LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Conversations on Religion, with Lord Byron
Memoir of Byron

First Conversation
Kennedy on Scripture
Second Conversation
Third Conversation
Fourth Conversation
Fifth Conversation
‣ Memoir of Byron
Byron’s Character
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Some days afterwards, I called upon the Resident, and found Lord B. there; a glass of brandy was on the table untouched, brought, I suppose, for his lordship, as he had come in from the country, and the day was rainy. A gentleman in a few moments after entered, he had come from the Castle (Fort St. George), another glass was brought for him, which he took. Lord B. begged me to observe, that he had not taken any brandy, as it was still untouched on the table. The conversation was desultory, but it soon turned on an officer, who was said to have been converted to the truth, and whose conduct, an individual present deemed to be inconsistent with his principles, and he mentioned some things which he had done, I begged them to consider dates, and stated, that I had access to know that these things were done before the gentleman alluded to had become religious; that since that time, his conduct was irreproachable, except, perhaps, in too assiduous attention to, and courting of his superiors,—a fault, I said, which would also in time be removed.


“I am sorry,” said Lord B., “to hear of this failure in one of your converts: it will throw me ten years back in mine.” “A proof,” I replied, “that your lordship’s conversion is not yet begun; for if it was, no real or alleged failure would ever affect your opinions, unless to excite a regret for those who could not adhere to the principles they profess.”

About this time Lord B. was busy preparing all things for his departure; having hired two small vessels, he sent his things to Argostoli, and left his house at Metaxata. I met him as I was walking, coming into town, attended by a Suliote, who was also on horseback. He took up his residence at an English gentleman’s house. Next day Count Gamba called upon me, and after some conversation, requested a French Bible. While he was with me, a servant came to say that the vessel in which they were to embark was ready to sail, and only waited for him. He arose, and I accompanied him; and as he had already taken leave of Lord B., he embarked at once, with the Bible in one hand, and an eye-glass in the other. I then went to take leave of Lord B., who, with his physician, was to embark in a smaller vessel that same afternoon. I found him alone, reading
Quentin Durward. He was, as usual, in good spirits. I said, “I am sorry that your lordship is at last to leave us, though it is pleasing to reflect that you are going to engage in so good a cause. I hope that you may be blessed with good health, and that you may be the means of doing much good, and above all, that you will prosecute the study of the sacred Scriptures as you have promised.”

Lord B. thanked me, and said, “he would do his best in assisting the Greeks, and that his inclination would lead him to continue the investigation of the subjects about which we had conversed. I have taken,” he said, “all your books with me, which I shall peruse carefully; I feel some reluctance in depriving you of them.” “Think nothing of that. So far from wishing them returned, I have a box of other books ready for you, which I would have sent now, but I thought you would be too much engaged, and would have so many things to carry with you; I have therefore deferred it for the present; I shall, however, send them by the first opportunity to Missolunghi.” “Do so,” said Lord B. “I shall dispose of them prudently; and in everything in which you think me likely to be of any use in promoting education
and useful knowledge among the unfortunate and ignorant Greeks, you may always rely on me.”

Here the gentleman of the house entered, with Dr. Bruno. “Is Gamba gone?” asked Lord B. “He is,” replied one of them. “He has carried with him all my money. Where is Fletcher?” One of them answered he did not know. “Send some one after him, we must embark immediately; send down to the Mess-house, you will probably find him there, taking a parting glass with some of his cronies.”

“If your lordship wants any money,” said the gentleman of the house, “I can supply you with whatever sum you please.” “I thank you,” said Lord B.; “I believe I shall have enough till I reach Zante.” He then went into the next room, and soon returned with fifteen dollars, which he presented to me. “Take them,” said he, “as a very small donation from me to the school for Greek females which Mrs. K. is establishing, as a mark of my approbation and sincere good wishes for the success of so useful an institution.*”

* Many others had subscribed very liberally to this little establishment: Lord Guildford gave twenty dollars annually; the Lord High Commissioner gave the same. The Resident, Colonel N., has acted with great generosity, and under his patronage, it is confidently hoped that this school, which after Mrs. K.’s depar-


I thanked him, and said, “that some of the ladies had requested me to ask his lordship’s assistance, which I declined, knowing the many claims and applications which had been, and would yet be made upon his generosity.”

“The ladies did right, and you did wrong,” said Lord B.; “for I should at any time be ready to lend my aid, however small, to such useful institutions.” I shook hands with him, and he said, “I shall write to you, and give you an account of my proceedings in assisting Stanhope in establishing schools, and in forwarding the moral and religious improvement of the Greeks.”

