The Works of Lord Byron: Letters and Journals, Volume 2.
by Lord Byron
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Letters and Journals. Vol. II.



The second volume of Mr. Murray's edition of Byron's 'Letters and Journals' carries the autobiographical record of the poet's life from August, 1811, to April, 1814. Between these dates were published 'Childe Harold' (Cantos I., II.), 'The Waltz', 'The Giaour', 'The Bride of Abydos', the 'Ode to Napoleon Buonaparte'. At the beginning of this period Byron had suddenly become the idol of society; towards its close his personal popularity almost as rapidly declined before a storm of political vituperation.

Three great collections of Byron's letters, as was noted in the Preface [1] to the previous volume, are in existence. The first is contained in Moore's 'Life' (1830); the second was published in America, in FitzGreene Halleck's edition of Byron's 'Works' (1847); of the third, edited by Mr. W.E. Henley, only the first volume has yet appeared. A comparison between the letters contained in these three collections and in that of Mr. Murray, down to December, 1813, shows the following results: Moore prints 152 letters; Halleck, 192; Mr. Henley, 231. Mr. Murray's edition adds 236 letters to Moore, 196 to Halleck, and to Mr. Henley 157. It should also be noticed that the material added to Moore's 'Life' in the second and third collections consists almost entirely of letters which were already in print, and had been, for the most part, seen and rejected by the biographer. The material added in Mr. Murray's edition, on the contrary, consists mainly of letters which have never before been published, and were inaccessible to Moore when he wrote his 'Life' of Byron.

These necessary comparisons suggest some further remarks. It would have been easy, not only to indicate what letters or portions of letters are new, but also to state the sources whence they are derived. But, in the circumstances, such a course, at all events for the present, is so impolitic as to be impossible. On the other hand, anxiety has been expressed as to the authority for the text which is adopted in these volumes. To satisfy this anxiety, so far as circumstances allow, the following details are given.

The material contained in these two volumes consists partly of letters now for the first time printed; partly of letters already published by Moore, Dallas, and Leigh Hunt, or in such books as Galt's 'Life of Lord Byron', and the 'Memoirs of Francis Hodgson'. Speaking generally, it may be said that the text of the new matter, with the few exceptions noted below, has been prepared from the original letters, and that it has proved impossible to authenticate the text of most of the old material by any such process.

The point may be treated in greater detail. Out of the 388 letters contained in these two volumes, 220 have been printed from the original letters. In these 220 are included practically the whole of the new material. Among the letters thus collated with the originals are those to Mrs. Byron (with four exceptions), all those to the Hon. Augusta Byron, to the Hanson family, to James Wedderburn Webster, and to John Murray, twelve of those to Francis Hodgson, those to the younger Rushton, William Gifford, John Cam Hobhouse, Lady Caroline Lamb, Mrs. Parker, Bernard Barton, and others. The two letters to Charles Gordon (30, 33), the three to Captain Leacroft (62, 63, 64), and the one to Ensign Long (vol. ii. p. 19, 'note'), are printed from copies only.

The old material stands in a different position. Efforts have been made to discover the original letters, and sometimes with success. But it still remains true that, speaking generally, the printed text of the letters published by Moore, Dallas, Leigh Hunt, and others, has not been collated with the originals. The fact is important. Moore, who, it is believed, destroyed not only his own letters from Byron, but also many of those entrusted to him for the preparation of the 'Life', allowed himself unusual liberties as an editor. The examples of this licence given in Mr. Clayden's 'Rogers and his Contemporaries' throw suspicion on his text, even where no apparent motive exists for his suppressions. But, as Byron's letters became more bitter in tone, and his criticisms of his contemporaries more outspoken, Moore felt himself more justified in omitting passages which referred to persons who were still living in 1830. From 1816 onwards, it will be found that he has transferred passages from one letter to another, or printed two letters as one, and 'vice versa', or made such large omissions as to shorten letters, in some instances, by a third or even a half. No collation with the originals has ever been attempted, and the garbled text which Moore printed is the only text at present available for an edition of the most important of Byron's letters. But the originals of the majority of the letters published in the 'Life', from 1816 to 1824, are in the possession or control of Mr. Murray, and in his edition they will be for the first time printed as they were written. If any passages are omitted, the omissions will be indicated.

Besides the new letters contained in this volume, passages have been restored from Byron's manuscript notes ('Detached Thoughts', 1821). To these have been added Sir Walter Scott's comments, collated with the originals, and, in several instances, now for the first time published.

Appendix VII. contains a collection of the attacks made upon him in the Tory press for February and March, 1814, which led him, for the moment, to resolve on abandoning his literary work.

In conclusion, I wish to repeat my acknowledgment of the invaluable aid of the 'National Dictionary of Biography', both in the facts which it supplies and the sources of information which it suggests.


September, 1898.

