LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Letters and Journals of Lord Byron
Life of Byron: 1822

Life of Byron: to 1806
Life of Byron: 1806
Life of Byron: 1807
Life of Byron: 1808
Life of Byron: 1809
Life of Byron: 1810
Life of Byron: 1811
Life of Byron: 1812
Life of Byron: 1813
Life of Byron: 1814
Life of Byron: 1815
Life of Byron: 1816 (I)
Life of Byron: 1816 (II)
Life of Byron: 1817
Life of Byron: 1818
Life of Byron: 1819
Life of Byron: 1820
Life of Byron: 1821
‣ Life of Byron: 1822
Life of Byron: 1823
Life of Byron: 1824
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“Pisa, January 12th, 1822.

“I need not say how grateful I am for your letter, but I must own my ingratitude in not having written to you again long ago. Since I left England (and it is not for all the usual term of transportation) I have scribbled to five hundred blockheads on business, &c. without difficulty, though with no great pleasure; and yet, with the notion of addressing you a hundred times in my head, and always in my heart, I have not done what I ought to have done. I can only account for it on the same principle of tremulous anxiety with which one sometimes makes love to a beautiful woman of our own degree, with whom one is enamoured in good earnest; whereas, we attack a fresh-coloured housemaid without (I speak, of course, of earlier times) any sentimental remorse or mitigation of our virtuous purpose.

“I owe to you far more than the usual obligation for the courtesies of literature and common friendship, for you went out of your way in 1817 to do me a service, when it required not merely kindness, but courage to do so; to have been recorded by you in such a manner would have been a proud memorial at any time, but at such a time, when ‘All the world and his wife,’ as the proverb goes, were trying to trample upon me was something still higher to my self-esteem,—I allude to the Quarterly Review of the Third Canto of Childe Harold, which Murray told me was written by you,—and, indeed, I should have known it without his information, as there could not be two who could and would have done this at the time. Had it been a common criticism, however eloquent or panegyrical, I should have felt pleased, undoubtedly, and grateful, but
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not to the extent which the extraordinary good-heartedness of the whole proceeding must induce in any mind capable of such sensations. The very tardiness of this acknowledgment will, at least, show that I have not forgotten the obligation; and I can assure you that my sense of it has been out at compound interest during the delay. I shall only add one word upon the subject, which is, that I think that you, and
Jeffrey, and Leigh Hunt were the only literary men, of numbers whom I know (and some of whom I had served), who dared venture even an anonymous word in my favour just then; and that, of those three, I had never seen one at all—of the second much less than I desired—and that the third was under no kind of obligation to me whatever; while the other two had been actually attacked by me on a former occasion; one, indeed, with some provocation, but the other wantonly enough. So you see you have been heaping ‘coals of fire, &c.’ in the true gospel manner, and I can assure you that they have burnt down to my very heart.

“I am glad that you accepted the Inscription. I meant to have inscribed ‘the Foscarini’ to you instead; but first, I heard that ‘Cain’ was thought the least bad of the two as a composition; and, 2dly, I have abused S * * like a pickpocket, in a note to the Foscarini, and I recollected that he is a friend of yours (though not of mine), and that it would not be the handsome thing to dedicate to one friend any thing containing such matters about another. However, I’ll work the Laureate before I have done with him, as soon as I can muster Billingsgate therefor. I like a row, and always did from a boy, in the course of which propensity, I must needs say, that I have found it the most easy of all to be gratified, personally and poetically. You disclaim ‘jealousies;’ but I would ask, as Boswell did of Johnson, of whom could you be jealous,’—of none of the living, certainly, and (taking all and all into consideration) of which of the dead? I don’t like to bore you about the Scotch novels (as they call them, though two of them are wholly English, and the rest half so), but nothing can or could ever persuade me, since I was the first ten minutes in your company, that you are not the man. To me those novels have so much of ‘Auld lang syne’ (I was bred a canny Scot till ten years old) that I never move without them; and when I removed from Ravenna to Pisa the other day, and sent on
A. D. 1822. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 571
my library before, they were the only books that I kept by me, although I already have them by heart.

“January 27th, 1822.

“I delayed till now concluding, in the hope that I should have got ‘the Pirate,’ who is under way for me, but has not yet hove in sight. I hear that your daughter is married, and I suppose by this time you are half a grandfather—a young one, by the way. I have heard great things of Mrs. Lockhart’s personal and mental charms, and much good of her lord: that you may live to see as many novel Scotts as there are Scots’ novels, is the very bad pun, but sincere wish of

“Yours ever most affectionately, &c.

“P.S. Why don’t you take a turn in Italy? You would find yourself as well known and as welcome as in the Highlands among the natives. As for the English, you would be with them as in London; and I need not add, that I should be delighted to see you again, which is far more than I shall ever feel or say for England, or (with a few exceptions ‘of kith, kin, and allies’) any thing that it contains. But my ‘heart warms to the tartan,’ or to any thing of Scotland, which reminds me of Aberdeen and other parts, not so far from the Highlands as that town, about Invercauld and Braemar, where I was sent to drink goat’s fey in 1795-6, in consequence of a threatened decline after the scarlet fever. But I am gossiping, so, good night—and the gods be with your dreams!

“Pray, present my respects to Lady Scott, who may perhaps recollect having seen me in town in 1815.

“I see that one of your supporters (for, like Sir Hildebrand, I am fond of Guillin) is a mermaid; it is my crest too, and with precisely the same curl of tail. There’s concatenation for you!—I am building a little cutter at Genoa, to go a cruising in the summer. I know you like the sea too.”

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TO ——*
“Pisa, February 6th, 1822.

“‘Try back the deep lane,’ till we find a publisher for ‘the Vision;’ and if none such is to be found, print fifty copies at my expense, distribute them amongst my acquaintance, and you will soon see that the booksellers will publish them, even if we opposed them. That they are now afraid is natural; but I do not see that I ought to give way on that account. I know nothing of Rivington’s ‘Remonstrance’ by the ‘eminent Churchman;’ but I suppose he wants a living. I once heard of a preacher at Kentish Town against ‘Cain.’ The same outcry was raised against Priestley, Hume, Gibbon, Voltaire, and all the men who dared to put tithes to the question.

“I have got S——’s pretended reply, to which I an surprised that you do not allude. What remains to be done is, to call him out. The question is, would he come? for, if he would not, the whole thing would appear ridiculous, if I were to take a long and expensive journey to no purpose.

“You must be my second, and, as such, I wish to consult you.

“I apply to you, as one well versed in the duello, or monomachie. Of course I shall come to England as privately as possible, and leave it (supposing that I was the survivor) in the same manner; having no other object which could bring me to that country except to settle quarrels accumulated during my absence.

“By the last post I transmitted to you a letter upon some Rochdale toll business, from which there are moneys in prospect. My agent says two thousand pounds, but supposing it to be only one, or even one hundred, still they be moneys; and I have lived long enough to have an exceeding respect for the smallest current coin of any realm, or the least sum, which, although I may not want it myself, may do something for others who may need it more than I.

* This letter has been already published, with a few others, in a periodical work, and is known to have been addressed to the late Mr. Douglas Kinnaird.

A. D. 1822. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 573

“They say that ‘Knowledge is Power;’—I used to think so; but I now know that they meant ‘money:’ and when Socrates declared, ‘that all he knew was, that he knew nothing,’ he merely intended to declare, that he had not a drachm in the Athenian world.

“The circulars are arrived, and circulating like the vortices (or vortex’s) of Descartes. Still I have a due care of the needful, and keep a look out ahead, as my notions upon the score of moneys coincide with yours, and with all men’s who have lived to see that every guinea is a philosopher’s-stone, or at least his touch-stone. You will doubt me the less, when I pronounce my firm belief, that Cash is Virtue.

“I cannot reproach myself with much expenditure: my only extra expense (and it is more than I have spent upon myself) being a loan of two hundred and fifty pounds to ——; and fifty pounds’ worth of furniture, which I have bought for him; and a boat which I am building for myself at Genoa, which will cost about a hundred pounds more.

“But to return. I am determined to have all the moneys I can, whether by my own funds, or succession, or lawsuit, or MSS. or any lawful means whatever.

“I will pay (though with the sincerest reluctance) my remaining creditors, and every man of law, by instalments from the award of the arbitrators.

“I recommend to you the notice in Mr. Hanson’s letter, on the demand of moneys for the Rochdale tolls.

“Above all, I recommend my interests to your honourable worship.

“Recollect, too, that I expect some moneys for the various MSS., (no matter what); and, in short, ‘Rem, quocunque modo, Rem!’—the noble feeling of cupidity grows upon us with our years.

“Yours ever, &c.”
“Pisa, February 8th, 1822.

“Attacks upon me were to be expected, but I perceive one upon you in the papers which I confess that I did not expect. How, or in
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what manner, you can be considered responsible for what I publish, I am at a loss to conceive.

“If ‘Cain’ be ‘blasphemous,’ Paradise Lost is blasphemous; and the very words of the Oxford gentleman, ‘Evil, be thou my good,’ are from that very poem, from the mouth of Satan; and is there any thing more in that of Lucifer in the Mystery? Cain is nothing more than a drama, not a piece of argument. If Lucifer and Cain speak as the first murderer and the first rebel may be supposed to speak, surely all the rest of the personages talk also according to their characters—and the stronger passions have ever been permitted to the drama.

“I have even avoided introducing the Deity as in Scripture (though Milton does, and not very wisely either), but have adopted his angel as sent to Cain instead, on purpose to avoid shocking any feelings on the subject by falling short of what all uninspired men must fall short in, viz., giving an adequate notion of the effect of the presence of Jehovah. The old Mysteries introduced him liberally enough, and all this is avoided in the new one.

“The attempt to bully you, because they think it won’t succeed with me, seems to me as atrocious an attempt as ever disgraced the times. What when Gibbon’s, Hume’s, Priestley’s, and Drummond’s publishers have been allowed to rest in peace for seventy years, are you to be singled out for a work of fiction, not of history or argument? There must be something at the bottom of this—some private enemy of your own: it is otherwise incredible.

“I can only say, ‘Me, me; en adsum qui feci;’—that any proceedings directed against you, I beg, may be transferred to me, who am willing, and ought, to endure them all;—that if you have lost money by the publication, I will refund any or all of the copyright;—that I desire you will say that both you and Mr. Gifford remonstrated against the publication, as also Mr. Hobhouse;—that I alone occasioned it, and I alone am the person who, either legally or otherwise, should bear the burden. If they prosecute, I will come to England—that is, if, by meeting it in my own person, I can save yours. Let me know. You sha’n’t suffer for me, if I can help it. Make any use of this letter you please.

“Yours ever, &c.
A. D. 1822. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 575

“P.S. I write to you about all this row of bad passions and absurdities with the summer moon (for here our winter is clearer than your dog-days) lighting the winding Arno, with all her buildings and bridges—so quiet and still!—What nothings are we before the least of these stars!”

“Pisa, February 19th, 1822.

“I am rather surprised not to have had an answer to my letter and packets. Lady Noel is dead, and it is not impossible that I may have to go to England to settle the division of the Wentworth property, and what portion Lady B. is to have out of it; all which was left undecided by the articles of separation. But I hope not, if it can be done without,—and I have written to Sir Francis Burdett to be my referee, as he knows the property.

“Continue to address here, as I shall not go if I can avoid it—at least, not on that account. But I may on another; for I wrote to Douglas Kinnaird to convey a message of invitation to Mr. Southey to meet me, either in England, or (as less liable to interruption) on the coast of France. This was about a fortnight ago, and I have not yet had time to have the answer. However, you shall have due notice: therefore continue to address to Pisa.

“My agents and trustees have written to me to desire that I would take the name directly, so that I am yours very truly and affectionately.

Noel Byron.

“P.S. I have had no news from England, except on business; and merely know, from some abuse in that faithful ex and de-tractor Galignani, that the clergy are up against ‘Cain.’ There is (if I am not mistaken) some good church preferment on the Wentworth estates; and I will show them what a good Christian I am, by patronising and preferring the most pious of their order, should opportunity occur.