I answered, “I shall always esteem it an honour to hear from your lordship. From what has occurred, I shall ever feel a warm interest and anxiety in whatever concerns you, especially till such time as I hear that you have arrived at that point of religious knowledge and improvement, towards which I have, in our conversations, been

ture sunk into a temporary abeyance, will again flourish. The ladies of Edinburgh have instituted a Society for the promotion of Female Education among the Greeks, and a governess has left England for Corfu. It is ardently hoped that the English ladies will not be backward in giving their aid to so benevolent an undertaking. The Lord High Commissioner has entered with great kindness into the plan, and has held out every prospect of encouragement.— 1830.

desirous of leading you. You have complained that many, who professed themselves strict Christians, have inveighed against you. Be assured that there is one at least who will not do so, but who will, on the contrary, always pray for your welfare, particularly for that of your soul.”

“I shall always feel myself indebted to you,” said Lord B. We again shook hands, and departed, never to see each other more.

Lord B. embarked the same evening. Next day his vessels touched at Zante. After leaving this island they were separated, and during the night, that in which Lord B. sailed came close upon a Turkish vessel, but escaped to one of the Strophades; and after a few days, he arrived at Missolunghi, and was received by the Greeks with every demonstration of honour, and with universal enthusiasm*.

Count Gamba was not so fortunate. He was taken by a Turkish frigate, and the lives of the crew were in some danger, till the Captain of the Turkish vessel discovered in the person of Spiro Valsimachi (Count G.’s Captain), one who had preserved his life when shipwrecked in the Black Sea. They were detained a few days at Patras,

* See Appendix— Count G.’s letter.

and were hospitably treated by the Pasha, and were then liberated, and rejoined
Lord Byron at Missolunghi*.

His lordship was now engaged in a new scene. His rank, his talents, his wealth, and influence, naturally made him an object of much importance to the Greeks, and his time was completely occupied in doing all the good he could among this turbulent and thoughtless people. His stedfast object was to promote an union among all parties; to organize a corps of artillery, fortify Missolunghi, and, at last, prepare for an attack on Lepanto; which, from circumstances, appeared likely to be taken by assault without much difficulty. He had occasion to send some of the English officers repeatedly to Cephalonia, both for warlike stores, and for part of his baggage, which he had left behind. From them we had opportunities of learning how matters were going on. All were unanimous in their praises of Lord B., and of his incessant efforts to do something

* Their papers or manifestoes were not taken out for Missolunghi, or they would have fallen inevitable victims to Turkish policy, for the Turks would not have tolerated any who were about to enter an hostile town. As it was, Jusuf Pasha felt some degree of difficulty in releasing them. This Count D. related, and the Captain also, to Dr. K.

among the Greeks, whose discord, selfishness, and supine thoughtlessness, they as uniformly censured.

Colonel Stanhope addressed two letters to me, which will be seen in the Appendix. This gentleman’s constant attention to the promotion of education is well known, and deserves every commendation. I received, also, two letters from Count Gamba , written with a view of gaining the assistance of my friend, Professor Bambas, for the Greek Chronicle.

I told Bambas that the patriots of Missolunghi were desirous that he should furnish them with something from his pen, to promote the cause of liberty, and that he might have his own price.

“Tell his lordship,” said this true patriot, “that the efforts of my pen will, as a matter of course, be at the service of my oppressed country. It would be base in me to take money for any of my labours for her good; they are due from me to her; or, indeed, to any country similarly situated, and struggling nobly for her freedom.*”

* Bambas often came to our house in Cephalonia, and was particularly pleased with the literature and periodical works of England. We sometimes translated pieces from the Quarterly Review, which were remitted for insertion in the Missolunghi Gazette. One article, I particularly remember, was on the literature of the ancient Greeks,


The second letter was to request my consent to take under my own charge and that of Mrs. K., a young Turkish girl whom his lordship, from feelings of humanity, had resolved to educate as a companion to his daughter, if it met with Lady B.’s approbation; and in the mean time he was to write to his sister, the Honourable Mrs. Leigh; and at all events, he promised to provide for her respectably.

To this we readily consented. In writing to Count Gamba, I forwarded at the same time a box of Bibles and tracts for Lord B., and I said to Gamba, that as his lordship was much engaged, I begged, after he had taken as many Bibles as

and on the present struggle for freedom. B. entered with all the spirit of the writer, into that apostrophe—
ώ Παίδες Ελλήνων, ϊτε
Έλευθεροΰτε πατριδ, ελευθεροΰτε δι
Πάιδας, γυναιχας, θεών τε πατρώων έδη
Θήκας τε προγονων νΰν ΰπερ πάντων άγων.
He stands next to
Korai in the estimation of the Greeks, and is highly respected and esteemed by all who have the pleasure of knowing him. He was formerly one of the Professors in the College of Scio, and is now a Professor in the College at Corfu; but when Dr. K. knew him, he had a classical academy in Cephalonia. Although he does not speak English, he understands the language well. I have by me some of his translations, into Greek, of some of Lord Byron’s and Sir Walter Scott’s poems. Bambas was five years in Paris, and he always regrets that he never went to England; but he was deterred by the expense of education and of living in this country.

he pleased in order to disperse himself, that Lord B. would give the remainder to some respectable person to distribute. Lord B. entrusted them to the care of
Dr. Meyer, a Swiss physician, long settled in Missolunghi, and the editor of the ‘ Missolunghi Chronicle.’ After Dr. Meyer had received and distributed the books, he wrote me the interesting letter, No. 7, of the Appendix.