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169. Aug. 23. To John Murray 170. Aug. 24. To James Wedderburn Webster 171. Aug. 25. To R.C. Dallas 172. Aug. 27. " " 173. Aug. 30. To the Hon. Augusta Leigh 174. Aug. 30. " " " 175. Aug. 31. To James Wedderburn Webster 176. Sept. 2. To the Hon. Augusta Leigh 177. Sept. 3. To Francis Hodgson 178. Sept. 4. To R.C. Dallas 179. Sept. 5. To John Murray 180. Sept. 7. To R.C. Dallas 181. Sept. 9. To the Hon. Augusta Leigh 182. Sept. 9. To Francis Hodgson 183. Sept. 10. To R.C. Dallas 184. Sept. 13. To Francis Hodgson 185. Sept. 14. To John Murray 186. Sept. 15. To R.C. Dallas 187. Sept. 16. To John Murray 188. Sept. 16. To R.C. Dallas 189. Sept. 17. " " 190. Sept. 17. " " 191. Sept. 21. " " 192. Sept. 23. " " 193. Sept. 25. To Francis Hodgson 194. Sept. 26. To R.C. Dallas 195. Oct. 10. To James Wedderburn Webster 196. Oct. 10. To R.C. Dallas 197. Oct. 11. " " 198. Oct. 13. To Francis Hodgson 199. Oct. 14. To R.C. Dallas 200. Oct. 16. " " 201. Oct. 25. " " 202. Oct. 27. To Thomas Moore 203. Oct. 29. To R.C. Dallas 204. Oct. 29. To Thomas Moore 205. Oct. 30. " " 206. Oct. 31. To R.C. Dallas 207. Nov. 1. To Thomas Moore 208. Nov. 17. To Francis Hodgson 209. Dec. 4. " " 210. Dec. 6. To William Harness 211. Dec. 7. To James Wedderburn Webster 212. Dec. 8. To William Harness 213. Dec. 8. To Francis Hodgson 214. Dec. 11. To Thomas Moore 215. Dec. 12. To Francis Hodgson 216. Undated. R.C. Dallas 217. Dec. 15. To William Harness


218. Jan. 21. To Robert Rushton 219. Jan. 25. " " 220. Jan. 29. To Thomas Moore 221. Feb. 1. To Francis Hodgson 222. Feb. 4. To Samuel Rogers 223. Feb. 12. To Master John Cowell 224. Feb. 16. To Francis Hodgson 225. Feb. 21. " " 226. Feb. 25. To Lord Holland 227. March 5. To Francis Hodgson 228. March 5. To Lord Holland 229. Undated. To Thomas Moore 230. Undated. To William Bankes 231. March 25. To Thomas Moore 232. Undated. To Lady Caroline Lamb 233. April 20. To William Bankes 234. Undated. To Thomas Moore 235. May 1. To Lady Caroline Lamb 236. May 8. To Thomas Moore 237. May 20. " " 238. June 1. To Bernard Barton 239. June 25. To Lord Holland 240. June 26. To Professor Clarke 241. July 6. To Walter Scott 242. Undated. To Lady Caroline Lamb 243. Sept. 5. To John Murray 244. Sept. 10. To Lord Holland 245. Sept. 14. To John Murray 246. Sept. 22. To Lord Holland 247. Sept. 23. " " 248. Sept. 24. " " 249. Sept. 25. " " 250. Sept. 26. " " 251. Sept. 27. " " 252. Sept. 27. " " 253. Sept. 27. To John Murray 254. Sept. 28. To Lord Holland 255. Sept. 28. " " 256. Sept. 28. To William Bankes 257. Sept. 29. To Lord Holland 258. Sept. 30. " " 259. Sept. 30. " " 260. Oct. 2. " " 261. Oct. 12. To John Murray 262. Oct. 14. To Lord Holland 263. Oct. 18. To John Hanson 264. Oct. 18. To John Murray 265. Oct. 18. To Robert Rushton 266. Oct. 19. To John Murray 267. Oct. 22. To John Hanson 268. Oct. 23. To John Murray 269. Oct. 31. To John Hanson 270. Nov. 8. " " 271. Nov. 16. " " 272. Nov. 22. To John Murray 273. Dec. 26. To William Bankes


274. Jan. 8. To John Murray 275. Feb. 3. To Francis Hodgson 276. Feb. 3. To John Hanson 277. Feb. 20. To John Murray 278. Feb. 24. To Robert Rushton 279. Feb. 27. To John Hanson 280. March 1. " " 281. March 5. To _ Corbet 282. March 6. To John Hanson 283. March 24. To Charles Hanson 284. March 25. To Samuel Rogers 285. March 26. To the Hon. Augusta Leigh 286. March 29. To John Murray 287. April 15. To John Hanson 288. April 17. " " 289. April 21. To John Murray 290. May 13. " " 291. May 19. To Thomas Moore 292. May 22. To John Murray 293. May 23. " " 294. June 2. " " 295. Undated. To Thomas Moore 296. June 3. To John Hanson 297. June 6. To Francis Hodgson 298. June 8. " " 299. June 9. To John Murray 300. June 12. " " 301. June 13. " " 302. June 18. " " 303. June 18. To W. Gifford 304. June 22. To John Murray 305. June 22. To Thomas Moore 306. June 26. To the Hon. Augusta Leigh 307. Undated. " " " 308. June 27. " " " 309. July 1. To John Murray 310. July 8. To Thomas Moore 311. July 13. " " 312. July 18. To John Hanson 313. July 22. To John Murray 314. July 25. To Thomas Moore 315. July 27. " " 316. July 28. " " 317. July 31 To John Murray 318. Aug. 2. To John Wilson Croker 319. Undated. To John Murray 320. Aug. 10. " " 321. Aug. 12. To James Wedderburn Webster 322. Aug. 22. To Thomas Moore 323. Aug. 26. To John Murray 324. Aug. 28. To Thomas Moore 325. Sept. 1. " " 326. Sept. 2. To James Wedderburn Webster 327. Sept. 5. To Thomas Moore 328. Sept. 8. " " 329. Sept. 9. " " 330. Sept. 15. To James Wedderburn Webster 331. Sept. 15. To the Hon. Augusta Leigh 332. Sept. 15. To John Murray 333. Sept. 25. To James Wedderburn Webster 334. Sept. 27. To Sir James Mackintosh 335. Sept. 27. To Thomas Moore 336. Sept. 29. To John Murray 337. Sept. 30. To James Wedderburn Webster 338. Oct. 1. To Francis Hodgson 339. Oct. 2. To Thomas Moore 340. Oct. 3. To John Murray 341. Oct. 10. To John Hanson 342. Oct. 10. To the Hon. Augusta Leigh 343. Oct. 12. To John Murray 344. Nov. 8. To the Hon. Augusta Leigh 345. Nov. 12. To John Murray 346. Nov. 12. To William Gifford 347. Nov. 12. To John Murray 348. Nov. 13. " " 349. Undated. " " 350. Nov. 13. " " 351. Nov. 14. " " 352. Nov. 15. " " 353. Nov. 17. " " 354. Nov. 20. " " 355. Nov. 22. " " 356. Nov. 23. " " 357. Nov. 24. " " 358. Nov. 27. " " 359. Nov. 28. " " 360. Nov. 29. To John Murray 361. Nov. 29. " " 362. Nov. 29 " " 363. Nov. 30. " " 364. Dec. 1. To Thomas Moore 365. Dec. 1. To Francis Hodgson 366. Dec. 2. To John Murray 367. Dec. 2. To Leigh Hunt 368. Dec. 3. To John Murray 369. Dec. 3. " " 370. Undated. " " 371. Dec. 4. " " 372. Dec. 6. " " 373. Dec. 8. To Thomas Moore 374. Dec. 11. To John Galt 375. Dec. 14. To John Murray 376. Dec. 14. To Thomas Ashe 377. Dec. 15. To Professor Clarke 378. Dec. 22. To Leigh Hunt 379. Dec. 27. To John Murray

