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to be drawn up the moment I am twenty- house with my wife: he thought all the world one), I have taken care you shall have the in a plot against him ; my little world seems house and manor for life, besides a sufficient to think me in a plot against it, if I may judge income. So you see my improvements are by their abuse in print and coterie : he liked not entirely selfish. As I have a friend here, botany ; I like flowers, herbs, and trees, but we will go to the Infirmary Ball on the 12th ; know nothing of their pedigrees : he wrote we will drink tea with Mrs. Byron at eight music ; I limit my knowledge of it to what I o'clock, and expect to see you at the ball. catch by ear— I never could learn any thing If that lady will allow us a couple of by study, not even a language—it was all by rooms to dress in, we shall be highly obliged : rote and ear, and memory : he had a bad me -if we are at the ball by ten or eleven, it mory; I had, at least, an excellent one (ask will be time enough, and we shall return to Hodgson the poet - a good judge, for he Newstead about three or four. Adieu. has an astonishing one): he wrote with heBelieve me yours very truly, sitation and care ; I with rapidity, and rarely
“BYRON." with pains : he could never ride, nor swim,
nor was cunning of fence;' I am an exThe idea, entertained by Mrs. Byron, of cellent swimmer, a decent, though not at all a resemblance between her son and Rousseau a dashing, rider, (having staved in a rib at was founded chiefly, we may suppose, on
eighteen, in the course of scampering), and those habits of solitariness, in which he had
was sufficient of fence, particularly of the even already shown a disposition to follow
Highland broadsword, - not a bad boxer, that self-contemplative philosopher, and
when I could keep my temper, which was which, manifesting themselves thus early,
difficult, but which I strove to do ever since gained strength as he advanced in life. În | I knocked down Mr. Purling, and put his one of his Journals, to which I frequently knee-pan out (with the gloves on), in Anhave occasion to refer', he thus, in question- gelo's and Jackson's rooms in 1806, during ing the justice of this comparison between the sparring, — and I was, besides, a very himself and Rousseau, gives, - as usual,
fair cricketer, - one of the Harrow eleven, vividly, - some touches of his own dispo- | when we played against Eton in 1805. sition and habitudes :
Besides, Rousseau's way of life, his coun
try, his manners, his whole character were “My mother, before I was twenty, would so very different, that I am at a loss to have it that I was like Rousseau, and conceive how such a comparison could have Madame de Stael used to say so too in arisen, as it has done three several times, 1813, and the Edinburgh Review has some- and all in rather a remarkable manner. I thing of the sort in its critique on the fourth forgot to say that he was also short-sighted, Canto of Childe Harold. I can't see any and that hitherto my eyes have been the point of resemblance :
- he wrote prose,
contrary, to such a degree that, in the largeste verse : he was of the people ; I of the aris- theatre of Bologna, I distinguished and read tocracy3 : he was a philosopher ; I am none : some busts and inscriptions, painted near the he published his first work at forty ; I mine stage, from a box so distant and so darkly at eighteen: his first essay brought him lighted, that none of the company (composed universal applause ; mine the contrary : he of
and very bright-eyed people, some married his housekeeper ; I could not keep of them in the same box,) could make out a
1 The Journal entitled by himself“Detached Thoughts."
2 [" There are two writers in modern literature, whose extraordinary power over the minds of men, it may be truly said, has existed less in their works than in themselves — Rousseau and Lord Byron. They have other points of resemblance. Both are distinguished by the most ardent and vivid delineations of intense conception and by an intense sensibility of passion, rather than affection. Both too, by this double power, have held a dominion over the sympathy of their readers, far beyond the range of those ordinary feelings which are usually excited by the mere efforts of genius. The impression of this interest still accompanies the perusal of their writings : but there is another interest of more lasting, and far stronger power, which the one has possessed, and the other now possesses -which lies in the continual embodying of the individual character, - it might almost be said, of the very person of the writer. When we speak or think of Rousseau or Byron, we are not conscious of speaking or thinking of an author. We have a vague but impassioned remembrance
of men of surpassing genius, eloquence, and power, - of prodigious capacity both of misery and happiness. We feel as if we had transiently met such beings in real life, or had known them in the dim and dark communion of a dream. Each of their works presents, in succession, a fresh idea of themselves ; and, while the productions of other great men stand out from them, like something they have created, theirs, on the contrary, are images, pictures, busts of their living selves, - clothed, no doubt, at different times in different drapery, and prominent from a different back-ground, but uniformly impressed with the same form, and mien, and lineaments, and not to be mistaken for the representations of any other of the children of men.”_Wilson, 1818.]
