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to be drawn up the moment I am twentyone), I have taken care you shall have the house and manor for life, besides a sufficient income. So you see my improvements are not entirely selfish. As I have a friend here, we will go to the Infirmary Ball on the 12th; we will drink tea with Mrs. Byron at eight o'clock, and expect to see you at the ball. If that lady will allow us a couple of rooms to dress in, we shall be highly obliged: -if we are at the ball by ten or eleven, it will be time enough, and we shall return to Newstead about three or four. Adieu. Believe me yours very truly, "BYRON."


The idea, entertained by Mrs. Byron, of a resemblance between her son and Rousseau was founded chiefly, we may suppose, on those habits of solitariness, in which he had even already shown a disposition to follow that self-contemplative philosopher, and which, manifesting themselves thus early, gained strength as he advanced in life. În one of his Journals, to which I frequently have occasion to refer', he thus, in questioning the justice of this comparison between himself and Rousseau, gives, - as usual, vividly, some touches of his own disposition and habitudes :



My mother, before I was twenty, would have it that I was like Rousseau, and Madame de Stael used to say so too in 1813, and the Edinburgh Review has something of the sort in its critique on the fourth Canto of Childe Harold. I can't see any point of resemblance: - he wrote prose, I verse he was of the people; I of the aristocracy: he was a philosopher; I am none : he published his first work at forty; I mine at eighteen his first essay brought him universal applause; mine the contrary: he married his housekeeper; I could not keep

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


house with my wife: he thought all the world in a plot against him; my little world seems to think me in a plot against it, if I may judge by their abuse in print and coterie: he liked botany; I like flowers, herbs, and trees, but know nothing of their pedigrees: he wrote music; I limit my knowledge of it to what I catch by ear-I never could learn any thing by study, not even a language-it was all by rote and ear, and memory: he had a bad memory; I had, at least, an excellent one (ask Hodgson the poet —a good judge, for he has an astonishing one): he wrote with hesitation and care; I with rapidity, and rarely with pains he could never ride, nor swim, nor was cunning of fence;' I am an excellent swimmer, a decent, though not at all a dashing, rider, (having staved in a rib at eighteen, in the course of scampering), and was sufficient of fence, particularly of the Highland broadsword, -not a bad boxer, when I could keep my temper, which was difficult, but which I strove to do ever since I knocked down Mr. Purling, and put his knee-pan out (with the gloves on), in Angelo's and Jackson's rooms in 1806, during the sparring, and I was, besides, a very fair cricketer, one of the Harrow eleven, when we played against Eton in 1805. Besides, Rousseau's way of life, his country, his manners, his whole character were so very different, that I am at a loss to conceive how such a comparison could have arisen, as it has done three several times, and all in rather a remarkable manner. I forgot to say that he was also short-sighted, and that hitherto my eyes have been the contrary, to such a degree that, in the largest theatre of Bologna, I distinguished and read some busts and inscriptions, painted near the stage, from a box so distant and so darkly lighted, that none of the company (composed of young and very bright-eyed people, some of them in the same box,) could make out a

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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.]

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letter, and thought it was a trick, though I had never been in that theatre before.

“Altogether, I think myself justified in thinking the comparison not well founded. I don't say this out of pique, for Rousseau was a great man; and the thing, if true, were flattering enough;-but I have no idea of being pleased with the chimera."

In another letter to his mother, dated some weeks after the preceding one, he explains further his plans both with respect to Newstead and his projected travels.


"Newstead Abbey, November 2. 1808.

"Dear Mother,

"If you please, we will forget the things you mention. I have no desire to remember them. When my rooms are finished, I shall be happy to see you; as I tell but the truth, you will not suspect me of evasion. I am furnishing the house more for you than myself, and I shall establish you in it before I sail for India, which I expect to do in March, if nothing particularly obstructive occurs. am now fitting up the green drawing-room; the red for a bed-room, and the rooms over as sleeping-rooms. They will be soon completed; at least I hope so.


"I wish you would inquire of Major Watson (who is an old Indian) what things will be necessary to provide for my voyage. I have already procured a friend to write to the Arabic Professor at Cambridge, for some information I am anxious to procure. I can easily get letters from government to the ambassadors, consuls, &c., and also to the governors at Calcutta and Madras. I shall place my property and my will in the hands of trustees till my return, and I mean to appoint you one. From H** [Hanson] I have heard nothing—when I do, you shall have the particulars,

"After all, you must own my project is not a bad one. If I do not travel now, I never shall, and all men should one day or other, I have at present no connections to keep me at home; no wife, or unprovided

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


sisters, brothers, &c. I shall take care of you, and when I return I may possibly become a politician. A few years' knowledge of other countries than our own will not incapacitate me for that part. If we see no nation but our own, we do not give mankind a fair chance ;- it is from experience, not books, we ought to judge of them. There is nothing like inspection, and trusting to "Yours," &c.

our own senses.