M. and I are but little in correspondence, and I know nothing of literary matters at present. I have been writing on business only lately. What are you about? Be assured that there is no such coalition as you apprehend.”

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“Pisa, February 20th, 1822*.

“Your letter arrived since I wrote the enclosed. It is not likely, as I have appointed agents and arbitrators for the Noel estates, that I should proceed to England on that account,—though I may upon another, within stated. At any rate, continue you to address here till you hear further from me. I could wish you still to arrange for me, either with a London or Paris publisher, for the things, &c. I shall not quarrel with any arrangement you may please to make.

“I have appointed Sir Francis Burdett my arbitrator to decide on Lady Byron’s allowance out of the Noel estates, which are estimated at seven thousand a year, and rents very well paid,—a rare thing at this time. It is, however, owing to their consisting chiefly in pasture lands, and therefore less affected by corn bills, &c. than properties in tillage.

“Believe me yours ever most affectionately,
Noel Byron.

“Between my own property in the funds, and my wife’s in land, I do not know which side to cry out on in politics.

“There is nothing against the immortality of the soul in ‘Cain’ that I recollect. I hold no such opinions;—but, in a drama, the first rebel and the first murderer must be made to talk according to their characters. However, the parsons are all preaching at it, from Kentish Town and Oxford to Pisa;—the scoundrels of priests, who do more harm to religion than all the infidels that ever forgot their catechisms!

“I have not seen Lady Noel’s death announced in Galignani.—How is that?”

* The preceding letter came enclosed in this.

A. D. 1822. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 577
“Pisa, February 28th, 1822.

“I begin to think that the packet (a heavy one) of five acts of ‘Werner,’ &c. can hardly have reached you, for your letter of last week (which I answered) did not allude to it, and yet I insured it at the post-office here.

“I have no direct news from England, except on the Noel business, which is proceeding quietly, as I have appointed a gentleman (Sir F. Burdett) for my arbitrator. They, too, have said that they will recall the lawyer whom they had chosen, and will name a gentleman too. This is better, as the arrangement of the estates and of Lady B.’s allowance will thus be settled without quibbling. My lawyers are taking out a licence for the name and arms, which it seems I am to endue.

“By another, and indirect, quarter, I hear that ‘Cain’ has been pirated, and that the Chancellor has refused to give Murray any redress. Also, that G. R. (your friend ‘Ben’) has expressed great personal indignation at the said poem. All this is curious enough, I think,—after allowing Priestley, Hume, and Gibbon, and Bolingbroke, and Voltaire to be published, without depriving the booksellers of their rights. I heard from Rome a day or two ago, and, with what truth I know not, that * * *.

“Yours, &c.”
“Pisa, March 1st, 1822.

“As I still have no news of my ‘Werner,’ &c. packet, sent to you on the 29th of January, I continue to bore you (for the fifth time, I believe) to know whether it has not miscarried. As it was fairly copied out, it will be vexatious if it be lost. Indeed, I insured it at the post-office to make them take more care, and directed it regularly to you at Paris.

578 NOTICES OF THE A. D. 1822.

“In the impartial Galignani I perceive an extract from Blackwood’s Magazine, in which it is said that there are people who have discovered that you and I are no poets. With regard to one of us, I know that this north-west passage to my magnetic pole had been long discovered by some sages, and I leave them the full benefit of their penetration. I think, as Gibbon says of his History, ‘that, perhaps, a hundred years hence it may still continue to be abused.’ However, I am far from pretending to compete or compare with that illustrious literary character.

“But, with regard to you, I thought that you had always been allowed to be a poet, even by the stupid as well as the envious—a bad one, to be sure—immoral, florid, Asiatic, and diabolically popular,—but still always a poet, nem. con. This discovery, therefore, has to me all the grace of novelty, as well as of consolation (according to Rochefoucault) to find myself no-poetized in such good company. I am content to ‘err with Plato;’ and can assure you very sincerely, that I would rather be received a non-poet with you, than be crowned with all the bays of (the yet-uncrowned) Lakers in their society. I believe you think better of those worthies than I do. I know them * * * * * * * * * * *.

As for Southey, the answer to my proposition of a meeting is not yet come. I sent the message, with a short note, to him through Douglas Kinnaird, and Douglas’s response is not arrived. If he accepts, I shall have to go to England; but if not, I do not think the Noel affairs will take me there, as the arbitrators can settle them without my presence, and there do not seem to be any difficulties. The licence for the new name and armorial bearings will be taken out by the regular application, in such cases, to the Crown, and sent to me.

“Is there a hope of seeing you in Italy again ever? What are you doing?—bored by me, I know; but I have explained why before. I have no correspondence now with London, except through relations and lawyers and one or two friends. My greatest friend, Lord Clare, is at Rome: we met on the road, and our meeting was quite sentimental—really pathetic on both sides. I have always loved him better than any male thing in the world.”

The preceding was enclosed in that which follows.

A. D. 1822. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 579
“Pisa, March 4th, 1822.

“Since I wrote the enclosed, I have waited another post, and now have your answer acknowledging the arrival of the packet—a troublesome one, I fear, to you in more ways than one, both from weight external and internal.

“The unpublished things in your hands, in Douglas K.’s, and Mr. John Murray’s, are, ‘Heaven and Earth, a lyrical kind of Drama upon the Deluge, &c.;’—’Werner,’ now with you;—a translation of the First Canto of the Morgante Maggiore;—ditto of an Episode in Dante;—some stanzas to the Po, June 1st, 1819;—Hints from Horace, written in 1811, but a good deal, since, to be omitted;—several prose things, which may, perhaps, as well remain unpublished;—’The Vision, &c. of Quevedo Redivivus’ in verse.

“Here you see is ‘more matter for a May morning;’ but how much of this can be published is for consideration. The Quevedo (one of my best in that line) has appalled the Row already, and must take its chance at Paris, if at all. The new Mystery is less speculative than ‘Cain,’ and very pious; besides, it is chiefly lyrical. The Morgante is the best translation that ever was or will be made; and the rest are—whatever you please to think them.

“I am sorry you think Werner even approaching to any fitness for the stage, which, with my notions upon it, is very far from my present object. With regard to the publication, I have already explained that I have no exorbitant expectations of either fame or profit in the present instances; but wish them published because they are written, which is the common feeling of all scribblers.

“With respect to ‘Religion,’ can I never convince you that I have no such opinions as the characters in that drama, which seems to have frightened every body? Yet they are nothing to the expressions in Goëthe’s Faust (which are ten times hardier), and not a whit more bold than those of Milton’s Satan. My ideas of a character may run away
580 NOTICES OF THE A. D. 1822.
with me: like all imaginative men, I, of course, embody myself with the character while I draw it, but not a moment after the pen is from off the paper.

“I am no enemy to religion, but the contrary. As a proof, I am educating my natural daughter a strict Catholic in a convent of Romagna, for I think people can never have enough of religion, if they are to have any. I incline, myself, very much to the Catholic doctrines; but if I am to write a drama, I must make my characters speak as I conceive them likely to argue.

“As to poor Shelley, who is another bugbear to you and the world, he is, to my knowledge, the least selfish and the mildest of men—a man who has made more sacrifices of his fortune and feelings for others than any I ever heard of. With his speculative opinions I have nothing in common, nor desire to have.

“The truth is, my dear Moore, you live near the stove of society, where you are unavoidably influenced by its heat and its vapours. I did so once—and too much—and enough to give a colour to my whole future existence. As my success in society was not inconsiderable, I am surely not a prejudiced judge upon the subject, unless in its favour; but I think it, as now constituted, fatal to all great original undertakings of every kind. I never courted it then, when I was young and high in blood, and one of its ‘curled darlings;’ and do you think I would do so now, when I am living in a clearer atmosphere? One thing only might lead me back to it, and that is, to try once more if I could do any good in politics; but not in the petty politics I see now preying upon our miserable country.

“Do not let me be misunderstood, however. If you speak your own opinions, they ever had, and will have, the greatest weight with me. But if you merely echo the ‘monde’ (and it is difficult not to do so, being in its favour and its ferment), I can only regret that you should ever repeat any thing to which I cannot pay attention.

“But I am prosing. The gods go with you, and as much immortality of all kinds as may suit your present and all other existence.

“Yours, &c.”
A. D. 1822. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 581
“Pisa, March 6th, 1822.

“The enclosed letter from Murray hath melted me; though I think it is against his own interest to wish that I should continue his connexion. You may, therefore, send him the packet of ‘Werner,’ which will save you all further trouble. And pray, can you forgive me for the bore and expense I have already put upon you? At least, say so—for I feel ashamed of having given you so much for such nonsense.

“The fact is, I cannot keep my resentments, though violent enough in their onset. Besides, now that all the world are at Murray on my account, I neither can nor ought to leave him; unless, as I really thought, it were better for him that I should.

“I have had no other news from England, except a letter from Barry Cornwall, the bard, and my old schoolfellow. Though I have sickened you with letters lately, believe me

“Yours, &c.

“P.S. In your last letter you say, speaking of Shelley, that you would almost prefer the ‘damning bigot’ to the ‘annihilating infidel*.’ Shelley believes in immortality, however—but this by the way. Do you remember Frederick the Great’s answer to the remonstrance of the villagers whose curate preached against the eternity of hell’s torments? It was thus:—‘If my faithful subjects of Schrausenhaussen prefer being eternally damned, let them!’

“Of the two, I should think the long sleep better than the agonized vigil. But men, miserable as they are, cling so to any thing like life, that they probably would prefer damnation to quiet. Besides, they think themselves so important in the creation, that nothing less can satisfy their pride—the insects!”

* It will be seen, from the extract I shall give presently of the passage to which he refers, that he wholly mistook my meaning.

582 NOTICES OF THE A. D. 1822.

It is Dr. Clarke, I think, who gives, in his Travels, rather a striking account of a Tartar whom he once saw exercising a young, fiery horse, upon a spot of ground almost surrounded by a steep precipice, and describes the wantonness of courage with which the rider, as if delighting in his own peril, would, at times, dash, with loose rein, towards the giddy verge. Something of the same breathless apprehension with which the traveller viewed that scene did the unchecked daring of Byron’s genius inspire in all who watched its course,—causing them, at the same moment, to admire and tremble, and, in those more especially who loved him, awakening a sort of instinctive impulse to rush forward and save him from his own headlong strength. But, however natural it was in friends to give way to this feeling, a little reflection upon his now altered character might have forewarned them that such interference would prove as little useful to him as safe for themselves; and it is not without some surprise I look back upon my own temerity and presumption in supposing that, let loose as he was now, in the full pride and consciousness of strength, with the wide regions of thought outstretching before him, any representations that even friendship could make would have the power—or ought to have—of checking him. As the motives, however, by which I was actuated in my remonstrances to him may be left to speak for themselves, I shall, without dwelling any further upon the subject, content myself with laying before the reader a few such extracts from my own letters at this period* as may serve to explain some allusions in those just given.

In writing to me, under the date January 24th, it will be recollected that he says—“be assured that there is no such coalition as you apprehend.” The following extracts from my previous communication to him will explain what this means:—“I heard some days ago that Leigh Hunt was on his way to you with all his family; and the idea seems to be, that you and Shelley and he are to conspire together in the Examiner.

* It should have been mentioned before, that to the courtesy of Lord Byron’s executor, Mr. Hobhouse, who had the kindness to restore to me such letters of mine as came into his hands, I am indebted for the power of producing these and other extracts.

A. D. 1822. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 583
I cannot believe this,—and deprecate such a plan with all my might. Alone you may do any thing; but partnerships in fame, like those in trade, make the strongest party answerable for the deficiencies or delinquencies of the rest, and I tremble even for you with such a bankrupt Co.—* * *. They are both clever fellows, and Shelley I look upon as a man of real genius; but, I must again say, that you could not give your enemies (the * * *s, ‘et hoc genus omne’) a greater triumph than by forming such an unequal and unholy alliance. You are, single-handed, a match for the world,—which is saying a good deal, the world being, like Briareus, a very many-handed gentleman,—but, to be so, you must stand alone. Recollect that the scurvy buildings about St. Peters almost seem to overtop itself.”

