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here the bright catalogue of his services. It is, after all, not with the span of moral life that the good achieved by a name immortal ends. The charm acts into the future,-it is an auxiliary through all time; and the inspiring example of Byron, as a martyr of liberty, is for ever freshly embalmed in his glory as a poet.
From the period of his attack in February, he had been, from time to time, indisposed; and, more than once, had complained of vertigos, which made him feel, he said, as if intoxicated. He was also frequently affected with nervous sensations, with shiverings and tremors, which, though apparently the effects of excessive debility, he himself attributed to fulness of habit. Proceeding upon this notion, he had, ever since his arrival in Greece, abstained almost wholly from animal food, and eat of little else but dry toast, vegetables, and cheese. With the same fear of becoming fat, which had in his young days haunted him, he almost every morning measured himself round the wrist and waist, and whenever he found these parts, as he thought, enlarged, took a strong dose of medicine.
Exertions hal, as we have seen, been made by his friends at Cepha. lonia, to induce him, without delay, to return to that island, and take measures, while there was yet time, for the re-establishment of his health. “But these entreaties," says Count Gamba, “ produced just the contrary effect; for in proportion as Byron thought his position more perilous, he the more resolved upon remaining where he was." In the midst of all this, too, the natural flow of his spirits in society seldom deserted him; and whenever a trick upon any of his attendants, or associates, suggested itself, he was as ready to play the mischief, loving boy as ever. His engineer, Parry, having been much alarmed by the earthquake they had experienced, and still continuing in constant apprehension of its return, Lord Byron contrive as they were all sitting together one evening, to have some barrels full of cannonballs trundled through the room above them, and laughed heartily as he would have done, when a Harrow boy, at the ludicrous effect which this deception produced on the poor frightened engineer.
Every day, however, brought new trials both of his health and temper. The constant rains had rendered the swamps of Missolonghi almost impassable ;-an alarm of plague, which, about the middle of March, was circulated, made it prudent, for some time, to keep within doors; and he was thus, week after week, deprived of his accustomed air and exercise. The only recreation he had recourse to was that of playing with his favourite dog, Lion; and, in the evening, going through the exercise of drilling with his officers, or practising at single-stick.
At the same time, the demands upon his exertions, personal and pecuniary, poured in from all sides, while the embarrassments of his public position every day increased. The chief obstacle in the way of his plan for the reconciliation of all parties had been the rivalry so long existing between Mavrocordato and the Eastern Chiefs; and this difficulty was now not a little heightened by the part taken by Colonel Stanhope and Mr. Trelawney, who, having allied themselves with Odysseus, the most powerful of these Chieftains, were endeavouring actively to detach Lord Byron from Mavrocordato, and enlist him in their own views. This schism was,-to say the least of it,-ill-timed and unfortunate. For, as Prince Mavrocordato and Lord Byron were now acting in complete i armony with the Government, a co-operation of all the other English egents on the same side would have had the
effect of assuring a preponderance to this party (which was that of the civil and commercial interests all through Greece) that might, by strengthening the hands of the ruling power, have afforded some hope of vigour and consistency in its movements. By this division, however, the English lost their casting weight; and not only marred whatever little chance they might have had of extinguishing the dissensions of the Greeks, but exhibited, most unseasonably, an example of dissension among themselves.
The visit to Salona, in which, though distrustful of the intended Military Congress, Mavrocordato had consented to accompany Lord Byron, was, as the foregoing letters have mentioned, delayed by the floods,-the river Fidari having become so swollen as not to be fordable. In the mean time, dangers, both from within and without, threatened Missolonghi. The Turkish fleet had again come forth from the Gulf, while, in concert, it was apprehended, with this resumption of the blockade, insurrectionary movements, instigated, as was afterward known, by the malecontents of the Mor manifested themselves formidably both in the town and its neighbourhood. The first cause for alarm was the landing, in canoes, from Anatolico of a party of armed men, the followers of Cariascachi of that place, who came to demand retribution from the people of Missolonghi for some injury that, in a late affray, had been inflicted on one of their clan. It was also rumoured that 300 Suliotes were marching upon the town; and the following morning, news came that a party of these wild warriors had actually seized upon Basilarli, a fortress that commands the port of Missolonghi, while some of the soldiers of Cariascachi had, in the course of the night, arrested two of the Primates, and carried them to Anatolico. The tumult and indignation that this intelligence produced was universal. All the shops were shut, and the bazaars deserted. “Lord Byron," says Count Gamba, “ordered his troops to continue under arms; but to preserve the strictest neutrality, without mixing in any quarrel, either by actions or words."