About the 15th of February, Lord B. was seized with an epileptic fit, which gave much concern to all his friends in Cephalonia. As his physician, though ingenious and well educated, was young, and could not have had much experience, three medical officers in Cephalonia consulted together, and we agreed that each of us should write to Dr. Bruno, giving our opinion of the best mode of treating his lordship, should a second attack return, and begging for a particular account of the first.

It was generally reported in Cephalonia, that his lordship’s case was said to have been nervous spasms, and to have been treated with valerian and bark, and hence it was that we were induced to take the liberty of writing to Dr. Bruno, apologizing at the same time for our interference, and ascribing it to the interest which we naturally felt
in our distinguished countryman. We all wrote that in such a complaint, or indeed in any of an acute nature, his lordship’s case should be treated with blood-letting, and purgatives should be freely used, especially at the outset; and we pointed out to Dr. Bruno, that from Lord B.’s habits such a practice would be particularly necessary, for it was probable that in any acute disease a determination to the brain would ensue.

Dr. Bruno received our letters with great politeness, corrected the false rumours which had been circulated, and stated that he agreed with us in opinion respecting his lordship’s complaint and mode of treatment.

As in my letter I had expressed my opinion that it would be advisable for Lord B. to leave Missolunghi, which, from its low and marshy situation, would be unhealthy in the summer months, I advised him either to persuade Lord B. to return to the islands, or make short and easy journies through Greece; to go as far as the seat of government, but not to occupy himself with much political care and business, till his health was completely re-established. Dr. Bruno disagreed with me, as will be seen in the Appendix, No. 8; he thought that no reason for change of place existed, and
that, in fact, Missolunghi was more healthy than the islands.

Feeling, as I did, a considerable degree of interest in Lord B., I took the liberty of addressing a letter to himself, in which I advised the same things I had urged to Dr. Bruno. In answer to this, Lord Byron wrote me the letter No. 1, in which he expresses his determination to remain at all hazards, as long as his presence was supposed likely to be of use. I again wrote to Lord Byron on the same subject, and on that of the Turkish girl*. About this time, his boat, or felucca, came to Argostoli, on board which was Mr. Hodges, who brought a prospectus of the Greek Telegraph. As from the motto and style of the prospectus there was an appearance of radicalism, and an air of irreligion, we all expressed our apprehension to Mr. Hodges, and our regret at such a proceed-

* Mr. Hobhouse has this letter and the papers and books which Dr. K. sent to Lord Byron. Lord B. had proposed, that should Lady B. not consent to receive Haidee, that she should be educated in Italy. To this Dr. K. remonstrated, for after we had received the child we should have considered ourselves her guardians, and could but feel an interest in her future welfare. A slight demur arose from the mother’s wishing to accompany her daughter; but as Lord B. had put us to the test, as Christians opposed to Mahometans; although highly inconvenient, we consented to receive both,— Vide Lord B.’s letter, Appendix.

ing, not only because it was essentially wrong, but was likely to injure the cause in which they were engaged. Mr. Hodges said, if we thought so, I ought to write to Lord Byron on the subject, as he was sure he would receive my advice kindly. I complied with this suggestion, and addressed a letter to his lordship, stating our reasons for disapproving of the motto, and the prospectus.

In answer to this, Lord B. wrote the letter No. 2, in the Appendix. As I kept no copies of my correspondence, I am unable to give their contents; but they are still preserved by his lordship’s executors*.

We continued to take an interest in all that was going on in Missolunghi, from whence we had arrivals at intervals. As we heard of Lord B.’s preparations for Lepanto, and of his increasing influence and popularity among the Greeks; and learned from Dr. Bruno’s letters, that his lordship’s health regularly continued to improve,—we had ceased any longer to have apprehension. The intelligence came suddenly and unexpectedly, that Lord B. was dead. The shock that this excited, both among the Greeks and English, was very strong. The singularly great

* I regret that I cannot give Dr. K.’s answer.

character, thus prematurely cut off in the midst of his years and fame, just as he was entering on the noblest cause in which he had ever been engaged, and appeared likely to redeem his former errors by the splendour and virtue of his future life; made a deep impression on all, and which I hope may be salutary to many.

