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TO MR. ROGERS.
the Marquis of Lansdowne's to-night. I am friendship, when I might still have been their asked, but I am not sure that I shall be able enemy. to go. Hobhouse will be there. I think, if “ You perceive justly that I must intenyou knew him well, you would like him. tionally have made my fortune like Sir Francis
"Believe me always yours very affection- Wronghead. It were better if there were ately,
“B." more merit in my independence, but it really
is something nowadays to be independent at
all, and the less temptation to be otherwise, LETTER 165.
the more uncommon the case, in these times “ February 16. 1814.
of paradoxical servility. I believe that most “ If Lord Holland is satisfied, as far as of our hates and likings have been hitherto regards himself and Lady Hd., and as this nearly the same ; but from henceforth they letter expresses him to be, it is enough. must, of necessity, be one and indivisible, “ As for any impression the public may
and now for it! I am for any weapon,receive from the revival of the lines on Lord the pen, till one can find something sharper, Carlisle, let them keep it, the more fa- will do for a beginning. vourable for him, and the worse for me,
“ You can have no conception of the better for all.
ludicrous solemnity with which these two “ All the sayings and doings in the world stanzas have been treated. The Morning shall not make me utter another word of Post gave notice of an intended motion in conciliation to any thing that breathes. I the House of my brethren on the subject, shall bear what I can, and what I cannot I and God he knows what proceedings besides ; shall resist. The worst they could do would - and all this, as Bedreddin in the Nights be to exclude me from society. I have never says, 'for making a cream tart without pepcourted it, nor, I may add, in the general per.' This last piece of intelligence is, I sense of the word, enjoyed it - and there presume, too laughable to be true ; and the is a world elsewhere!
destruction of the Custom-house appears to Any thing remarkably injurious, I have have, in some degree, interfered with mine ; the same means of repaying as other men,
added to which, the last battle of Buonawith such interest as circumstances may parte has usurped the column hitherto de annex to it.
voted to my bulletin. "Nothing but the necessity of adhering I send you from this day's Morning Post to regimen prevents me from dining with the best which have hitherto appeared on this you to-morrow.
impudent doggerel,' as the Courier calls it. “I am yours most truly.
There was another about my diet, when a boy — not at all bad — some time ago; but the rest are but indifferent.
“ I shall think about your oratorical hint!;
— but I have never set much upon that cast,' February 16. 1814.
and am grown as tired as Solomon of every “ You may be assured that the only thing, and of myself more than any thing. prickles that sting from the Royal hedgehog This is being what the learned cal philoare those which possess a torpedo property, sophical, and the vulgar lack-a-daisical. I and may benumb some of my friends. am, however, always glad of a blessing"; quite silent, and ‘hush'd in grim repose. pray, repeat yours soon, - at least your The frequency of the assaults has weakened letter, and I shall think the benediction intheir effects, — if ever they had any; — and,
cluded. if they had had much, I should hardly have
Ever, &c." held my tongue, or withheld my fingers. It is something quite new to attack a man for abandoning his resentments. I have heard
“ February 17. 1814. that previous praise and subsequent vitu- “ The Courier of this evening accuses me peration were rather ungrateful, but I did of having-received and pocketed' large sums not know that it was wrong to endeavour to for my works. I have never yet received, do justice to those who did not wait till I nor wish to receive, a farthing for any. Mr. had made some amends for former and boy- Murray offered a thousand for The Giaour ish prejudices, but received me into their and Bride of Abydos, which I said was too
TO MR. MOORE.
TO MR. DALLAS.
1 I had endeavoured to persuade him to take a part in parliamentary affairs, and to exercise his talent for oratory more frequently.
• In concluding my letter, having said ** God bless you!" I added — "that is, if you have no objection."
LETTER TO ROGERS AND MOORE.
