LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Recollections of the Life of Lord Byron
Chapter VII

Table of Contents
Preliminary Statement
Chapter I
Chapter II
Chapter III
Chapter IV
Chapter V
Chapter VI
Chapter VII
Chapter VIII
Chapter IX
Chapter X
Chapter XI
Chapter XII
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1808 TO THE END OF 1814;




R. C. DALLAS, Esq.








It was not without great difficulty that I could induce Lord Byron to allow his new poem to be published with his name. He dreaded that the old enmity of the critics in the north which had been envenomed by his Satire, as well as the Southern scribblers, whom he had equally enraged, would overwhelm his “Pilgrimage.” This was his first objection—his second was, that he was anxious the world should not fix upon himself the character of Childe Harold. Nevertheless he said, if Mr. Murray positively required his name, and I agreed with him in opinion, he would venture; and there-
fore he wished it to be given as “By the Author of English Bards and Scotch Reviewers.” He promised to give me some smaller poems to put at the end; and though he originally intended his Remarks on the Romaic to be printed with the
Hints from Horace, he felt they would more aptly accompany the Pilgrimage. He had kept no journals while abroad, but he meant to manufacture some notes from his letters to his mother. The advertisement which he originally intended to be prefixed to the poem was something different from the preface that appeared. The paragraph beginning “a Fictitious Character is introduced, for the sake of giving some connexion to the piece, which, however, makes no pretensions to regularity,”—was continued thus at first, but was afterwards altered.

“It has been suggested to me by friends,
on whose opinions I set a high value, that in the fictitious character of ‘Childe Harold,’ I may incur the suspicion of having drawn ‘from myself.’ This I beg leave once for all to disclaim. I wanted a character to give some connexion to the poem, and the one adopted suited my purpose as well as any other. In some very trivial particulars, and those merely local, there might be grounds for such an idea; but in the main points, I should hope none whatever. My reader will observe, that when the author speaks in his own person, he assumes a very different tone from that of
‘The cheerless thing, the man without a friend.’
I crave pardon for this egotism, which proceeds from my wish to discard any probable imputation of it to the text.”

This it appears had been written before the death of his mother, and his mournful
sojourn at Newstead afterwards. It was during that period that he sent me the advertisement, upon which he had interlined after his quotation of
“The cheerless thing, the man without a friend,”
“at least till death had deprived him of his nearest connexions.”

While Childe Harold was preparing to be put into the printer’s hands, Lord Byron was very anxious for the speedy appearance of the Imitation of Horace, with which Cawthorn was desirous of proceeding with all despatch, but which I was nevertheless most desirous of retarding at least, if not of suppressing altogether. Lord Byron wrote to me from Newstead several times upon the subject. I forbore to reply until I could send him the first proof of the Pilgrimage, when I wrote the following.

