LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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[Moore’s Life of Lord Byron].
The Edinburgh Literary Journal  No. 113  (8 January 1831)  19-23.
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No. 113. SATURDAY, JANUARY 8, 1831. PRICE 6d.


Letters and Journals of Lord Byron, with Notices of his Life. By Thomas Moore. Vol. II. London. John Murray. 1831. 4to. Pp. 823.

The interest excited by this work, at the present moment, makes every body much more anxious to know what it contains, than what is said of it. Were a reviewer to stand prating at the threshold, as is the wont of such persons, his tittle-tattle would be considered little short of an impertinence, seeing that his readers are thinking all the time not of him, but of Lord Byron. To escape this odium, we propose presenting to-day a selection of the most interesting extracts we can find,—reserving for next week our own opinions, which we shall then deliver with the gravity due to the “wise saws and modern instances,” to which we are in the habit of giving birth.

The second volume of this noble piece of biography commences with Byron’s final departure for the continent, carries us through all the events of his continental life, and finally closes the scene with the premature extinction of all his hopes and aspirations at Missolonghi. We shall commence our quotations with Moore’s account of a visit he paid to Lord Byron in Italy, in which there is much interesting matter:


“Having parted, at Milan, with Lord John Russell, whom I had accompanied from England, and whom I was to rejoin, after a short visit to Rome, at Genoa, I made purchase of a small and (as it soon proved) crazy travelling carriage, and proceeded alone on my way to Venice. My time being limited, I stopped no longer at the intervening places than was sufficient to hurry over their respective wonders, and, leaving Padua at noon on the 8th of October, I found myself, about two o’clock, at the door of my friend’s villa, at La Mira. He was but just up, and in his bath; but the servant having announced my arrival, he returned a message that, if I would wait till he was dressed, he would accompany me to Venice. The interval I employed in conversing with my old acquaintance, Fletcher, and in viewing, under his guidance, some of the apartments of the villa.

“It was not long before Lord Byron himself made his appearance, and the delight I felt in meeting him once more, after a separation of so many years, was not a little heightened by observing that his pleasure was, to the full, as great, while it was rendered doubly touching by the evident rarity of such meetings to him of late, and the frank outbreak of cordiality and gaiety with which he gave way to his feelings. It would be impossible, indeed, to convey to those who have not, at some time or other, felt the charm of his manner, any idea of what it could be when under the influence of such pleasurable excitement as it was most flatteringly evident he experienced at this moment.

“I was a good deal struck, however, by the alteration that had taken place in his personal appearance. He had grown fatter both in person and face, and the latter had most suffered by the change,—having lost, by the enlargement of the features, some of that refined and spiritualized look that had, in other times, distinguished it. The addition of whiskers, too, which he had not long before been induced to adopt, from hearing that some one had said he had a ‘faccia di musico,’ as well as the length to which his hair grew down on his neck, and the rather foreign air of his coat and cap,—all combined to produce that dissimilarity to his former self I had observed in him. He was still, however, eminently handsome; and, in exchange for whatever his features might have lost of their high, romantic character, they had become more fitted for the expression of that arch, waggish wisdom, that Epicurean play of humour, which he had shown to be equally inherent in his various and prodigally gifted nature; while, by the somewhat increased roundness of the contours, the resemblance of his finely formed mouth and chin to those of the Belvedere Apollo had become still more striking.

“His breakfast, which I found he rarely took before three or four o’clock in the afternoon, was speedily despatched,—his habit being to eat it standing, and the meal in general consisting of one or two raw eggs, a cup of tea without either milk or sugar, and a bit of dry biscuit. Before we took our departure, he presented me to the Countess Guiccioli, who was at this time, as my readers already know, living under the same roof with him at La Mira; and who, with a style of beauty singular in an Italian, as being fair-complexioned and delicate, left an impression upon my mind, during this our first short interview, of intelligence and amiableness such as all that I have since known or heard of her has but served to confirm.”

