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To Thee, my God, to Thee I call ;
out, erroneously, he calculated on the reWhatever weal or woe betide,
sults. By thy command I rise or fall,
" Feb. 9. 1807. In thy protection I confide. If, when this dust to dust restored,
“ Dear My soul shall float on airy wing
“ I have the pleasure to inform you we How shall thy glorious name adored,
have gained the Rochdale cause a second Inspire her feeble voice to sing !
time, by which I am £60,000 plus. Yours But, if this fleeting spirit share
ever, With clay the grave's eternal bed,
“ BYRON." While life yet throbs, I raise my prayer, Though doom'd no more to quit the dead.
In the month of April we find him still at To Thee I breathe my humble strain, Grateful for all thy mercies past,
Southwell, and addressing to his friend, And hope, my God, to thee again
Dr. Pigot, who was at Edinburgh, the folThis erring life may fly at last.
lowing note ? :" 29th Dec. 1806. BYRON,"
" Southwell, April, 1807. In another of these poems, which extends
My dear Pigot, to about a hundred lines, and which he wrote Allow me to congratulate you on the under the melancholy impression that he success of your first examination — Courage, should soon die, we find him concluding mon ami.' The title of Doctor will do with a prayer in somewhat the same spirit. wonders with the damsels. I shall most After bidding adieu to all the favourite scenes probably be in Essex or London when you of his youth', he thus continues,
arrive at this d—d place, where I am de
tained by the publication of my rhymes. “ Forget this world, my restless sprite,
“ Adieu. Believe me yours very truly, Turn, turn thy thoughts to Heav'n:
• BYRON. There must thou soon direct thy flight, If errors are forgiven.
P. S. Since we met, I have reduced To bigots and to sects unknown, Bow down beneath the Almighty's throne:
myself hy violent exercise, much physic, and To him address thy trembling prayer;
hot bathing, from 14 stone 6 lb. to 12 stone He, who is merciful and just,
7 lb. In all I have lost 27 pounds. Bravo! Will not reject a child of dust,
- what say you?”
His movements and occupations for the Thou, who canst mark the sparrow fall,
remainder of this year will be best collected Avert the death of sin.
from a series of his own letters, which I am Thou, who canst guide the wandering star, enabled, by the kindness of the lady to whom Who calm'st the elemental war,
they were addressed, to give. Though these Whose mantle is yon boundless sky, My thoughts, my words, my crimes forgive ;
letters are boyishly; written, and a good And, since I soon must cease to live,
deal of their pleasantry is of that conven1807."
tional kind which depends more upon phrase
than thought, they will yet, I think, be found We have seen, by a former letter, that the curious and interesting, not only as enabling law proceedings for the recovery of his us to track him through this period of his Rochdale property had been attended with life, but as throwing light upon various little success in some trial of the case at Lancaster. traits of character, and laying open to us the The following note to one of his Southwell first working of his hopes and fears while friends, annou
Instruct me how to die.
nouncing a second triumph of the waiting, in suspense, the opinions that were cause, shows how sanguinely and, as it turned to decide, as he thought, his future fame.
Annesley is, of course, not forgotten among the num
" And shall I here forget the scene,
Still nearest to my breast?
The rural spot which passion blest;
poems, and what he thought of them Lord B. was so
In another letter, the fair writer says, -- "Lord Byron desired me to tell you that the reason you did not hear from him was because his publication was not so forward as he had Hattered himself it would have been. I told him, he was no more to be depended on than a woman,' which instantly brought the softness of that sex into his countenance, for he blushed exceedingly."
3 He was, indeed, a thorough boy, at this period, in every respect :--" Next Monday" (says Miss Pigot) " is our great fair. Lord Byron talks of it with as much pleasure as little llenry, and declares he will ride in the round-about, - but I think he will change his mind."
? It appears from a passage in one of Miss Pigot's letters to her brother, that Lord Byron sent, through this gentleman, a copy of his poems to Mr. Mackenzie, the author of the Man of Feeling: -" I am glad you mentioned Mr. Mackenzie's having got a copy of Lord B.'s
LETTERS TO MISS PIGOT.
TO MISS PIGOT.
" June 11. 1807.
