LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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The Life of William Roscoe
Chapter XIII. 1812-1815
William Roscoe to Sir James Edward Smith, [1812]

Vol I. Contents
Chapter I. 1753-1781
Chapter II. 1781-1787
Chapter III. 1787-1792
Chapter IV. 1788-1796
Chapter V. 1795
Chapter VI. 1796-1799
Chapter VII. 1799-1805
Chapter IX. 1806-1807
Chapter X. 1808
Chapter XI. 1809-1810
Vol II. Contents
Chapter XII. 1811-1812
Chapter XIII. 1812-1815
Chapter XIV. 1816
Chapter XV. 1817-1818
Chapter XVI. 1819
Chapter XVII. 1820-1823
Chapter XVIII. 1824
Chapter XIX. 1825-1827
Chapter XX. 1827-1831
Chapter XXI.
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“If I could have entertained the least hope or prospect of being able to undertake my promised excursion into Norfolk, I should not so long have delayed apprising you of it; but after having protracted writing from day to day, and from week to week, I am at length under the necessity of relinquishing, for the present, the pleasure I had so warmly anticipated, and consoling myself as well as I can under the pains of the rheumatism, which have of late left me little relaxation either by day or night.

“My spirits are, however, pretty good; and as I am fortunate enough to be able to sit up, and even walk about a little, I am seldom unemployed with objects either of business or amusement. Of the former, my operations at Chat Moss have engaged a great share of my attention, as I have promised some account of them to the Board of Agriculture, which this long confinement has given me the opportunity of drawing up. I have also done something
towards a catalogue of my pictures, drawings, prints, &c. which are become much more numerous since you saw them, and which I promise myself great pleasure in submitting, at no distant period, to your examination and criticism. Among these is the portrait of Leo X., with the Cardinals di Rossi and Giulio de’ Medici, which I have been assured by several persons is the copy made by
Andrea del Sarto from the celebrated picture of Raffaelle, and which was sent as the original to the Duke of Mantua, from whence it went to Parma, and was transferred with the rest of the collection to Capo di Monte, near Naples.

“You must, in all probability, have seen one of them, although you have not mentioned it in your travels, and will be able, perhaps, to clear up my conjectures.

“Another picture which I long to show you is a Madonna and Child, with St. Helena and St. Francis, by Don Ghirlandajo, the master of M. Angelo, painted, according to his custom, in distemper; but what constitutes its value is a freize, or history piece, below; the work of M. Angelo, when young; with strong indications of the great manner by which he afterwards distinguished himself.

“I hope before this time you will have received a copy of my review of Mr. Canning’s speeches; if not, be so good as to say so when
you write, as I find several persons to whom I had ordered them have not received them. You will think me bold if not imprudent to render myself obnoxious to so powerful a party, both in politics and literature, as
Canning and his friends, but after the abuse I have received from them and others, my susceptibility is somewhat diminished, and provided I could have done any good, I should have been very indifferent to whatever they might pour out against me.

“Throughout this troublesome complaint I had many sleepless hours at night, in some of which I strung verses together, which I wrote down in the morning, and of which I send you a specimen; which I beg you to present to Mrs. Smith with my kind remembrances. Should she approve of them, she will perhaps do me the favour of sending a copy to Miss Coke, whenever she may have an opportunity.”

On the Ball given by the friends of Mr. Brougham and
Mr. Creevey. Liverpool, November, 1812.
The fair face of morning when sudden clouds cover,
And tempest and darkness envelope the day,
Shall the gloom of the moment deter the true lover
Who hastes to the home of his mistress away?
When heaved from its base proudly swells the vast ocean,
And danger rides high on the crest of the wave,
Undaunted the mariner views the commotion,
And bares his bold bosom the sea-storm to brave.
Then say, shall the Patriot e’er prove a recoiler?
Shall the champion of freedom e’er stoop to despair?
Shall he basely resign to the hands of the spoiler
The prize that high Heaven has consign’d to his care?
No! still to his task with fresh vigour returning,
He shall wage the bold war with corruption again,
As the lion, that, roused by the beam of the morning,
Shakes off the light dew-drops that hang on his mane.
If he falls—like the warrior he falls in his duty,
Whilst his country shall hail him and angels approve;
If he conquers—he wins from the bright hand of beauty
The wreath wove by Liberty, Friendship, and Love.