The notices of Cain, in my letters to him, were, according to their respective dates, as follow:—

“September 30th. 1821.

“Since writing the above, I have read Foscari and Cain. The former does not please me so highly as Sardanapalus. It has the fault of all those violent Venetian stories,—being unnatural and improbable, and therefore, in spite of all your fine management of them, appealing but remotely to one’s sympathies. But Cain is wonderful—terrible—never to be forgotten. If I am not mistaken, it will sink deep into the world’s heart; and while many will shudder at its blasphemy, all must fall prostrate before its grandeur. Talk of Æschylus and his Prometheus! —here is the true spirit both of the Poet—and the Devil.”

“February 9th, 1822.

“Do not take it into your head my dear B., that the tide is at all turning against you in England. Till I see some symptoms of people forgetting you a little, I will not believe that you lose ground. As it is, ‘te veniente die, te, decedente,’—nothing is hardly talked of but you: and though good people sometimes bless themselves when they mention you, it is plain that even they think much more about you than, for the good of their souls, they ought. Cain, to be sure, has made a sensation;
584 NOTICES OF THE A. D. 1822.
and, grand as it is, I regret, for many reasons, you ever wrote it. * * * For myself, I would not give up the poetry of religion for all the wisest results that philosophy will ever arrive at. Particular sects and creeds are fair game enough for those who are anxious enough about their neighbours to meddle with them; but our faith in the Future is a treasure not so lightly to be parted with; and the dream of immortality (if philosophers will have it a dream) is one that, let us hope, we shall carry into our last sleep with us*.”

“February 19th, 1822.

“I have written to the Longmans to try the ground, for I do not think Galignani the man for you. The only thing he can do is what we can do, ourselves, without him,—and that is, employ an English bookseller. Paris, indeed, might be convenient for such refugee works as are set down in the Index Expurgatorius of London; and if you have any political catamarans to explode, this is your place. But, pray, let them be only political ones. Boldness, and even licence, in politics, does good,—actual, present good; but, in religion, it profits neither here nor hereafter; and, for myself, such a horror have I of both extremes on this subject, that I know not which I hate most, the bold, damning bigot, or the bold, annihilating infidel. ‘Furiosa res est in tenebris impetus;’—and much as we are in the dark, even the wisest of us, upon these matters, a little modesty, in unbelief as well as belief, best becomes us. You will easily guess that, in all this, I am thinking not so much of you, as of a friend and, at present, companion of yours, whose influence over your mind (knowing you as I do, and knowing what Lady B. ought to have found out, that you are a person the most tractable to those who live with you that, perhaps, ever existed) I own I dread and deprecate most earnestly†.

* It is to this sentence Lord Byron refers at the conclusion of his letter, March 4.

† This passage having been shown by Lord Byron to Mr. Shelley, the latter wrote, in consequence, a letter to a gentleman with whom I was then in habits of intimacy, of which the following is an extract. The zeal and openness with which Shelley always professed his unbelief render any scruple that might otherwise be felt in giving publicity to such avowals unnecessary; besides which, the testimony of so near and dear an observer to the state of Lord

A. D. 1822. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 585
“March 16th, 1822.

“With respect to our Religious Polemics, I must try to set you right upon one or two points. In the first place, I do not identify you with the blasphemies of Cain no more than I do myself with the impieties of my Mokanna,—all I wish and implore is that you, who are such a powerful manufacturer of these thunderbolts, would not choose subjects that make it necessary to launch them. In the next place, were you even a decided atheist, I could not (except, perhaps, for the decision which is always unwise) blame you. I could only pity,—knowing from experience how dreary are the doubts with which even the bright, poetic view I am myself inclined to take of mankind and their destiny, is now and then clouded. I look upon Cuvier’s book to be a most desolating one in the conclusions to which it may lead some minds. But the young, the simple,—all those whose hearts one would like to keep unwithered, trouble their heads but little about Cuvier. You, however, have embodied him in poetry which every one reads; and, like the wind, blowing ‘where you list,’ carry this deadly chill, mixed up with your own fragrance, into hearts that should be visited only by the latter. This is what I regret,

Byron’s mind upon religious subjects is of far too much importance to my object to be, from any over-fastidiousness, suppressed. We have here, too, strikingly exemplified,—and in strong contrast, I must say, to the line taken by Mr. Hunt in similar circumstances,—the good-breeding, gentle temper and modesty for which Shelley was so remarkable, and of the latter of which qualities in particular the undeserved compliment to myself affords a strong illustration, as showing how little this true poet had yet learned to know his own place.

“Lord Byron has read me one or two letters of Moore to him, in which Moore speaks with great kindness of me; and of course I cannot but feel flattered by the approbation of a man, my inferiority to whom I am proud to acknowledge. Amongst other things, however, Moore, after giving Lord B. much good advice about public opinion, &c. seems to deprecate my influence on his mind on the subject of religion, and to attribute the tone assumed in Cain to my suggestions. Moore cautions him against any influence on this particular with the most friendly zeal, and it is plain that his motive springs from a desire of benefiting Lord B. without degrading me. I think you know Moore. Pray assure him that I have not the smallest influence over Lord Byron in this particular;—if I had, I certainly should employ it to eradicate from his great mind the delusions of Christianity, which, in spite of his reason, seem perpetually to recur, and to lay in ambush for the hours of sickness and distress. Cain was conceived many years ago, and begun before I saw him lost year at Rovenna. How happy should I not be to attribute to myself, however indirectly, any participation in that immortal work!”

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and what with all my influence I would deprecate a repetition of. Now, do you understand me?

“As to your solemn peroration, ‘the truth is, my dear Moore, &c. &c.’ meaning neither more nor less than that I give into the cant of the world, it only proves, alas, the melancholy fact, that you and I are hundreds of miles asunder. Could you hear me speak my opinions instead of coldly reading them, I flatter myself there is still enough of honesty and fun in this face to remind you that your friend Tom Moore,—whatever else he may be,—is no Canter.”

“Pisa, March 6th, 1822.

“You will long ago have received a letter from me (or should), declaring my opinion of the treatment you have met with about the recent publication. I think it disgraceful to those who have persecuted you. I make peace with you, though our war was for other reasons than this same controversy. I have written to Moore by this post to forward to you the tragedy of ‘Werner.’ I shall not make or propose any present bargain about it or the new Mystery till we see if they succeed. If they don’t sell (which is not unlikely), you sha’n’t pay; and I suppose this is fair play, if you choose to risk it.

Bartolini, the celebrated sculptor, wrote to me to desire to take my bust: I consented, on condition that he also took that of the Countess Guiccioli. He has taken both, and I think it will be allowed that hers is beautiful. I shall make you a present of them both, to show that I don’t bear malice, and as a compensation for the trouble and squabble you had about Thorwaldsen’s. Of my own I can hardly speak, except that it is thought very like what I now am, which is different from what I was, of course, since you saw me. The sculptor is a famous one; and as it was done by his own particular request, will be done well, probably.

“What is to be done about * * and his Commentary? He will die,
A. D. 1822. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 587
if he is not published; he will be damned, if he is; but that he don’t mind. We must publish him.

“All the row about me has no otherwise affected me than by the attack upon yourself, which is ungenerous in Church and State: but as all violence must in time have it proportionate reaction, you will do better by and by.

“Yours very truly,
Noel Byron.
“Pisa, March 8th, 1822.

“You will have had enough of my letters by this time—yet one word in answer to your present missive. You are quite wrong in thinking that your ‘advice’ had offended me; but I have already replied (if not answered) on that point.

“With regard to Murray, as I really am the meekest and mildest of men since Moses (though the public and mine ‘excellent wife’ cannot find it out), I had already pacified myself and subsided back to Albemarle-street, as my yesterday’s yepistle will have informed you. But I thought that I had explained my causes of bile—at least to you. Some instances of vacillation, occasional neglect, and troublesome sincerity, real or imagined, are sufficient to put your truly great author and man into a passion. But reflection, with some aid from hellebore, hath already cured me ‘pro tempore;’ and, if it had not, a request from you and Hobhouse would have come upon me like two out of the ’tribus Anticyris,’—with which, however, Horace despairs of purging a poet. I really feel ashamed of having bored you so frequently and fully of late. But what could I do? You are a friend—an absent one, alas!—and as I trust no one more, I trouble you in proportion.

“This war of ‘Church and State’ has astonished me more than it disturbs; for I really thought ‘Cain’ a speculative and hardy, but still a harmless, production. As I said before, I am really a great admirer of tangible religion; and am breeding one of my daughters a Catholic, that
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she may have her hands full. It is by far the most elegant worship, hardly excepting the Greek mythology. What with incense, pictures, statues, altars, shrines, relics, and the real presence, confession, absolution,—there is something sensible to grasp at. Besides, it leaves no possibility of doubt; for those who swallow their Deity, really and truly, in transubstantiation, can hardly find any thing else otherwise than easy of digestion.

“I am afraid that this sounds flippant, but I don’t mean it to be so; only my turn of mind is so given to taking things in the absurd point of view, that it breaks out in spite of me every now and then. Still, I do assure you that I am a very good Christian. Whether you will believe me in this, I do not know; but I trust you will take my word for being

“Very truly and affectionately yours, &c.

“P.S. Do tell Murray that one of the conditions of peace is, that he publisheth (or obtaineth a publisher for) * * *’s Commentary on Dante, against which there appears in the trade an unaccountable repugnance. It will make the man so exuberantly happy. He dines with me and half a dozen English to-day; and I have not the heart to tell him how the bibliopolar world shrink from his Commentary;—and yet it is full of the most orthodox religion and morality. In short, I make it a point that he shall be in print. He is such a good-natured, heavy-* * Christian, that we must give him a shove through the press. He naturally thirsts to be an author, and has been the happiest of men for these two months, printing, correcting, collating, dating, anticipating, and adding to his treasures of learning. Besides, he has had another fall from his horse into a ditch the other day, while riding out with me into the country.”

Pisa, March 15th, 1822.

“I am glad that you and your friends approve of my letter of the 8th ultimo. You may give it what publicity you think proper in the circumstances. I have since written to you twice or thrice.

A. D. 1822. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 589

“As to ‘a Poem in the old way,’ I shall attempt of that kind nothing further. I follow the bias of my own mind, without considering whether women or men are or are not to be pleased: but this is nothing to my publisher, who must judge and act according to popularity.

“Therefore let the things take their chance: if they pay, you will pay me in proportion; and if they don’t, I must.

“The Noel affairs, I hope, will not take me to England. I have no desire to revisit that country, unless it be to keep you out of a prison (if this can be effected by my taking your place), or perhaps to get myself into one, by exacting satisfaction from one or two persons who take advantage of my absence to abuse me. Further than this, I have no business nor connexion with England, nor desire to have, out of my own family and friends, to whom I wish all prosperity. Indeed, I have lived upon the whole so little in England (about five years since I was one-and-twenty), that my habits are too continental, and your climate would please me as little as the society.

“I saw the Chancellor’s Report in a French paper. Pray, why don’t they prosecute the translation of Lucretius? or the original with its
‘Primus in orbe Deos fecit Timor,’
‘Tantum Religio potuit suadere malorum?’

“You must really get something done for Mr. * *’s Commentary: what can I say to him?

“Yours, &c.”
“Pisa, April 13th, 1822.

Mr. Kinnaird writes that there has been an ‘excellent Defence’ of ‘Cain,’ against ‘Oxoniensis:’ you have sent me nothing but a not very excellent of-fence of the same poem. If there be such a ‘Defender of the Faith,’ you may send me his thirty-nine articles, as a counterbalance to some of your late communications.