TO MR. MOORE.
much, and that if he could afford it at the the new edition of my novels ; and I now end of six months, I would then direct how add my acknowledgment for that of The it might be disposed of ; but neither then, nor Corsair, not only for the profitable part of it, at any other period, have I ever availed my- but for the delicate and delightful manner of self of the profits on my own account. For bestowing it while yet unpublished. With the republication of the Satire I refused four respect to his two other poems, The Giaour hundred guineas ; and for the previous edi- and The Bride of Abydos, Mr. Murray, the tions I never asked nor received a sous, nor publisher of them, can truly attest that no for any writing whatever. I do not wish you part of the sale of them has ever touched his to do any thing disagreeable to yourself; hands, or been disposed of for his use. Havthere never was nor shall be any conditions ing said thus much as to facts, I cannot but nor stipulations with regard to any accom- express my surprise that it should ever be modation that I could afford you ; and, on deemed a matter of reproach that he should your part, I can see nothing derogatory in appropriate the pecuniary returns of his receiving the copyright. It was only assist works. Neither rank nor fortune seems to ance atforded to a worthy man, by one not me to place any man above this ; for what quite so worthy.
difference does it make in honour and noble “ Mr. Murray is going to contradict this ? ; feelings, whether a copyright be bestowed, but your name will not be mentioned : for or its value employed, in beneficent puryour own part, you are a free agent, and poses ? I differ with my Lord Byron on this are to do as you please. I only hope that subject as well as some others ; and he has now, as always, you will think that I wish constantly, both by word and action, shown to take no unfair advantage of the accidental his aversion to receiving money for his proopportunity which circumstances permitted ductions.” me of being of use to you. “ Ever, &c."
“ February 26. 1814. In consequence of this letter, Mr. Dallas addressed an explanation to one of the news- Dallas had, perhaps, have better kept papers, of which the following is a part ; silence ; — but that was his concern, and, as the remainder being occupied with a rather his facts are correct, and his motive not disclumsily managed defence of his noble bene- honourable to himself
, I wished him well factor on the subject of the Stanzas. through it. As for his interpretations of the
lines, he and any one else may interpret them TO THE EDITOR OF THE MORNING POST.
as they please. I have and shall adhere to
my taciturnity, unless something very parti“ Sir,
cular occurs to render this impossible. Do “ I have seen the paragraph in an even- not you say a word. If any one is to speak, ing paper, in which Lord Byron is accused of it is the person principally concerned. The
receiving and pocketing' large sums for his most amusing thing is, that every one (to works. I believe no one who knows him me) attributes the abuse to the man they has the slightest suspicion of this kind ; but personally most dislike ! - some say C**r the assertion being public, I think it a jus- (Croker), some C * *e (Coleridge), others tice I owe to Lord Byron to contradict it F** d (Fitzgerald), &c. &c. &c. I do not publicly. I address this letter to you for know, and have no clue but conjecture. I that purpose, and I am happy that it gives discovered, and he turns out a hireling, he me an opportunity at this moment to make must be left to his wages ; if a cavalier, he some observations which I have for several must 'wink, and hold out his iron.' days been anxious to do publicly, but from “ I had some thoughts of putting the which I have been restrained by an appre- question to C * *r (Croker), but Hobhouse, hension that I should be suspected of being who, I am sure, would not dissuade me if it prompted by his Lordship.
were right, advised me by all means not ; “ I take upon me to affirm, that Lord By- that I had no right to take it upon suspiron never received a shilling for any of his cion,' &c. &c. Whether H. is correct I am works. To my certain knowledge, the pro- not aware, but he believes himself so, and fits of the Satire were left entirely to the says there can be but one opinion on that publisher of it. The gift of the copyright of subject. This I am, at least, sure of, that Childe Harold's Pilgrimage I have already he would never prevent me from doing what publicly acknowledged in the dedication of he deemed the duty of a preux chevalier. In
such cases — at least, in this country we 1 The statement of the Courier, &c.
must act according to usages. In considering
TO MR. MOORE.