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VIII. JOURNAL: NOVEMBER, 14, 1813—APRIL 19, 1814








* * * * *


AUGUST, 1811-MARCH, 1812.


169.—To John Murray. [1]

Newstead Abbey, Notts., August 23, 1811.

Sir,—A domestic calamity in the death of a near relation [2] has hitherto prevented my addressing you on the subject of this letter. My friend, Mr. Dallas, [3] has placed in your hands a manuscript poem written by me in Greece, which he tells me you do not object to publishing. But he also informed me in London that you wished to send the MS. to Mr. Gifford. [4] Now, though no one would feel more gratified by the chance of obtaining his observations on a work than myself, there is in such a proceeding a kind of petition for praise, that neither my pride—or whatever you please to call it—will admit.

Mr. G. is not only the first satirist of the day, but editor of one of the principal reviews. As such, he is the last man whose censure (however eager to avoid it) I would deprecate by clandestine means. You will therefore retain the manuscript in your own care, or, if it must needs be shown, send it to another. Though not very patient of censure, I would fain obtain fairly any little praise my rhymes might deserve, at all events not by extortion, and the humble solicitations of a bandied-about MS. I am sure a little consideration will convince you it would be wrong.

If you determine on publication, I have some smaller poems (never published), a few notes, and a short dissertation on the literature of the modern Greeks (written at Athens), which will come in at the end of the volume.—And, if the present poem should succeed, it is my intention, at some subsequent period, to publish some selections from my first work,—my Satire,—another nearly the same length, and a few other things, with the MS. now in your hands, in two volumes.—But of these hereafter. You will apprize me of your determination.

I am, Sir, your very obedient, humble servant,


[Footnote 1: For John Murray, see 'Letters', vol. i. p. 334, note 1 [Footnote 1 to Letter 167].]

[Footnote 2: Mrs. Byron died August I, 1811.]

[Footnote 3: For R. C. Dallas, see 'Letters', vol. i. p. 168, note 1. [Footnote 1 to Letter 87]]

[Footnote 4: For Gifford, the editor of the 'Quarterly Review', see 'Letters', vol. i. p. 198, note 2. [Footnote 4 of Letter 102]]

* * * * *

170.—To James Wedderburn Webster. [1]

Newstead Abbey, August 24th, 1811.

MY DEAR W.,—Conceiving your wrath to be somewhat evaporated, and your Dignity recovered from the Hysterics into which my innocent note from London had thrown it, I should feel happy to be informed how you have determined on the disposal of this accursed Coach, [2] which has driven us out of our Good humour and Good manners to a complete Standstill, from which I begin to apprehend that I am to lose altogether your valuable correspondence. Your angry letter arrived at a moment, to which I shall not allude further, as my happiness is best consulted in forgetting it. [3]

You have perhaps heard also of the death of poor Matthews, whom you recollect to have met at Newstead. He was one whom his friends will find it difficult to replace, nor will Cambridge ever see his equal.

I trust you are on the point of adding to your relatives instead of losing them, and of friends a man of fortune will always have a plentiful stock—at his Table.

I dare say now you are gay, and connubial, and popular, so that in the next parliament we shall be having you a County Member. But beware your Tutor, for I am sure he Germanized that sanguinary letter; you must not write such another to your Constituents; for myself (as the mildest of men) I shall say no more about it.

Seriously, mio Caro W., if you can spare a moment from Matrimony, I shall be glad to hear that you have recovered from the pucker into which this Vis (one would think it had been a Sulky) has thrown you; you know I wish you well, and if I have not inflicted my society upon you according to your own Invitation, it is only because I am not a social animal, and should feel sadly at a loss amongst Countesses and Maids of Honour, particularly being just come from a far Country, where Ladies are neither carved for, or fought for, or danced after, or mixed at all (publicly) with the Men-folks, so that you must make allowances for my natural diffidence and two years travel.

But (God and yourself willing) I shall certes pay my promised visit, as I shall be in town, if Parliament meets, in October.

In the mean time let me hear from you (without a privy Council), and believe me in sober sadness,

Yours very sincerely,


[Footnote 1: James Wedderburn Webster (1789-1840), grandson of Sir A. Wedderburn, Bart., whose third son, David, assumed the additional name of Webster, was the author of 'Waterloo, and other Poems' (1816), and 'A Genealogical Account of the Wedderburn Family' (privately printed, 1819). He was with Byron, possibly at Cambridge, certainly at Athens in 1810. He married, in 1810, Lady Frances Caroline Annesley, daughter of Arthur, first Earl of Mountnorris and eighth Viscount Valencia. He was knighted in 1822. Byron, in 1813, lent him L1000. Lady Frances died in 1837, and her husband in 1840.