“Are you to publish, or not, what Moore and Mr. Kinnaird have in
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hand, and the ‘
Vision of Judgment?’ If you publish the latter in a very cheap edition, so as to baffle the pirates by a low price, you will find that it will do. The ‘Mystery’ I look upon as good, and ‘Werner’ too, and I expect that you will publish them speedily. You need not put your name to Quevedo, but publish it as a foreign edition, and let it make its way. Douglas Kinnaird has it still, with the preface, I believe.

“I refer you to him for documents on the late row here. I sent them a week ago.

“Yours, &c.”
“Pisa, April 18th, 1822.

“I have received the Defence of ‘Cain.’ Who is my Warburton?—for he has done for me what the bishop did for the poet against Crousaz. His reply seems to me conclusive: and if you understood your own interest, you would print it together with the poem.

“It is very odd that I do not hear from you. I have forwarded to Mr. Douglas Kinnaird the documents on a squabble here, which occurred about a month ago. The affair is still going on; but they make nothing of it hitherto. I think, what with home and abroad, there has been hot water enough for one while. Mr. Dawkins, the English minister, has behaved in the handsomest and most gentlemanly manner throughout the whole business.

“Yours ever, &c.

“P.S. I have got Lord Glenbervie’s book, which is very amusing and able upon the topics which he touches upon, and part of the preface pathetic. Write soon.”

A. D. 1822. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 591
“Pisa, April 22d, 1822.

“You will regret to hear that I have received intelligence of the death of my daughter Allegra of a fever, in the convent of Bagna Cavallo, where she was placed for the last year, to commence her education. It is a heavy blow for many reasons, but must be borne, with time.

“It is my present intention to send her remains to England for sepulture in Harrow church (where I once hoped to have laid my own), and this is my reason for troubling you with this notice. I wish the funeral to be very private. The body is embalmed, and in lead. It will be embarked from Leghorn. Would you have any objection to give the proper directions on its arrival?

“I am yours, &c.
“N. B.”

“P.S. You are aware that Protestants are not allowed holy ground in Catholic countries.”

April 23rd, 1822.

“The blow was stunning and unexpected; for I thought the danger over, by the long interval between her stated amelioration and the arrival of the express. But I have borne up against it as I best can, and so far successfully, that I can go about the usual business of life with the same appearance of composure, and even greater. There is nothing to prevent your coming tomorrow; but, perhaps, to-day, and yester-evening, it was better not to have met. I do not know that I have any thing to reproach in my conduct, and certainly nothing in my feelings and intentions towards the dead. But it is a moment when we are apt to think that, if this or that had been done, such event might have been prevented,—though every day and hour shows us that they are the most natural and
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inevitable. I suppose that Time will do his usual work—Death has done his.

“Yours ever,
“N. B.”
“Pisa, May 4th, 1822.

“Your account of your family is very pleasing: would that I ‘could answer this comfort with the like!’ but I have just lost my natural daughter, Allegra, by a fever. The only consolation, save time, is the reflection, that she is either at rest or happy; for her few years (only five) prevented her from having incurred any sin, except what we inherit from Adam.
‘Whom the gods love, die young.’

“I need not say that your letters are particularly welcome, when they do not tax your time and patience; and now that our correspondence is resumed, I trust it will continue.

“I have lately had some anxiety, rather than trouble, about an awkward affair here, which you may perhaps have heard of: but our minister has behaved very handsomely, and the Tuscan Government as well as it is possible for such a government to behave, which is not saying much for the latter. Some other English, and Scots, and myself, had a brawl with a dragoon, who insulted one of the party, and whom we mistook for an officer, as he was medalled and well mounted, &c., but he turned out to be a sergeant-major. He called out the guard at the gates to arrest us (we being unarmed); upon which I and another (an Italian) rode through the said guard; but they succeeded in detaining others of the party. I rode to my house and sent my secretary to give an account of the attempted and illegal arrest to the authorities, and then, without dismounting, rode back towards the gates, which are near my present mansion. Half way I met my man, vapouring away, and threatening to draw upon me (who had a cane in my hand, and no other arms). I, still
A. D. 1822. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 593
believing him an officer, demanded his name and address, and gave him my hand and glove thereupon. A servant of mine thrust in between us (totally without orders), but let him go on my command. He then rode off at full speed; but about forty paces further was stabbed, and very dangerously (so as to be in peril), by some callum bog or other of my people (for I have some rough-handed folks about me), I need hardly say without my direction or approval. The said dragoon had been sabring our unarmed countrymen, however, at the gate, after they were in arrest, and held by the guards, and wounded one,
Captain Hay, very severely. However, he got his paiks—having acted like an assassin, and being treated like one. Who wounded him, though it was done before thousands of people, they have never been able to ascertain, or prove, nor even the weapon; some said a pistol, an air-gun, a stiletto, a sword, a lance, a pitch-fork, and what not. They have arrested and examined servants and people of all descriptions, but can make out nothing. Mr. Dawkins, our minister, assures me, that no suspicion is entertained of the man who wounded him having been instigated by me, or any of the party. I enclose you copies of the depositions of those with us, and Dr. Craufurd, a canny Scot (not an acquaintance), who saw the latter part of the affair. They are in Italian.

“These are the only literary matters in which I have been engaged since the publication and row about ‘Cain;’—but Mr. Murray has several things of mine in his obstetrical hands. Another Mystery—a Vision—a Drama—and the like.—But you won’t tell me what you are doing—however, I shall find you out, write what you will. You say that I should like your son-in-law—it would be very difficult for me to dislike any one connected with you; but I have no doubt that his own qualifies are all that you describe.

“I am sorry you don’t like Lord Orford’s new work. My aristocracy, which is very fierce, makes him a favourite of mine. Recollect that those ‘little factions’ comprised Lord Chatham and Fox, the father, and that we live in gigantic and exaggerated times, which make all under Gog and Magog appear pigmean.—After having seen Napoleon begin like Tamerlane and end like Bajazet in our own time, we have not the
594 NOTICES OF THE A. D. 1822.
same interest in what would otherwise have appeared important history. But I must conclude.

“Believe me ever and most truly yours,
Noel Byron.
“Pisa, May 17th, 1822.

“I hear that the Edinburgh has attacked the three dramas, which is a bad business for you; and I don’t wonder that it discourages you. However, that volume may be trusted to time,—depend upon it. I read it over with some attention since it was published, and I think the time will come when it will be preferred to my other writings, though not immediately. I say this without irritation against the critics or criticism, whatever they may be (for I have not seen them); and nothing that has or may appear in Jeffrey’s Review can make me forget that he stood by me for ten good years without any motive to do so but his own goodwill.

“I hear Moore is in town; remember me to him, and believe me

“Yours truly,
“N. B.”

“P.S. If you think it necessary, you may send me the Edinburgh. Should there be any thing that requires an answer I will reply, but temperately and technically; that is to say, merely with respect to the principles of the criticism, and not personally or offensively as to its literary merits.”

“Pisa, May 17th, 1822.

“I hear you are in London. You will have heard from Douglas Kinnaird (who tells me you have dined with him) as much as you desire
A. D. 1822. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 595
to know of my affairs at home and abroad. I have lately lost my little girl
Allegra by a fever, which has been a serious blow to me.

“I did not write to you lately (except one letter to Murray’s), not knowing exactly your ‘whereabouts.’ Douglas K. refused to forward my message to Mr. Southeywhy, he himself can explain.

“You will have seen the statement of a squabble, &c. &c.* What are you about? Let me hear from you at your leisure, and believe me ever yours,

“N. B.”
“Montenero†, May 26th, 1822.
“Near Leghorn.             

The body is embarked, in what ship I know not, neither could I enter into the details; but the Countess G. G. has had the goodness to give the necessary orders to Mr. Dunn, who superintends the embarkation, and will write to you. I wish it to be buried in Harrow church.

“There is a spot in the churchyard, near the footpath, on the brow of the hill looking towards Windsor, and a tomb under a large tree (bearing the name of Peachie, or Peachey), where I used to sit for hours and hours when a boy. This was my favourite spot; but as I wish to erect a tablet to her memory, the body had better be deposited in the church. Near the door, on the left hand as you enter, there is a monument with a tablet containing these words:—
‘When Sorrow weeps o’er Virtue’s sacred dust,
Our tears become us, and our grief is just:
Such were the tears she shed, who grateful pays
This last sad tribute of her love and praise.’

* Here follows a repetition of the details given on this subject to Sir Walter Scott and others.

† A hill, three or four miles from Leghorn, much resorted to, as place of residence during the summer months.

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I recollect them (after seventeen years), not from any thing remarkable in them, but because from my seat in the gallery I had generally my eyes turned towards that monument. As near it as convenient I could wish Allegra to be buried, and on the wall a marble tablet placed, with these words:—

In Memory of
Daughter of G. G. Lord Byron,
who died at Bagna Cavallo,
in Italy, April 20th, 1822,
aged five years and three months.
‘I shall go to her, but she shall not return to me.’
2d Samuel, xii. 23.

“The funeral I wish to be as private as is consistent with decency; and I could hope that Henry Drury will, perhaps, read the service over her. If he should decline it, it can be done by the usual minister for the time being. I do not know that I need add more just now.

“Since I came here, I have been invited by the Americans on board their squadron, where I was received with all the kindness which I could wish, and with more ceremony than I am fond of. I found them finer ships than your own of the same class, well manned and officered. A number of American gentlemen also were on board at the time, and some ladies. As I was taking leave, an American lady asked me for a rose which I wore, for the purpose, she said, of sending to America something which I had about me, as a memorial. I need not add that I felt the compliment properly. Captain Chauncey showed me an American and very pretty edition of my poems, and offered me a passage to the United States, if I would go there. Commodore Jones was also not less kind and attentive. I have since received the enclosed letter, desiring me to sit for my picture for some Americans. It is singular that, in the same year that Lady Noel leaves by will an interdiction for my daughter to see her father’s portrait for many years, the individuals of a nation not remarkable for their liking to the English in particular, nor for flattering men in general, request me to sit for my ‘pourtraicture,’ as Baron Bradwardine calls it. I am also told of considerable literary
A. D. 1822. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 597
honours in Germany.
Goëthe, I am told, is my professed patron and protector. At Leipsic, this year, the highest prize was proposed for a translation of two cantos of Childe Harold. I am not sure that this was at Leipsic, but Mr. Rowcroft was my authority—a good German scholar (a young American), and an acquaintance of Goëthe’s.

Goëthe and the Germans are particularly fond of Don Juan, which they judge of as a work of art. I had heard something of this before through Baron Lutzerode. The translations have been very frequent of several of the works, and Goëthe made a comparison between Faust and Manfred.

“All this is some compensation for your English native brutality, so fully displayed this year to its highest extent.

“I forgot to mention a little anecdote of a different kind. I went over the Constitution (the Commodore’s flag-ship), and saw, among other things worthy of remark, a little boy born on board of her by a sailor’s wife. They had christened him ‘Constitution Jones.’ I, of course, approved the name; and the woman added, ‘Ah, sir, if he turns out but half as good as his name!’

“Yours ever, &c.”
“Montenero, near Leghorn, May 29th, 1822.

“I return you the proofs revised. Your printer has made one odd mistake:—‘Poor as a mouse,’ instead of ‘poor as a miser.’ The expression may seem strange, but it is only a translation of ‘semper avarus eget.’ You will add the Mystery, and publish as soon as you can. I care nothing for your ‘season,’ nor the blue approbations or disapprobations. All that is to be considered by you on the subject is as a matter of business; and if I square that to your notions (even to the running the risk entirely myself), you may permit me to choose my own time and mode of publication. With regard to the late volume, the present run against it or me may impede it for a time, but it has the vital principle
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of permanency within it, as you may perhaps one day discover. I wrote to you on another subject a few days ago.

“N. B.

“P.S. Please to send me the Dedication of Sardanapalus to Goëthe. I shall prefix it to Werner, unless you prefer my putting another, stating that the former had been omitted by the publisher.

“On the title-page of the present volume, put ‘Published for the Author by J. M.’”

“Montenero, Leghorn, June 6th, 1822.