The first of the series, which is without others worse, but all agree I am thinner,date, appears to have been written before he more I do not require. I have lost two had left Southwell. The other letters, it pounds in my weight since I left your cursed, will be seen, are dated from Cambridge and detestable, and abhorred abode of scandal , from London.
where, excepting yourself and John Becher,
I care not if the whole race were consigned LETTER 12.
to the Pit of Acheron, which I would visit in
person rather than contaminate my sandals * Dear Queen Bess,
with the polluted dust of Southwell. Se" Savage ought to be immortal:—though riously, unless obliged by the emptiness of my not a thorough-bred bull-dog, he is the finest purse to revisit Mrs. B., you will see me puppy I ever saw, and will answer much better ; in his great and manifold kindness
“ On Monday I depart for London. I he has already bitten my fingers, and dis quit Cambridge with little regret, because
our set are vanished, and my musical protégé turbed the gravity of old Boatswain, who is grievously discomposed. I wish to be informed stationed in a mercantile house of con
before mentioned has left the choir, and is what he costs
, his expenses, &c. &c., that I siderable eminence in the metropolis. You may indemnify Mr. Gall I can give for the trouble he has taken, may have heard me observe he is exactly to make a long speech, and conclude it with
an hour two years younger than myself. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7. I am out of practice, so
I found him grown considerably, and as you deputize you as a legate, - ambassador would
will suppose, very glad to see his former not do in a matter concerning the Pope,
Patron. He is nearly my height, very thin, which I presume this must, as the whole locks. My opinion of his mind you already
very fair complexion, dark eyes, and light turns upon a Bull. Yours,
know ;-I hope I shall never have occasion
to change it. Every body here conceives * P. S. I write in bed.”
me to be an invalid. The University at present is very gay from the fëtes of divers kinds. I supped out last night, but eat (or
ate) nothing, sipped a bottle of claret, went “ Cambridge, June 30. 1807. to bed at two, and rose at eight. I have “ Better late than never, Pal,' ” is a commenced early rising, and find it
agrees saying of which you know the origin, and as with me. The Masters and the Fellows all it is applicable on the present occasion, you very polite, but look a little askance — don't will excuse its conspicuous place in the front much admire lampoons — truth always disof my epistle. I am almost superannuated agreeable. here. My old friends (with the exception
Write, and tell me how the inhabitants of a very few) all departed, and I am pre- of your Menagerie go on, and if my publication paring to follow them, but remain till Monday goes off well : do the quadrupeds growl? to be present at three Oratorios, two Concerts, Apropos, my bull-dog is deceased — Flesh a Fair, and a Ball. I find I am not only both of cur and man is grass.' Address your thinner but taller by an inch since my last answer to Cambridge. If I am gone, it will visit. I was obliged to tell every body my
be forwarded. Sad news just arrived name, nobody having the least recollection Russians beat — a bad set, eat nothing but of my visage, or person. Even the hero of oil, consequently must melt before a hard fire. ry Cornelian (who is now sitting vis-à-vis, I get awkward in my academic habiliments reading a volume of my Poetics) passed me for want of practice. Got up in a window in Trinity walks without recognising me in to hear the oratorio at St. Mary's, popped the least, and was thunderstruck at the alter-down in the middle of the Messiah, tore a ation which had taken place in my coun- woeful rent in the back of my best black silk tenance, &c. &c. Some say I look better, gown, and damaged an egregious pair of
TO MISS PIGOT.
1 He here alludes to an odd fancy or trick of his own; - whenever he was at a loss for something to say, he used always to gabble over “ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7."
* Notwithstanding the abuse which, evidently more in sport than seriousness, he lavishes, in the course of these letters, upon Southwell, he was, in after days, taught to feel that the hours which he had passed in this place were far more happy than any he had known afterwards. In a letter written not long since to his servant, Fletcher,
by a lady who had been intimate with him, in his young
TO MISS PIGOT.
breeches. Mem. — never tumbled from a attention, his countenance fixed it, and his church window during service. Adieu, dear manners attached me to him for ever. He ****! do not remember me to any body: departs for a mercantile house in town in - to forget and be forgotten by the people October, and we shall probably not meet till of Southwell is all I aspire to.”