We cannot better follow up this extract than with the following curious occurrence, which Byron describes in his own powerful and original way:


“Venice is in the estro of her carnival, and I have been up these last two nights at the ridotto and the opera, and all that kind of thing. Now for an adventure. A few days ago a gondolier brought me a billet without a subscription, intimating a wish on the part of the writer to meet me either in gondola, or at the island of San Lazaro, or at a third rendezvous, indicated in the note. ‘I know the country’s disposition well,’—in Venice ‘they do let heaven see those tricks they dare not show,’ &c. &c.; so, for all response, I said that neither of the three places suited me; but that I would either be at home at ten at night alone, or be at the ridotto at midnight, where the writer might meet me masked. At ten o’clock I was at home and alone (Marianna was gone with her husband to a conversazione), when the door of my apartment opened, and in walked a well-looking and (for an Italian) bionda girl of about nineteen, who informed me that she was married to the brother of my amorosa, and wished to have some conversation with me. I made a decent reply, and we had some talk in Italian and Romaic (her mother being a Greek of Corfu), when, lo! in a very few minutes in marches, to my very great astonishment, Marianna S * *, in propria persona, and, after making a most polite curtsy to her sister-in-law and to me, without a single word seizes her said sister-in-law by the hair, and bestows upon her some sixteen slaps, which would have made your ear ache only to hear their echo. I need not describe the screaming which ensued. The luckless visitor took flight. I seized Marianna, who, after several vain efforts to get away in pursuit of the enemy, fairly went into fits in my arms; and, in spite of reasoning, eau de Cologne, vinegar, half a pint of water, and God knows what other waters beside, continued so till past midnight.

“After damning my servants for letting people in without apprizing me, I found that Marianna in the morning had seen her sister-in-law’s gondolier on the stairs; and, suspecting that his apparition boded her no good, had either returned of her own accord, or been followed by her maids or some other spy of her people to the conversazione, from whence she returned to perpetrate this piece of pugilism.
I had seen fits before, and also some small scenery of the same genus in and out of our island; but this was not all. After about an hour, in comes—who? why, Signor S * *, her lord and husband, and finds me with his wife fainting upon a sofa, and all the apparatus of confusion, dishevelled hair, hats, handkerchiefs, salts, smelling bottles—and the lady as pale as ashes, without sense or motion. His first question was, ‘What is all this?’ The lady could not reply—so I did. I told him the explanation was the easiest thing in the world; but, in the mean time, it would be as well to recover his wife—at least, her senses. This came about in due time of suspiration and respiration.

“You need not be alarmed—jealousy is not the order of the day in Venice, and daggers are out of fashion, while duels, on love matters, are unknown—at least, with the husbands. But, for all this, it was an awkward affair; and though he must have known that I made love to Marianna, yet I believe he was not, till that evening, aware of the extent to which it had gone. It is very well known that almost all the married women have a lover; but it is usual to keep up the forms, as in other nations. I did not, therefore, know what the devil to say. I could not out with the truth, out of regard to her, and I did not choose to lie for my sake;—besides, the thing told itself. I thought the best way would be to let her explain it as she chose (a woman being never at a loss—the devil always sticks by them)—only determining to protect and carry her off, in case of any ferocity on the part of the Signor. I saw that he was quite calm. She went to bed, and next day—how they settled it I know not, but settled it they did. Well—then I had to explain to Marianna about this never to be sufficiently confounded sister-in-law; which I did by swearing innocence, eternal constancy, &c. &c.”