It appears from Count Gamba’s Journal, that on the 1st of March, Lord B. complained of frequent vertigos, which made him feel as though he were intoxicated; but it does not seem that bleeding, which would now have been useful, or indeed that any medical treatment, was judged necessary. From this time till the fatal attack, his mind must have been full of anxiety, from the numerous applications of the Greeks for money,—from the turbulence and refractory conduct of the Suliotes,—and from the failure of the projected expedition to Lepanto, of which he was to have been the leader. On the 9th of April, he was overtaken by the rain, yet went into the boat, and two hours afterwards was seized with rigors, fever, and rheumatic pains. On the 10th, he was affected with almost constant shivering; on the 11th, he found himself so well that he rode out; on the 12th, he was confined to his bed with fever. He
rose on the 13th, with pain in the bones and head, and had not slept; on the 14th, he rose at 12, the fever was less, the debility greater, and he complained of pain in the head; on the 15th, fever, but the pains were abated, and he transacted business; on the 16th, he wrote a letter, but became worse in the evening; on the 17th, his countenance was suspicious,—in the morning he was bled, and also in the afternoon, and two pounds of blood were taken: that night he was delirious, and raved about fighting; on the 18th,
Dr. Bruno wished to bleed him. “No,” said he, “if my hour is come I shall die, whether I lose my blood or keep it.” At three in the afternoon, Dr. Bruno and Mr. Millingen called in Dr. Turber, a German, and Dr. Luca Veja, a Greek physician. At four o’clock, his lordship seemed to be aware of his approaching end; he became delirious for a short time, and when he revived he was anxious to give orders. He muttered about twenty minutes, but nothing was distinctly understood. He said, “Now, then, I have told you all.” Fletcher said, “I have not understood a word you have been saying.” Lord B. was distressed at this. “Not understand me? what a pity! then it is too late.” “I hope not,” said Fletcher;
“but the Lord’s will be done!” His lordship continued, “Yes, not mine.” He then tried to utter a few words, of which none were intelligible, except, “My
sister! my child!” At six in the evening, he said, “I want to go to sleep now,”, and turning round, he fell into a slumber, from which he never awoke. Leeches were applied to the temples, and bled freely all night. He continued lethargic twenty-four hours, and at a quarter past six in the afternoon of the 19th, he opened his eyes— shut them again—and expired. His remains were carried to England.

Thus died Lord Byron, in the thirty-seventh year of his age. It would appear from the accounts of his physicians, who differed in opinion (see Dr. Bruno’s letter) with respect to the treatment, that his lordship was averse to be bled, and said, that the lancet had killed more than the lance.

It was industriously spread abroad, that I was going to prove that I had converted his lordship. After trying in vain to stop the idle rumour, I allowed it to take its course. Several of the gentlemen in Cephalonia furnished me with copies of Lord Byron’s letters to them, and gave me some curious details of his conversation.


From the time that Lord Byron arrived at Argostoli, on the 6th of August, 1823, to the time of his death, on the 19th of April, 1824,—short as this period was,—it may be said with truth, that it was the happiest and brightest of his life. During the whole of that time, he was not engaged in writing any poem, nor was he in the practice of any open vice. The flattering reception which he met with from his countrymen in Cephalonia gave him no small pleasure, which was enhanced by the feeling which he had entertained that his reception would be very different.

He remained on board the Hercules for nearly a month, except a short tour which he made to Ithaca, before he went to reside at Metaxata. In returning from Ithaca, he was accompanied by a Scotch gentleman, who asked him his opinion of the epitaph on Sir John Moore, written by Mr. Wolfe. He said, it was the finest epitaph ever written*.

* Not a drum was heard, nor a funeral note
As his corse to the rampart we hurried;
Not a soldier discharged his farewell shot
O’er the grave where our hero we buried.
We buried him darkly at dead of night,
The sods with our bayonets turning,
By the struggling moon-beam’s misty light,
And the lantern dimly burning.


“You must have been highly gratified by the classical remains, and the classical recollections of Ithaca during your visit there,” said Colonel D. “You quite mistake me,” said Lord B. “I have no poetical humbug about me; I am too old for that. Ideas of that sort are confined to rhyme.—The people at home have very absurd notions of the Greeks, as if they were the Greeks of

No useless coffin enclosed his breast;
Nor in sheet nor shroud we bound him;
But he lay like a warrior taking his rest,
With his martial cloak around him.
Few and short were the prayers we said,
And we spoke not a word in sorrow;
But we steadfastly gazed on the face of the dead,
And we bitterly thought of the morrow.
We thought, as we hollowed his narrow bed,
And smoothed down his lonely pillow,
That the foe and the stranger would tread o’er his head,
And we far away on the billow.
Lightly they’ll talk of the spirit that’s gone,
And o’er his cold ashes upbraid him;
But nothing he’ll reck, if they let him sleep on
In the grave where a Briton has laid him.
But half of our heavy task was done,
When the clock told the hour for retiring;
And we heard, by the distant and random gun,
That the foe was suddenly firing.
Slowly and sadly we laid him down,
From the field of his fame, fresh and gory;
We carved not a line, we raised not a stone,
But we left him alone with his glory.