3 Few philosophers, however, have been so indulgent to the pride of birth as Rousseau.—“S'il est un orgueil pardonnable (he says) après celui qui se tire du mérite, personnel, c'est celui qui se tire de la naissance." Confess.
LETTER TO MRS. BYRON.
our own senses.
letter, and thought it was a trick, though I sisters, brothers, &c. I shall take care of had never been in that theatre before. you, and when I return I may possibly
Altogether, I think myself justified in become a politician. A few years' knowledge thinking the comparison not well founded. of other countries than our own will not inI don't say this out of pique, for Rousseau capacitate me for that part. If we see no was a great man ; and the thing, if true, were nation but our own, we do not give mankind flattering enough ;-but I have no idea of a fair chance ; — it is from erperience, not being pleased with the chimera."
books, we ought to judge of them. There
is nothing like inspection, and trusting to In another letter to his mother, dated
“Yours," &c. some weeks after the preceding one, he explains further his plans both with respect to In the November of this year he lost his Newstead and his projected travels.
favourite dog, Boatswain, — the poor animal
having been seized with a fit of madness, at LETTEB 31. TO MRS. BYRON.
the commencement of which so little aware "Newstead Abbey, November 2. 1808.
was Lord Byron of the nature of the malady, “Dear Mother,
that he more than once, with his bare hand, “ If you please, we will forget the things wiped away the slaver from the dog's lips you mention. I have no desire to remember during the paroxysms. In a letter to his them. When my rooms are finished, I shall friend, Mr. Hodgson', he thus announces
this event :
Boatswain is dead !--he be happy to see you ; as I tell but the truth, you will not suspect me of evasion. I am expired in a state of madness on the 18th, furnishing the house more for you
after suffering much, yet retaining all the self, and I shall establish you in it before I gentleness of his nature to the last, never sail for India, which I expect to do in March, attempting to do the least injury to any one if nothing particularly obstructive occurs. I
near him. I have now lost every thing am now fitting up the green drawing-room ;
except old Murray." the red for a bed-room, and the rooms over
The monument raised by him to this dog, as sleeping-rooms. They will be soon com
the most memorable tribute of the kind, pleted ; - at least I hope so.
since the Dog's Grave, of old, at Salamis, “I wish you would inquire of Major is still a conspicuous ornament of the gardens Watson (who is an old Indian) what things of Newstead. The misanthropic verses enwill be necessary to provide for my voyage. graved upon it may be found among his I have already procured a friend to write to poems, and the following is the inscription the Arabic Professor at Cambridge, for some
by which they are introduced :information I am anxious to procure. I can
" Near this spot easily get letters from government to the
Are deposited the Remains of one ambassadors, consuls, &c., and also to the
Who possessed Beauty without Vanity,
Strength without Insolence, governors at Calcutta and Madras. I shall
Courage without Ferocity, place my property and my will in the hands
And all the Virtues of Man without his Vices. of trustees till my return, and I mean to This Praise, which would be unmeaning Flattery appoint you one. From H * * [Hanson] I
If inscribed over human ashes, have heard nothing — when I do, you shall
Is but a just tribute to the Memory of have the particulars,
Boatswain, a Dog, “ After all, you must own my project is
Who was born at Newfoundland, May, 1803,
And died at Newstead Abbey, November 18. 1808. not a bad one. If I do not travel now, 1 never shall, and all men should one day or The poet Pope, when about the same age other. I have at present no connections to as the writer of this inscription, passed a keep me at home ; no wife, or unprovided similar eulogy on his dog ?, at the expense
1 This gentleman, who took orders in the year 1814, is the author of a spirited translation of Juvenal, and of other works of distinguished merit. He was long in correspondence with Lord Byron, and to him I am indebted for some interesting letters of his noble friend, which will be given in the course of the following pages.
• He had also, at one time, as appears from an anecdote preserved by Spence, some thoughts of burying this dog in his garden, and placing a monument over him, with the inscription, " Oh, rare Bounce !"
In speaking of the members of Rousseau's domestic establishment, Hume says, “ She (Thérèse) governs him
as absolutely as a nurse does a child. In her absence, his dog has acquired that ascendant. His affection for that creature is beyond all expression or conception.” Private Correspondence. See an instance which he gives of this dog's influence over the philosopher, p. 143.
