribula“ Yes, I will dream that we may meet again,").
tion. it is a scepticism whose sadness calls far
Why do you say that I dislike your more for pity than blaine ; there being dis- poesy? I have expressed no such opinion, coverable, even through its very doubts,
either in print or elsewhere. In scribbling an innate warmth of piety, which they had myself, it was necessary for me to find fault, been able to obscure, but not to chill. To
and I fixed upon the trite charge of immouse the words of the poet himself, in a note
rality, because I could discover no other, which it was once his intention to affix to
and was so perfectly qualified in the inno-, these stanzas, “Let it be remembered that
cence of my heart, to 'pluck that mote from the spirit they breathe is desponding, not my neighbour's eye.' sneering, scepticism,". -- a distinction never
"" I feel very, very much obliged by your to be lost sight of; as, however hopeless approbation ; but, at this moment, praise, may be the conversion of the scoffing infidel,
even your praise, passes by me like "the idle he who feels pain in doubting has still alive wind. I meant and mean to send you a within him the seeds of belief.
copy the moment of publication ; but now At the same time with Childe Harold, he I can think of nothing but damned, deceitful, had three other works in the press, — his the Knight of Snowdon. Believe me, my
- delightful woman, as Mr. Liston says in “ Hints from Horace," “ The Curse of Minerva," and a fifth edition of “ English
dear Moore, Bards and Scotch Reviewers." The note
“ Ever yours, most affectionately,
• BYRON." upon the latter poem, which had been the lucky origin of our acquaintance, was withdrawn in this edition, and a few words of The passages here omitted contain rather explanation, which he had the kindness too amusing an account of a disturbance that to submit to my perusal, substituted in its had just occurred in the establishment at place.
Newstead, in consequence of the detected In the month of January, the whole of misconduct of one of the maid-servants, who the two cantos being printed off, some of had been supposed to stand rather too high the poet's friends, and, among others, Mr. in the favour of her master, and, by the airs Rogers and myself, were so far favoured as of authority which she thereupon assumed, to be indulged with a perusal of the sheets. had disposed all the rest of the household to In adverting to this period in his “ Memo- regard her with no very charitable eyes. randa,” Lord Byron, I remember, mentioned, The chief actors in the strife were this - as one of the ill omens which preceded sultana and young Rushton; and the first the publication of the poem, that some point in dispute that came to Lord Byron's of the literary friends to whom it was shown knowledge (though circumstances, far from expressed doubts of its success, and that creditable to the damsel, afterwards tranone among them had told him “it was too spired) was, whether Rushton was bound to good for the age.” Whoever may have pro- carry letters to “the Hut” at the bidding of nounced this opinion, — and I have some this female. To an episode of such a nature suspicion that I am myself the guilty person, I should not have thought of alluding, were the age has, it must be owned, most trium- it not for the two rather curious letters that phantly refuted the calumny upon its taste follow, which show how gravely and coolly which the remark implied.
the young lord could arbitrate on such an It was in the hands of Mr. Rogers I first occasion, and with what considerate leaning saw the sheets of the poem, and glanced towards the servant whose fidelity he had hastily over a few of the stanzas which he proved, in preference to any new liking or pointed out to me as beautiful. Having oc- fancy by which it might be suspected he was casion, the same morning, to write a note to actuated towards the other, Lord Byron, I expressed strongly the admiration which this foretaste of his work had
LETTERS TO ROBERT RUSHTON.
LETTER 84. TO ROBERT RUSHTON.
have heard a word from you before against
any human being, which convinces me you “8. St. James's Street, Jan. 21. 1812.
would not maliciously assert an untruth. Though I have no objection to your re- There is not any one who can do the least fusal to carry letters to Mealey's, you will injury to you, while you conduct yourself take care that the letters are taken by Spero properly. "I shall expect your answer imat the proper time. I have also to observe, mediately. Yours, &c. that Susan is to be treated with civility, and
“ Byron.” not insulted by any person over whom I have the smallest controul, or, indeed, by any one It was after writing these letters that he whatever, while I have the power to protect came to the knowledge of some improper her. I am truly sorry to have any subject levities on the part of the girl, in conseof complaint against you ; I have too good quence of which he dismissed her and an opinion of you to think I shall have oc- another female servant from Newstead ; and casion to repeat it, after the care I have how strongly he allowed this discovery to taken of you, and my favourable intentions affect his mind, will be seen in a subsequent in your behalf. I see no occasion for any letter to Mr. Hodgson. communication whatever between you and the women, and wish you to occupy yourself
TO MR. HODGSON. in preparing for the situation in which
“8. St. James's Street, February 16. 1812. will be placed. If a common sense of de
“ Dear Hodgson, cency cannot prevent you from conducting yourself towards them with rudeness, I
“I send you a proof. Last week I was
ill and confined to bed with stone in should at least hope that your own interest, the kidney, but I am now quite recovered. and regard for a master who has never treated you with unkindness, will have some
If the stone had got into my heart instead
of my kidneys, it would have been all the weight. Yours, &c.