“I return you the revise of Werner, and expect the rest. With regard to the Lines to the Po, perhaps you had better put them quietly in a second edition (if you reach one, that is to say) than in the first; because, though they have been reckoned fine, and I wish them to be preserved, I do not wish them to attract immediate observation, on account of the relationship of the lady to whom they are addressed with the first families in Romagna and the Marches.

“The defender of ‘Cain’ may or may not be, as you term him, ‘a tyro in literature:’ however, I think both you and I are under great obligation to him. I have read the Edinburgh Review in Galignani’s Magazine, and have not yet decided whether to answer them or not; for, if I do, it will be difficult for me not ‘to make sport for the Philistines’ by pulling down a house or two; since, when I once take pen in hand, I must say what comes uppermost, or fling it away. I have not the hypocrisy to pretend impartiality, nor the temper (as it is called) to keep always from saying what may not be pleasing to the hearer or reader. What do they mean by ‘elaborate?’ ‘Why, you know that they were written as fast as I could put pen to paper, and printed from the original MSS., and never revised but in the proofs: look at the dates and the MSS. themselves. Whatever faults they have must spring from
A. D. 1822. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 599
carelessness, and not from labour. They said the same of ‘
Lara,’ which I wrote while undressing after coming home from balls-and-masquerades in the year of revelry 1814.

“June 8th, 1822.

“You give me no explanation of your intention as to the ‘Vision of Quevedo Redivivus,’ one of my best things: indeed, you are altogether so abstruse and undecided lately, that I suppose you mean me to write ‘John Murray, Esq., a Mystery,’—a composition which would not displease the clergy nor the trade. I by no means wish you to do what you don’t like, but merely to say what you will do. The Vision must be published by some one. As to ‘clamours,’ the die is cast; and, ‘come one, come all,’ we will fight it out—at least one of us.”

“Montenero, Villa Dupoy, near Leghorn, June 8th, 1822.

“I have written to you twice through the medium of Murray, and on one subject, trite enough,—the loss of poor little Allegra by a fever; on which topic I shall say no more—there is nothing but time.

“A few days ago, my earliest and dearest friend, Lord Clare, came over from Geneva on purpose to see me before he returned to England. As I have always loved him (since I was thirteen, at Harrow) better than any (male) thing in the world, I need hardly say what a melancholy pleasure it was to see him for a day only; for he was obliged to resume his journey immediately. *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   * I have heard, also may other things of our acquaintances which I did not know: amongst others, that *   *   *   *   *   *   *. Do you recollect, in the year of revelry 1814, the pleasantest parties and balls all over London? and not the least so at * *’s. Do you recollect your singing duets with Lady * *, and my flirtation with Lady * *, and all the other fooleries of the time? while * * was sighing, and
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Lady * * ogling him with her clear hazel eyes. But eight years have passed, and, since that time * * has * * * * * *; —— has run away with * * * * *; and mysen (as my Nottinghamshire friends call themselves) might as well have thrown myself out of the window while you were singing, as intermarried where I did. You and * * * * have come off the best of us. I speak merely of my marriage, and its consequences, distresses, and calumnies; for I have been much more happy, on the whole, since, than I ever could have been with *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *.

I have read the recent article of Jeffrey in a faithful transcription of the impartial Galignani. I suppose the long and short of it is, that he wishes to provoke me to reply. But I won’t, for I owe him a good turn still for his kindness by-gone. Indeed, I presume that the present opportunity of attacking me again was irresistible; and I can’t blame him, knowing what human nature is. I shall make but one remark:—what does he mean by elaborate? The whole volume was written with the greatest rapidity, in the midst of evolutions, and revolutions, and persecutions, and proscriptions of all who interested me in Italy. They said the same of ‘Lara,’ which, you know, was written amidst balls and fooleries, and after coming home from masquerades and routs, in the summer of the sovereigns. Of all I have ever written, they are perhaps the most carelessly composed; and their faults, whatever they may be, are those of negligence, and not of labour. I do not think this a merit, but it is a fact.

“Yours ever and truly,
“N. B.

“P.S. You see the great advantage of my new signature;—it may either stand for ‘Nota Bene’ or ‘Noel Byron,’ and, as such, will save much repetition, in writing either books or letters. Since I came here, I have been invited on board of the American squadron, and treated with all possible honour and ceremony. They have asked me to sit for my picture; and, as I was going away, an American lady took a rose from me (which had been given to me by a very pretty Italian lady that very morning), because, she said, ‘She was determined to send or take something which I had about me to America.’ There is a kind of
A. D. 1822. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 601
Lalla Rookh incident for you! However, all these American honours arise, perhaps, not so much from their enthusiasm for my ‘Poeshie,’ as their belief in my dislike to the English,—in which I have the satisfaction to coincide with them. I would rather, however, have a nod from an American, than a snuff-box from an emperor.”

“Montenero, Leghorn, June 12th, 1822.

“It is a long time since I have written to you, but I have not forgotten your kindness, and I am now going to tax it—I hope not too highly—but don’t be alarmed, it is not a loan, but information which I am about to solicit. By your extensive connexions, no one can have better opportunities of hearing the real state of South America—I mean Bolivar’s country. I have many years had transatlantic projects of settlement, and what I could wish from you would be some information of the best course to pursue, and some letters of recommendation in case I should sail for Angostura. I am told that land is very cheap there; but though I have no great disposable funds to vest in such purchases, yet my income, such as it is, would be sufficient in any country (except England) for all the comforts of life, and for most of its luxuries. The war there is now over, and as I do not go there to speculate, but to settle without any views but those of independence and the enjoyment of the common civil rights, I should presume such an arrival would not be unwelcome.

“All I request of you is, not to discourage nor encourage, but to give me such a statement as you think prudent and proper. I do not address my other friends upon this subject, who would only throw obstacles in my way, and bore me to return to England; which I never will do, unless compelled by some insuperable cause. I have a quantity of furniture, books, &c. &c. &c. which I could easily ship from Leghorn; but I wish to ‘look before I leap’ over the Atlantic. Is it true that for a few thousand dollars a large tract of land may be obtained? I speak
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of South America, recollect. I have read some publications on the subject, but they seemed violent and vulgar party productions. Please to address your answer* to me at this place, and believe me ever and truly yours, &c.”

About this time he sat for his picture to Mr. West, an American artist, who has himself given, in one of our periodical publications, the following account of his noble sitter:—

“On the day appointed, I arrived at two o’clock, and began the picture. I found him a bad sitter. He talked all the time and asked a multitude of questions about America—how I liked Italy, what I thought of the Italians, &c. When he was silent, he was a better sitter than before; for he assumed a countenance that did not belong to him, as though he were thinking of a frontispiece for Childe Harold. In about an hour our first sitting terminated, and I returned to Leghorn, scarcely able to persuade myself that this was the haughty misanthrope whose character had always appeared so enveloped in gloom and mystery, for I do not remember ever to have met with manners more gentle and attractive.

“The next day I returned and had another sitting of an hour, during which he seemed anxious to know what I should make of my undertaking. Whilst I was painting, the window from which I received my light became suddenly darkened, and I heard a voice exclaim ‘è troppo bello!’ I turned and discovered a beautiful female stooping down to look in, the ground on the outside being on a level with the bottom of the window. Her long golden hair hung down about her face and shoulders, her complexion was exquisite, and her smile completed one of the most romantic-looking heads, set off as it was by the bright sun

* The answer which Mr. Ellice returned was, as might be expected, strongly dissuasive of this design. The wholly disorganized state of the country and its institutions, which it would take ages, perhaps, to restore even to the degree of industry and prosperity which it had enjoyed under the Spaniards, rendered Columbia, in his opinion, one of the last places in the world to which a man desirous of peace and quiet, or of security for his person and property, should resort as an asylum. As long as Bolivar lived and maintained his authority, every reliance, Mr. Ellice added, might be placed on his integrity and firmness; but with his death a new æra of struggle and confusion would be sure to arise.

A. D. 1822. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 603
behind it which I had ever beheld. Lord Byron invited her to come in, and introduced her to me as the
Countess Guiccioli. He seemed very fond of her, and I was glad of her presence, for the playful manner which he assumed towards her made him a much better sitter.

“The next day, I was pleased to find that the progress which I had made in his likeness had given satisfaction, for, when we were alone, he said that he had a particular favour to request of me—would I grant it? I said I should be happy to oblige him, and he enjoined me to the flattering task of painting the Countess Guiccioli’s portrait for him. On the following morning I began it, and, after, they sat alternately. He gave me the whole history of his connexion with her, and said that he hoped it would last for ever; at any rate, it should not be his fault if it did not. His other attachments had been broken off by no fault of his.

“I was by this time sufficiently intimate with him to answer his question as to what I thought of him before I had seen him. He laughed much at the idea which I had formed of him, and said, ‘Well, you find me like other people, do you not?’ He often afterwards repeated, ‘And so you thought me a finer fellow, did you?’ I remember once telling him, that notwithstanding his vivacity, I thought myself correct in at least one estimate which I had made of him, for I still conceived that he was not a happy man. He inquired earnestly what reason I had for thinking so, and I asked him if he had never observed in little children, after a paroxysm of grief, that they had at intervals a convulsive or tremulous manner of drawing in a long breath. Wherever I had observed this, in persons of whatever age, I had always found that it came from sorrow. He said the thought was new to him, and that he would make use of it.

“Lord Byron, and all the party, left Villa Rossa (the name of their house) in a few days, to pack up their things in their house at Pisa. He told me that he should remain a few days there, and desired me, if I could do any thing more to the pictures, to come and stay with him. He seemed at a loss where to go, and was, I thought, on the point of embarking for America. I was with him at Pisa for a few days, but he was so annoyed by the police, and the weather was so hot, that I thought
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it doubtful whether I could improve the pictures, and, taking my departure one morning before he was up, I wrote him an excuse from Leghorn. Upon the whole, I left him with an impression that he possessed an excellent heart, which had been misconstrued on all hands from little else than a reckless levity of manners, which he took a whimsical pride in opposing to those of other people.”

“Pisa, July 6th, 1822.

“I return you the revise. I have softened the part to which Gifford objected, and changed the name of Michael to Raphael, who was an angel of gentler sympathies. By the way, recollect to alter Michael to Raphael in the scene itself throughout, for I have only had time to do so in the list of the dramatis personæ, and scratch out all the pencil-marks, to avoid puzzling the printers. I have given the ‘Vision of Quevedo Redivivus’ to John Hunt, which will relieve you from a dilemma. He must publish it at his own risk, as it is at his own desire. Give him the corrected copy which Mr. Kinnaird had, as it is mitigated partly, and also the preface.

“Yours, &c.”
“Pisa, July 8th, 1822.

“Last week I returned you the packet of proofs. You had, perhaps, better not publish in the same volume the Po and Rimini translation.

“I have consigned a letter to Mr. John Hunt for the ‘Vision of Judgment,’ which you will hand over to him. Also the ‘Pulci,’ original and Italian, and any prose tracts of mine; for Mr. Leigh Hunt is arrived here, and thinks of commencing a periodical work, to which I shall contribute. I do not propose to you to be the publisher, because I know
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that you are unfriends; but all things in your care, except the volume now in the press, and the manuscript purchased of
Mr. Moore, can be given for this purpose, according as they are wanted.

“With regard to what you say about your ‘want of memory,’ I can only remark, that you inserted the note to Marino Faliero against my positive revocation, and that you omitted the Dedication of Sardanapalus to Goëthe (place it before the volume now in the press), both of which were things not very agreeable to me, and which I could wish to be avoided in future, as they might be with a very little care, or a simple memorandum in your pocket-book.

“It is not impossible that I may have three or four cantos of Don Juan ready by autumn, or a little later, as I obtained a permission from my dictatress to continue it,—provided always it was to be more guarded and decorous and sentimental in the continuation than in the commencement. How far these conditions have been fulfilled may be seen, perhaps, by-and-by; but the embargo was only taken off upon these stipulations. You can answer at your leisure.

“Yours, &c.”
“Pisa, July 12th, 1822.