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Melancholy, indeed, seems to have been gaining fast upon his mind at this period. In another letter to Mr. Hodgson, he says, -"You know laughing is the sign of a rational animal -SO says Dr. Smollet. I think so too, but unluckily my spirits don't always keep pace with my opinions."

Old Murray, the servant whom he mentions, in a preceding extract, as the only faithful follower now remaining to him, had long been in the service of the former lord, and was regarded by the young poet with a fondness of affection which it has seldom

been the lot of age and dependence to inspire. "I have more than once," says a gentleman who was at this time a constant visiter at

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Newstead, "seen Lord Byron at the dinnertable fill out a tumbler of Madeira, and hand it over his shoulder to Joe Murray, who stood behind his chair, saying, with a cordiality that brightened his whole countenance, Here, my old fellow.'"


The unconcern with which he could sometimes allude to the defect in his foot is manifest from another passage in one of these letters to Mr. Hodgson. That gentleman having said jestingly that some of the verses in the Hours of Idleness" were calculated to make schoolboys rebellious. Lord Byron answers" If my songs have produced the glorious effects you mention, I shall be a complete Tyrtæus ;-though I am sorry to say I resemble that interesting harper more in his person than in his poesy." Sometimes, too, even an allusion to this infirmity by others, when he could perceive that it was not offensively intended, was borne by him with the most perfect good humour. "I was once present," says the friend I have just mentioned," in a large and mixed company, when a vulgar person Pray, my Lord, how is that foot of yours?'-Thank you, sir,' answered Lord Byron, with the utmost mildness-much the same as usual.'”

asked him aloud.

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."

In the epitaph, as first printed in his friend's Miscellany, this line runs thus:

"I knew but one unchanged and here he lies."

The following extract, relating to a reverend friend of his Lordship, is from another of his letters to Mr. Hodgson, this year :— "A few weeks ago I wrote to ***, to request he would receive the son of a citizen of London, well known to me, as a pupil; the family having been particularly polite during the short time I was with them induced me to make this application. Now, mark what follows, as somebody sublimely saith. On this day arrives an epistle signed containing not the smallest reference to tuition or intuition, but a petition for Robert Gregson, of pugilistic notoriety, now in bondage for certain paltry pounds sterling, and liable to take up his everlasting abode in Banco Regis. Had the letter been from any of my lay acquaintance, or, in short, from any person but the gentleman whose signature it bears, I should have marvelled not. If*** is serious, I congratulate pugilism on the acquisition of such a patron, and shall be most happy to advance any sum necessary for the liberation of the captive Gregson. But I certainly hope to be certified from you, or some respectable housekeeper, of the fact, before I write to * on the subject. When I say the fact, I mean of the letter being written by * having any doubt as to the authenticity of the statement. The letter is now before me, and I keep it for your perusal.”


His time at Newstead during this autumn was principally occupied in enlarging and preparing his Satire for the press; and with the view, perhaps, of mellowing his own judgment of its merits, by keeping it some time before his eyes in a printed form, he had proofs taken off from the manuscript by his former publisher at Newark. It is somewhat remarkable, that, excited as he was by the attack of the reviewers, and possessing, at all times, such rapid powers of composition, he should have allowed so long an interval to elapse between the aggression and the revenge. But the importance of his next move in literature seems to have been fully appreciated by him. He saw that his chances of future eminence now depended upon the effort he was about to make, and therefore deliberately collected all his energies for the spring. Among the preparatives

2 [" And old Tyrtæus, when the Spartans warr'd, (As lame as I am, but a better bard.) Though wall'd Ithome had resisted long, Reduced the fortress by the force of song." 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.]

Ær. 21.


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 period may be dated the enthusiastic admiration which he ever after cherished for this great poet, an admiration which at last extinguished in him, after one or two trials, all hope of pre-eminence in the same track, and drove him thenceforth to seek renown in fields more open to competition.

