LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Letters and Journals of Lord Byron
Journal Entry: 16 November 1813

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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“Nov. 16th.

“Went last night with Lewis to see the first of Antony and Cleopatra. It was admirably got up and well acted—a salad of Shak-
438 NOTICES OF THE A. D. 1813.
speare and
Dryden. Cleopatra strikes me as the epitome of her sex—fond, lively, sad, tender, teasing, humble, haughty, beautiful, the devil!—coquettish to the last, as well with the ‘asp’ as with Antony. After doing all she can to persuade him that—but why do they abuse him for cutting off that poltroon Cicero’s head? Did not Tully tell Brutus it was a pity to have spared Antony? and did he not speak the Philippics? and are not ‘words things?’ and such ‘words’ very pestilent ‘things’ too? If he had had a hundred heads, they deserved (from Antony) a rostrum (his was stuck up there) apiece—though, after all, he might as well have pardoned him, for the credit of the thing. But to resume—Cleopatra, after securing him, says, ‘yet go’—‘it is your interest,’ &c.—how like the sex! and the questions about Octavia—it is woman all over.

“To-day received Lord Jersey’s invitation to Middleton—to travel sixty miles to meet Madame * *! I once travelled three thousand to get among silent people; and this same lady writes octavos and talks folios. I have read her books—like most of them, and delight in the last; so I won’t hear it, as well as read. * * * * * * *

“Read Burns today. What would he have been, if a patrician? We should have had more polish—less force—just as much verse, but no immortality—a divorce and a duel or two, the which had he survived, as his potations must have been less spirituous, he might have lived as long as Sheridan, and outlived as much as poor Brinsley. What a wreck is that man! and all from bad pilotage; for no one had ever better gales, though now and then a little too squally. Poor dear Sherry! I shall never forget the day he and Rogers and Moore and I passed together; when he talked, and we listened, without one yawn, from six till one in the morning.

“Got my seals * * * * * * *. Have again forgot a plaything for ma petite cousine Eliza; but I must send for it to-morrow. I hope Harry will bring her to me. I sent Lord Holland the proofs of the last ‘Giaour,’ and the ‘Bride of Abydos.’ He won’t like the latter, and I don’t think that I shall long. It was written in four nights to distract my dreams from * *. Were it not thus, it had never been composed; and had I not done something at that time, I must have gone mad, by
A. D. 1813. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 439
eating my own heart—bitter diet!—
Hodgson likes it better than the Giaour, but nobody else will,—and he never liked the Fragment. I am sure, had it not been for Murray, that would never have been published, though the circumstances which are the groundwork make it * * * heigh-ho!

“To-night I saw both the sisters of * *; my God! the youngest so like! I thought I should have sprung across the house, and am so glad no one was with me in Lady H.’s box. I hate those likenesses—the mock-bird, but not the nightingale—so like as to remind, so different as to be painful*. One quarrels equally with the points of resemblance and of distinction.