It appears that Byron was requested to write a work on Italy, but this he declined doing, on good grounds. In the following hasty remarks, however, on this subject, there is more substantial thinking than is to be found in one half of the flimsy books of modern tourists and travellers:


“You ask me for a volume of manners, &c. on Italy. Perhaps I am in the case to know more of them than most Englishmen, because I have lived among the natives, and in parts of the country where Englishmen never resided before (I speak of Romagna and this place particularly); but there are many reasons why I do not choose to treat in print on such a subject. I have lived in their houses and in the heart of their families, sometimes merely as ‘amico di casa,’ and sometimes as ‘amico di cuore’ of the Dama, and in neither case do I feel myself authorized in making a book of them. Their moral is not your moral; their life is not your life; you would not understand it: it is not English, nor French, nor German, which you would all understand. The conventual education, the cavalier servitude, the habits of thought and living are so entirely different, and the difference becomes so much more striking the more you live intimately with them, that I know not how to make you comprehend a people who are at once temperate and profligate, serious in their characters and buffoons in their amusements, capable of impressions and passions, which are at once sudden and durable (what you find in no other nation), and who actually have no society (what we would call so), as you may see by their comedies; they have no real comedy, not even in Goldoni, and that is because they have no society to draw it from.

“Their conversazioni are not society at all. They go to the theatre to talk, and into company to hold their tongues. The women sit in a circle, and the men gather into groups, or they play at dreary faro, or ‘lotto reale,’ for small sums. Their academie are concerts like our own, with better music and more form. Their best things are the carnival balls and masquerades, when every body runs mad for six weeks. After their dinners and suppers they make extempore verses and buffoon one another; but it is in a humour which you would not enter into, ye of the north.

“In their houses it is better. I should know something of the matter, having had a pretty general experience among their women, from the fisherman’s wife up to the Nobil Dama, whom I serve. Their system has its rules, and its fitnesses, and its decorums, so as to be reduced to a kind of discipline or game at hearts, which admits few deviations, unless you wish to lose it. They are extremely tenacious, and jealous as furies, not permitting their lovers even to marry if they can help it, and keeping them always close to them in public as in private, whenever they can. In short, they transfer marriage to adultery, and strike the not out of that commandment. The reason is, that they marry for their parents and love for themselves. They exact fidelity from a lover as a debt of honour, while they pay the husband as a tradesman, that is, not at all. You hear a person’s character, male or female, canvassed not as depending on their conduct to their husbands or wives, but to their mistress or lover. If I wrote a quarto, I don’t know that I could do more than amplify what I have here noted. It is to be observed that while they do all this, the greatest outward respect is to be paid to the husbands, not only by the ladies, but by their Serventi—particularly if the husband serves no one himself (which is not often the case, however); so that you would often suppose them relations—the Servente making the figure of one adopted into the family. Sometimes the ladies run a little restive and elope, or divide, or make a scene; but this is at starting, generally, when they know no better, or when they fall in love with a foreigner, or some such anomaly,—and is always reckoned unnecessary and extravagant.”

After their final separation, Byron had rarely any correspondence, either direct or indirect, with his wife. One letter, however, is given, dated “Pisa, Nov. 17th, 1821,” addressed by the exiled husband to his wife, upon an interesting and touching occasion. It is written not altogether coldly, but with the dignity and determination of a man who was resolutely fixed in the line of conduct to which he had been driven. It is not the letter of one who had ever attempted conduct so gross, that his surviving spouse, to guard herself from the charge of callousness, can only hint at it darkly, as if ashamed to divulge it. The letter is the manly and straight-forward composition of one who felt he had been harshly used, although, at the same time, not ignorant of the imperfections of his own temper. It is as follows:

Pisa, November 17th, 1821.

“I have to acknowledge the receipt of ‘Ada’s hair,’ which is very soft and pretty, and nearly as dark already as mine was at twelve years old, if I may judge from what I recollect of some in Augusta’s possession, taken at that age. But it don’t curl,—perhaps from its being let grow.

“I also thank you for the inscription of the date and name, and I will tell you why;—I believe that they are the only two or three words of your handwriting in my possession. For your letters I returned, and except the two words, or rather the one word, ‘Household,’ written twice in an old account-book, I have no other. I burnt your last note, for two reasons:—1stly, it was written in a style not very agreeable; and, 2dly, I wished to take your word without documents which are the worldly resources of suspicious people.