The misanthropic mood of mind into which he had fallen at this time, from disappointed affections and thwarted hopes, made the office of satirist but too congenial and welcome 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 fluence 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 one of the letters of the latter, felt by him most deeply. He, however, allowed himself to be so far governed by prudential considerations as not only to stifle this displeasure, but even to introduce into his Satire, as originally intended for the press, the following compliment to his guardian :


His coming of age, in 1809, was celebrated at Newstead by such festivities as his narrow means and society could furnish. Besides the ritual roasting of an ox, there was a ball, it seems, given on the occasion, of which the only particular I could collect, from the old domestic who mentioned it, was, that Mr. Hanson, the agent of her lord, was among the dancers. Of Lord Byron's own method of commemorating the day, I find the following curious record in a letter written from Genoa in 1822 :-" Did I ever

tell you that the day I came of age I dined on eggs and bacon and a bottle of ale? For once in a way they are my favourite dish and drinkable; but as neither of them agree with me, I never use them but on great jubilees, once in four or five years or so." The pecuniary supplies necessary towards his outset, at this epoch, were procured from money-lenders at an enormously usurious interest, the payment of which for a long time

continued to be a burden to him.

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"On one alone Apollo deigns to smile,

And crowns a new Roscommon in Carlisle."

The crown, however, thus generously awarded, did not long remain where it had been placed. In the interval between the inditing of this couplet and the delivery of under the impression that it was customary the manuscript to the press, Lord Byron, for a young peer, on first taking his seat, to have some friend to introduce him, wrote to remind Lord Carlisle that he should be of age at the commencement of the session. Instead, however, of the sort of answer which he expected, a mere formal, and, as it appeared 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 proposing to introduce him to the House (a ceremony, however, as it appears, by no means necessary or even usual) was sufficient to rouse in his sensitive mind a strong feeling of resentment. I The indignation, thus excited, found a vent, but too temptingly, at hand ;the laudatory couplet I have just cited was instantly expunged, and his Satire went forth charged with those vituperative verses against Lord Carlisle, of which, gratifying as they must have been to his revenge at the moment, he, not long after, with the placability so inherent in his generous nature, repented. 2

During the progress of his poem through the press, he increased its length by more than a hundred lines; and made several alterations, one or two of which may be mentioned, as illustrative of that prompt susceptibility of new impressions and influences which rendered both his judgment and feelings so variable. In the Satire, as it originally stood, was the following couplet :

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1 ["It appears, certainly, that the young poet had, in his own opinion, every right to expect the aid and countenance of his relative on this occasion, and that, possessing not one personal friend or acquaintance among the members of the peerage then in London, his entrée was embarrassed with many awkward and humiliating difficulties, which the slightest interference on the part of a nobleman of Lord Carlisle's rank and character would have rendered impossible. It would be unfair, however, not to add, that from all we have heard and read, very little was at this time known about Lord Byron that could have been expected to conciliate those prejudices with which his mother's rude passions and conduct seem originally to have inspired the Earl of Carlisle; a weak poet, no doubt, but a nobleman distinguished for personal virtues, whose tastes were all elegant and praiseworthy, and his habits and manners, of course, of the highest standard of refinement.". - Quarterly Review, 1831.]

2 See his lines on Major Howard, the son of Lord Carlisle, who was killed at Waterloo :"Their praise is hymn'd by loftier harps than mine; Yet one I would select from that proud throng, Partly because they blend me with his line, And partly that I did his sire some wrong.' Childe Harold, Canto III. 3 [William Smythe, M. A., professor of modern history in the University of Cambridge, author of "English Lyrics," &c. &c.]


[The Rev. Charles James Hoyle, of Trinity College, Cambridge. In 1808, he published "Exodus," an epic in thirteen books," thereby surpassing in generosity," says the Edinburgh Review, "Virgil himself, giving us thirnate books, as the conscientious baker gives thirteen rolls,

tone directly opposite in his printed Satire, where the name of Professor Smythe is mentioned honourably, as it deserved, in conjunction with that of Mr. Hodgson, one of the poet's most valued friends :·


"Oh dark asylum of a Vandal race!

At once the boast of learning and disgrace;
So sunk in dulness, and so lost in shame,
That Smythe and Hodgson scarce redeem thy fame."

In another instance we find him "changing his hand" with equal facility and suddenThe original manuscript of the Satire contained this line,



"I leave topography to coxcomb Gell;"5

but having, while the work was printing, become acquainted with Sir William Gell, he, without difficulty, by the change of a single epithet, converted satire into eulogy, and the line now descends to posterity thus:


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explaining his reasons for the change in the following note:-" Rapid,' indeed; -he topographised and typographised King Priam's dominions in three days. I called him 'classic' before I saw the Troad, but since have learned better than to tack to his name what don't belong to it." He is not, however, the only satirist who has been thus capricious and changeable in his judgments. The variations of this nature in Pope's Dunciad are well known; and the Abbé Cotin, it is said, owed the "painful pre-eminence" of his station in Boileau's Satires to the unlucky convenience of his name as a rhyme. Of the generous change from censure to praise, the poet Dante had already set an example; having, in his "Convito," lauded some of those persons whom, in his Commedia, he had most severely lashed.

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