Moore ('Memoirs, Journals, etc.', vol. iii. p. 112) mentions dining with Webster at Paris in 1820.

"He told me," writes Moore, "that, one day, travelling from Newstead to town with Lord Byron in his vis-a-vis, the latter kept his pistols beside him, and continued silent for hours, with the most ferocious expression possible on his countenance.

'For God's sake, my dear B.,' said W——at last, 'what are you thinking of? Are you about to commit murder? or what other dreadful thing are you meditating?'

To which Byron answered that he always had a sort of presentiment that his own life would be attacked some time or other; and that this was the reason of his always going armed, as it was also the subject of his thoughts at that moment."

Moore also adds ('ibid'., p. 292),

"W. W. owes Lord Byron, he says, L1000, and does not seem to have the slightest intention of paying him."

Lady Frances was the lady to whom Byron seriously devoted himself in 1813-4. Subsequently she was practically separated from her husband, and Byron, in 1823, endeavoured to reconcile them. Moore ('Memoirs, Journals, etc'., vol. ii. p. 249) writes,

"To the Devizes ball in the evening; Lady Frances W. there; introduced to her, and had much conversation, chiefly about our friend Lord B. Several of those beautiful things, published (if I remember right) with the 'Bride', were addressed to her. She must have been very pretty when she had more of the freshness of youth, though she is still but five or six and twenty; but she looks faded already" (1819).

In the Court of Common Pleas, February 16, 1816, the libel action of 'Webster v. Baldwin' was heard. The plaintiff obtained L2000 in damages for a libel charging Lady Frances and the Duke of Wellington with adultery.]

[Footnote 2: On his return to London in July, 1811, Byron ordered a 'vis-a-vis' to be built by Goodall. This he exchanged for a carriage belonging to Webster, who, within a few weeks, resold the 'vis-a-vis' to Byron. The two following letters from Byron to Webster explain the transaction:—

"Reddish's Hotel, 29th July, 1811.

"MY DEAR WEBSTER,—As this eternal 'vis-a-vis' seems to sit heavy on your soul, I beg leave to apprize you that I have arranged with Goodall: you are to give me the promised Wheels, and the lining, with 'the Box at Brighton,' and I am to pay the stipulated sum.

I am obliged to you for your favourable opinion, and trust that the happiness you talk so much of will be stationary, and not take those freaks to which the felicity of common mortals is subject. I do very sincerely wish you well, and am so convinced of the justice of your matrimonial arguments, that I shall follow your example as soon as I can get a sufficient price for my coronet. In the mean time I should be happy to drill for my new situation under your auspices; but business, inexorable business, keeps me here. Your letters are forwarded. If I can serve you in any way, command me. I will endeavour to fulfil your requests as awkwardly as another. I shall pay you a visit, perhaps, in the autumn. Believe me, dear W.,

Yours unintelligibly,


"Reddish's Hotel, July 31st, 1811.

MY DEAR W. W.,—I always understood that the 'lining' was to accompany the 'carriage'; if not, the 'carriage' may accompany the 'lining', for I will have neither the one nor the other. In short, to prevent squabbling, this is my determination, so decide;—if you leave it to my 'feelings' (as you say) they are very strongly in favour of the said lining. Two hundred guineas for a carriage with ancient lining!!! Rags and rubbish! You must write another pamphlet, my dear W., before; but pray do not waste your time and eloquence in expostulation, because it will do neither of us any good, but decide—content or 'not' content. The best thing you can do for the Tutor you speak of will be to send him in your Vis (with the lining) to 'the U—Niversity of Goettingen.' How can you suppose (now that my own Bear is dead) that I have any situation for a German genius of this kind, till I get another, or some children? I am infinitely obliged by your invitations, but I can't pay so high for a second-hand chaise to make my friends a visit. The coronet will not 'grace' the 'pretty Vis,' till your tattered lining ceases to 'dis'grace it. Pray favour me with an answer, as we must finish the affair one way or another immediately,—before next week.

Believe me, yours truly,


"Byron," says Webster, in a note, "was more than strict about trifles."]

[Footnote 3: The death of Mrs. Byron, August 1, 1811.]

* * * * *

171.—To R. C. Dallas.

Newstead Abbey, August 25, 1811.

Being fortunately enabled to frank, I do not spare scribbling, having sent you packets within the last ten days. I am passing solitary, and do not expect my agent to accompany me to Rochdale [1] before the second week in September; a delay which perplexes me, as I wish the business over, and should at present welcome employment. I sent you exordiums, annotations, etc., for the forthcoming quarto, if quarto it is to be: and I also have written to Mr. Murray my objection to sending the MS. to Juvenal, [2] but allowing him to show it to any others of the calling. Hobhouse [3] is amongst the types already: so, between his prose and my verse, the world will be decently drawn upon for its paper-money and patience. Besides all this, my 'Imitation of Horace' [4] is gasping for the press at Cawthorn's, but I am hesitating as to the how and the when, the single or the double, the present or the future. You must excuse all this, for I have nothing to say in this lone mansion but of myself, and yet I would willingly talk or think of aught else.

What are you about to do? Do you think of perching in Cumberland, as you opined when I was in the metropolis? If you mean to retire, why not occupy Miss Milbanke's "Cottage of Friendship," late the seat of Cobbler Joe, [5] for whose death you and others are answerable? His "Orphan Daughter" (pathetic Pratt!) will, certes, turn out a shoemaking Sappho. Have you no remorse? I think that elegant address to Miss Dallas should be inscribed on the cenotaph which Miss Milbanke means to stitch to his memory.