J. C. Hobhouse, in Review of Dallas

“I saw Murray yesterday—if he has adhered to his intention, you will receive
a proof of ‘
Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage’ before this letter. I am delighted with its appearance. Allowing you to be susceptible of the pleasure of genuine praise, you would have had a fine treat could you have been in the room with the ring of Gyges on your finger, while we were discussing the publication of the Poem; not, perhaps, from what I or Mr. Murray said, but from what he reported to have been said by Aristarchus, into whose hands the ‘Childe’ had somehow fallen between the time of Murray’s absence and return; at least, so sayeth the latter. This happening unknown to you, and, indeed, contrary to your intention, removes every idea of courting applause; but, it is not a little gratifying to me to know that what struck me on the first perusal to be admirable, has also forcibly struck Mr. Gifford. Of your Satire he spoke highly; but this Poem he pronounces, not only the best you have written,
but equal to any of the present age, allowing, however, for its being unfinished, which he regrets. Murray assured me, that he expressed himself very warmly. With the fiat of such a judge, will not your muse be kindled to the completion of a work, that would, if completed, irrevocably fix your fame? In your short preface you talk of adding concluding Cantos, if encouraged by public approbation: this is no longer necessary, for if Gifford approve who shall disapprove? In my last I begged you to devote some of your time to finishing this Poem, which I am proud of having instigated you to give precedence before your ‘
Horatian Hints.’ I may now repeat my request with tenfold weight. You have ample time, for this is not the season for publishing, and it will be all the better for proceeding slowly through the press. How pleasantly then may you overtake yourself; and, with some little sacrifices of opinion,
give the world a work that shall delight it, and at once set at defiance the pack of waspish curs that take pleasure in barking at you. As for the subject it will grow under your hands—your letters to your mother will bring recollections not only for notes but for the verse.—Greece is a never-failing stream—then the voyage home, the approach to England, the death (for the not identifying yourself with the travelling Childe is a wish not possible to realize) of friends, and particularly of your
mother before you saw her; lastly, the scenes on your return to the ‘vast and venerable pile,’ with the Childe’s resolution of taking his part earnestly in that assembly where his birth, by giving him a place, calls upon him to devote his time and talents to the good of his country. My eagerness carries me, perhaps, too far—I would give any thing to see you shining at once as a poet and a legislator. With re-
spect to the sacrifice of opinion, I must explain myself: I am neither so absurd nor so indelicate as to express a wish that a man of understanding should profess ought that is not supported by his own convictions. But, not to proclaim loudly opinions by which general feelings are harrowed, and which cannot possibly be attended with any good to the proclaimer,—on the contrary, most likely with much injury,—is not only compatible with the best understanding, but is in some measure the result of it. Mr. Murray thinks that your sceptical stanzas will injure the circulation of your work. I will not dissemble that I am not of his opinion—I suspect it will rather sell the better for them: but I am of opinion, my dear
Lord Byron, that they will hurt you; that they will prove new stumbling-blocks in your road of life. At three and twenty, oh! deign to court, what you may most honourably court, the general suffrage
of your country. It is a pleasure that will travel with you through the long portion of life you have now before you. It is not subject to that satiety which so frequently attends most other pleasures. Live you must, and many, many years; and that suffrage would be nectar and ambrosia to your mind for all the time you live. To gain it, you have little more to do than show that you wish it; and to abstain from outraging the sentiments, prepossessions, or, if you will, prejudices of those who form the generally estimable part of the community. Your boyhood has been marked with some eccentricities, but at three and twenty what may you not do? Your Poem, when I first read it, and it is the same now, appeared to me an inspiration to draw forth a glorious finish. Yield a little to gain a great deal; what a foundation may you now lay for lasting fame, and love, and honour! What jewels to have in your grasp! I
beseech you, seize the opportunity. I am glad you have agreed to appear in the title-page. It is impossible to remain an instant unknown as the author, or to separate the Pilgrim from the Traveller. This being the case, I am convinced that your name alone is far preferable to giving it under your description as “the author of English Bards and Scotch Reviewers;” because, in the first place, your rank dignifies the page, whilst the execution of the work reflects no common lustre on your rank; and, in the next place, you avoid appearing to challenge your old foes, which you would be considered as doing by announcing the author as their Satirist; and certainly your best defiance of them in future will be never to notice either their censure or their praise. You will observe that the introductory stanza which you sent me is not printed: Mr. Murray had not received it when this sheet was printed as a specimen:
it will be easily put into its place. As you read the proofs you will, perhaps, find a line here and there which wants polishing, and a word which may be advantageously changed. If any strike me I shall, without hesitation, point them out for your consideration. In page 7, four lines from the bottom,
‘Yet deem him not from this with breast of steel,
is not only rough to the ear, but the phrase appears to me inaccurate: the change of him to ye, and with to his might set it right. In the last line of the following stanza, page 8, you use the word central: I doubt whether even poetical license will authorize your extending the idea of your proposed voyage to seas beyond, the equator, when the Poem no where shows that you had it in contemplation to cross, or even approach, within many degrees, the Summer tropic line. I am not sure, however,
that this is not hypercriticism, and it is almost a pity to alter so beautiful a line*. I believe I told you that my friend
Waller Wright wrote an Ode for the Duke of Gloucester’s Installation as Chancellor of the University at Cambridge. Some of the leading men of Granta have had it printed at the University Press. He has given me two copies, and begs I will make one of them acceptable to you, only observing that the motto was not of his chusing. I believe the sheet may be overweight for one frank, I shall therefore unsew it, and put it under two covers, not doubting that you will think it worthy of re-stitching when you receive it. I gave Murray your note on M * *, to be placed in the page with Wingfield. He must have been a very extraordinary young man,

* It is true the travellers did not cross the line, but before Lord Byron left England, India had been thought of.

and I am sincerely sorry for
H * *, for whom I have felt an increased regard ever since I heard of his intimacy with my son at Cadiz, and that they were mutually pleased. I lent his miscellany the other day to Wright, who speaks highly of the poetical talent displayed in it. I will search again for the lofty genius you ascribe to Kirke White: I cannot help thinking I have allowed him all his merit. I agree that there was much cant in his religion, sincere as he was. This is a pity, for religion has no greater enemy than cant. As to genius, surely he and Chatterton ought not to be named in the same day; but, as I said, I will look again. I do not know how Blackett’s posthumous stock goes off; I have not seen or heard from Pratt since you left town. Be that, however, as it may, I still boldly deny being in any degree accessary to his murder.—George Byron left us in the beginning of the week.”