Homer’s time. I have travelled through the country and know the contrary. I have tried to remove these notions.” He said he would do every thing for them, but would take no command. He added, “A Turk’s word could always be depended on, but not a Greek’s, if his interest were in question.” Speaking of his intention to go to Constantinople to redeem some Greek captives which he promised to their families when he came from Genoa, Colonel D. dissuaded him from it on account of the danger. “Oh, the worst would be,” he said, “they will put me in the seven towers, from which I do not think Strangford would release me; besides he is a poet, and two of a trade you know ——” Speaking of Moore, he said, “He is, like all the fraternity, at present employed in writing heroic and patriotic songs in favour of the Spaniards or Greeks; the last work he has dedicated to myself.” He said he would give his travels in the Morea to the world; but laughing, added, it would depend on the reception he met with, whether they should be written in the Childe Harold or the Don Juan style. When any one spoke finely, he used to say, “That will do very well for rhyme.” Whether Homer lived or not, he said he did not know; “but we poets must swear by him.”


One night he was out at a gentleman’s house; the weather was very hot, and he said when he went on board, that he would bathe; some one expressed surprise that he should bathe at so late an hour; “Oh,” said T. (a gentleman who from too great vivacity of imagination and thoughtlessness exaggerated a little), “we were two hours in the water late last night.” “Yes,” said Lord B. emphatically, “by Shrewsbury clock.”

Dr. —— when on board one evening, was narrating to his lordship some wonderful act of legerdemain which he witnessed at Paris; Lord B. smiled: “You look incredulous, my lord,” said the Doctor. “No, not at all,” replied Lord B.; “where is T.? I dare say, he saw the same thing.”

When he went out to Metaxata he spent the day in an easy and tranquil manner. He seemed to have no fixed hour for his meals, and at the time lived very low, on account of his health. He sometimes forgot himself in the warmth of conversation, and often both ate and drank more than he intended, though I never saw him do either except in a moderate degree. He was fond of riding,—an exercise he daily took. He was a bold and graceful horseman, and appeared to great advantage on horseback. One day, when he
was riding, he met
Colonel D., who had taken out his regiment into the country for exercise. The Colonel took his lordship in front of the line of the whole regiment; “After all,” said he, “there are not finer looking soldiers in the whole world than the English.”

Lord B.’s right foot was what is called clubfooted, which he took care to conceal, by wearing his pantaloons as much over the foot as possible, and the weakness of feeling shame for this deformity was frequently apparent, in his care to place this leg behind the other when he was sitting so as to have himself exposed to view. I am persuaded that this deformity was a cause of frequent vexation and chagrin to him. At times, however, as might be expected, he was superior to this weakness, and would make allusions to it. “Take care,” said a gentleman who was riding with him, when they came to a difficult pass of the road,— “take care, lest you fall and break your neck.” “I should not like that,” said his lordship, “but should this leg of mine be broken, of which I have not much use, I should not mind, and perhaps I might get a better.”

He was an excellent marksman, and was accustomed to exercise himself with some of his friends
very often in firing at a mark, and he invariably surpassed them all in dexterity. He was personally brave.

The woman who washed for him, a soldier’s widow, had a smart, genteel-looking girl, her daughter, about fifteen, whom she occasionally sent to his lordship’s house with the linen. Lord B. noticed this, and wrote to Mr. H., of the regiment to which she belonged, requesting him to tell the mother not to send her daughter any more. “You know,” he said, “what a parcel of rascals my household is composed of, and I should not like the poor girl to get any injury; and don’t fail,” he added, “to let Dr. K. know this good action of mine.”

He displayed great humanity when some Greeks were buried beneath a part of the road, by the falling in of the sand; some of them were killed, and some seriously injured. He rode instantly to the spot, and was incensed at the indifference which the Greeks collected shewed to the fate of their countrymen*. Alluding to this circumstance,

* A new and handsome road had been projected by Colonel N., leading from the town of Argostoli to the district of Levato, in which district his lordship’s house was situated, and many Greeks were engaged in this work. Owing to the negligence or inexperience of the workmen, the earth fell in and covered several.

he said that he came out to the Islands prejudiced against
Sir T. Maitland’s tight government of the Greeks, “but I have now changed my opinion. They are such barbarians, that if I had the government of them, I would pave these very roads with them.” He sent Dr. Bruno, his physician, to attend the sufferers and to supply them with medicines.