The newspapers seem much disappointed at his Majesty's not dying, or doing something better. [6] I presume it is almost over. If parliament meets in October, I shall be in town to attend. I am also invited to Cambridge for the beginning of that month, but am first to jaunt to Rochdale. Now Matthews [7] is gone, and Hobhouse in Ireland, I have hardly one left there to bid me welcome, except my inviter. At three-and-twenty I am left alone, and what more can we be at seventy? It is true I am young enough to begin again, but with whom can I retrace the laughing part of life? It is odd how few of my friends have died a quiet death,—I mean, in their beds. But a quiet life is of more consequence. Yet one loves squabbling and jostling better than yawning. This 'last word' admonishes me to relieve you from

Yours very truly, etc.

[Footnote 1: For Byron's Rochdale property, which was supposed to contain a quantity of coal, see 'Letters', vol. i. p. 78, 'note' 2. [Footnote 2 of Letter 34]]

[Footnote 2: Gifford.]

[Footnote 3: For John Cam Hobhouse, see 'Letters', vol. i. p. 163, 'note' 1. [Footnote 1 of Letter 86]]

[Footnote 4: The poem remained unpublished till after Byron's death. (See 'note', p. 23, and 'Poems', ed. 1898, vol. i. pp. 385-450.) ]

[Footnote 5:

"In Seaham churchyard, without any memorial," says Mr. Surtees, "rest the remains of Joseph Blacket, an unfortunate child of genius, whose last days were soothed by the generous attention of the family of Milbanke."

'Hist. of Durham', vol. i. p. 272. (See also 'Letters', vol. i. p. 314, 'note' 2 [Footnote 2 of Letter 154]. For Miss Milbanke, afterwards Lady Byron, see p. 118, 'note' 4.) [Footnote 1 of Letter 7]]

[Footnote 6: On July 28, 1811, Lord Grenville wrote to Lord Auckland,

"It is, I believe, certainly true that the King has taken for the last three days scarcely any food at all, and that, unless a change takes place very shortly in that respect, he cannot survive many days"

('Auckland Correspondence', vol. iv. p. 366). It was, however, the mind, and not the physical strength that failed.

"The King, I should suppose," wrote Lord Buckinghamshire, on August 13, "is not likely to die soon, but I fear his mental recovery is hardly to be expected."

('ibid'., vol. iv. p. 367). George III. never, except for brief intervals, recovered his reason.]

[Footnote 7: For C. S. Matthews, see 'Letters', vol. i. p. 150, 'note' 3. [Footnote 2 of Letter 84]]

* * * * *

172.—To R. C. Dallas. [1]

Newstead Abbey, Aug. 27, 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 Wingfield [2] 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, [3] 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. [4]

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, [5] 'protege' 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 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 a 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, houseroom, and neat wines.

[Footnote 1: Dallas, writing to Byron, August 18, 1811, had said,

"I have been reading the 'Remains' of Kirke White, and find that you have to answer for misleading me. He does not, in my opinion, merit the high praise you have bestowed upon him."

Writing again, August 26, he objected to the 'note' on Matthews in 'Childe Harold':

"In your note, as it stands, it strikes me that the eulogy on Matthews is a 'little' at the expense of Wingfield and others whom you 'have' commemorated. I should think it quite enough to say that his Powers and Attainments were above all praise, without expressly admitting them to be above that of a Muse who soars high in the praise of others."]

[Footnote 2: For Wingfield, see 'Letters', vol. i, p. 180, 'note' 1. [Footnote 2 of Letter 92]]

[Footnote: For George Anson Byron, afterwards Lord Byron, and his sister Julia, see 'Letters', vol. i, p. 188, 'note' 1.[Footnote 1 of Letter 96]]

[Footnote 4: For H. K. White, see 'Letters', vol. i, p. 336, 'note' 2. [Footnote 3 of Letter 167]]

[Footnote 5: The Rev. George Townsend (1788-1857) of Trinity College, Cambridge, published 'Poems' in 1810, and eight books of his 'Armageddon' in 1815. The remaining four books were never published. Townsend became a Canon of Durham in 1825, and held the stall till his death in 1857. Richard Cumberland, dramatist, novelist, and essayist (1732-1811), the "Sir Fretful Plagiary" of 'The Critic', announced the forthcoming poem in the 'London Review'; but, as Townsend says, in the Preface to 'Armageddon', praised him "too abundantly and prematurely." "My talents," he adds, "were neither equal to my own ambition, nor his zeal to serve me." (See 'Hints from Horace', lines 191-212, and Byron's 'note' to line 191, 'Poems', ed. 1898, vol. i. p. 403.)]

* * * * *

173.—To the Hon. Augusta Leigh. [1]

Newstead Abbey, August 30th, 1811.

My Dear Augusta,—The embarrassments you mention in your last letter I never heard of before, but that disease is epidemic in our family. Neither have I been apprised of any of the changes at which you hint, indeed how should I? On the borders of the Black Sea, we heard only of the Russians. So you have much to tell, and all will be novelty.

I don't know what Scrope Davies [2] meant by telling you I liked Children, I abominate the sight of them so much that I have always had the greatest respect for the character of Herod. But, as my house here is large enough for us all, we should go on very well, and I need not tell you that I long to see you. I really do not perceive any thing so formidable in a Journey hither of two days, but all this comes of Matrimony, you have a Nurse and all the etceteras of a family. Well, I must marry to repair the ravages of myself and prodigal ancestry, but if I am ever so unfortunate as to be presented with an Heir, instead of a Rattle he shall be provided with a Gag.