In Burns's elegy on the death of his favourite Mallie,
She ran wi' speed :
Than Mailie dead.'
of human nature ; adding, that “ Histories The following extract, relating to a re-
request he would receive the son of a citizen “ To mark a friend's remains these stones arise ; of London, well known to me, as a pupil ; the I never knew but one, and here he lies." ]
family having been particularly polite during Melancholy, indeed, seems to have been the short time I was with them induced gaining fast upon his mind at this period.
me to make this application. Now, mark In another letter to Mr. Hodgson, he says, what follows, as somebody sublimely saith. “ You know laughing is the sign of a
On this day arrives an epistle signed rational animal - so says Dr. Smollet. I containing not the smallest reference to think so too, but unluckily my spirits don't tuition or intuition, but a petition for Robert always keep pace with my opinions."
Gregson, of pugilistic notoriety, now in Old Murray, the servant whom he men- bondage for certain paltry pounds sterling, tions, in a preceding extract, as the only and liable to take up his everlasting abode faithful follower now remaining to him, had in Banco Regis. Had the letter been from long been in the service of the former lord, any of my lay acquaintance, or, in short, from and was regarded by the young poet with a any person but the gentleman whose sigfondness of affection which it has seldom nature it bears, I should have marvelled not. been the lot of age and dependence to inspire. If*** is serious, I congratulate pugilism “I have more than once,” says a gentleman
on the acquisition of such a patron, and who was at this time a constant visiter at shall be most happy to advance any suin Newstead, “ seen Lord Byron at the dinner necessary for the liberation of the captive table fill out a tumbler of Madeira, and hand Gregson. But I certainly hope to be cerit over his shoulder to Joe Murray, who tified from you, or some respectable housestood behind his chair, saying, with a cor- keeper, of the fact, before I write to * diality that brightened his whole counte- on the subject. When I say the fact, I mean nance, “Here, my old fellow.'"
of the letter being written by * The unconcern with which he could some- having any doubt as to the authenticity of times allude to the defect in his foot is the statement. The letter is now before manifest from another passage in one of me, and I keep it for your perusal.” these letters to Mr. Hodgson. That gen
His time at Newstead during this autumn tleman having said jestingly that some of the was principally occupied in enlarging and verses in the Hours of Idleness” were preparing his Satire for the press ; and with calculated to make schoolboys rebellious. the view, perhaps, of mellowing his own judgLord Byron answers If my songs have ment of its merits, by keeping it some time produced the glorious effects you mention, before his eyes in a printed form 3, he had I shall be a complete Tyrtæus ; --- though i proofs taken off from the manuscript by his am sorry to say I resemble that interesting former publisher at Newark.
It is someharper more in his person than in his poesy.'
what remarkable, that, excited as he was by Sometimes, too, even an allusion to this the attack of the reviewers, and possessing, infirmity by others, when he could perceive at all times, such rapid powers of compothat it was not offensively intended, was sition, he should have allowed so long an borne by him with the most perfect good interval to elapse between the aggression humour. “I was once present,” says the and the revenge. But the importance of his friend I have just mentioned, “ in a large next move in literature seems to have been and mixed company, when a vulgar person fully appreciated by him. He saw that his asked him aloud – Prav, my Lord, how is chances of future eminence now depended that foot of yours?' – Thank you, sir," upon the effort he was about to make, and answered Lord Byron, with the utmost mild- therefore deliberately collected all his ener* much the same as usual.'”
gies for the spring. Among the preparatives
In speaking of the favourite dogs of great poets, we must not forget Cowper's little spaniel Beau ; " nor will posterity fail to add to the list the name of Sir Walter Scott's “Maida."
? (" And old Tyrtæus, when the Spartans warr'd,
(As lame as I am, but a better bard.)
Hints from Horace : Works, p. 450.] 3 We are told that Wieland used to have his works printed thus for the purpose of correction, and said that he found great advantage in it. The practice is, it appears, not unusual in Germany. (Nor in England.]
I In the epitaph, as first printed in his friend's Miscellany, this line runs thus :
" I knew but one unchanged. - and here he lies."
MAJORITY.-CONDUCT OF LORD CARLISLE.