“P.S. Casting my eyes again over the printed stanzas, something struck me to be amiss in the last line but one of page 6—
‘Nor sought a friend to counsel or condole.’
From the context I think you must have written, or meant,—I have not the MS.—
‘Nor sought he friend,’ &c.
otherwise grammar requires—‘Or seeks a friend,’ &c.

These are straws on the surface, easily skimmed off.”

Previous to receiving this letter, Lord Byron had written to Mr. Murray, forbidding him to show the manuscript of Childe Harold to Mr. Gifford, though he had no objection to letting it be seen by any one else; and he was exceedingly angry when he found that his instructions had come too late. He was afraid that Mr. Gifford would
think it a trap to extort his applause, or a hint to get a favourable review of it in the
Quarterly. He was very anxious to remove any impression of this kind that might have remained on his mind. His praise, he said, meant nothing, for he could do no other than be civil to a man who had extolled him in every possible manner. His expressions about Mr. Murray’s deserts for such an obsequious squeezing out of approbation, and deprecation of censure, were quaint, and though strong, were amusing enough. Still, however, the praise, all unmeaning as he seemed to consider it, had the effect of strengthening my arguments concerning the delay of the “Hints from Horace;” and when, in a letter soon afterwards, I said, “Cawthorn’s business detains him in the North, and I will manage to detain the ‘Hints,’ first from, and then in, the press—‘the Romaunt’ shall come forth first,” I found, so far from opposing my
intention, he concurred with and forwarded it. He acknowledged that I was right, and begged me to manage, so that Cawthorn should not get the start of Murray in the publication of the two works.

I cannot express the great anxiety I felt to prevent Lord Byron from publicly committing himself, as holding decidedly sceptical opinions. There were several stanzas which showed the leaning of his mind; but, in one, he openly acknowledged his disbelief of a future state; and against this I made my stand. I urged him by every argument I could devise, not to allow it to appear in print; and I had the great gratification of finding him yield to my entreaties, if not to my arguments. It has, alas! become of no importance, that these lines should be published to the world—they are exceedingly moderate compared to the blasphemy with which his suicidal pen has since blackened the fame that I
was so desirous of keeping fair, till the time came when he should love to have it fair—a period to which I fondly looked forward, as not only possible, but near. The original stanza ran thus—
“Frown not upon me, churlish Priest! that I
Look not for life, where life may never be;
I am no sneerer at thy Phantasy;
Thou pitiest me,—alas! I envy thee,
Thou bold discoverer in an unknown sea,
Of happy isles and happier tenants there;
I ask thee not to prove a Sadducee.
Still dream of Paradise, thou know’st not where,
But lov’st too well to bid thine erring brother share.
The stanza that he at length sent me to substitute for this, was that beautiful one—
“Yet if, as holiest men have deemed, there be
A land of souls beyond that sable shore;
To shame the doctrine of the Sadducee,
And sophists, madly vain of dubious lore,
How sweet it were in concert to adore,
With those who made our mortal labours light!
To hear each voice we fear’d to hear no more!
Behold each mighty shade reveaTxxd to sight,
The Bactrian, Samian Sage, and all who taught the right!”
The stanza which follows this, (the 9th of the 2d Canto), and which applies the subject of it to the death of a
person for whom he felt affection, was written subsequently, when the event to which he alludes took place; and was sent to me only just in time to have it inserted. He made a slight alteration in it, and enclosed me another copy, from which the fac-simile is taken that accompanies this volume.

As a note to the stanzas upon this subject, beginning with the 3d, and continuing to the 9th, Lord Byron had originally written a sort of prose apology for his opinions; which he sent to me for consideration, whether it did not appear more like an attack than a defence of religion, and had
therefore better be left out. I had no hesitation in advising its omission, though for the reasons above stated, I now insert it here.

