LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Letters and Journals of Lord Byron
Journal Entry: 21 January 1821

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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“January 21st, 1821.

“Fine, clear frosty day—that is to say, an Italian frost, for their winters hardly get beyond snow; for which reason nobody knows how to skate (or skait)—a Dutch and English accomplishment. Rode out, as usual, and fired pistols. Good shooting—broke four common, and rather small, bottles, in four shots, at fourteen paces, with a common pair of pistols and indifferent powder. Almost as good wafering or shooting—considering the difference of powder and pistols—as when, in 1809, 1810, 1811, 1812, 1813, 1814, it was my luck to split walking sticks, wafers, half-crowns, shillings, and even the eye of a walking-stick, at twelve paces, with a single bullet—and all by eye and calculation; for my hand is not steady, and apt to change with the very weather. To the prowess which I here note, Joe Manton and others can bear testimony;—for the former taught, and the latter has seen me do, these feats.

“Dined—visited—came home—read. Remarked on an anecdote in Grimm’s Correspondence, which says that ‘Regnard et la plûpart des poëtes comiques étaient gens bilieux et mélancoliques; et que M. de Voltaire, qui est très gai, n’a jamais fait que des tragedies—et que la comedie gaie est le seul genre où il n’ait point réussi. C’est que celui qui rit et celui qui fait rire sont deux hommes fort differens.’—vol. VI.

“At this moment I feel as bilious as the best comic writer of them all (even as Regnard himself, the next to Moliere, who has written some of the best comedies in any language, and who is supposed to have committed suicide), and am not in spirits to continue my proposed tragedy of Sardanapalus, which I have, for some days, ceased to compose.

414 NOTICES OF THE A. D. 1821.

“To-morrow is my birthday—that is to say, at twelve o’ the clock, midnight, i. e. in twelve minutes, I shall have completed thirty and three years of age!!!—and I go to my bed with a heaviness of heart at having lived so long, and to so little purpose.

“It is three minutes past twelve.—‘’Tis the middle of night by the castle clock,’ and I am now thirty-three!
‘Eheu, fugaces, Posthume, Posthume,
Labuntur anni;—’
but I don’t regret them so much for what I have done, as for what I might have done.

“Through life’s road, so dim and dirty,
I have dragg’d to three-and-thirty.
What have these years left to me?
Nothing—except thirty-three.
“January 22d, 1821.
Here lies
interred in the Eternity
of the Past,
from whence there is no
for the Days—whatever there may be
for the Dust—
the Thirty-Third Year
of an ill-spent Life,
Which, after
a lingering disease of many months,
sunk into a lethargy,
and expired,
January 22d, 1821, a. d.
Leaving a successor
for the very loss which
occasioned its