“I suppose that this note will reach you somewhere about Ada’s birthday—the 10th of December, I believe. She will then be six, so that in about twelve more I shall have some chance of meeting her;—perhaps sooner, if I am obliged to go to England by business or otherwise. Recollect, however, one thing, either in distance or nearness; every day which keeps us asunder should, after so long a period, rather soften our mutual feelings, which must always have one rallying-point as long as our child exists, which I presume we both hope will be long after either of her parents.

“The time which has elapsed since the separation has been considerably more than the whole brief period of our union, and the not much longer one of our prior acquaintance. We both made a bitter mistake; but now it is over and irrevocably so. For, at thirty-three on my part, and a few years less on yours, though it is no very extended period of life, still it is one when the habits and thought are generally so formed as to admit of no modification; and as we could not agree when younger, we should with difficulty do so now.

“I say all this, because I own to you, that, notwithstanding every thing, I considered our reunion as not impossible for more than a year after the separation;—but then I gave up the hope entirely and for ever. But this very impossibility of reunion seems to me at least a reason why, on all the few points of discussion which can arise between us, we should preserve the courtesies of life, and as much of its kindness as people who are never to meet may pre-
serve perhaps more easily than nearer connexions. For my own part, I am violent, but not malignant; for only fresh provocations can awaken my resentments. To you, who are colder and more concentrated, I would just hint, that you may sometimes mistake the depth of a cold anger for dignity, and a worse feeling for duty. I assure you that I bear you now (whatever I may have done) no resentment whatever. Remember, that if you have injured me in aught, this forgiveness is something; and that, if I have injured you, it is something more still, if it be true, as the moralists say, that the most offending are the least forgiving.

“Whether the offence has been solely on my side, or reciprocal, or on yours chiefly, I have ceased to reflect upon any but two things,—viz. that you are the mother of my child, and that we shall never meet again. I think if you also consider the two corresponding points with reference to myself, it will be better for all three. Yours ever,

Noel Byron.

Some readers will perhaps be disappointed that Moore has scarcely alluded at all to the charges which Lady Byron and her friends have recently advanced against the deceased poet. He has given Lady Byron’s “Letter,” or “Remarks,” at the end of the volume, without any comment; and he carefully abstains from entering the lists with Thomas Campbell. This may he prudent in so far as he himself is concerned,—but we doubt whether it is generous towards his departed friend. This duty, we think, became more imperative on the biographer, when we see him giving a place in his work to such a passage as the following:


“The chief subject of our conversation, when alone, was his marriage, and the load of obloquy which it had brought upon him. He was most anxious to know the worst that had been alleged of his conduct, and as this was our first opportunity of speaking together on the subject, I did not hesitate to put his candour most searchingly to the proof, not only by enumerating the various charges I had heard brought against him by others, but by specifying such portions of these charges as I had been inclined to think not incredible myself. To all this he listened with patience, and answered with the most unhesitating frankness, laughing to scorn the tales of unmanly outrage related of him, but, at the same time, acknowledging that there had been in his conduct but too much to blame and regret, and stating one or two occasions, during his domestic life, when he had been irritated into letting “the breath of bitter words” escape him,—words, rather those of the unquiet spirit that possessed him than his own, and which he now evidently remembered with a degree of remorse and pain which might well have entitled them to be forgotten by others. It was, at the same time, manifest, that, whatever admissions he might be inclined to make respecting his own delinquencies, the inordinate measure of the punishment dealt out to him had sunk deeply into his mind and, with the usual effect of such injustice, drove him also to be unjust himself;—so much so, indeed, as to impute to the quarter, to which he now traced all his ill fate, a feeling of fixed hostility to himself, which would not rest, he thought, even at his grave, but continue to persecute his memory as it was now embittering his life. So strong was this impression upon him, that during one of our few intervals of seriousness, he conjured me, by our friendship, if, as he both felt and hoped, I should survive him, not to let unmerited censure settle upon his name, but, while I surrendered him up to condemnation, where he deserved it, to vindicate him where aspersed. How groundless and wrongful were these apprehensions, the early death which he so often predicted and sighed for has enabled us, unfortunately but too soon, to testify. So far from having to defend him against any such assailants, an unworthy voice or two, from persons more injurious as friends than as enemies, is all that I find raised in hostility to his name; while by none, I am inclined to think, would a generous amnesty over his grave be more readily and cordially concurred in than by her, among whose numerous virtues a forgiving charity towards himself was the only one to which she had not yet taught him to render justice.”