During this crisis, the weather had become sufficiently favourable to admit of his paying the visit to Salona, which he had purposed. But, as his departure at such a juncture might have the appearance of abandoning Missolonghi, he resolved to wait the danger out.
At thiş time the following letters were written.
TO MR. BARFF,
“ April 3d. “There is a quarr 'l, not yet settled, between the citizens and some of Cariascachi's pec ple, which has already produced some blows. I keep my people quite neutral; but have ordered them to be on their guard.
“Some days ago we had an Italian private soldier drummed out for thieving, The German officers wanted to flog him; but I fatly refused to permit the use of the stick or whip, and delivered him over to the police. Since then a Prussian officer rioted in his lodgings; and I
* « Lord Byron declared that, as far as he was concerned, no barbarous ysages, however adopted even by some civilized people, should be introduced
put him under arrest, according to the order. This, it appears, did not please his German confederation : but I stuck by my text; and have given them plainly to understand, that those who do not choose to be amenable to the laws of the country and service, may retire; but that in all that I have to I will see them obeyed by foreigner or native.
"! I wish something was heard of the arrival of part of the loan, for there is a plentiful dearth of every thing at present.”
TO MR. BARFF.
“ April 6th. “Since I wrote, we have had some tumult here with the citizens and Cariascachi's people, and all are under arins, our boys and all. They nearly fired on me and fifty of my lads,* by mistake, as we were taking our usual excursion into the country. To-day matters are settled or subsiding; but about an hour ago, the father-in-law of the landlord of the house where I am lodged (one of the Primates the said landlord is) was arrested for high-treason.
* They are in conclave still with Mavrocordato; and we have a number of new faces from the hills, come to assist, they say. Gunboats and batteries all ready, &c. into Greece ; especially as such a mode of punishment would disgust rather than reform. We hit upon an expedient which favoured our miiitary discipline : but it required not only all Lord Byron's eloquence, but his authority, to prevail upon our Germans to accede to it. The culprit had his uniform stripped off his back, in presence of his comrades, and was afterward marched through the town with a label on his back, describing both in Greek and Italian the nature of his offence ; after which he was given up to the regular police. This example of severity, tempered by a humane spirit, produced the best effect upon our soldiers, as well as upon the citizens of the town. But it was very near causing a most disagreeable circumstance ; for, in the course of the evening, some very high words passed on the subject between three Englishmen, two of them others of our brigade, in consequence of which cards were exchanged, and two duels were to have been fought the next morning. Lord Byron did not hear of this till late at night: but he immediately ordered me to arrest both parties, which I accordingly did ; and, after some difficulty, prevailed on them to shake hands.”—Count Gamba's Narrative.
* A corps of fifty Suliotes which he had, almost ever since his arrival at Missolonghi, kept about hiin as a body-guard. A large outer room of his house was appropriated to these troops; and their carbines were suspended along the walls. “ In this room,” says Mr. Parry, “and among these rude soldiers, Lord Byron was accustomed to walk a great deal, particularly in wet veather, accompanied with his favourite dog, Lion.”
When he rode out, these fifty Suliotes attended him on foot; and though they carried their carbines, “they were always,” says the same authority, " able to keep up with their horses at full speed. The captain, and a certain number, preceded his lordshir, who rode accoinpanied on one side by Count Gamba, and on the other by the Greek interpreter. Behind him, also on horseback, came two of his servants,--generally his black groom, and Tita, —both dressed like the chasseurs usually seen behind the carriages of am. bassadors, and another division of his guard closed the cavalcade."_PARRY'S Last Days of Lord Byron.
“The row has had one good effect-it has put them on the alert. What is to become of the father-in-law, I do not know; nor what he has done, exactly;* but
"'T is a very fine thing to be father-in-law
To a very magnificent three-tail'ü bashaw,'
as the man in Bluebeard says and sings. I wrote to you upon matters at length, some days ago; the letter, or letters, you will receive with this. We are desirous to hear more of the loan; and it is some time since I have had any letters (at least of an interesting description) from England, excepting one of 4th February, from Bowring (of no great importance). My latest dates are of Obre, or of the 6th 1obre, four months exactly. I hope you get on well in the islands: here most of us are, or have been, more or less indisposed, natives as well as foreigners."