He was very glad to see any of the English gentlemen who visited him at Metaxata: they were, always hospitably entertained and welcomed, as were also the principal Greeks, who often went out to him. His conversation was invariably lively, polite, and pleasing. He was fond of saying smart and witty things, and never allowed an opportunity of punning to escape him. He generally showed high spirits and hilarity. His conversation and manners varied according to his company. With some of the young officers, whose chief pleasure consisted in excitement and

The news reached Metaxata immediately; Lord B. rode up to the spot, and inquired whether there were any below the earth. The Greeks (about forty) said they did not know, but they believed there were. “Why,” he asked, “do they not get them out?” when he was told their laziness prevented them, he ordered his valet to get off his horse and thrash them soundly, if they did not immediately commence their work.

amusement, he was among the first for wit and repartee, and according to the accounts I have heard, he was not on every occasion scrupulous in refraining from indelicacy, and even infidelity. This account, however, depends on the authority of others. When he visited one of the officers with whom he seemed pleased, he was accustomed to jest, laugh, smoke, drink brandy and water, and porter, with the best of them. I never saw him guilty of any such actions. Although once or twice his puns were not the most pure, yet they were never gross; and I never heard him utter any improper expression against religion. I have heard him say several witty things; but as I was always anxious to keep him grave, and present important subjects for his consideration, after allowing the laugh to pass, I again endeavoured to resume the seriousness of the conversation, whilst his lordship constantly did the same. Those sayings, to which of course my attention was not directed, I have forgotten, and it is the less material, since there was nothing particular in them, and they were exactly of such a nature as are heard every day. My impression from them was, that they were unworthy of a man of his accomplishments: I mean
the desire of jesting. A gentleman, who frequently visited him, told me, that his lordship mentioned that he had generally a sullen and ill-natured fit every evening at eight o’clock, and then vented his ill-humour on those around him, and often abused his servants, especially
Fletcher, till this splenetic fit had passed. Another gentleman, who spent several evenings with him, affirmed that he never saw any of these ill humours, but that while he was there, his lordship ever retained his good humour and politeness. About this time there were frequent paragraphs in the papers respecting Lord B. When a paper arrived, or when one was sent from the mess, he retired to his bed-room for a few minutes, and then returned and talked, and jested at the reproaches which were cast upon him.

When he first arrived at Cephalonia, the Captain of his ship anchored just before the military hospital. When Lord B. saw it, he complained of it laughingly to Captain Scott, as a thing of bad omen. “But,” said his lordship, when he told the story, “the Captain, in order to remedy the evil, made it still worse; for next morning when we awoke, we found he had moored us on the opposite
side, it is true, but it was just against the burying-ground.” He was accustomed to spend a good deal of his time in joking with the Captain, who was a sort of humourist himself. “Scott,”said Lord B., “when these fellows of yours take me over to Greece, are you not afraid that they will be inspired with a love of liberty, desert you, and join the glorious cause of the Greeks?” “I am not at all afraid of that,” said the Captain; “I have taken care that they shall not do that.” “I have done to them as your lordship does to me.” “What is that?” “I have kept them three months in arrears.” Lord Byron laughed heartily at the Captain’s joke.

At Metaxata his lordship was visited by many poor refugee Greeks from the Continent and the Isles of the Archipelago. He not only relieved their present distresses, but allotted a certain sum monthly to the most destitute, and this was paid till his death. A list of these poor pensioners was given me by the nephew of Professor Bambas, which I have not at present by me.

When Lord B. was in the harbour, on board the ship, although I had not called on him myself, I persuaded my friend Professor Bambas to pay
his respects to his lordship, as due to one who came to befriend his country, and I had no doubt that his lordship would receive a patriot so distinguished as Bambas, with pleasure. Bambas called, but it appeared that Lord B. was quite unacquainted with his reputation and character, and as he was reposing himself, he sent his compliments, and said, that he could not then see him. He, however, soon heard of Bambas after his arrival at Argostoli, and one day when I mentioned the subject, and expressed my surprise that he had not received him, he said he did not know that he was anything but a common priest, and was at the time tired, and did not wish to be disturbed. Some one had told him, he said, that Bambas was a wild democrat. This I mentioned to Bambas. He replied, “No; I would prefer democracy, or rather republicanism, were all my countrymen Phocions, but not till then.” When we again spoke of Bambas, Lord B. said he would go and pay him a visit. This, however, mere circumstances prevented; but he sent
Count Gamba to make his apologies.

It was from Metaxata he wrote those fine letters to the Greek government, in which he warned them of the consequences of dissensions, and
exhorted them to true patriotism and peace. Here he waited intelligence from Greece of the state of parties, from the gentleman whom he sent over to report to him the situation of affairs, and in whose fidelity he could confide.

Count Delladecima assured me, and he had ample opportunities of ascertaining the fact, that in conversing with him on the affairs of Greece, Lord Byron shewed a profound, cool, and deliberate judgment; a patience in examining, and a soundness of political views, which did honour both to the strength of his understanding, and to the goodness of his heart, which was the more surprising to him, he said, as he had formed an idea from Lord Byron’s poetical genius, that he would find him full of imaginary and fanciful schemes, or fickle and changeable in his judgment; but, he added, of all the men whom I have had an opportunity of conversing with, on the means of establishing the independence of Greece, and regenerating the character of the natives, Lord B. appears to entertain the most enlightened and correct views.