“I have written to you lately, but not in answer to your last letter of about a fortnight ago. I wish to know (and request an answer to that point) what became of the stanzas to Wellington (intended to open a canto of Don Juan with), which I sent you several months ago. If they have fallen into Murray’s hands, he and the Tories will suppress them, as those lines rate that hero at his real value. Pray be explicit on this, as I have no other copy, having sent you the original; and if you have them, let me have that again, or a copy correct. * * * * * * *.

“I subscribed at Leghorn two hundred Tuscan crowns to your Irishism committee: it is about a thousand francs, more or less. As
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Sir C. S., who receives thirteen thousand a year of the public money, could not afford more than a thousand livres out of his enormous salary, it would have appeared ostentatious in a private individual to pretend to surpass him; and therefore I have sent but the above sum, as you will see by the enclosed receipt*.

Leigh Hunt is here, after a voyage of eight months, during which he has, I presume, made the Periplus of Hanno the Carthaginian, and with much the same speed. He is setting up a Journal, to which I have promised to contribute; and in the first number the ‘Vision of Judgment, by Quevedo Redivivus,’ will probably appear, with other articles.

“Can you give us any thing? He seems sanguine about the matter, but (entre nous) I am not. I do not, however, like to put him out of spirits by saying so; for he is bilious and unwell. Do, pray, answer this letter immediately.

“Do send Hunt any thing, in prose or verse, of yours, to start him handsomely—any lyrical, irical, or what you please.

“Has not your Potatoe Committee been blundering? Your advertisement says, that Mr. L. Callaghan (a queer name for a banker) hath been disposing of money in Ireland ‘sans authority of the Committee.’ I suppose it will end in Callaghan’s calling out the Committee, the chairman of which carries pistols in his pocket, of course.

“When you can spare time from duetting, coquetting, and claretting with your Hibernians of both sexes, let me have a line from you. I doubt whether Paris is a good place for the composition of your new poesy.”

* “Received from Mr. Henry Dunn the sum of two hundred Tuscan crowns (for account of the Right Honourable Lord Noel Byron), for the purpose of assisting the Irish poor.

“Leghorn, 9th July. 1822. Tuscan crowns, 200.”

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“Pisa, August 8th, 1822,

“You will have heard by this time that Shelley and another gentleman (Captain Williams) were drowned about a month ago (a month yesterday), in a squall off the Gulf of Spezia. There is thus another man gone, about whom the world was ill-naturedly, and ignorantly, and brutally mistaken. It will, perhaps, do him justice now, when he can be no better for it*.

“I have not seen the thing you mention†, and only heard of it casually, nor have I any desire. The price is, as I saw in some advertisements, fourteen shillings, which is too much to pay for a libel on oneself. Some one said in a letter, that it was a Doctor Watkins, who deals in the life and libel line. It must have diminished your natural pleasure, as a friend (vide Rochefoucault), to see yourself in it.

“With regard to the Blackwood fellows, I never published any thing against them; nor, indeed, have seen their magazine (except in Galignani’s extracts) for these three years past. I once wrote, a good while ago, some remarks‡ on their review of Don Juan, but saying very little about themselves,—and these were not published. If you think that I ought to follow your example§ (and I like to be in your company when I can) in contradicting their impudence, you may shape this declaration of mine into a similar paragraph for me. It is possible that you may have seen the little I did write (and never published) at

* In a letter to Mr. Murray, of an earlier date, which has been omitted to avoid repetitions, he says on the same subject:—“You were all mistaken about Shelley, who was, without exception, the best and least selfish man I ever knew.” There is also another passage in the same letter which, for its perfect truth, I must quote:—“I have received your scrap, with Henry Drury’s letter enclosed. It is just like him—always kind and ready to oblige his old friends.”

† A book which had just appeared, entitled “Memoirs of the Right Hon. Lord Byron.”

‡ The remarkable pamphlet from which extracts have been already given in this volume.

§ It had been asserted, in a late Number of Blackwood, that both Lord Byron and myself were employed in writing satires against that Magazine.

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Murray’s;—it contained much more about Southey than about the Blacks.

“If you think that I ought to do any thing about Watkins’s book, I should not care much about publishing my Memoir now, should it be necessary to counteract the fellow. But, in that case, I should like to look over the press myself. Let me know what you think, or whether I had better not;—at least, not the second part, which touches on the actual confines of still existing matters.

“I have written three more Cantos of Don Juan, and am hovering on the brink of another (the ninth). The reason I want the stanzas again which I sent you is, that as these cantos contain a full detail (like the storm in Canto Second) of the siege and assault of Ismael, with much of sarcasm on those butchers in large business, your mercenary soldiery, it is a good opportunity of gracing the poem with * * * * * *. With these things and these fellows, it is necessary, in the present clash of philosophy and tyranny, to throw away the scabbard. I know it is against fearful odds; but the battle must be fought; and it will be eventually for the good of mankind, whatever it may be for the individual who risks himself.

“What do you think of your Irish bishop? Do you remember Swift’s line, ‘Let me have a barrack—a fig for the clergy.’ This seems to have been his reverence’s motto. * * * *

* * * * * *
“yours, &c.
“Pisa, August 27th, 1822.

“It is boring to trouble you with ‘such small gear;’ but it must be owned that I should be glad if you would inquire whether my Irish subscription ever reached the Committee in Paris from Leghorn. My reasons, like Vellum’s, ‘are threefold:’ First, I doubt the accuracy of all almoners, or remitters of benevolent cash; second, I do suspect that the said Committee, having in part served its time to time-serving, may
A. D. 1822. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 609
have kept back the acknowledgment of an obnoxious politician’s name in their lists; and, third, I feel pretty sure that I shall one day be twitted by the government scribes for having been a professor of love for Ireland, and not coming forward with the others in her distresses.

“It is not, as you may opine, that I am ambitious of having my name in the papers, as I can have that any day in the week gratis. All I want is to know if the Reverend Thomas Hall did or did not remit my subscription (200 scudi of Tuscany, or about a thousand francs, more or less) to the Committee at Paris.

“The other day at Viareggio I thought proper to swim off to my schooner (the Bolivar) in the offing, and thence to shore again—about three miles, or better in all. As it was at midday, under a broiling sun, the consequence has been a feverish attack, and my whole skin’s coming off, after going through the process of one large continuous blister, raised by the sun and sea together. I have suffered much pain; not being able to lie on my back, or even side; for my shoulders and arms were equally St. Bartholomewed. But it is over,—and I have got a new skin, and am as glossy as a snake in its new suit.

“We have been burning the bodies of Shelley and Williams on the sea-shore, to render them fit for removal and regular interment. You can have no idea what an extraordinary effect such a funeral pile has, on a desolate shore, with mountains in the back-ground and the sea before, and the singular appearance the salt and frankincense gave to the flame. All of Shelley was consumed, except his heart, which would not take the flame, and is now preserved in spirits of wine.

“Your old acquaintance Londonderry has quietly died at North Cray! and the virtuous De Witt was torn in pieces by the populace! What a lucky * * * * * the Irishman has been in his life and end*. In him your Irish Franklin est mort!

Leigh Hunt is sweating articles for his new Journal; and both he and I think it somewhat shabby in you not to contribute. Will you become one of the properrioters? ‘Do, and we go snacks.’ I recommend you to think twice before you respond in the negative.

* The particulars of this event had, it is evident, not yet readied him.

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“I have nearly (quite three) four new cantos of Don Juan ready. I obtained permission from the female Censor Morum of my morals to continue it, provided it were immaculate; so I have been as decent as need be. There is a deal of war—a siege, and all that, in the style, graphical and technical, of the shipwreck in Canto Second, which ‘took,’ as they say, in the Row. “Yours, &c.

“P.S. That * * * Galignani has about ten lies in one paragraph. It was not a Bible that was found in Shelley’s pocket, but John Keats’s poems. However, it would not have been strange, for he was a great admirer of Scripture as a composition. I did not send my bust to the academy of New York; but I sat for my picture to young West, an American artist, at the request of some members of that Academy to him that he would take my portrait,—for the Academy, I believe.

“I had, and still have, thoughts of South America, but am fluctuating between it and Greece. I should have gone, long ago, to one of them, but for my liaison with the Countess Gi.; for love, in these days, is little compatible with glory. She would be delighted to go too; but I do not choose to expose her to a long voyage, and a residence in an unsettled country, where I shall probably take a part of some sort.”

Soon after the above letters were written, Lord Byron removed to Genoa, having taken a house, called the Villa Saluzzo, at Albaro, one of the suburbs of that city. From the time of the unlucky squabble with the serjeant-major at Pisa, his tranquillity had been considerably broken in upon, as well by the judicial inquiries consequent upon that event, as by the many sinister rumours and suspicions to which it gave rise. Though the wounded man had recovered, his friends all vowed vengeance with the dagger: and the sensation which the affair and its various consequences had produced was,—to Madame Guiccioli, more particularly, from the situation in which her family stood, in regard to politics,—distressing and alarming. While the impression, too, of this event was still recent, another circumstance occurred which, though comparatively unimportant, had the unlucky effect of again drawing the attention of the Tuscans to their new visitors. During Lord Byron’s short visit to Leghorn, a Swiss servant in his employ having quarrelled, on some
A. D. 1822. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 611
occasion, with the
brother of Madame Guiccioli, drew his knife upon the young Count, and wounded him slightly on the cheek. This affray, happening so soon after the other, was productive also of so much notice and conversation that the Tuscan government, in its horror of every thing like disturbance, thought itself called upon to interfere; and orders were accordingly issued, that, within four days, the two Counts Gamba, father and son, should depart from Tuscany. To Lord Byron this decision was, in the highest degree, provoking and disconcerting; it being one of the conditions of the Guiccioli’s separation from her husband, that she should thenceforward reside under the same roof with her father. After balancing in his mind between various projects,—sometimes thinking of Geneva, and sometimes, as we have seen, of South America,—he at length decided, for the present, to transfer his residence to Genoa.

His habits of life, while at Pisa, had but very little differed,—except in the new line of society into which his introduction to Shelley’s friends led him,—from the usual monotonous routine in which, so singularly for one of his desultory disposition, the daily course of his existence had now, for some years, flowed. At two he usually breakfasted, and at three, or, as the year advanced, four o’clock, those persons who were in the habit of accompanying him in his rides, called upon him. After, occasionally, a game of billiards, he proceeded,—purposely to avoid starers, in his carriage,—as far as the gates of the town, where his horses met him. At first the route he chose for these rides was in the direction of the Cascine and of the pine-forest that reaches towards the sea; but having found a spot more convenient for his pistol exercise on the road leading from the Porta alla Spiaggia to the east of the city, he took daily this course during the remainder of his stay. When arrived at the Podere or farm, in the garden of which they were allowed to erect their target, his friends and he dismounted, and, after devoting about half an hour to a trial of skill at the pistol, returned, a little before sunset, into the city.

“Lord Byron,” says a friend who was sometimes present at their practising, “was the best marksman. Shelley, and Williams, and Trelawney, often made as good shots as he—but they were not so
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certain; and he, though his hand trembled violently, never missed, for he calculated on this vibration, and depended entirely on his eye. Once after demolishing his mark, he set up a slender cane, whose colour, nearly the same as the gravel in which it was fixed, might well have deceived him, and at twenty paces he divided it with his bullet. His joy at a good shot, and his vexation at a failure, was great—and when we met him on his return, his cold salutation, or joyous laugh, told the tale of the day’s success.”

For the first time since his arrival in Italy, he now found himself tempted to give dinner parties; his guests being, besides Count Gamba and Shelley, Mr. Williams, Captain Medwin, Mr. Taafe, and Mr. Trelawney;—and “never,” as his friend Shelley used to say, “did he display himself to more advantage than on these occasions; being at once polite and cordial, full of social hilarity and the most perfect good humour; never diverging into ungraceful merriment, and yet keeping up the spirit of liveliness throughout the evening.” About midnight his guests generally left him, with the exception of Captain Medwin, who used to remain, as I understand, talking and drinking with his noble host till far into the morning; and to the careless, half mystifying confidences of these nocturnal sittings, implicitly listened to and confusedly recollected, we owe the volume with which Captain Medwin, soon after the death of the noble poet, favoured the world.