“ March 3. 1814.
this instance, I dismiss my own personal world. I do not know any thing that would feelings. Any man will and must fight, vex me more than any further reply to these when necessary,
even without a motive. things. Here, I should take it up really without
“ Ever yours, in haste, much resentment ; for, unless a woman one
“B.” likes is in the way, it is some years since I felt a long anger.
But, undoubtedly, could I, or may I, trace it to a man of station, I should and shall do what is proper.
“My dear friend, "** was angerly, but tried to conceal it.
I have a great mind to tell you that You are not called upon to avow the · Two
I am ‘uncomfortable,' if only to make you penny,' and would only gratify them by so
come to town; where no one ever more dedoing. Do you not see the great object of lighted in seeing you, nor is there any one all these fooleries is to set him, and you,
to whom I would sooner turn for consolation me, and all persons whatsoever, by the ears? - more especially those who are on good is, I have no lack of argument' to ponder
in my most vapourish moments. The truth terms, and nearly succeeded. Lord H.
upon of the most gloomy description, but wished me to concede to Lord Carlisle
this arises from other causes. Some day or concede to the devil ; – to a man who used
other, when we are veterans, I may tell you me ill? I told him, in answer, that I would
a tale of present and past times ; and it is neither concede nor recede on the subject,
not from want of confidence that I do not but be silent altogether ; unless any thing now, — but — but — always a but to the end more could be said about Lady H. and him of the chapter. self, who had been since my very good
“ There is nothing, however, upon the spot friends ; — and there it ended. This was no
either to love or hate ;—but I certainly have time for concessions to Lord C.
subjects for both at no very great distance, I have been interrupted, but shall write and am besides embarrassed between three again soon. Believe me ever, my dear
whom I know, and one (whose name, at Moore, &c."
least) I do not know. All this would be very
well if I had no heart ; but, unluckily, Another of his friends having expressed, I have found that there is such a thing still soon after, some intention of volunteering about me, though in no very good repair
, publicly in his defence, he lost no time in and, also, that it has a habit of attaching repressing him by the following sensible let- itself to one whether I will or no. • Divide
et impera,' I begin to think, will only do for politics.
“ If I discover the ‘toad,' as you call him,
I shall • tread,' — and put spikes in my shoes
* February 28. 1814. to do it more effectually. The effect of all My dear W.,
these fine things I do not inquire much nor I have but a few moments to write to perceive. I believe * * felt them more than you. Silence is the only answer to the things either of us. People are civil enough, and you mention ; nor should I regard that man I have had no dearth of invitations, as my friend who said a word more on the of which, however, I have accepted. I went subject. I care little for attacks, but I will
out very little last year, and mean to go about not submit to defences ; and I do hope and still less. I have no passion for circles, and trust that you have never entertained a serious have long regretted that I ever gave way to thought of engaging in so foolish a contro- what is called a town life ; - which, of all versy Dallas's letter was, to his credit, the lives I ever saw (and they are nearly as merely as to facts which he had a right to many as Plutarch's), seems to me to leave state ;
I neither have nor shall take the least the least for the past and future. public notice, nor permit any one else to do How proceeds the poem? Do not ne
If I discover the writer, then I may act glect it, and I have no fears. I need not say in a different manner ; but it will not be in to you that your fame is dear to me,-1 writing.
really might say dearer than my own ; for I An expression in your letter has induced have lately begun to think my things have me to write this to you, to entreat you not been strangely over-rated ; and, at any rate, to interfere in any way in such a business, whether or not, I have done with them for it is now nearly over, and depend upon it I
may say to you what I would not they are much more chagrined by my silence say to every body, that the last two were than they could be by the best defence in the written, The Bride in four, and The Corsair
TO WEDDERBURN WEB
in ten days ', - which I take to be a most supply a facetious note or not, as he humiliating confession, as it proves my own pleased. want of judgment in publishing, and the pub- “ I cannot conceive how the Vault2 has lic's in reading things, which cannot ha got about, — but so it is. It is too farouche ; stamina for permanent attention. So much but, truth to say, my satires are not very for Buckingham.'