I shall perhaps be able to accept D's invitation to Cambridge, but I fear my stay in Lancashire will be prolonged, I proceed there in the 2d week in Septr to arrange my coal concerns, & then if I can't persuade some wealthy dowdy to ennoble the dirty puddle of her mercantile Blood,—why—I shall leave England and all it's clouds for the East again; I am very sick of it already. Joe [3] has been getting well of a disease that would have killed a troop of horse; he promises to bear away the palm of longevity from old Parr. As you won't come, you will write; I long to hear all those unutterable things, being utterly unable to guess at any of them, unless they concern your relative the Thane of Carlisle, [4] though I had great hopes we had done with him.

I have little to add that you do not already know, and being quite alone, have no great variety of incident to gossip with; I am but rarely pestered with visiters, and the few I have I get rid of as soon as possible. I will now take leave of you in the Jargon of 1794. "Health & Fraternity!"

Yours always, B.

[Footnote 1: For the Hon. Augusta Leigh, see 'Letters', vol. i. p. 18, 'note' 1. [Footnote 1 of Letter 7] Byron's letter is in answer to the following from his half-sister:

"6 Mile Bottom, Aug. 27th.

"My Dearest Brother,—Your letter was stupidly sent to Town to me on Sunday, from whence I arrived at home yesterday; consequently I have not received it so soon as I ought to have done. I feel so very happy to have the pleasure of hearing from you that I will not delay a moment answering it, altho' I am in all the delights of 'unpacking', and afraid of being too late for the Post.

"I have been a fortnight in Town, and went up on my 'eldest' little girl's account. She had been very unwell for some time, and I could not feel happy till I had better advice than this neighbourhood affords. She is, thank Heaven! much better, and I hope in a fair way to be quite 'herself' again. Mr. Davies flattered me by saying she was exactly the sort of child 'you' would delight in. I am determined not to say another word in her praise for fear you should accuse me of partiality and expect too much. The youngest ('little' Augusta) is just 6 months old, and has no particular merit at present but a very sweet placid temper.

"Oh! that I could immediately set out to Newstead and shew them to you. I can't tell you 'half' the happiness it would give me to see it and 'you'; but, my dearest B., it is a long journey and serious undertaking all things considered. Mr. Davies writes me word you promise to make him a visit bye and bye; 'pray do', you can then so easily come here. I have set my heart upon it. Consider how very long it is since I've seen you.

"I have indeed 'much' to tell you; but it is more easily 'said' than 'written'. Probably you have heard of many changes in our situation since you left England; in a 'pecuniary' point of view it is materially altered for the worse; perhaps in other respects better. Col. Leigh has been in Dorsetshire and Sussex during my stay in Town. I expect him at home towards the end of this week, and hope to make him acquainted with you ere long.

"I have not time to write half I have to say, for my letter must go; but I prefer writing in a hurry to not writing at all. You can't think how much I feel for your griefs and losses, or how much and constantly I have thought of you lately. I began a letter to you in Town, but destroyed it, from the fear of appearing troublesome. There are times, I know, when one cannot write with any degree of comfort or satisfaction. I intend to do so again shortly, so I hope yon won't think me a bore.

"Remember me most kindly to Old Joe. I rejoice to hear of his health and prosperity. Your letter (some parts of it at least) made me laugh. I am so very glad to hear you have sufficiently overcome your prejudices against the 'fair sex' to have determined upon marrying; but I shall be most anxious that my future 'Belle Soeur' should have more attractions than merely money, though to be sure 'that' is somewhat necessary. I have not another moment, dearest B., so forgive me if I write again very soon, and believe me,

"Your most affec'tn Sister, A. L.

"Do write if you can."]

[Footnote 2: For Scrope Berdmore Davies, see 'Letters', vol. i. p. 165, 'note' 2. [Footnote 2 of Letter 86] The following story is told of him by Byron, in a passage of his 'Detached Thoughts' (Ravenna, 1821):

"One night Scrope Davies at a Gaming house (before I was of age), being tipsy as he usually was at the Midnight hour, and having lost monies, was in vain intreated by his friends, one degree less intoxicated than himself, to come or go home. In despair, he was left to himself and to the demons of the dice-box.

"Next day, being visited about two of the Clock, by some friends just risen with a severe headache and empty pockets (who had left him losing at four or five in the morning), he was found in a sound sleep, without a night-cap, and not particularly encumbered with bed-cloathes: a Chamber-pot stood by his bed-side, brim-full of—-'Bank Notes!', all won, God knows how, and crammed, Scrope knew not where; but THERE they were, all good legitimate notes, and to the amount of some thousand pounds."]

[Footnote 3: For Joe Murray, see 'Letters', vol. i. p. 21, 'note' 3. [Footnote 4 of Letter 7]]

[Footnote 4: For the Earl of Carlisle, see 'Letters', vol. i. p. 36, 'note' 2. [Footnote 3 of Letter 13]]

* * * * *

174.-To the Hon. Augusta Leigh.

Newstead Abbey, Aug'st 30th, 1811.

MY DEAR AUGUSTA,—I wrote to you yesterday, and as you will not be very sorry to hear from me again, considering our long separation, I shall fill up this sheet before I go to bed. I have heard something of a quarrel between your spouse and the Prince, I don't wish to pry into family secrets or to hear anything more of the matter, but I can't help regretting on your account that so long an intimacy should be dissolved at the very moment when your husband might have derived some advantage from his R. H.'s friendship. However, at all events, and in all Situations, you have a brother in me, and a home here.

I am led into this train of thinking by a part of your letter which hints at pecuniary losses. I know how delicate one ought to be on such subjects, but you are probably the only being on Earth now interested in my welfare, certainly the only relative, and I should be very ungrateful if I did not feel the obligation. You must excuse my being a little cynical, knowing how my temper was tried in my Non-age; the manner in which I was brought up must necessarily have broken a meek Spirit, or rendered a fiery one ungovernable; the effect it has had on mine I need not state.