the expiration of my minority, when I shall leave to his decision either entering as a partner through my interest, or residing with
me altogether. Of course he would in his " Trin. Coll. Camb. July 5. 1807. present frame of mind prefer the latter, but “ Since my last letter I have determined he may alter his opinion previous to that to reside another year at Granta, as my rooms, period ;-however, he shall have his choice. &c. &c. are finished in great style, several I certainly love him more than any human old friends come up again, and many new being, and neither time nor distance have acquaintances made; consequently my in- had the least effect on my (in general) clination leads me forward, and I shall return changeable disposition. In short, we shall to college in October if still alive. My life put Lady E. Butler and Miss Ponsonby' to here has been one continued routine of the blush, Pylades and Orestes out of coundissipation -out at different places every tenance, and want nothing but a catastrophe day, engaged to more dinners, &c. &c. than like Nisus and Euryalus, to give Jonathan my stay would permit me to fulfil. At this and David the “go by.' He certainly is moment I write with a bottle of claret in my perhaps more attached to me than even I am head and tears in my eyes ; for I have just in return. During the whole of my residence parted with my 'Cornelian, who spent the at Cambridge we met every day, summer and evening with me. As it was our last in- winter, without passing one tiresome moment, terview, I postponed my engagement to de- and separated each time with increasing revote the hours of the Sabbath to friendship : luctance. I hope you will one day see us
– Edleston and I have separated for the pre- together. He is the only being I esteem, sent, and my mind is a chaos of hope and though I like many.
To-morrow I set out for London : “ The Marquis of Tavistock 3 was down you will address your answer to 'Gordon's the other day; I supped with him at his Hotel, Albemarle Street,' where I sojourn tutor's-entirely a Whig party. The oppoduring my visit to the metropolis.
sition muster strong here now, and Lord “ I rejoice to hear you are interested in Hartington “, the Duke of Leinster 5, &c. &c. my protégé; he has been my almost constant are to join us in October, so every thing will associate since October, 1805, when I entered | be splendid. The music is all over at present. Trinity College. His voice first attracted my Met with another accidency'- upset a
1 [It was about the year 1779, that Lady Eleanor But. ler and Miss Ponsonby first associated themselves to live in retirement. It was thought desirable to separate two individuals who appeared to encourage each other's eccentricities, and after their first departure together, they were brought back to their respective relations, but soon effected a second elopement. The place of their retreat in the Vale of Llangollen, was only confided to a female servant, and they lived for years unknown to their neighbours by any other appellation, except "the Ladies of the Vale." Lady Eleanor Butler died at Llangollen, in June, 1829.]
2 It may be as well to mention here the sequel of this enthusiastic attachment. In the year 1811 young Edleston died of a consumption ; and the following letter, addressed by Lord Byron to the mother of his fair South. well correspondent, will show with what melancholy faithfulness, among the many his heart had then to mourn for, he still dwelt on the memory of his young college friend :
“ Cambridge, Oct. 28. 1811. * Dear Madam,
“I am about to write to you on a silly subject, and yet I cannot well do otherwise. You may remember a cornelian, which some years ago I consigned to Miss Pigot, indeed gave to her, and now I am going to make the most selfish and rude of requests. The person who gave it to me, when I was very young, is dead, and though
a long time has elapsed since we met, as it was the only
“ BYRON. "P.S. I go to London to-morrow."
The cornelian heart was, of course, returned, and Lord Byron, at the same time, reminded that he had left it with Miss Pigot as a deposit, not a gift.
3 [Francis, Marquis of Tavistock, born 13th May, 1788; married in 1808, Anna Maria, daughter of Charles, third earl of Harrington.)
4 (William-Spencer Cavendish, born May, 1790, now Duke of Devonshire.]
3 (Augustus-Frederick Fitzgerald, Duke of Leinster born August, 1791.]
LETTERS TO MISS PIGOT.
TO MISS PIGOT.
butter-boat in the lap of a lady - look'd your life — the annals of routs, riots, balls very blue — spectators grinned — curse 'em!' and boxing-matches, cards and crim. cons., Apropos, sorry to say, been drunk every day, parliamentary discussion, political details, and not quite sober yet-however, touch no masquerades, mechanics, Argyle Street Inmeat, nothing but fish, soup, and vegetables, stitution and aquatic races, love and lotteries, consequently it does me no harm—sad dogs Brookes's and Buonaparte, opera-singers and all the Cantabs. Mem.- .- we mean to reform oratorios, wine, women, wax-work, and next January. This place is a monotony of weathercocks, can't accord with your insuendless variety-like it-hate Southwell.lated ideas of decorum and other silly exHas Ridge sold well? or do the ancients pressions not inserted in our vocabulary. dernur? What ladies have bought ?