playful. I have the plan of an epistle in my “ I have no dread of your being too hasty, head, at him and to him ; and, if they are and I have still less of your failing. But I not a little quieter, I shall embody it. I think a year a very fair allotment of time to should say little or nothing of myself. As a composition which is not to be Epic ; and to mirth and ridicule, that is out of my even Horace's 'Nonum prematur'must have way; but I have a tolerable fund of sternbeen intended for the Millennium, or some ness and contempt, and, with Juvenal before longer-lived generation than ours. I wonder me, I shall perhaps read him a lecture he how much we should have had of him, had has not lately heard in the Cabinet. From he observed his own doctrines to the letter. particular circumstances, which came to my Peace be with you! Remember that I am knowledge almost by accident, I could tell always and most truly yours, &c.
him what he is - I know him well.' “ P.S.- I never heard the report you
“I meant, my dear M., to write to you mention, nor, I dare say, many others. But, clips my inclination down to yours, &c.
a long letter, but I am hurried, and time in course, you, as well as others, have damned good-natured friends,' who do “P.S.— Think again before you shelf your their duty in the usual way. One thing poem. There is a youngster, (older than will make you laugh. *
me, by the by, but a younger poet,) Mr. G. Knight, with a volume of Eastern Tales,
written since his return, — for he has been LETTER 171.
in the countries. He sent to me last sum
mer, and I advised him to write one in each “Guess darkly, and you will seldom err. measure, without any intention, at that time, At present, I shall say no more, and, of doing the same thing. Since that, from perhaps - but no matter. I hope we shall a habit of writing in a fever, I have antici. some day meet, and whatever years may pated him in the variety of measures, but precede or succeed it, I shall mark it with quite unintentionally. Of the stories, I know the 'white stone' in my calendar. I am nothing, not having seen them 3 ; but he has not sure that I shall not soon be in your some lady in a sack, too, like The Giaour : neighbourhood again. If so, and I am alone - he told me at the time. (as will probably be the case), I shall in- “ The best way to make the public 'forget vade and carry you off, and endeavour to me is to remind them of yourself. You atone for sorry fare by a sincere welcome. cannot suppose that I would ask you or I don't know the person absent (barring advise you to publish, if I thought you 'the sect) I should be so glad to see would fail. I really have no literary envy ; again.
and I do not believe a friend's success ever “I have nothing of the sort you mention sat nearer another than yours does to my best but the lines (the Weepers), if you like to wishes. It is for elderly gentlemen to 'bear have them in the Bag. I wish to give them no brother near,' and cannot become our all possible circulation. The Vault reflection disease for more years than we may perhaps is downright actionable, and to print it number. I wish you to be out before would be peril to the publisher ; but I think Eastern subjects are again before the the Tears have a natural right to be bagged, public.” and the editor (whoever he may be) might
TO MR. MOORE.
" March 12. 1814.
1 In asserting that he devoted but four days to the the surpassing beauty of the work, – is, perhaps, wholly composition of The Bride, he must be understood to without a parallel in the history of Genius, and shows refer only to the first sketch of that poem, - the suc- tható écrire par passion,' as Rousseau expresses it, may cessive additions by which it was increased to its present be sometimes a shorter road to perfection than any that length having occupied, as we have seen, a much longer Art has ever struck out. period. The Corsair, on the contrary, was, from beginning to end, struck off at a heat - there being but
· Those bitter and powerful lines which he wrote on little alteration or addition afterwards, - and the rapidity
the opening of the vault that contained the remains of with which it was produced (being at the rate of nearly Henry VIII. and Charles I. (See Works, p. 558.] two hundred lines a day) would be altogether incredible, 3 He was not yet aware, it appears, that the anonymous had we not his own, as well as his publisher's, testimony manuscript sent to him by his publisher was from the to the fact. Such an achievement. - taking into account pen of Mr. Knight.