However, buffeting with the World has brought me a little to reason, and two years travel in distant and barbarous countries has accustomed me to bear privations, and consequently to laugh at many things which would have made me angry before. But I am wandering—in short I only want to assure you that I love you, and that you must not think I am indifferent, because I don't shew my affection in the usual way.

Pray can't you contrive to pay me a visit between this and Xmas? or shall I carry you down with me from Cambridge, supposing it practicable for me to come? You will do what you please, without our interfering with each other; the premises are so delightfully extensive, that two people might live together without ever seeing, hearing or meeting,—but I can't feel the comfort of this till I marry. In short it would be the most amiable matrimonial mansion, and that is another great inducement to my plan,—my wife and I shall be so happy,—one in each Wing. If this description won't make you come, I can't tell what will, you must please yourself. Good night, I have to walk half a mile to my Bed chamber. Yours ever, BYRON.

* * * * *

175.—To James Wedderburn Webster.

Newstead Abbey, Notts., Aug'st 31st, 1811.

MY DEAR W.,—I send you back your friend's letter, and, though I don't agree with his Canons of Criticism, they are not the worse for that. My friend Hodgson [1] is not much honoured by the comparison to the 'Pursuits of L.', which is notoriously, as far as the 'poetry' goes, the worst written of its kind; the World has been long but of one opinion, viz. that it's sole merit lies in the Notes, which are indisputably excellent.

Had Hodgson's "Alterative" been placed with the 'Baviad' the compliment had been higher to both; for, surely, the 'Baviad' is as much superior to H.'s poem, as I do firmly believe H.'s poem to be to the 'Pursuits of Literature'.

Your correspondent talks for talking's sake when he says "Lady J. Grey" is neither "Epic, dramatic, or legendary." Who ever said it was "epic" or "dramatic"? he might as well say his letter was neither "epic or dramatic;" the poem makes no pretensions to either character. "Legendary" it certainly is, but what has that to do with its merits? All stories of that kind founded on facts are in a certain degree legendary, but they may be well or ill written without the smallest alteration in that respect. When Mr. Hare prattles about the "Economy," etc., he sinks sadly;—all such expressions are the mere cant of a schoolboy hovering round the Skirts of Criticism.

Hodgson's tale is one of the best efforts of his Muse, and Mr. H.'s approbation must be of more consequence, before any body will reduce it to a "Scale," or be much affected by "the place" he "assigns" to the productions of a man like Hodgson.

But I have said more than I intended and only beg you never to allow yourself to be imposed upon by such "common place" as the 6th form letter you sent me. Judge for yourself.

I know the Mr. Bankes [2] you mention though not to that "extreme" you seem to think, but I am flattered by his "boasting" on such a subject (as you say), for I never thought him likely to "boast" of any thing which was not his own. I am not "'melancholish'"—pray what "'folk'" dare to say any such thing? I must contradict them by being 'merry' at their expence.

I shall invade you in the course of the winter, out of envy, as Lucifer looked at Adam and Eve.

Pray be as happy as you can, and write to me that I may catch the infection.

Yours ever, BYRON.

[Footnote 1: Webster had sent Byron a letter from Naylor Hare, in which the latter criticized Hodgson's poems, 'Lady Jane Grey, a Tale; and other Poems (1809)' (see 'Letters', vol. i. p. 195, 'note 1' [Footnote 1 of Letter 102]).

In the volume (pp. 56-77) was printed his "Gentle Alterative prepared for the Reviewers," which Hare apparently compared to 'The Pursuits of Literature (1794-97)', by T. J. Mathias.

To this criticism Byron objected, saying that the "Alterative" might be more fairly compared to Gifford's 'Baviad' (1794).]

[Footnote 2: For William John Bankes, see 'Letters', vol. i. p. 120, 'note' 1. [Footnote 1 of Letter 67]]

* * * * *

176.—-To the Hon. Augusta Leigh. [1]

Newstead Abbey, Sept. 2d, 1811.

My dear Augusta,—I wrote you a vastly dutiful letter since my answer to your second epistle, and I now write you a third, for which you have to thank Silence and Solitude. Mr. Hanson [2] comes hither on the 14th, and I am going to Rochdale on business, but that need not prevent you from coming here, you will find Joe, and the house and the cellar and all therein very much at your Service.

As to Lady B., when I discover one rich enough to suit me and foolish enough to have me, I will give her leave to make me miserable if she can. Money is the magnet; as to Women, one is as well as another, the older the better, we have then a chance of getting her to Heaven. So, your Spouse does not like brats better than myself; now those who beget them have no right to find fault, but I may rail with great propriety.

My "Satire!"—I am glad it made you laugh for Somebody told me in Greece that you was angry, and I was sorry, as you were perhaps the only person whom I did not want to make angry.

But how you will make me laugh I don't know, for it is a vastly serious subject to me I assure you; therefore take care, or I shall hitch you into the next Edition to make up our family party. Nothing so fretful, so despicable as a Scribbler, see what I am, and what a parcel of Scoundrels I have brought about my ears, and what language I have been obliged to treat them with to deal with them in their own way;—all this comes of Authorship, but now I am in for it, and shall be at war with Grubstreet, till I find some better amusement.

You will write to me your Intentions and may almost depend on my being at Cambridge in October. You say you mean to be etc. in the Autumn; I should be glad to know what you call this present Season, it would be Winter in every other Country which I have seen. If we meet in October we will travel in my Vis. and can have a cage for the children and a cart for the Nurse. Or perhaps we can forward them by the Canal. Do let us know all about it, your "bright thought" is a little clouded, like the Moon in this preposterous climate.

Good even, Child.

Yours ever, B.

[Footnote 1: The following is Mrs. Leigh's letter, to which the above is an answer:

"6 Mile Bottom, Saturday, 31 Aug.