better. The women are gone to their rela“ BYRON.
tives, after many attempts to explain what
was already too clear. However, I have "P.S.- I wish you to attend to your quite recovered that also, and only wonder arithmetic, to occupy yourself in surveying, measuring, and making yourself acquainted from the general corruption, — albeit a two
at my folly in excepting my own strumpets with every particular relative to the land of months' weakness is better than ten years. Newstead, and you will write to me one letter I have one request to make, which is, never every week, that I may know how you go mention a woman again in any letter to me,
or even allude to the existence of the sex.
I won't even read a word of the feminine LETTER 85. TO ROBERT RUSHTON.
gender ; — it must all be propria quæ “ 8. St. James's Street, January 25. 1812. maribus.' “ Your refusal to carry the letter was not “ In the spring of 1813 I shall leave a subject of remonstrance: it was not a England for ever. Every thing in my affairs part of your business ; but the language you tends to this, and my inclinations and health used to the girl was (as she stated it) highly do not discourage it. Neither my habits improper.
nor constitution are improved by your * You say, that you also have something customs or your climate. I shall find to complain of ; then state it to me imme- employment in making myself a good diately : it would be very unfair, and very Oriental scholar. I shall retain a mansion contrary to my disposition, not to hear both in one of the fairest islands, and retrace, at sides of the question.
intervals, the most interesting portions of " If any thing has passed between you the East. In the mean time, I am adjusting before or since my last visit to Newstead, do my concerns, which will (when arranged) not be afraid to mention it. I am sure you leave me with wealth sufficient even for would not deceive me, though she would. home, but enough for a principality in Whatever it is, you shall be forgiven. I Turkey. At present they are involved, but have not been without some suspicions on I hope, by taking some necessary but unthe subject, and am certain that, at your pleasant steps, to clear every thing. Hobtime of life, the blame could not attach to house is expected daily in London: we shall you. You will not consult any one as to be very glad to see him; and, perhaps, you your answer, but write to me immediately. will come up and drink deep ere he depart, I shall be more ready to hear what you have if not, • Mahomet must go to the mountain ;' to advance, as I do not remember ever to – but Cambridge will bring sad recollections
to him, and worse to me, though for very House of Lords; and it was on this occasion different reasons. I believe the only human he had the good fortune to become acbeing that ever loved me in truth and entirely quainted with Lord Holland, an acquaintwas of, or belonging to, Cambridge, and, in ance no less honourable than gratifying to that, no change can now take place. There both, as having originated in feelings the is one consolation in death - where he sets most generous, perhaps, of our nature ; a his seal, the impression can neither be melted ready forgiveness of injuries, on the one nor broken, but endureth for ever.
side, and a frank and unqualified atonement · Yours always,
"B." for them, on the other. The subject of
debate was the Nottingham Frame-breaking Among those lesser memorials of his good Bill; and, Lord Byron having mentioned to nature and mindfulness, which, while they Mr. Rogers his intention to take a part in are precious to those who possess them, are
the discussion, a communication was, by the not unworthy of admiration from others, intervention of that gentleman, opened bemay be reckoned such letters as the fol-tween the noble poet and Lord Holland, lowing, to a youth at Eton, recommending who, with his usual courtesy, professed himanother, who was about to be entered at self ready to afford all the information and that school, to his care.
advice in his power. The following letters, however, will best explain their first advances towards acquaintance.
LETTER 87. TO MASTER JOHN COWELL.
" 8. St. James's Street, February 12. 1812.
TO MR. ROGERS. 'My dear John,
“ February 4. 1812. *“ You have probably long ago forgotten My dear Sir, the writer of these lines, who would, per- “ With my best acknowledgments to haps, be unable to recognise yourself, from Lord Holland, I have to offer my perfect the difference which must naturally have concurrence in the propriety of the question taken place in your stature and appearance previously to be put to ministers. If their since he saw you last. I have been rambling answer is in the negative, I shall
, with his through Portugal, Spain, Greece, &c. &c. for Lordship’s approbation, give notice of a nosome years, and have found so many changes tion for a Committee of Inquiry. I would on my return, that it would be very unfair also gladly avail myself of his most able not to expect that you should have had your advice, and any information or documents share of alteration and improvement with with which he might be pleased to intrust the rest. I write to request a favour of you : me, to bear me out in the statement of facts a little boy of eleven years, the son of Mr.**, it may be necessary to submit to the House. my particular friend, is about to become an From all that fell under my own observ. Etonian, and I should esteem any act of ation during my Christmas visit to Newstead, protection or kindness to him as an obligation I feel convinced that, if conciliatory measures to myself : let me beg of you then to take are not very soon adopted, the most unhappy some little notice of him at first, till he is consequences may be apprehended. Nightly able to shift for himself.
