LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Letters and Journals of Lord Byron
Lord Byron to R. C. Dallas, 27 August 1811

Life of Byron: to 1806
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Life of Byron: 1811
Life of Byron: 1812
Life of Byron: 1813
Life of Byron: 1814
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Life of Byron: 1816 (I)
Life of Byron: 1816 (II)
Life of Byron: 1817
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“Newstead Abbey, August 27th, 1811.

“I was so sincere in my note on the late Charles Matthews, and do feel myself so totally unable to do justice to his talents, that the passage must stand for the very reason you bring against it. To him all the men I ever knew were pigmies. He was an intellectual giant. It is true I loved W. better; he was the earliest and the dearest, and one of the few one could never repent of having loved: but in ability—ah! you did not know Matthews!

“‘Childe Harold’ may wait and welcome—books are never the worse for delay in the publication. So you have got our heir, George Anson Byron, and his sister, with you.

* * * * *
* * * * *

“You may say what you please, but you are one of the murderers of Blackett, and yet you won’t allow Harry White’s genius. Setting aside his bigotry, he surely ranks next Chatterton. It is astonishing how little he was known; and at Cambridge no one thought or heard of such a man, till his death rendered all notice useless. For my own part, I should have been most proud of such an acquaintance: his very prejudices were respectable. There is a sucking epic poet at Granta, a Mr. Townsend, protégé of the late Cumberland. Did you ever hear of him and his ‘Armageddon?’ I think his plan (the man I don’t know) borders on the sublime; though, perhaps, the anticipation of the ‘Last
A. D. 1811. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 291
Day’ (according to you Nazarenes), is a little too daring: at least, it looks like telling the Lord what he is to do, and might remind an ill-natured person of the line—
‘And fools rush in where angels fear to tread.’

“But I don’t mean to cavil, only other folks will, and he may bring all the lambs of Jacob Behmen about his ears. However, I hope he will bring it to conclusion, though Milton is in his way.

“Write to me—I dote on gossip—and make a bow to Ju—, and shake George by the hand for me; but, take care, for he has a sad sea paw.

“P.S. I would ask George here, but I don’t know how to amuse him—all my horses were sold when I left England, and I have not had time to replace them. Nevertheless, if he will come down and shoot in September, he will be very welcome; but he must bring a gun, for I gave away all mine to Ali Pacha, and other Turks. Dogs, a keeper, and plenty of game, with a very large manor, I have—a lake, a boat, house-room, and neat wines.