Oh! Southwell, South well, how I re. Saw a girl at St. Mary's the image of joice to have left thee, and how I curse the Anne ***, thought it was her—all in the heavy hours I dragged along, for so many wrong - the lady stared, so did I-I blushed, months, among the Mohawks who inhabit so did not the lady,—sad thing — wish your kraals! However, one thing I do not women had more modesty. Talking of women, regret, which is having pared off a sufficient puts me in mind of my terrier Fanny-how quantity of flesh to enable me to slip into is she? Got a headach, must go to bed, up an eel-skin,' and vie with the slim beaux of early in the morning to travel. My protégé modern times ; though I am sorry to say, it breakfasts with me; parting spoils my seems to be the mode amongst gentlemen to appetite — excepting from Southwell. Mem. grow fat, and I am told I am at least fourteen I hate Southwell. Yours, &c.
pound below the fashion. However, I decrease instead of enlarging, which is extra
ordinary, as violent exercise in London is LETTER 15.
impracticable ; but I attribute the pheno"Gordon's Hotel, July 13. 1807. menon to our evening squeezes at public and “ You write most excellent epistles private parties. I heard from Ridge this fig for other correspondents, with their non- morning (the 14th, my letter was begun sensical apologies for · knowing nought about yesterday): he says the poems go on as well it,' — you send me a delightful budget. I as can be wished; the seventy-five sent to am here in a perpetual vortex of dissipation town are circulated, and a demand for fifty (very pleasant for all that), and, strange to more complied with, the day he dated his teil, I get thinner, being now below eleven epistle, though the advertisements are not stone considerably. Stay in town a month, yet half published. Adieu. perhaps six weeks, trip into Essex, and then, “P. S. Lord Carlisle, on receiving my as a favour, irradiate Southwell for three days poems, sent, before he opened the book, a with the light of my countenance ; but no- | tolerably handsome letter : I have not thing shall ever make me reside there again. heard from him since. His opinions I I positively return to Cambridge in October ; neither know nor care about : it he is the we are to be uncommonly gay, or in truth I least insolent, I shall enrol him with Butler ! should cut the University. An extraordinary and the other worthies. He is in Yorkshire, circumstance occurred to me at Cambridge'; poor man! and very ill! He said he had a girl so very like ** made her appearance, not had time to read the contents, but that nothing but the most minute inspection thought it necessary to acknowledge the could have undeceived me. I wish I had receipt of the volume immediately. Perhaps asked if she had ever been at H
the Earl • bears no brother near the throne,' " What the devil would Ridge have? is if so, I will make his sceptre totter in his not fifty in a fortnight, before the advertise-hands. — Adieu !” ments, a sufficient sale? I hear many of the London booksellers have them, and Crosby has sent copies to the principal watering
“ August 2. 1807. places. Are they liked or not in Southwell ? London begins to disgorge its contents
I wish Boatswain had town is empty-consequently I can scribble suallowed Damon! How is Bran? by the at leisure, as occupations are less numerous. immortal gods, Bran ought to be a Count of In a fortnight I shall depart to fulfil a country the Holy Roman Empire.
engagement ; but expect two epistles from * The intelligence of London cannot be you previous to that period. Ridge does interesting to you, who have rusticated all not proceed rapidly in Notts — very possible.
TO MISS PIGOT.
In the collection of his Poems printed for private circulation, he had inserted some severe verses on Dr. Butler, which he omitted in the subsequent publication,
– at the same time explaining why he did so, in a note little less severe than the verses.