On the subject of this and other such intimacies formed by Lord Byron, not only at the period of which we are speaking, but throughout his whole life, it would be difficult to advance any thing more judicious, or more demonstrative of a true knowledge of his character, than is to be found in the following remarks of one who had studied him with her whole heart,—who had learned to regard him with the eyes of good sense, as well as of affection, and whose strong love, in short, was founded upon a basis the most creditable both to him and herself,—the being able to understand him*.

* “My poor Zimmerman, who now will understand thee?”—such was the touching speech addressed to Zimmerman by his wife, on her deathbed, and there is implied in these few words all that a man of morbid sensibility must be dependent for upon the tender and self-forgetting tolerance of the woman with whom he is united.

A. D. 1822. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 613

“We continued in Pisa even more rigorously to absent ourselves from society. However, as there were a good many English in Pisa, he could not avoid becoming acquainted with various friends of Shelley, among which number was Mr. Medwin. They followed him in his rides, dined with him, and felt themselves happy, of course, in the apparent intimacy in which they lived with so renowned a man; but not one of them was admitted to any part of his friendship, which, indeed, he did not easily accord. He had a great affection for Shelley, and a great esteem for his character and talents; but he was not his friend in the most extensive sense of that word. Sometimes, when speaking of his friends and of friendship, as also of love, and of every other noble emotion of the soul, his expressions might inspire doubts concerning his sentiments and the goodness of his heart. The feeling of the moment regulated his speech, and, besides, he liked to play the part of singularity,—and sometimes worse,—more especially with those whom he suspected of endeavouring to make discoveries as to his real character; but it was only mean minds and superficial observers that could be deceived in him. It was necessary to consider his actions to perceive the contradiction they bore to his words: it was necessary to be witness of certain moments, during which unforeseen and involuntary emotion forced him to give himself entirely up to his feelings; and whoever beheld him then, became aware of the stores of sensibility and goodness of which his noble heart was full.

“Among the many occasions I had of seeing him thus overpowered, I shall mention one relative to his feelings of friendship. A few days before leaving Pisa, we were one evening seated in the garden of the Palazzo Lanfranchi. A soft melancholy was spread over his countenance;—he recalled to mind the events of his life; compared them with his present situation and with that which it might have been if his affection for me had not caused him to remain in Italy, saying things which would have made earth a paradise for me, but that even then a presentiment that I should lose all this happiness tormented me. At this moment a servant announced Mr. Hobhouse. The slight shade of melancholy diffused over Lord Byron’s face gave instant place to the liveliest joy; but it was so great, that it almost deprived him of strength.
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A fearful paleness came over his cheeks, and his eyes were filled with tears as he embraced his friend. His emotion was so great that he was forced to sit down.

Lord Clare’s visit also occasioned him extreme delight. He had a great affection for Lord Clare, and was very happy during the short visit that he paid him at Leghorn. The day on which they separated was a melancholy one for Lord Byron. ‘I have a presentiment that I shall never see him more,’ he said, and his eyes filled with tears. The same melancholy came over him during the first weeks that succeeded to Lord Clare’s departure, whenever his conversation happened to fall upon this friend*.”

Of his feelings on the death of his daughter Allegra, this lady gives the following account:—“On the occasion also of the death of his

* “In Pisa abbiamo continuato anche più rigorosamente a vivere lontano dalla società. Essendosi però in Pisa molti Inglesi egli non potè escusarsi dal fare la conoscenza di varii amici di Shelley, fra i quali uno fu Mr. Medwin. Essi lo seguitavano al pasaeggio, pranzavono con lui e certamente si tenevano felici della apparente intimità che loro accordava un uomo così superiore. Ma nessuno di loro fu ammesso mai a porta della sua amicizia, che egli non era facile a accordare. Per Shelley egili aveva dell’ affezione, e molta stima pel suo carattere e pel suo talento, ma non era suo amico nel estensione del senso che si deva dare alla parola amicizia. Talvolta parlando egli de’ suoi amici, e dell’ amicizia, come pure dell’ amore, e di ogni altro nobile sentimento dell’ anima, potevano i suoi discorsi far nascere dei dubbii sui veri suoi sentimenti, e sulla bonta del suo core. Una impressions momentanea regolava I suoi discorsi; e di più egli amava anche a rappresentare un personaggio bizzarro, e qualche volta anche peggio,—specialmente con quelli che egli pensava volessero studiare e fare delle scoperte sul suo carattere. Ma nell’ inganno non poteva cadere che una piccola mente, e un osservatore superficiale. Bisognava esaminare le sue azioni per sentire tutta le contraddizione che era fra di ease e i suoi discorsi; bisognava vederlo in certi momenti in cui per una emozione improvisa e più forte della sua volontà la sua anima si abbandonava interamente a se stessa;—bisognava vederlo allora per scoprire i tesori di sensibilità e di bontà che erano in quella nobile anima.

“Fra le tante volte che io l’ho veduto in simili circostanze ne ricorderò una che risguarda i suoi sentimenti di amicizia. Pochi giorni prima di lasciare Pisa eravomo verso sera insieme seduti nel giardino del Palazzo Lanfranchi. Una dolce malinconia era sparsa sul suo viso. Egli riandava col pensiero gli avvenimenti della sue vita e faceva il confronto colle attuale sue situazione e quella che avrebbe potuta essere se la sua affezione per me non lo avesse fatto restare in Italia; e diceva cose che avrebbero resa per me la terra un paradiso, se giù sino d’allora il pressentimento di perdere tanta felicità non mi avesse tormentata. In questo mentre un domestico annunciò Mr. Hobhouse. La leggiera tinta di malinconia sparse sul viso di Byron fece luogo subitamente alla più viva gioia; ma essa fu così forte che gli tolse quasi le forze. Un

A. D. 1822. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 615
natural daughter, I saw in his grief the excess of paternal tenderness. His conduct towards this child was always that of a fond father; but no one would have guessed from his expressions that he felt this affection for her. He was dreadfully agitated by the first intelligence of her illness; and when afterwards that of her death arrived, I was obliged to fulfil the melancholy task of communicating it to him. The memory of that frightful moment is stamped indelibly on my mind. For several evenings he had not left his house, I therefore went to him. His first question was relative to the courier he had despatched for tidings of his daughter, and whose delay disquieted him. After a short interval of suspense, with every caution which my own sorrow suggested, I deprived him of all hope of the child’s recovery. ‘I understand,’ said he,—‘it is enough, say no more.’ A mortal paleness spread itself over his face, his strength failed him, and he sunk into a seat. His look was fixed, and the expression such that I began to fear for his reason; he did not shed a tear, and his countenance manifested so hopeless, so profound, so sublime a sorrow, that at the moment he appeared a being of a nature superior to humanity. He remained immoveable in the same attitude for an hour, and no consolation which I endeavoured to afford him seemed to reach his ears, far less his heart. But enough of this sad episode, on which I cannot linger, even after the lapse of so many years, without renewing in my own heart the awful wretchedness of that day. He desired to be left alone, and I was obliged to leave him. I found him on the following morning tranquilized, and with an expression of religious resignation on his features. ‘She is more fortunate than we are,’ he said; ‘besides, her position in the world would scarcely have allowed her to be happy. It is God’s will—let us mention it no more.’

pallore commovente ricoperse il suo volta, e nell’ abbracciare il suo amico i suoi occhi erano pieni di lacrime di contento. E l’emozione fu così forte che egli fu obbligato di sedersi, sentendosi mancare le forze.

“La venuta pure di Lord Clare fu per lui un epoca di grande felicità. Egli amava sommamente Lord Clare—egli era così felice in quel breve tempo che passò presso di lui a Livorno, e il giorno in cui si separarono fu un giorno di grande tristezza per Lord Byron. ‘Io he il pressentimento che non lo vedrò più diceva egli; e i suoi occhi si riempirano di lacrime; e in questo stato l’ho veduto per varii settimanie dopo la partenza di Lord Clare, ogni qual volta il discorso cadeva sopra di codesto il suo amico.”

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And from that day he would never pronounce her name; but became more anxious when he spoke of
Ada,—so much so as to disquiet himself when the usual accounts sent him were for a post or two delayed*.”

The melancholy death of poor Shelley, which happened, as we have seen, also during this period, seems to have affected Lord Byron’s mind less with grief for the actual loss of his friend than with bitter indignation against those who had, through life, so grossly misrepresented him; and never certainly was there an instance where the supposed absence of all religion in an individual was assumed so eagerly as an excuse for the entire absence of truth and charity in judging him. Though never personally acquainted with Mr. Shelley, I can join freely with those who most loved him in admiring the various excellencies of his heart and genius, and lamenting the too early doom that robbed us of the mature fruits of both. His short life had been, like his poetry, a sort of bright, erroneous dream,—false in the general principles on which it proceeded, though beautiful and attaching in most of the details. Had full time been allowed for the “over-light” of his imagination to have been tempered down by the judgment which, in him, was still in reserve,

* “Nell’ occasione pure della morire della ma figlia naturale io ho veduto nel ma dolore tuttociò che vi è di più profondo nella tenerezza paterna. La sua condotta verso di codesta fanciulla era stata sempre quella del padre il pià amoroso; ma dalle di lui parole non si sarebbe giudicato che avesse tanta affezione per lei. Alla prima notizia dens, di hi malattia egli fu sommamente agitato; giunse poi la notizia della morte, ed io dovessi esercitare il tristo uficio di participarla a Lord Byron. Quel sensibile momento sarà indelebile nella mia memoria. Egli non usciva da varii giorni la sera: io andai dunque da lui. La prima domanda che egli mi fece fu relativa al Corriere che egli aveva spedito per avere notizie della sua figlia, e di cui il retardo lo inquietava. Dopo qualche momento di sospensione con tutta l’arte che sapeva suggerirmi il mio proprio dolore gli tolsi ogni speranza della guarizione della fanciulla. ‘Ho inteso,’ disse egli—‘basta così—non dite di più—e un pallore mortale si sparse sul suo volto; le forze gli mancarono, e cadde sopra una sedia d’appuggio. Il suo sguardo era fisso e tale che mi fece temere per la sua ragione. Egli rimase in quello stato d’immobilità un’ ora; e nessuna parola di consolazione che io potessi indirezzargli pareva penetrare le sue orecchie non che il suo core. Ma basta così di questa trista detenzione nella quale non posso fermarmi dopo tanti anni senza risvegliare di nuovo nel mio animo le terriibile sofferenze di quel giorno. La mattinà lo trovai tranquillo, e con una espressione di religiosa rassegnazione nel suo volto. ‘Ella è più felice di noi,’ diss’ egli—‘d’altronde la sua situazione nel mondo non le avrebbe data forse felicità. Dio ha voluto così—non ne parliamo più.’ E da quel giorno in poi non ha più voluto proferire il nome di quella fanciulla. Ma è divenuto più pensieroso parlando di Adda, al punto di tormentarsi quando gli ritardavano di qualche ordinario le di lei notizie.”

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the world at large would have been taught to pay that high homage to his genius which those only who saw what he was capable of can now be expected to accord to it.

It was about this time that Mr. Cowell, paying a visit to Lord Byron at Genoa, was told by him that some friends of Mr. Shelley, sitting together one evening, had seen that gentleman, distinctly, as they thought, walk into a little wood at Lerici, when at the same moment, as they afterwards discovered, he was far away, in quite a different direction. “This,” added Lord Byron, in a low, awe-struck tone of voice, “was but ten days before poor Shelley died.”

“Genoa, October 9th, 1822.

“I have received your letter, and as you explain it, I have no objection, on your account, to omit those passages in the new Mystery (which were marked in the half-sheet sent the other day to Pisa), or the passage in Cain;—but why not be open, and say so at first? You should be more straight-forward on every account.

“I have been very unwell—four days confined to my bed in ‘the worst inn’s worst room,’ at Lerici, with a violent rheumatic and bilious attack, constipation, and the devil knows what:—no physician, except a young fellow, who, however, was kind and cautious, and that’s enough.