“In this age of bigotry, when the puritan and priest have changed places, and the wretched catholic is visited with the ‘sins of his fathers,’ even unto generations far beyond the pale of the commandment, the cast of opinion in these stanzas will doubtless meet with many a contemptuous anathema. But let it be remembered, that the spirit they breathe is desponding, not sneering, scepticism; that he who has seen the Greek and Moslem superstitions contending for mastery over the former shrines of Polytheism,—who has left in his own country ‘Pharisees, thanking God that they are not like Publicans and Sinners,’ and Spaniards in theirs, abhorring the Heretics, who have holpen them in their need,—will be not a little bewildered, and begin to think, that as only one of them can be right,
they may most of them be wrong. With regard to morals, and the effect of religion on mankind, it appears, from all historical testimony, to have had less effect in making them love their neighbours, than inducing that cordial christian abhorrence between sectaries and schismatics. The Turks and Quakers are the most tolerant; if an Infidel pays his heratch to the former; he may pray how, when, and where he pleases; and the mild tenets, and devout demeanour of the latter, make their lives the truest commentary on the Sermon of the Mount.”

This is a remarkable instance of false and weak reasoning, and affords a key to Lord Byron’s mind, which I shall take occasion to notice more particularly in my concluding chapter.

Lord Byron made a journey into Lancashire, and some little time elapsed before I
took advantage of his disposition to oblige me relative to the stanzas on the Convention at Cintra. He had always talked of war en Philosophe, and took pleasure in observing the faults of military leaders; nor was he inclined to allow them even their merit,
Bonaparte excepted. In these stanzas he had not only satirized the Convention, but introduced the names of the generals ludicrously. I therefore urged him warmly to omit them, and the more as the Duke of Wellington was then acquiring fresh laurels in the Peninsula. I began to make a copy of the letter which I wrote to him on the subject, but something happened to prevent my finishing it. I insert what I kept; it is dated October 3, 1811.

“The alteration of some bitter stings shall be made previous to the Stanza going to press. You say if I will point out the
Stanzas on Cintra I wish re-cast, you will send me an answer. We are now come to them, and I fear your answer. What language shall I adopt to persuade your Muse not to commit self-murder, or at least slash herself unnecessarily? She has not even the excuse of Honorius for the penance she imposes on herself, and must suffer. Politically speaking, indeed in every sense, great deeds should be allowed to efface slight errors. The Cintra Convention will do doubt be recorded; but shall a Byron’s Muse spirt ink upon a hero? You admit that
Wellesley has effaced his share in it; yet you will not let it be effaced. Were you to visit Tusculum, would it be a subject for a Stanza, that Cicero or some one of his family was marked with a vetch? But you may think that Sir Harry and Sir Hew have done nothing to efface the Cintra folly; still the subject is beneath your pen. It had its run among newspaper epigram-
matists, and your pen cannot raise it to the dignity of the Poem into which you introduce it. Let any judge read the 25th stanza, and say if it be worthy of the pen that wrote the Poem;—the same of the 26th, 27th, and 28th. The name of Byng, too, is grown sadly stale in allusion,
‘And folks in office at the mention sweat;’
sweat*! I beseech you, my dear Lord, to let the exquisite stanza which follows the 29th succeed the 23d†, &c. &c. &c.”

In consequence of this letter, Lord Byron consented to omit the 25th, 27th, and 28th stanzas, but retained the 24th, 26th, and 29th, making, however, some alterations in them. As his genius has now placed his fame so far above the possibility of being

* Printed as the 27th stanza.

† These references are to my MS. copy of Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage.

injured by the production of an occasional inferior stanza, and as the succeeding glories of the Peninsular campaigns have completely thrown into shade the events alluded to, there can be no impropriety in now publishing, as literary curiosities, the three stanzas which were then properly omitted. The following are the six stanzas as they originally stood. Those appearing below, as 24, 26, 29, appeared in the Poem in an altered state, numbered there as 24, 25, 26, of the first Canto. The stanzas marked below, 25, 27, and 28, were those omitted:

Behold the hall, where chiefs were late convened!
Oh dome displeasing unto British eye!
With diadem hight foolscap, lo! a fiend,
A little fiend that scoffs incessantly,
There sits in parchment robe arrayed, and by
His side is hung a seal and sable scroll,
Where blazoned glares a name spelt Wellesley,
And sundry signatures adown the roll,
Whereat the urchin points and laughs with all his soul.
In golden characters right well designed
First on the list appeareth one “Junot;”
Then certain other glorious names we find;
(Which rhyme compelleth me to place below)
Dull victors! baffled by a vanquish’d foe,
Wheedled by conynge tongues of laurels due,
Stand, worthy of each other, in a row—
Sirs Arthur, Harry, and the dizzard Hew
Dalrymple, seely wight, sore dupe of t’other tew.
Convention is the dwarfy demon styled
That foil’d the Knights in Marialva’s dome:
Of brains (if brains they had) he them beguiled,
And turned a nation’s shallow joy to gloom.
For well I wot when first the news did come
That Vimiera’s field by Gaul was lost,
For paragraph ne paper scarce had room,
Such Paeans teemed for our triumphant host
In Courier, Chronicle, and eke in Morning Post.
But when Convention sent his handy work
Pens, tongues, feet, hands, combined in wild uproar;
Mayor, Aldermen, laid down th’ uplifted fork;
The Bench of Bishops half forgot to snore;
Stern Cobbett, who for one whole week forbore
To question aught, once more with transport leap’t,
And bit his devilish quill agen, and swore
With foe such treaty never should be kept.
Then burst the blatant* beast, and roar’d, and raged, and—slept!!!
Thus unto heaven appealed the people; heaven,
Which loves the lieges of our gracious King,
Decreed that ere our generals were forgiven,
Inquiry should be held about the thing.
But mercy cloaked the babes beneath her wing;
And as they spared our foes so spared we them.
(Where was the pity of our sires for Byng†?)
Yet knaves, not idiots, should the law condemn.
Then triumph, gallant knights! and bless your judges’ phlegm.

* “Blatant beast;” a figure for the mob, I think first used by Smollett in his Adventures of an Atom. Horace has the “Bellua multorum capitum;” in England, fortunately enough, the illustrious mobility have not even one.

† By this query it is not meant that our foolish Generals should have been shot, but that Byng might have been spared, though the one suffered and the others escaped, probably, for Candide’s reason, “pour encourager les autres.

But ever since that martial synod met,
Britannia sickens, Cintra! at thy name;
And folks in office at the mention sweat,
And fain would blush, if blush they could, for shame.
How will posterity the deed proclaim!
Will not our own and fellow nations sneer,
To view these champions cheated of their fame
By foes in fight overthrown, yet victors here,
Where scorn her finger points through many a coming year.

To these stanzas was attached a long note, which though nothing but a wild tirade against the Portuguese, and the measures of government, and the battle of Talavera, I had great difficulty in inducing him to relinquish. I wrote him the following letter upon the subject:—

“You sent me but few notes for the first Canto—there are a good many for the second. The only liberty I took with them was, if you will allow me to use the
expression, to dove-tail two of them, which, though connected in the sense and relative to the reference in the Poem, were disunited as they stood in your MS. I have omitted the passage respecting the Portuguese, which fell with the alteration you made in the stanzas relative to Cintra, and the insertion of which would overturn what your kindness had allowed me to obtain from you on that point. I have no objection to your politics, my dear Lord, as in the first place I do not much give my mind to politics; and, in the next, I cannot but have observed that you view politics, as well as some other subjects, through the optics of philosophy. But the note, or rather passage, I allude to, is so discouraging to the cause of our country, that it could not fail to damp the ardour of your readers. Let me intreat you not to recall the sacrifice of it; at least, let it not appear in this volume, in which I am more anxious than I can
express for your fame, both as a Poet and as a Philosopher. Except this, in which I thought myself warranted, I have not interfered with the subjects of the notes—yes, the word “fiction” I turned, as you have seen, conceiving it to have been no fiction to Young. But when I did it, I determined not to send it to the press till it had met your eye. Indeed you know that even when a single word has struck me as better changed, my way has been to state my thought to you.”