PROGRESS OF THE SATIRE,
ENGLISH BARDS AND SCOTCH
by which he disciplined his talent to the task, was a deep study of the writings of Pope ; and I have no doubt that from this
CHAPTER VINI. period may be dated the enthusiastic admiration which he ever after cherished for this
1809. great poet, — an admiration which at last
- CONDUCT OF LORD CARLISLE, extinguished in him, after one or two trials, all hope of pre-eminence in the same track,
OF LORD FALKLAND. -- BYRON TAKES HIS and drove him thenceforth to seek renown
SEAT IN THE HOUSE OF LORDS. - PUBLIin fields more open to competition. The misanthropic mood of mind into which
REVIEWERS." - ANECDOTES, SUCCESS OF he had fallen at this time, from disappointed
PREPARATIONS FOR LEAVaffections and thwarted hopes, made the office of satirist but too congenial and wel
NEWSTEAD, — DEPARTURE FROM LONDON, come to his spirit. Yet it is evident that this bitterness existed far more in his fancy than his heart ; and that the sort of relief he It was not till the beginning of this year now found in making war upon the world arose that he took his Satire, — in a state ready, much less from the indiscriminate wounds as he thought, for publication, - to London. he dealt around, than from the new sense of Before, however, he had put the work to power he became conscious of in dealing them, press, new food was unluckily furnished to and by which he more than recovered his his spleen by the neglect with which he conformer station in his own esteem. In truth, ceived himself to have been treated by his the versatility and ease with which, as shall guardian, Lord Carlisle. The relations between presently be shown, he could, on the briefest this nobleman and his ward had, at no time, consideration, shift from praise to censure, been of such a nature as to afford opportuand, sometimes, almost as rapidly, from nities for the cultivation of much friendliness censure to praise, shows how fanciful and on either side ; and to the temper and intransient were the impressions under which Auence of Mrs. Byron must mainly be athe, in many instances, pronounced his judg-tributed the blame of widening, if not of ments; and though it may in some degree producing, this estrangement between them. deduct from the weight of his eulogy, ab- | The coldness with which Lord Carlisle had solves him also from any great depth of received the dedication of the young poet's malice in his Satire.
first volume was, as we have seen from His coming of age, in 1809, was celebrated one of the letters of the latter, felt by him at Newstead by such festivities as his narrow most deeply. He, however, allowed himself means and seciety could furnish. Besides to be so far governed by prudential conthe ritual roasting of an ox, there was a ball, siderations as not only to 'stifle this disit seems, given on the occasion, — of which pleasure, but even to introduce into his the only particular I could collect, from the Satire, as originally intended for the press, old domestic who mentioned it, was, that the following compliment to his guardian Mr. Hanson, the agent of her lord, was “ On one alone Apollo deigns to smile, among the dancers. Of Lord Byron's own And crowns a new Roscommon in Carlisle." method of commemorating the day, I find the following curious record in a letter
The crown, however, thus generously written from Genoa in 1822:-“ Did I ever
awarded, did not long remain where it had tell you that the day I came of age I dined been placed. In the interval between the on eggs and bacon and a bottle of ale ?
inditing of this couplet and the delivery of For once in a way they are my favourite dish
the manuscript to the press, Lord Byron, and drinkable ; but as neither of them agree for a young peer, on first taking his seat, to
under the impression that it was customary with me, I never use them but on great have some friend to introduce him, wrote to jubilees, — once in four or five years or so.
remind Lord Carlisle that he should be of The pecuniary supplies necessary towards his outset, at this epoch, were procured from age at the commencement of the session. money-lenders at an enormously usurious in- Instead, however, of the sort of answer which terest, the payment of which for a long time he expected, a mere forinal
, and, as it apcontinued to be a burden to him.