How well Lord B. spent his time in Missolunghi—the utility which his presence and his councils produced to the Greeks—the advances of money
that he made to the government which enabled the Greek fleet to move to Hydra—and above all, the fortification of Missolunghi erected by
Parry, chiefly at his expense, without which the town could never have made so memorable a resistance, are well known, and those who wish for a detail of them, may find their curiosity gratified by perusing Count Gamba’s narrative. A friend of mine, who was in Greece, and was intimate with Lord Byron, amused me with the following account of affairs, which is too curious to be omitted.

“There was little comfort, or even appearance of comfort, in his mode of living in Missolunghi; his house was small and incommodious, though one of the best in the town; and it was in a low and damp situation. It was frequently necessary to use boats to get at it. Count Gamba lived in lodgings, and often took his meals by himself. Parry and some others lived on the ground-floor, or in houses near his lordship. Bruno was seldom in his company. When my friend arrived at Missolunghi, Lord B. was under a strict regimen; this was probably after his first attack, and hence there was no regular meal prepared for him: his scanty meals he generally took by himself, at
whatever hour suited him. P. was officious, pompous, and jealous of any having access to, or influence with Lord B. The household appeared in confusion: all the servants had uniforms, each according to his fancy, and some of them were of the most grotesque kind: they seemed to have exchanged duties; the cook, for example, became groom, and the groom became something else, and vice versâ; each appeared to be doing something else than that which lay within his province.”

As most of the officers were dependent on Lord B., either on account of his influence, or for their actual pay, they did not disturb him often. My friend, who thought that Lord B. would not be displeased with company, visited him every night, and took F. with him. Lord B. always received them kindly: there was, however, often as little ceremony in the house, as if it had been an inn; and G. F. was often accustomed to take up a book, and lounge over it till Lord B. had time, or was in the humour for conversing with them. Sometimes he was animated and gay, telling them many amusing anecdotes and stories. He told them that, once when Mr. Murray was complaining of the high price which he gave for his book,
he answered him
in rhyme, the short line always terminating in “My Murray.” One of the lines which he remembers was,
“But you have the printing of the Navy List,
My Murray.”

He said that when he and Hobhouse were together in Albania, Hobhouse laid hold of a great quantity of manuscript paper, which had fallen out of his portmanteau, and asked what it was—on being told that it was an account of Lord B.’s early life and opinions, he persuaded him to burn it; “for,” said he, “if any sudden accident occur, they will print it, and thus injure your memory.” “The loss is irreparable,” said Lord B. One evening they were talking of the separation between him and Lady B.; he desired them to mention all the causes which they had heard assigned for it, and seemed amused at the absurdity and falsehood of them. When he had heard all, he said, “The causes were too simple to be soon found out.”

He often professed his admiration of Sir Walter Scott. He was much engaged about uniforms, and appeared very particular about his dress. Some of the agents of the committees of Switzerland and Germany published something in the
Missolunghi Chronicle against Baron Freidel, as having authority to act for the English Committee. Lord B. insisted that they should retract their assertion of having authority from England.

He disliked Dr. Meyer, and some of the Germans; one in particular who was suspected of having assumed a title, and Meyer, because he was so fond of displaying his new ones, such as President of the Missolunghi School, Redacteur, &c. In one of his notes, in order to be as bitter as possible, he wrote, “Be assured that Dr. M. and Baron —— cannot have a greater contempt for borrowed titles than your humble servant, N. Byron.” The German came to him, and made many apologies with tears, and became on so good a footing with Lord B., that he consented to buy his rich and gaudy uniforms. One day, Lord B. shewed all these to G. F., who said, “I thought the German was your enemy?” “Oh,” said Lord B. , “I have pardoned him, for I can never resist a man’s tears.” He sent the uniforms all back, because he thought them too dear.

One of his household, G., sent to Corfu for a great many articles of dress, all exceedingly fine, and among them was a pair of jack-boots and spurs. Lord B. was very angry when they
arrived, either because they were ordered without his knowledge, or because they were too expensive; to
G. F. he exclaimed, “See what my buffoon has done; he has ordered such and such things, but I shall send them all back except the elegant jack-boots, which he shall wear.” And he did wear them to the no small amusement of some of his friends.

The Turkish girl and her mother were captives, and inhabited the house allotted to Millingen for an hospital. M., from pity, allowed them to remain. Lord B. took a fancy to the girl, and had her dressed in fine gaudy clothes, but she became pert and forward. G. F. told this to Lord B., and said if he were M. he would drive them from the house. Lord B. sent for the girl and scolded her.