The note I alluded to was as follows:—


In the year 1809, it is a well-known fact, that the assassinations in the streets of Lisbon and its vicinity were not confined by the Portuguese to their countrymen; but Englishmen were daily butchered, and so far from the survivors obtaining redress, they were requested “not to interfere” if they perceived their compatriot defending himself against his amiable allies. I was once
stopped in the way to the theatre, at eight in the evening, when the streets were not more empty than they generally are, opposite to an open shop, and in a carriage with a friend, by three of our allies; and had we not fortunately been armed, I have not the least doubt we should have “adorned a tale,” instead of telling it. We have heard wonders of the Portuguese lately, and their gallantry,—pray heaven it continue; yet, “would it were bed-time, Hal, and all were well!” They must fight a great many hours, by “Shrewsbury clock,” before the number of their slain equals that of our countrymen butchered by these kind creatures, now metamorphosed into “Cacadores,” and what not. I merely state a fact not confined to Portugal, for in Sicily and Malta we are knocked on the head at a handsome average nightly, and not a Sicilian and Maltese is ever punished! The neglect of protection is disgraceful to our government and governors, for the murders are as notorious as the moon that shines upon them, and the apathy that overlooks them. The Portuguese, it is to be hoped, are complimented with the “Forlorn Hope,”—if the cowards
are become brave, (like the rest of their kind, in a corner,) pray let them display it. But there is a subscription for these “Θςασύ δειλον” (they need not be ashamed of the epithet once applied to the Spartans,) and all the charitable patronymicks, from ostentatious A. to diffident Z., and 1l. 1s. 0d. from “an admirer of valour,” are in requisition for the lists at Lloyd’s, and the honour of British benevolence. Well, we have fought and subscribed, and bestowed peerages, and buried the killed by our friends and foes; and, lo! all this is to be done over again! Like “young The.” (in
Goldsmith’s Citizen of the World,) as we “grow older, we grow never the better.” It would be pleasant to learn who will subscribe for us, in or about the year 1815, and what nation will send fifty thousand men, first to be decimated in the capital, and then decimated again (in the Irish fashion, nine out of ten,) in the “bed of honour,” which, as Serjeant Kite says, is considerably larger and more commodious than the “bed of Ware.” Then they must have a poet to write the “Vision of Don Perceval,” and generously bestow the profits of the well and
widely-printed quarto to re-build the “Back-wynd” and the “Canon-gate,” or furnish new kilts for the half-roasted Highlanders.
Lord Wellington, however, has enacted marvels; and so did his oriental brother, whom I saw charioteering over the French flag, and heard clipping bad Spanish, after listening to the speech of a patriotic cobler of Cadiz, on the event of his own entry into that city, and the exit of some five thousand bold Britons out of this “best of all possible worlds.” Sorely were we puzzled how to dispose of that same victory of Talavera; and a victory it surely was somewhere, for every body claimed it. The Spanish dispatch and mob called it Cuesta’s, and made no great mention of the Viscount; the French called it theirs (to my great discomfiture, for a French consul stopped my mouth in Greece with a pestilent Paris Gazette, just as I had killed Sebastiani “in buckram,” and king Joseph in “Kendal green,”)—and we have not yet determined what to call it, or whose, for certes it was none of our own. Howbeit, Massena’s retreat is a great comfort, and as we have not been in the habit of pursuing for
some years past, no wonder we are a little awkward at first. No doubt we shall improve, or if not, we have only to take to our old way of retrograding, and there we are at home.”

There were several stanzas in which allusions were made of a personal nature, and which I prevailed upon Lord Byron to omit. The reasons which induced their suppression continue still to have equal force, as at the time of the first publication of the poem.

As the poem went through the press, we had constant communication upon the subject, of the nature of which the following letter, taken from several which I wrote to him, may suggest an idea.

“I wish to direct your attention to several passages in the accompanying proofs, in which a minute critic might perhaps find something to carp at.

In stanza 24, the moon is called ‘a
reflected sphere.’ I do not know that this is admissible even to a poet. The sphere is not reflected, but reflects. The participle present would settle the sense, though I should prefer the adjective, reflective.

A similar objection appears to me, but I may be wrong, to ‘the track oft trod.’ To the idea of treading, feet and firm footing seem so necessary, that I doubt whether it is in the power of a trope to transfer it to water. It is in the 27th stanza.

In the next, the 28th, if Fenelon has not made me forget Homer, I think there is ground for a classical demurrer. Ulysses and Telemachus were individually well received by the immortal lady, but you will recollect, that she herself says to the latter ‘No mortal approaches my shores with impunity.’ You say, ‘still a haven smiles.’ Though no advocate for an unvarying sweetness of measure, my ear rebels against this line, in stanza 39:—
‘Born beneath some remote inglorious star.’
The stanza is remarkably beautiful, both for thought and versification, that line excepted, the idea of which is appropriate and good; but its want of melody checks the reader’s pleasure just as it is coming to its height. I wish you would make it a little smoother. You find I have given over teasing you about your sad stanzas, and, to be consistent in my reluctant submission, I shall say nothing of the similar errors in the accompanying proofs; but I am more than ever bent on dedicating a volume of truth to you, and shall set about it forthwith. The more I read the more I am delighted; but, observe, I do not agree with you in your opinion of the sex: the stanzas are very agreeable: the previous ones of the voyage from Cadiz through the Straits to Calypso’s Island are very fine: the 25th and 26th are exquisite. I will send for the proofs on Monday.”