peared to him, cold reply, acquainting him with the technical mode of proceeding on such occasions, was all that, in return to this application, he received. Disposed as he had been, by preceding circumstances, to suspect his noble guardian of no very friendly inclin
ations towards him, this backwardness in tone directly opposite in his printed Satire, proposing to introduce him to the House (a where the name of Professor Smythe is menceremony, however, as it appears, by no means tioned honourably, as it deserved, in connecessary or even usual) was sufficient to junction with that of Mr. Hodgson, one of rouse in his sensitive mind a strong feeling of the poet's most valued friends : resentment." The indignation, thus excited, "Oh dark asylum of a Vandal race ! found a vent, but too temptingly, at hand ;- At once the boast of learning and disgrace ; the laudatory couplet I have just cited was So sunk in dulness, and so lost in shame, instantly expunged, and his Satire went
That Smythe and Hodgson scarce redeem thy fame.” forth charged with those vituperative verses In another instance we find him"
"changing against Lord Carlisle, of which, gratifying as his hand” with equal facility and suddenthey must have been to his revenge at the The original manuscript of the Satire moment, he, not long after, with the placa-contained this line, bility so inherent in his generous nature, re
" I leave topography to coxcomb Gell;" 5 pented. 2 During the
of his poem through but having, while the work was printing, the press, he increased its length by more become acquainted with Sir William Gell, than a hundred lines ; and made several al- he, without difficulty, by the change of a terations, one or two of which may be single epithet, converted satire into eulogy, mentioned, as illustrative of that prompt and the line now descends to posterity susceptibility of new impressions and influ- thus : ences which rendered both his judgment and
I leave topography to classic Gell." feelings so variable. In the Satire, as it originally stood, was the following couplet :
Among the passages added to the poem
during its progress through the press were “ Though printers condescend the press to soil
those lines denouncing the licentiousness of With odes by Smythe 3, and epic songs by Hoyle." 4
the Opera, “ Then let Ausonia," &c. which Of the injustice of these lines (unjust, it is the young satirist wrote one night, after rebut fair to say, to both the writers men- turning, brimful of morality, from the Opera, tioned,) he, on the brink of publication, and sent them early next morning to Mr. repented ; and, -as far, at least, as regarded Dallas for insertion. The just and animated one of the intended victims, — adopted a tribute to Mr. Crabbe was also among the
1 [" It appears, certainly, that the young poet had, in to the dozen." The reviewer pronounces the moral of his own opinion, every right to expect the aid and coun- this epic to be the very echo of the concluding stanza tenance of his relative on this occasion, and that, possess- of old Zachary Boyd's heroic poem on the same subjecting not one personal friend or acquaintance among the “ Now, was not Pharaoh a very great rascal, members of the peerage then in London, bis entrée was
Not to let the children of Israel, with their wives and embarrassed with many awkward and humiliating diffi
their sons and daughters, go out into the wilderculties, which the slightest interference on the part of a
ness to eat the Lord's pascal ?” nobleman of Lord Carlisle's rank and character would
and describes the style of the poem as “the most perfect have rendered impossible. It would be unfair, however,
model that could be imagined for seconding the lulling not to add, that from all we have heard and read, very
magic of Mr. Hoyle's muse, breathing the very spirit of little was at this time known about Lord Byron that could have been expected to conciliate those prejudices
repose." - Vol. xi. p. 370.) with which his mother's rude passions and conduct seem
5 (Besides the “ Topography of Troy,” Sir William originally to have inspired the Earl of Carlisle ; a weak Gell published “ Topography of Rome," “ Pompeiana," poet, no doubt, but a nobleman distinguished for per
&c. He died at Naples, in February 1836.] sonal virtues, whose tastes were all elegant and praise- 6 In the fifth edition of the Satire (suppressed by him worthy, and his habits and manners, of course, of the in 1812) he again changed his mind respecting this genhighest standard of refinement."- Quarterly Review, tleman, and altered the line to 1831.)
" I leave topography to rapid Gell;" 2 See his lines on Major Howard, the son of Lord
explaining his reasons for the change in the following Carlisle, who was killed at Waterloo :
note :- " • Rapid,' indeed ;- he topographised and typo“ Their praise is hymn'd by loftier harps than mine ; graphised King Priam's dominions in three days. I Yet one I would select from that proud throng,
called him classic' before I saw the Troad, but since Partly because they blend me with his line,
have learned better than to tack to his name what don't And partly that I did his sire some wrong."
belong to it." He is not, however, the only satirist who Childe Harold, Canto III. has been thus capricious and changeable in his judgments. 3 [William Smythe, M. A., professor of modern history The variations of this nature in Pope's Dunciad are well in the University of Cambridge, author of “ English known ; and the Abbé Cotin, it is said, owed the "painful Lyrics," &c. &c.)
pre-eminence" of his station in Boileau's Satires to the · [The Rev. Charles James Hoyle, of Trinity College, unlucky convenience of his name as a rhyme. Of the Cambridge. In 1808, he published "Exodus," an epic in generous change from censure to praise, the poet Dante thirteen books,-"thereby surpassing in generosity," says had already set an example ; having, in his “ Convito," the Edinburgh Review, “ Virgil himself, giving us thir- lauded some of those persons whom, in his Commedia, Date books, as the conscientious baker gives thirteen rolls, he had most severely lashed.