LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Letters and Journals of Lord Byron
Journal Entry: 11 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 11th, 1821.

“Read the letters. Corrected the tragedy and the ‘Hints from Horace.’ Dined, and got into better spirits. Went out—returned—finished letters, five in number. Read Poets, and an anecdote in Spence.

Alli. writes to me that the Pope, and Duke of Tuscany, and King of Sardinia, have also been called to Congress; but the Pope will only deal there by proxy. So the interests of millions are in the hands of about twenty coxcombs, at a place called Leibach!

“I should almost regret that my own affairs went well, when those of nations are in peril. If the interests of mankind could be essentially bettered (particularly of these oppressed Italians), I should not so much mind my own ‘sma’ peculiar.’ God grant us all better times, or more philosophy.

In reading, I have just chanced upon an expression of Tom Campbell’s;—speaking of Collins, he says that ‘no reader cares any more about the characteristic manners of his Eclogues than about the authenticity of the tale of Troy.’ ’Tis false—we do care about ‘the authenticity
406 NOTICES OF THE A. D. 1821.
of the tale of Troy.’ I have stood upon that plain daily, for more than a month, in 1810; and, if any thing diminished my pleasure, it was that the blackguard
Bryant had impugned its veracity. It is true I read ‘Homer Travestied’ (the first twelve books), because Hobhouse and others bored me with their learned localities, and I love quizzing. But I still venerated the grand original as the truth of history (in the material facts) and of place. Otherwise, it would have given me no delight. Who will persuade me, when I reclined upon a mighty tomb, that it did not contain a hero?—its very magnitude proved this. Men do not labour over the ignoble and petty dead—and why should not the dead be Homer’s dead? The secret of Tom Campbell’s defence of inaccuracy in costume and description is, that his Gertrude, &c. has no more locality in common with Pennsylvania than with Penmanmaur. It is notoriously full of grossly false scenery, as all Americans declare, though they praise parts of the Poem. It is thus that self-love for ever creeps out, like a snake, to sting any thing which happens, even accidentally, to stumble upon it.