The last two sentences of the above extract are to us rather unintelligible. If they mean any thing, they imply a sneer at Campbell, and a compliment to Lady Byron, who, considering her late conduct, is the very last person that any friend of her husband ought to compliment. We shall have more to say on this subject next Saturday.

In a letter to his publisher, Mr Murray, Lord Byron lays down the rules which he announces his intention to adhere to in prosecuting his studies. We shall entitle them

Ravenna, 24th Sept. 1821.

“I have been thinking over our late correspondence, and wish to propose to you the following articles for our future:

“1stly. That you shall write to me of yourself, of the health, wealth, and welfare of all friends; but of me (quoad me) little or nothing.

“2dly. That you shall send me soda-powders, tooth-powder, toothbrushes, or any such antiodontalgic or chemical articles, as heretofore, ‘ad libitum,’ upon being reimbursed for the same.

“3dly. That you shall not send me any modern, or (as they are called) new publications, in English, whatsoever, save and excepting any writing, prose or verse, of (or reasonably presumed to be of) Walter Scott, Crabbe, Moore, Campbell, Rogers, Gifford, Joanna Baillie, Irving (the American), Hogg, Wilson (Isle of Palms man), or any especial single work of fancy which is thought to be of considerable merit; Voyages and Travels, provided that they are neither in Greece, Spain, Asia Minor, Albania, nor Italy, will be welcome. Having travelled the countries mentioned, I know that what is said of them can convey nothing farther which I desire to know about them.—No other English works whatsoever.

“4thly. That you send me no periodical works whatsoever—no Edinburgh, Quarterly, Monthly, nor any review, magazine, or newspaper, English or foreign, of any description.

“5thly. That you send me no opinions whatsoever, either good, bad, or indifferent, of yourself, or your friends, or others, concerning any work, or works, of mine, past, present, or to come.

“6thly. That all negotiations in matters of business between you and me pass through the medium of the Hon. Douglas Kinnaird, my friend and trustee, or Mr. Hobhouse, as ‘Alter ego,’ and tantamount to myself during my absence—or presence.

“Some of these propositions may at first seem strange, but they are founded. The quantity of trash I have received as books is incalculable, and neither amused nor instructed. Reviews and magazines are at the best but ephemeral and superficial reading:—who thinks of the grand article of last year in any given Review? In the next place, if they regard myself, they tend to increase egotism. If favourable, I do not deny that the praise elates, and if unfavourable, that the abuse irritates. The latter may conduct me to inflict a species of satire, which would neither do good to you nor to your friends: they may smile now, and so may you; but if I took you all in hand, it would not be difficult to cut you up like gourds. I did as much by as powerful people at nineteen years old, and I know little as yet in three-and-thirty, which should prevent me from making all your ribs gridirons for your hearts, if such were my propensity: but it is not; therefore let me hear none of your provocations. If any thing occurs so very gross as to require my notice, I shall hear of it from my legal friends. For the rest, I merely request to be left in ignorance.

“The same applies to opinions, good, bad, or indifferent, of persons in conversation or correspondence. These do not interrupt, but they soil the current of my mind. I am sensitive enough, but not till I am troubled; and here I am beyond the touch of the short arms of literary England, except the few feelers of the polypus that crawl over the channels in the way of extract.

“All these precautions in England would be useless; the libeller or the flatterer would there reach me in spite of all; but in Italy we know little of literary England, and think less, except what reaches us through some garbled and brief extract in some miserable gazette. For two years (excepting two or three articles cut out and sent to you by the post) I never read a newspaper which was not forced upon me by some accident, and know, upon the whole, as little of England as you do of Italy, and God knows that is little enough, with all your travels, &c. &c. &c. The English travellers know Italy as you know Guernsey: how much is that?