In town things wear a more promising aspect, sent to Ridge for a third — at least so he and a man whose works are praised by re- says. In every bookseller's window I see viewers, admired by duchesses, and sold by my own name, and say nothing, but enjoy my every bookseller of the metropolis, does not fame in secret. My last reviewer kindly dedicate much consideration to rustic readers. requests me to alter my determination of I have now a review before me, entitled writing no more ; and A Friend to the • Literary Recreations,' where my bardship is Cause of Literature ' begs I will gratify the applauded far beyond my deserts. I know public with some new work .at no very nothing of the critic, but think him a very distant period.' Who would not be a bard? discerning gentleman, and myself a devilish that is to say, if all critics would be so clever fellow. His critique pleases me par- polite. However, the others will pay me ticularly, because it is of great length, and a off, I doubt not, for this gentle encourageproper quantum of censure is administered, ment. If so, have at 'em? By the by, I just to give an agreeable relish to the praise. have written at my intervals of leisure, after You know I hate insipid, unqualified, two in the morning, 380 lines in blank verse, common-place compliment. If you would of Bosworth Field.
I have luckily got wish to see it, order the 13th Number of Hutton's account, I shall extend the poem
Literary Recreations' for the last month. I to eight or ten books, and shall have finished assure you I have not the most distant idea it in a year. Whether it will be published of the writer of the article — it is printed in or not must depend on circumstances. So a periodical publication — and though I have much for egotism! My laurels have turned written a paper (a review of Wordsworth), my brain, but the cooling acids of forthcoming which appears in the same work, I am igno- criticisms will probably restore me to morant of every other person concerned in it- desty. even the editor, whose name I have not heard. Southwell is a damned place - I have My cousin, Lord Alexander Gordon, who done with it -- at least in all probability; resided in the same hotel, told me his excepting yourself, I esteem no one within mother, her Grace of Gordon ?, requested its precincts. You were my only rational he would introduce my Poetical Lordship to companion ; and in plain truth, I had more her Highness, as she had bought my volume, respect for you than the whole bevy, with admired it exceedingly, in common with the whose foibles I amused myself in compliance rest of the fashionable world, and wished to with their prevailing propensities. You gave claim her relationship with the author. I yourself more trouble with me and my mawas unluckily engaged on an excursion for nuscripts than a thousand dolls would have some days afterwards ; and, as the Duchess done. Believe me, I have not forgotten was on the eve of departing for Scotland, your good nature in this circle of sin, and one I have postponed my introduction till the day I trust I shall be able to evince my winter, when I shall favour the lady, whose gratitude. Adieu, yours, &c. taste I shall not dispute, with my most sub
“ P.S. Remember me to Dr. P.” iime and edifying conversation. She is now in the Highlands, and Alexander took his departure, a few days ago, for the same blessed
“ London, August 11. 1807. seat of dark rolling winds.'
“On Sunday next I set off for the HighCrosby, my London publisher, has dis-lands. 4 A friend of mine accompanies me posed of his second importation, and has in my carriage to Edinburgh. There we
TO MISS PIGOT.
1 This first attempt of Lord Byron at reviewing (for it will be seen that he, once or twice afterwards, tried his hand at this least poetical of employments) is remarkable only as showing how plausibly he could assume the established tone and phraseology of these minor judgmentseats of criticism. For instance : -" The volumes before us are by the author of Lyrical Ballads, a collection which has not undeservedly met with a considerable share of public applause. The characteristics of Mr. Wordsworöh's muse are simple and flowing, though occasionally inharmonious, verse, - strong and sometimes irresistible appeals to the feelings, with unexceptionable sentiments. Though the present work may not equal his former efforts, many of the poems possess a native elegance," &c. &c. &c. If Mr. Wordsworth ever chanced to cast his eye over this article, how little couid he have suspected that under that dull prosaic mask lurked one who, in five short years from thenee, would rival even
him in poetry. [The Review in question will be found among the Miscellaneous Prose Pieces appended to the Life.]
2 [The witty Duchess of Gordon, born Miss Maxwell of Monteith, died in April, 1812.)
3 [" The Battle of Bosworth Field; to which is prefixed a History of Richard III.'s Life till he assumed the regal power." A new edition of this work, with additions by the indefatigable John Nichols, appeared in 1813.)
* This plan (which he never put in practice) had been talked of by him before he left Southwell, and is thus noticed in a letter of his fair correspondent to her brother :-“How can you ask if Lord B. is going to visit the Highlands in the summer? Why, don't you know that he never knows his own mind for ten minutes together? I tell him he is as fickle as the winds, and as uncertain as the waves."