TO MR. BARFF.
“April 7th. “ The Greeks here of the Government have been boring me for more money. As I have the brigade to maintain, and the campaign is apparently now to open, and as I have already spent 30,000 dollars in three months upon them in one way or another, and more especially as their public loan has succeeded, so that they ought not to draw from individuals at that rate, I have given them a refusal, and—as they would not take that,-another refusa! in terms of considerable sincerity.
“They wish now to try in the islands for a few thousand dollars on the ensuing loan. If you can serve them, perhaps you will (in the way of information, at any rate), and I will see that you have fair play, but still I do not advise you, except to act as you please. Almost every thing depends upon the arrival, and the speedy arrival, of a portion of the loan to keep peace among themselves. If they can but have sense to do this, I think that they will be a match and better for any force that can be brought against them for the present. We are all doing as well as we can."
It will be perceived from these letters, that besides the great and general interests of the cause, which were in themselves sufficient to absorb all his thoughts, he was also met, on every side, in the details of his duty, by every possible variety of obstruction and distraction that
* This man had, it seems, on his way from Ioannina, passed by Anatolico, and held several conferences with Cariascachi. He had long been suspected of being a spy; and the letters found upon him confirmeu the suspicion.
+ In consequence of the mutinous proceedings of Cariascachi's people, most of the neighbouring Chieftains hastened to the assistance of the Govern ment, and had already with this view marched to Anatolico near 2000 men, But, however opportune the arrival of such a force, they were a cause of fresh embarrassment, as there was a total want of provisions for their daily maintenance. It was in this emergency that the Governor, Primates, and Chieftains had recourse, as here stated, to their usual source of supply.
rapacity, turbulence, and treachery could throw in his way. Such vexations, too, as would have been trying to the most robust health, here fell upon a frame already marked out for death; nor can we help feeling, while we contemplate this last scene of his life, that, much as there is in it to admire, to wonder at, and glory in, there is also much that awakens sad and most distressful thoughts. In a situation mure than any other calling for sympathy and care, we see him cast among strangers and mercenaries, without either nurse or friend;—the sell collectedness of woman being, as we shall find, wanting for the former office, and the youth and inexperience of Count Gamba unfitting him wholly for the other. The very firmness with which a position so lone and disheartening was sustained, serves, by interesting us more deeply in the man, to increase our sympathy, till we, almost forget admiration in pity, and half regret that he should have been great at such a cost.
The only circumstances that had for some time occurred to give him pleasure were, as regarded public affairs, the news of the successful progress of the loan, and, in his personal relations, some favourable intelligence which he had received, after a long interruption of communication, respecting his sister and daughter. The former, he learned, had been seriousiy indisposed at the very time of his own fit, but had now entirely recovered. While delighted at this news, he could not help, at the same time, remarking, with his usual tendency to such superstitious feelings, how strange and striking was the coincidence.
To those who have, from his childhood, traced him through these pages, it must be manifest, I think, that Lord Byron was not formed to be long-lived. Whether from any hereditary defect in his organization,-as he himself, from the circumstance of both his parents having died young, concluded,—or from those violent means he so early took to counteract the natural tendency of his habit, and reduce himself to thinness, he was, almost every year, as we have seen, subject to attacks of indisposition, by more than one of which his life was seriously endangered. The capricious course which he at all times pursued respecting diet,-his long fastings, his expedients for the aliayment of hunger, his occasional excesses in the most unwhole. some food, and, during the latter part of his residence in Italy, his indulgence in the use of spirituous beverages,--all this could not be otherwise than hurtful and undermining to his health; while his constant recourse to medicine—daily, as it appears, and in large quantities—both evinced and, no doubt, increased the derangement of his digestion. When to all this we add the wasteful wear of spirits and strength from the slow corrosion of sensibility, the warfare of the passions, and the workings of a mind that allowed itself no sabbath, it is not to be wondered at that the vital principle in him should so soon have burnt out, or that, at the age of thirty-three, he should have had-as he himself drearily expresses it—"an old feel.” To feed the fame, the all-absorbing flame, of his genius, the whole powers of his nature, physical as well as moral, were sacrificed ;-!0 present that grand and costly conflagration to the world's eyes, in which,
“Glittering, like a palace set on fire,
His glory, while it shone, but ruined him !"*
* Beaumont and Fletcher.