“At last I seized Thompson’s book of prescriptions (a donation of yours), and physicked myself with the first dose I found in it; and after undergoing the ravages of all kinds of decoctions, sallied from bed on the fifth day to cross the Gulf to Sestri. The sea revived me instantly; and I ate the sailors’ cold fish, and drank a gallon of country wine, and got to Genoa the same night after landing at Sestri, and have ever since been keeping well, but thinner, and with an occasional cough towards evening.

“I am afraid the Journal is a bad business, and won’t do; but in it I am sacrificing myself for others—I can have no advantage in it. I believe the brothers Hunts to be honest men; I am sure that they are
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poor ones: they have not a nap. They pressed me to engage in this work, and in an evil hour I consented. Still I shall not repent, if I can do them the least service. I have done all I can for
Leigh Hunt since he came here; but it is almost useless:—his wife is ill, his six children not very tractable, and in the affairs of this world he himself is a child. The death of Shelley left them totally aground; and I could not see them in such a state without using the common feelings of humanity, and what means were in my power, to set them afloat again.

“So Douglas Kinnaird is out of the way? He was so the last time I sent him a parcel, and he gives no previous notice. When is he expected again?

“Yours, &c.

“P.S. Will you say at once—do you publish Werner and the Mystery or not? You never once allude to them.

“That curst advertisement of Mr. J. Hunt is out of the limits. I did not lend him my name to be hawked about in this way.

* * * * * *

“However, I believe—at least, hope—that after all you may be a good fellow at bottom, and it is on this presumption that I now write to you on the subject of a poor woman of the name of Yossy, who is, or was, an author of yours, as she says, and published a book on Switzerland in 1816, patronized by the ‘Court and Colonel M’Mahon.’ But it seems that neither the Court nor the Colonel could get over the portentous price of ‘three pounds, thirteen, and sixpence,’ which alarmed the too susceptible public; and, in short, ‘the book died away,’ and, what is worse, the poor soul’s husband died too, and she writes with the man a corpse before her; but instead of addressing the bishop or Mr. Wilberforce, she hath recourse to that proscribed, atheistical, syllogistical, phlogistical person, mysen, as they say in Notts. It is strange enough, but the rascaille English, who calumniate me in every direction and on every score, whenever they are in great distress recur to me for assistance. If I have had one example of this, I have had letters from a thousand, and as far as is in my power have tried to repay good for evil, and purchase a shilling’s worth of salvation as long as my pocket can hold out.

“Now, I am willing to do what I can for this unfortunate person: but her situation and her wishes (not unreasonable, however) require
A. D. 1822. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 619
more than can be advanced by one individual like myself; for I have many claims of the same kind just at present, and also some remnants of debt to pay in England—God, he knows, the latter how reluctantly! Can the Literary Fund do nothing for her? By your interest, which is great among the pious, I dare say that something might be collected. Can you get any of her books published? Suppose you took her as author in my place, now vacant among your ragamuffins; she is a moral and pious person, and will shine upon your shelves. But seriously, do what you can for her.”

“Genoa, 9bre 23d, 1822.

“I have to thank you for a parcel of books, which are very welcome, especially Sir Walter’s gift of ‘Halidon Hill.’ You have sent me a copy of ‘Werner,’ but without the preface. If you have published it without, you will have plunged me into a very disagreeable dilemma, because I shall be accused of plagiarism from Miss Lee’s German’s Tale, whereas I have fully and freely acknowledged that the drama is entirely taken from the story.

“I return you the Quarterly Review, uncut and unopened, not from disrespect, or disregard, or pique, but it is a kind of reading which I have some time disused, as I think the periodical style of writing hurtful to the habits of the mind by presenting the superficies of too many things at once. I do not know that it contains any thing disagreeable to me—it may or it may not; nor do I return it on account that there may be an article which you hinted at in one of your late letters, but because I have left off reading these kind of works, and should equally have returned you any other number.

“I am obliged to take in one or two abroad because solicited to do so. The Edinburgh came before me by mere chance in Galignani’s picnic sort of gazette, where he had inserted a part of it.

“You will have received various letters from me lately, in a style which I used with reluctance; but you left me no other choice by your
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absolute refusal to communicate with a man you did not like upon the mere simple matter of transfer of a few papers of little consequence (except to their author), and which could be of no moment to yourself.

“I hope that Mr. Kinnaird is better. It is strange that you never alluded to his accident, if it be true, as stated in the papers.

“I am yours, &c. &c.

“I hope that you have a milder winter than we have had here. We have had inundations worthy of the Trent or Po, and the conductor (Franklin’s) of my house was struck (or supposed to be stricken) by a thunderbolt. I was so near the window that I was dazzled and my eyes hurt for several minutes, and every body in the house felt an electric shock at the moment. Madame Guiccioli was frightened, as you may suppose.

“I have thought since that your bigots would have ‘saddled me with a judgment,’ (as Thwackum did Square when he bit his tongue in talking metaphysics), if any thing had happened of consequence. These fellows always forget Christ in their Christianity, and what he said when ‘the tower of Siloam fell.’

“To-day is the 9th, and the 10th is my surviving daughter’s birthday. I have ordered, as a regale, a mutton chop and a bottle of ale. She is seven years old, I believe. Did I ever tell you that the day I came of age I dined on eggs and bacon and a bottle of ale? For once in a way they are my favourite dish and drinkable, but as neither of them agree with me, I never use them but on great jubilees—once in four or five years or so.

“I see somebody represents the Hunts and Mrs. Shelley as living in my house: it is a falsehood. They reside at some distance, and I do not see them twice in a month. I have not met Mr. Hunt a dozen times since I came to Genoa, or near it. “Yours ever, &c.”

“Genoa, 10bre 25o, 1822.

“I had sent you back the Quarterly without perusal, having resolved to read no more reviews, good, bad, or indifferent: but ‘who can control
A. D. 1822. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 621
his fate?’
Galignani, to whom my English studies are confined, has forwarded a copy of at least one half of it in his indefatigable catch-penny weekly compilation; and as, ‘like honour, it came unlooked for,’ I have looked through it. I must say that, upon the whole, that is, the whole of the half which I have read (for the other half is to be the segment of Galignani’s next week’s circular), it is extremely handsome, and any thing but unkind or unfair. As I take the good in good part, I must not, nor will not, quarrel with the bad. What the writer says of Don Juan is harsh, but it is inevitable. He must follow, or at least not directly oppose, the opinion of a prevailing and yet not very firmly seated party. A Review may and will direct and ‘turn awry’ the currents of opinion, but it must not directly oppose them. Don Juan will be known, by and by, for what it is intended, a Satire on abuses of the present states of society, and not an eulogy of vice. It may be now and then voluptuous:—I can’t help that. Ariosto is worse; Smollett (see Lord Strutwell in vol. 2d of Roderick Random) ten times worse; and Fielding no better. No girl will ever be seduced by reading Don Juan:—no, no; she will go to Little’s poems and Rousseau’s Romans for that, or even to the immaculate De Staël. They will encourage her, and not the Don, who laughs at that, and—and—most other things. But never mind—ça ira!

* * * * * *

“Now, do you see what you and your friends do by your injudicious rudeness?—actually cement a sort of connexion which you strove to prevent, and which, had the Hunts prospered, would not in all probability have continued. As it is, I will not quit them in their adversity, though it should cost me character, fame, money, and the usual et cetera.

“My original motives I already explained (in the letter which you thought proper to show): they are the true ones, and I abide by them, as I tell you, and I told Leigh Hunt when he questioned me on the subject of that letter. He was violently hurt, and never will forgive me at bottom; but I can’t help that. I never meant to make a parade of it; but if he chose to question me, I could only answer the plain truth: and I confess I did not see any thing in the letter to hurt him, unless I said
622 NOTICES OF THE A. D. 1822.
he was ‘a bore,’ which I don’t remember. Had their
Journal gone on well, and I could have aided to make it better for them, I should then have left them, after my safe pilotage off a lee shore, to make a prosperous voyage by themselves. As it is, I can’t, and would not, if I could, leave them among the breakers.

“As to any community of feeling, thought, or opinion, between Leigh Hunt and me, there is little or none. We meet rarely, hardly ever; but I think him a good-principled and able man, and must do as I would be done by. I do not know what world he has lived in, but I have lived in three or four; but none of them like his Keats and kangaroo terra incognita. Alas! poor Shelley! how we would have laughed had he lived, and how we used to laugh now and then, at various things which are grave in the suburbs!

“You are all mistaken about Shelley. You do not know how mild, how tolerant, how good he was in society; and as perfect a gentleman as ever crossed a drawing-room, when he liked, and where liked.

“I have some thoughts of taking a run down to Naples (solus, or, at most, cum solâ) this spring, and writing, when I have studied the country, a Fifth and Sixth Canto of Childe Harold: but this is merely an idea for the present, and I have other excursions and voyages in my mind. The busts* are finished: are you worthy of them?

“Yours, &c.
“N. B.

“P.S. Mrs. Shelley is residing with the Hunts at some distance from me. I see them very seldom, and generally on account of their business. Mrs. Shelley, I believe, will go to England in the spring.

Count Gamba’s family, the father and mother and daughter, are residing with me by Mr. Hill (the minister’s) recommendation, as a safer asylum from the political persecutions than they could have in another

* Of the bust of himself by Bartollini he says, in one of the omitted letters to Mr. Murray:—“The bust does not turn out a good one,—though it may be like for aught I know, as it exactly resembles a superannuated Jesuit.” Again, “I assure you Bartollini’s is dreadful, though my mind misgives me that it is hideously like. If it is, I cannot be long for this world, for it overlooks seventy.”

A. D. 1822. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 623
residence; but they occupy one part of a large house, and I the other, and our establishments are quite separate.

“Since I have read the Quarterly, I shall erase two or three passages in the latter six or seven cantos, in which I had lightly stroked over two or three of your authors; but I will not return evil for good. I liked what I read of the article much.

Mr. J. Hunt is most likely the publisher of the new Cantos; with what prospects of success I know not, nor does it very much matter, as far as I am concerned; but I hope that it may be of use to him, for he is a stiff, sturdy, conscientious man, and I like him: he is such a one as Prynne or Pym might be. I bear you no ill-will for declining the Don Juans.

“Have you aided Madame de Yossy, as I requested? I sent her three hundred francs. Recommend her, will you, to the Literary Fund, or to some benevolence within your circles.”

“Albaro, November 10th, 1822.
* * * * * *

The Chevalier persisted in declaring himself an ill-used gentleman, and describing you as a kind of cold Calypso, who lead astray people of an amatory disposition without giving them any sort of compensation, contenting yourself, it seems, with only making one fool instead of two, which is the more approved method of proceeding on such occasions. For my part, I think, you are quite right; and be assured from me that a woman (as society is constituted in England) who gives any advantage to a man may expect a lover, but will sooner or later find a tyrant; and this is not the man’s fault either, perhaps, but is the necessary, and natural result of the circumstances of society which, in fact, tyrannize over the man equally with the woman, that is to say, if either of them have any feeling or honour.

“You can write to me at your leisure and inclination. I have always laid it down as a maxim, and found it justified by experience,
624 NOTICES OF THE A. D. 1822.
that a man and a woman make far better friendships than can exist between two of the same sex; but these with this condition, that they never have made, or are to make, love with each other. Lovers may, and, indeed, generally are enemies, but they never can be friends; because there must always be a spice of jealousy and a something of self in all their speculations.

“Indeed, I rather look upon love altogether as a sort of hostile transaction, very necessary to make or to break matches, and keep the world going, but by no means a sinecure to the parties concerned.

“Now, as my love perils are, I believe, pretty well over, and yours, by all accounts, are never to begin, we shall be the best friends imaginable, as far as both are concerned, and with this advantage, that we may both fall to loving right and left through all our acquaintance, without either sullenness or sorrow from that amiable passion which are its inseparable attendants.

“Believe me, &c.”