outrage and daily depredation are already at “I was happy to hear a very favourable their height ; and not only the masters of account of you from a schoolfellow a few frames, who are obnoxious on account of weeks ago, and should be glad to learn that their occupation, but persons in no degree your family are as well as I wish them to connected with the malecontents or their be. I presume you are in the upper school ; oppressors, are liable to insult and pillage. – as an Etonian, you will look down upon “ I am very much obliged to you for the a Harrow man; but I never, even in my trouble
have taken on my account, and boyish days, disputed your superiority, which beg you to believe me ever your obliged and I once experienced in a cricket match, where sincere, &c." I had the honour of making one of eleven, who were beaten to their hearts' content by your college in one innings. Believe me to be, with great truth,
“ 8. St. James's Street, February 25, 1812. &c. &c.
• With my best thanks, I have the
honour to return the Notts. letter to your On the 27th of February, a day or two Lordship. I have read it with attention, before the appearance of Childe Harold, he but do not think I shall venture to avail made the first trial of his eloquence in the myself of its contents, as my view of the
TO LORD HOLLAND.
- MAIDEN SPEECH.
question differs in some measure from Mr. “P. S. - I am a little apprehensive that Coldham's. I hope I do not wrong him, your Lordship will think me too lenient tobut his objections to the bill appear to me wards these men, and half a frame-breaker to be founded on certain apprehensions that myself.” he and his coadjutors might be mistaken for the original advisers' (to quote him) of It would have been, no doubt, the amthe measure. For my own part, I consider bition of Lord Byron to acquire distinction the manufacturers as a much injured body as well in oratory as in poesy; but Nature of men, sacrificed to the views of certain seems to set herself against pluralities in individuals who have enriched themselves fame. He had prepared himself for this by those practices which have deprived the debate, as most of the best orators have frame-workers of employment. For in- done, in their first essays, not only by stance ; — by the adoption of a certain kind composing, but writing down, the whole of of frame, one man performs the work of his speech beforehand. The reception he
-six are thus thrown out of business. met with was flattering ; some of the noble But it is to be observed that the work thus speakers on his own side complimented him done is far inferior in quality, hardly market- very warmly; and that he was himself highly able at home, and hurried over with a view pleased with his success, appears from the to exportation. Surely, my Lord, however annexed account of Mr. Dallas, which gives we may rejoice in any improvement in the a lively notion of his boyish elation on the arts which may be beneficial to mankind, occasion. we must not allow mankind to be sacrificed “When he left the great chamber, I went to improvements in mechanism. The main- and met him in the passage; he was glowing tenance and well-doing of the industrious with success, and much agitated. I had an poor is an object of greater consequence to umbrella in my right hand, not expecting the community than the enrichment of a that he would put out his hand to me ; few monopolists by any improvement in the in my haste to take it when offered, I had implements of trade, which deprives the advanced my left hand – What!' said he, workman of his bread, and renders the 'give your friend your left hand upon such an labourer“ unworthy of his hire.” My own occasion ?' I showed the cause, and immemotive for opposing the bill is founded on diately changing the umbrella to the other its palpable injustice, and its certain ineffi- hand, I gave him my right hand, which he cacy. I have seen the state of these mise- shook and pressed warmly. He was greatly rable men, and it is a disgrace to a civilised elated, and repeated some of the compliments country. Their excesses may be condemned, which had been paid to him, and mentioned but cannot be subject of wonder. The one or two of the peers who had desired to effect of the present bill would be to drive be introduced to him. He concluded with them into actual rebellion. The few words saying, that he had, by his speech, given me I shall venture to offer on Thursday will be the best advertisement for Childe Harold's founded upon these opinions formed from Pilgrimage.”. my own observations on the spot. By The speech itself, as given by Mr. Dallas previous inquiry, I am convinced these men from the noble speaker's own manuscript, is would have been restored to employment, pointed and vigorous; and the same sort of and the county to tranquillity. It is, perhaps, interest that is felt in reading the poetry of not yet too late, and is surely worth the a Burke, may be gratified, perhaps, by a trial. It can never be too late to employ few specimens of the oratory of a Byron. force in such circumstances. I believe your In the very opening of his speech, he thus Lordship does not coincide with me entirely introduces himself by the melancholy avowal, on this subject, and most cheerfully and that in that assembly of his brother nobles sincerely shall I submit to your superior he stood almost a stranger. judgment and experience, and take some .“ As a person in some degree connected other line of argument against the bill, or with the suffering county, though a stranger be silent altogether, should you deem it not only to this House in general, but to more advisable. Condemning, as every one almost every individual whose attention I must condemn, the conduct of these wretches, presume to solicit, I must claim some portion I believe in the existence of grievances which of your Lordships, indulgence.” call rather for pity than punishment. I The following extracts comprise, I think, have the honour to be, with great respect, the passages of most spirit :my Lord, your Lordship’s
