LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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The Life of William Roscoe
Chapter XVI. 1819
William Roscoe to Basil Montagu, [1819]

Vol I. Contents
Chapter I. 1753-1781
Chapter II. 1781-1787
Chapter III. 1787-1792
Chapter IV. 1788-1796
Chapter V. 1795
Chapter VI. 1796-1799
Chapter VII. 1799-1805
Chapter IX. 1806-1807
Chapter X. 1808
Chapter XI. 1809-1810
Vol II. Contents
Chapter XII. 1811-1812
Chapter XIII. 1812-1815
Chapter XIV. 1816
Chapter XV. 1817-1818
Chapter XVI. 1819
Chapter XVII. 1820-1823
Chapter XVIII. 1824
Chapter XIX. 1825-1827
Chapter XX. 1827-1831
Chapter XXI.
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“I ought long ago to have thanked you for your very kind remembrance of me in sending me your observations respecting the punishment of death, which arrived at a moment when I had turned my attention towards the same subject, with a view to publication. I was, therefore, earnest to learn your sentiments, which I had flattered myself would, in all points, be in perfect unison with my own; but judge how I was surprised to find that we differed on the very threshold,—that you had considered anger and revenge as not only allowable but necessary, whilst I had contended that kindness and benevolence were the true principles of penal law. After stating your own opinion, you have proceeded to sanction it by the authority of several other distinguished writers, some of whom have carried it to much greater extent. This subject,
thus treated from such a quarter, appeared to me so important, that I could not proceed further without paying it the utmost attention, and either admitting its validity or demonstrating its insufficiency; and, as I found the former impossible, I have been obliged to undertake the latter,—with what success, I must leave the public to judge. Having, however, once been obliged to dissent, I have not hesitated to do it fairly and openly; and, in the
little work which I am now about to publish, you will find yourself placed in the front of the battle, and assailed with such arguments as I have been able to bring to bear against you. I will, however, confess that in this opposition, (in which, I trust, nothing unfriendly will be found,) I have it further in view to attract discussion on the subject; in which case I feel confident you will sacrifice any personal feeling, (if it were possible what I have said could give rise to it,) in the hope of doing some substantial good. That the present moment is of the utmost importance we must all perceive, and, to say the truth, I am confident you will be much better pleased with any opposition which may throw light on the subject, than by the greatest honours that mere authorship could confer.”