TO MR. MURRAY.
TO MR. MOORE.
convenient, and you have no party with “ March 12. 1814. you,) should be glad to speak with you, for
a few minutes, this evening, as I have had “I have not time to read the whole
a letter from Mr. Moore, and wish to ask MS.', but what I have seen seems very
you, as the best judge, of the best time for well written (both prose and verse), and, him to publish the work he has composed. though I am and can be no judge (at least I need not say, that I have bis success much a fair one on this subject), containing at heart ; not only because he is my friend, nothing which you ought to hesitate pub- but something much better
-a man of lishing upon my account. If the author is great talent, of which he is less sensible not Dr. Busby himself, I think it a pity, on than I believe any even of his enemies. If you his own account, that he should dedicate it
can so far oblige me as to step down, do so; to his subscribers ; nor can I perceive what and if you are otherwise occupied, say Dr. Busby has to do with the matter ex- nothing about it. I shall find you at home cept as a translator of Lucretius, for whose in the course of next week. doctrines he is surely not responsible. I tell you openly, and really most sincerely, “P. S.- I see Sotheby's Tragedies adverthat, if published at all, there is no earthly tised. The Death of Darnley is a famous reason why you should not; on the contrary, subject one of the best, I should think, I should receive it as the greatest compli- for the drama. Pray let me have a copy ment you could pay to your good opinion of when ready. my candour, to print and circulate that or Mrs. Leigh was very much pleased with any other work, attacking me in a manly her books, and desired me to thank you ; manner, and without any malicious intention, she means, I believe, to write to you her from which, as far as I have seen, I must acknowledgments.” exonerate this writer.
He is wrong in one thing — I am no atheist ; but if he thinks I have published
“ 2. Albany, April 9. 1814. principles tending to such opinions, he has a perfect right to controvert them. Pray ried, and I have gotten his spacious ba
“ Viscount Althorp is about to be marpublish it ; I shall never forgive myself if I think that I have prevented you.
chelor apartments in Albany, to which you “Make my compliments to the author, this mine epistle.
will, I hope, address a speedy answer to and tell him I wish him success : his verse
" I am but just returned to town, from is very deserving of it ; and I shall be the which you may infer that I have been out last person to suspect his motives.
of it ; and I have been boxing, for exercise, Yours, &c.
with Jackson for this last month daily. I “P. S. – If you do not publish it, some have also been drinking, and, on one occaone eise will
. You cannot suppose me so sion, with three other friends at the Cocoa narrow-minded as to shrink from discussion. Tree, from six till four, yea, unto five in the I repeat once for all, that I think it a good matin. We clareted and champagned till poem (as far as I have redde); and that is two — then supped, and finished with a the only point you should consider. How kind of regency punch composed of madeira, odd that eight lines should have given birth, brandy, and green tea, no real water being I really think, to eight thousand, including all admitted therein. There was a night for that has been said, and will be on the you! without once quitting the table, except subject!”
to ambulate home, which I did alone, and in utter contempt of a hackney-coach and my own vis, both of which were deemed neces
sary for our conveyance. And so, - I am April 9. 1814.
very well, and they say it will hurt my con“ All these news are very fine; but never- stitution. theless I want my books, if you can find, “ I have also, more or less, been breaking or cause them to be found for me, - if only a few of the favourite commandments ; but to lend them to Napoleon, in “ the Island of I mean to pull up and marry, if any one Elba,” during his retirement. I also (if will have me. In the mean time, the other
TO MR. MURRAY.
1 The manuscript of a long grave satire, entitled " AntiByron," which had been sent to Mr. Murray, and him forwarded to Lord Byron, with a request - not meant, I believe, seriously — that he would give his opinion as to the propriety of publishing it.
2 (Viscount Althorp (now Earl Spencer) married, 14th April, 1814, Esther, only daughter and heir of Richard Acklom, Esq., of Wiseton Hall, Notts.)