At this time he gave no dinner parties to the Greeks, and G. F. thinks that this produced no bad effects, as distance increases respect, especially with such people as the Greeks. Mavrocordato came often to Lord Byron, and sat, and smoked, and conversed. One evening when he came, Lord Byron was out of humour, and said to G. F. and F., “Do not go away, for this fellow comes teasing me to give him money; I have
already lent him one thousand dollars, and he shall not have more.” One of them whispered, Mavrocordato understands English; “So much the better,” said he; “he will go away the sooner if he understood me.” Mavrocordato sat awhile quietly smoking, and then went away*.

Lord B. was often suspicious, and seemed to think that those who approached him had some interested views, and in general he had too much reason for these conclusions. He at first thought that G. F. came to be admitted into his corps and get some of his money, till his acquaintance with him removed the error. Such of the Greeks as were in office were accustomed to dress in state,

* It has been suggested to me, that the above paragraph may give an unjust impression of Mavrocordato’s character, whose disinterested conduct in pecuniary matters has never been doubted. It may here be observed, though perhaps scarcely necessary, that the loan spoken of was not made to Mavrocordato, as an individual, but as governor of Missolunghi, for the good of the public service. The character of no one of the Greek leaders stands so high as that of Mavrocordato for disinterested zeal for his country’s cause; and after filling, for some years, the highest office in the Greek government, he has left it in honourable poverty. Lord Byron, whose little sally was made when out of humour, held Mavrocordato in high esteem, as may be seen from the following passage in a letter to Mr. Murray, dated February 25, 1824.

Prince Mavrocordato is an excellent person, and does all in his power; but his situation is perplexing in the extreme; still we have great hopes of the success of the contest.”

and visit him in ceremony: on such occasions Lord B. hurried to his room to throw on his uniform, and the Greeks were evidently under great awe while before him.

His presence in Missolunghi at times appeared to increase the confusion which prevailed, and Lord B. seemed sometimes to enjoy it, especially the burlesque manner in which P. vapoured about and displayed his power, as Adjutant to the Commander-in-chief. He used to say, “His lordship, as commander-in-chief, never gives orders directly, but only through me. We,” he said one day, “we will subscribe twenty dollars to your Infirmary.” Lord B. gave fifty. G. F. sold a pair of tight leather breeches one day to G., who strutted about the dirty streets of Missolunghi in them, to the perfect amazement of the Greeks. “Do not laugh at him,” said G. F. to his lordship, “or you will cause him to give me them back, and break my bargain.” He seemed sometimes to wish that T. would return, merely to drive away the people that pestered him, and put his house in order; for though he took an obstinate fit occasionally, and would not budge, merely to shew that he was not led by any one, yet in general from indolence, or some other
cause, he was facile on many points, and allowed himself to be led and influenced.

During his illness, he said to M., who differed in opinion from B., “You differ, that you may have the credit of curing me.” At another time he said, “I see that neither of you know anything about the matter.” He returned T.’s gun which he had with him, either because he was reluctant to part with so much money, as it was dear, or, as was probable, he thought if T. was scarce of money, he would the sooner rejoin him.

He differed on many points with Colonel Stanhope. G. F. is inclined to think, that had he gone to Salona, he might have prevented the civil war by his influence; but he was careful not to write a letter to Ulysses, who had sent him a letter of compliment. One day he desire Count G. to write a letter, which he did. Lord B. took it up, read it, and then coolly tore it to pieces.

A letter was afterwards written to Ulysses, and when Lord B. was told that it had been lost in the river Phidari, with some valuables, he uttered an exclamation of joy, and said, “they should not again prevail on him to write.”

S. had been acquainted with T., and attended the funeral of Williams and Shelley. When it
was finished, he went away, and
Lord B. asked T. who that gentleman was. T. replied, “that he was an English officer, who would not intrude, because he had heard that his lordship wished to live retired.” “Then I shall be acquainted with him,” said Lord B.; spurring his horse, he soon overtook S.; introduced himself and invited S. to breakfast. After this, he had frequent opportunities of seeing Lord B., who used to say, T. was an excellent fellow till his Lara and Corsair spoiled him, by his attempting to imitate them.

G. F. told me, that Lord B. liked and seemed pleased with F., who admired him excessively, and with the greatest simplicity and singleness of heart: but he did not like H., who was stiff and formal. When they were disputing about the motto for the Greek Telegraph, (the first having given offence to many,) Lord B. insisted that the old one should not be retained. Count G. entered one day, and said, “Pray, my lord, what motto shall we have?” Lord B. pettishly replied, “Foolishness to the Greeks.”

We all seemed at this time, said G. F., to have lost our high sense of honour, and were occupied in selling and buying, from one another, guns,
horses, breeches, uniforms,—each endeavouring to make the best bargain he could, influenced, probably, added G. F. by the contagious example of the Greeks around us. G. F. did not think that Lord B. was fitted for the place; it required one of stern demeanour, and of iron nerve.
T. was of the same opinion. Lord Murray, he thought, was much better qualified for it: he was a great favourite with the Greeks, from speaking their language so well; and, from the undeviating gentleness of his manner, he would have attached to himself all the English around him.