“If any thing occurs so violently gross or personal as
requires notice,
Mr. Douglas Kinnaird will let me know; but of praise, I desire to hear nothing.

“You will say, ‘to what tends all this?’ I will answer that;—to keep my mind free and unbiassed by all paltry and personal irritabilities of praise or censure—to let my genius take its natural direction, while my feelings are like the dead, who know nothing and feel nothing of all or aught that is said or done in their regard.

“If you can observe these conditions, you will spare yourself and others some pain: let me not be worked upon to rise up; for if I do, it will not be for a little. If you cannot observe these conditions, we shall cease to be correspondents,—but not friends, for I shall always be yours ever and truly, Byron.

“P.S. I have taken these resolutions not from any irritation against you or yours, but simply upon reflection that all reading, either praise or censure, of myself has done me harm. When I was in Switzerland and Greece, I was out of the way of hearing either, and how I wrote there!—In Italy I am out of the way of it too; but latterly, partly through my fault, and partly through your kindness in wishing to send me the newest and most periodical publications, I have had a crowd of Reviews, &c. thrust upon me, which have bored me with their jargon, of one kind or another, and taken off my attention from greater objects. You have also sent me a parcel of trash of poetry, for no reason that I can conceive, unless to provoke me to write a new ‘English Bards.’ Now this I wish to avoid; for if ever I do, it will be a strong production; and I desire peace as long as the fools will keep their nonsense out of my way.”

Containing as this volume does, like its predecessor, much more of the original letters and memoranda of Byron, than of Moore’s more laboured and polished, but far feebler narrative, almost every page teems with original and striking observations, and graphic and powerful sketches. What, for example, could be more perfect of its kind than the following rapid etching, betraying, by a few strokes, the hand of a master?


“To-day, Pindemonte, the celebrated poet of Verona, called on me; he is a little thin man, with acute and pleasing features; his address good and gentle; his appearance altogether very philosophical; his age about sixty, or more. He is one of their best going. I gave him Forsyth, as he speaks, or reads rather, a little English, and will find there a favourable account of himself. He inquired after his old Cruscan friends, Parsons, Greathead, Mrs. Piozzi, and Merry, all of whom he had known in his youth. I gave him as bad an account of them as I could, answering, as the false ‘Solomon Lob’ does to ‘Totterton’ in the farce, ‘all gone dead,’ and damned by a satire more than twenty years ago; that the name of their extinguisher was Gifford; that they were but a sad set of scribes after all, and no great things in any other way. He seemed, as was natural, very much pleased with this account of his old acquaintances, and went away greatly gratified with that and Mr. Forsyth’s sententious paragraph of applause in his own (Pindemonte’s) favour. After having been a little libertine in his youth, he is grown devout, and takes prayers, and talks to himself, to keep off the devil; but for all that, he is a very nice little old gentleman.”

We subjoin a specimen of the manner in which Byron kept his diary. It places the very man before us:


“Sketched the outline and Drams. Pers. of an intended tragedy of Sardanapalus, which I have for some time meditated. Took the names from Diodorus Siculus (I know the history of Sardanapalus, and have known it since I was twelve years old), and read over a passage in the ninth vol. octavo of Mitford’s Greece, where he rather vindicates the memory of this last of the Assyrians.

“Dined—news come—the Powers mean to war with the peoples. The intelligence seems positive—let it be so—they will be beaten in the end. The king-times are fast finishing. There will be blood shed like water, and tears like mist; but the peoples will conquer in the end. I shall not live to see it, but I foresee it.

“I carried Teresa the Italian translation of Grillparzer’s Sappho, which she promises to read. She quarrelled with me, because I said that love was not the loftiest theme for true tragedy; and, having the advantage of her native language, and natural female eloquence, she overcame my fewer arguments. I believe she was right. I must put more love into ‘Sardanapalus’ than I intended. I speak, of course, if the times will allow me leisure. That if will hardly be a peacemaker.