- When we are told that these men are “ Most obedient and obliged servant, leagued together, not only for the destruc
Byron.” tion of their own comfort, but of their very
means of subsistence, can we forget that it will you erect a gibbet in every field, and is the bitter policy, the destructive warfare, hang up men like scare-crows ? or will you of the last eighteen years which has de proceed (as you must, to bring this measure stroyed their comfort, your comfort, all into effect,) by decimation ; place the country men's comfort ;— that policy which, origi- under martial law ; depopulate and lay waste nating with great statesmen now no more,' all around you, and restore Sherwood Forest has survived the dead to become a curse on as an acceptable gift to the crown in its the living, unto the third and fourth gene- former condition of a royal chase, and an ration ! These men never destroyed their asylum for outlaws ? Are these the remedies looms till they were become useless — worse for a starving and desperate populace? Will than useless; till they were become actual the famished wretch who has braved your impediments to their exertions in obtaining bayonets be appalled by your gibbets ? their daily bread. Can you then wonder When death is a relief, and the only relief it that, in times like these, when bankruptcy, appears that you will afford him, will he be convicted fraud, and imputed felony, are dragooned into tranquillity? Will that which found in a station not far beneath that ofcould not be effected by your grenadiers, be your Lordships, the lowest, though once accomplished by your executioners? If you most useful, portion of the people should proceed by the forms of laws, where is your forget their duty in their distresses, and be evidence? Those who refused to impeach come only less guilty than one of their their accomplices, when transportation only representatives? But while the exalted was the punishment, will hardly be tempted offender can find means to baffle the law, to witness against them when death is the new capital punishments must be devised, penalty. With all due deference to the new snares of death must be spread for the noble lords opposite, I think a little investiwretched mechanic who is famished into gation, some previous inquiry, would induce guilt. These men were willing to dig, but even them to change their purpose. That the spade was in other hands : they were most favourite state measure, so marvellously not ashamed to beg, but there was none to efficacious in many and recent instances, relieve them. Their own means of subsist. | temporising, would not be without its adence were cut off; all other employments vantage in this. When a proposal is made pre-occuppied ; and their excesses, however to emancipate or relieve, you hesitate, you to be deplored or condemned, can hardly be deliberate for years, you temporise and tamthe subject of surprise.
per with the minds of men ; but a death-bill I have traversed the seat of war in the must be passed off hand, without a thought Peninsula ; I have been in some of the most of the consequences." oppressed provinces of Turkey ; but never, In reference to his own parliamentary disunder the most despotic of infidel govern- plays, and to this maiden speech in particular, ments, did I behold such squalid wretched I find the following remarks in one of his ness as I have seen since my return, in the Journals : very heart of a Christian country. And “ Sheridan's liking for me (whether he what are your remedies ? After months of was not mystifying me I do not know, but inaction, and months of action worse than Lady Caroline Lamb and others told me that inactivity, at length comes forth the grand he said the same both before and after he specific, the never failing nostrum of all state knew me,) was founded upon English physicians from the days of Draco to the Bards and Scotch Reviewers.' He told me present time. After feeling the pulse, and that he did not care about poetry, (or about shaking the head over the patient, prescribing mine—at least, any but that poem of mine,) the usual course of warm water and bleeding but he was sure, from that and other symptoms, - the warm water of your mawkish police, I should make an orator, if I would but take and the lancets of your military these to speaking, and grow a parliament man. convulsions must terminate in death, the sure He never ceased harping upon this to me to consummation of the prescriptions of all the last ; and I remember my old tutor, Dr. political Sangrados. Setting aside the pal- Drury, had the same notion when I was a pable injustice and the certain inefficiency of boy ; but it never was my turn of inclination the bill, are there not capital punishments to try. I spoke once or twice, as all young sufficient on your statutes ? Is there not peers do, as a kind of introduction into blood enough upon your penal code, that public life ; but dissipation, shyness, haughty more must be poured forth to ascend to and reserved opinions, together with the heaven and testify against you? How will short time I lived in England after my mayou carry this bill into effect? Can you jority (only about five years in all), prevented commit a whole county to their own prisons ? me from resuming the experiment. As far