January 14, 1821.

“Turned over Seneca’s tragedies. Wrote the opening lines of the intended tragedy of Sardanapalus. Rode out some miles into the forest. Misty and rainy. Returned—dined—wrote some more of my tragedy.

“Read Diodorus Siculus—turned over Seneca, and some other books. Wrote some more of the tragedy. Took a glass of grog. After having ridden hard in rainy weather, and scribbled, and scribbled again, the spirits (at least mine) need a little exhilaration, and I don’t like laudanum now as I used to do. So I have mixed a glass of strong waters and single waters, which I shall now proceed to empty. Therefore and thereunto I conclude this day’s diary.

“The effect of all wines and spirits upon me is, however, strange. It settles, but it makes me gloomy—gloomy at the very moment of their effect, and not gay hardly ever. But it composes for a time, though sullenly.

January 15, 1821.

“Weather fine. Received visit. Rode out into the forest—fired pistols. Returned home—dined—dipped into a volume of Mitford’s Greece—wrote part of a scene of ‘Sardanapalus.’ Went out—heard some music—heard some politics. More ministers from the other Italian powers gone to Congress. War seems certain—in that case, it will be a savage one. Talked over various important matters with one of the initiated. At ten and half returned home.

“I have just thought of something odd. In the year 1814, Moore (‘the poet,’ par excellence, and he deserves it) and I were going together, in the same carriage, to dine with Earl Grey, the Capo Politico of the remaining whigs. Murray, the magnificent, (the illustrious publisher of that name), had just sent me a Java gazette—I know not why, or wherefore. Pulling it out, by way of curiosity, we found it to contain a dispute (the said Java gazette) on Moore’s merits and mine. I think, if I had been there, that I could have saved them the trouble of disputing on the subject. But, there is fame for you at six and twenty! Alexander had conquered India at the same age; but I doubt if he was disputed about, or his conquests compared with those of Indian Bacchus, at Java.

“It was great fame to be named with Moore; greater to be compared with him; greatest—pleasure, at least—to be with him; and, surely, an odd coincidence, that we should be dining together while they were quarrelling about us beyond the equinoctial line.

“Well, the same evening, I met Lawrence, the painter, and heard one of Lord Grey’s daughters (a fine, tall, spirit-looking girl, with much of the patrician, thorough-bred look of her father, which I dote upon) play on the harp, so modestly and ingenuously, that she looked music. Well, I would rather have had my talk with Lawrence (who talked delightfully) and heard the girl, than have had all the fame of Moore and me put together.

“The only pleasure of fame is that it paves the way to pleasure; and the more intellectual our pleasure, the better for the pleasure and for us too. It was, however, agreeable to have heard our fame before dinner, and a girl’s harp after.”

Several pieces of unpublished poetry, of great beauty and interest, are scattered throughout the volume. We have room for only the following stanzas:

“Oh, talk not to me of a name great in story;
The days of our youth are the days of our glory;
And the myrtle and ivy of sweet two-and-twenty
Are worth all your laurels, though ever so plenty.
“What are garlands and crowns to the brow that is wrinkled?
‘Tis but as a dead-flower with May-dew besprinkled.
Then away with all such from the head that is hoary!
What care I for the wreaths that can only give glory?
“Oh Fame! if I e’er took delight in thy praises,
‘Twas less for the sake of thy high-sounding phrases,
Than to see the bright eyes of the dear One discover
She thought that I was not unworthy to love her.
There chiefly I sought thee, there only I found thee;
Her glance was the best of the rays that surround thee;
When it sparkled o’er aught that was bright in my story,
I knew it was love, and I felt it was glory.”

Having now exerted ourselves, to the best of our ability, to take off the first edge of our readers’ curiosity, we shall return to this important work more methodically and argumentatively next week.