"My dearest brother,—I hope you don't dislike receiving letters so much as writing them, for you would in that case pronounce me a great torment. But as I prepared you in my last for its being followed very soon by another, I hope you will have reconciled your mind to the impending toil. I really wrote in such a hurry that I did not say half I wished; but I did not like to delay telling you how happy you made me by writing. I have been dwelling constantly upon the idea of going to Newstead ever since I had your wish to see me there. At last a bright thought struck me.

"We intend, I believe, to go to Yorkshire in the autumn. Now, if I could contrive to pay you a visit en passant, it would be delightful, and give me the greatest pleasure. But I fear you would be obliged to make up your mind to receive my Brats too. As for my husband, he prefers the outside of the Mail to the inside of a Post-Chaise, particularly when partly occupied by Nurse and Children, so that we always travel independent of each other.

"So much for this, my dear B. I can only say I should much like to see you at Newstead. The former I hope I shall at all events, as you must not be shabby, but come to Cambridge as you promised. Are you staying at Newstead now for any time? I saw George Byron in Town for one day, and he promised to call or write again, but has not done either, so I begin to think he has gone back to Lisbon. I think it is impossible not to like him; he is so good-natured and natural. We talked much of you; he told me you were grown very thin; as you don't complain, I hope you are not the worse for being so, and I remember you used to wish it. Don't you think it a great shame that George B. is not promoted? I wish there was any possibility of assisting him about it; but all I know who could do any good with you present Ministers, I don't for many reasons like to ask. Perhaps there may be a change bye and bye.

"Fred Howard is married to Miss Lambton. I saw them in town in their way to Castle Howard. I hope he will be happy with all my heart; his kindness and friendship to us last year, when Col. Leigh was placed in one of the most perplexing situations that I think anybody could be in, is never to be forgotten. I think he used to be a greater favourite with you than some others of his family. Mrs. F.H. is very pretty, very young (not quite 17), and appears gentle and pleasing, which is all one can expect [to discover from] a very slight acquaintance.

"Now, my dearest Byron, pray let me hear from you. I shall be daily expecting to hear of a Lady Byron, since you have confided to me your determination of marrying, in which I really hope you are serious, being convinced such an event would contribute greatly to your happiness, PROVIDED her Ladyship was the sort of person that would suit you; and you won't be angry with me for saying that it is not EVERY one who would; therefore don't be too precipitate. You will wish me hanged, I fear, for boring you so unmercifully, so God bless you, my dearest Bro.; and, when you have time, do write. Are you going to amuse us with any more Satires? Oh, English Bards! I shall make you laugh (when we meet) about it.

"Ever your most affectionate Sis. and Friend,

"A. L."]

[Footnote 2: For John Hanson, see Letters, vol. i. p. 8, note 2. [Footnote 1 of Letter 3]]

* * * * *

177.—To Francis Hodgson.

Newstead Abbey, Sept. 3, 1811.

MY DEAR HODGSON,—I will have nothing to do with your immortality; [1] we are miserable enough in this life, without the absurdity of speculating upon another. If men are to live, why die at all? and if they die, why disturb the sweet and sound sleep that "knows no waking"?

"Post Mortem nihil est, ipsaque Mors nihil ... quaeris quo jaceas post obitum loco? Quo non Nata jacent." [2]

As to revealed religion, Christ came to save men; but a good Pagan will go to heaven, and a bad Nazarene to hell; "Argal" (I argue like the gravedigger) why are not all men Christians? or why are any? If mankind may be saved who never heard or dreamt, at Timbuctoo, Otaheite, Terra Incognita, etc., of Galilee and its Prophet, Christianity is of no avail: if they cannot be saved without, why are not all orthodox? It is a little hard to send a man preaching to Judaea, and leave the rest of the world—Negers and what not—dark as their complexions, without a ray of light for so many years to lead them on high; and who will believe that God will damn men for not knowing what they were never taught? I hope I am sincere; I was so at least on a bed of sickness in a far-distant country, when I had neither friend, nor comforter, nor hope, to sustain me. I looked to death as a relief from pain, without a wish for an after-life, but a confidence that the God who punishes in this existence had left that last asylum for the weary.

[Greek: Hon ho theos agapaei apothnaeskei neos.] [3]

I am no Platonist, I am nothing at all; but I would sooner be a Paulician, Manichean, Spinozist, Gentile, Pyrrhonian, Zoroastrian, than one of the seventy-two villainous sects who are tearing each other to pieces for the love of the Lord and hatred of each other. Talk of Galileeism? Show me the effects—are you better, wiser, kinder by your precepts? I will bring you ten Mussulmans shall shame you in all goodwill towards men, prayer to God, and duty to their neighbours. And is there a Talapoin, [4] or a Bonze, who is not superior to a fox-hunting curate? But I will say no more on this endless theme; let me live, well if possible, and die without pain. The rest is with God, who assuredly, had He come or sent, would have made Himself manifest to nations, and intelligible to all.

I shall rejoice to see you. My present intention is to accept Scrope Davies's invitation; and then, if you accept mine, we shall meet here and there. Did you know poor Matthews? I shall miss him much at Cambridge.

[Footnote 1: The religious discussion arose out of the opening stanzas of 'Childe Harold', Canto II., which Hodgson was helping to correct for the press.

Byron's opinions were not newly formed, as is shown by the following letter to Ensign Long (see 'Letters', vol. i. p. 73, 'note 2' [Footnote 2 of Letter 31]), which reached the Editor too late for insertion in its proper place:

Southwell, Ap: 16th, 1807.

"Your Epistle, my dear Standard Bearer, augurs not much in favour of your new life, particularly the latter part, where you say your happiest Days are over. I most sincerely hope not. The past has certainly in some parts been pleasant, but I trust will be equalled, if not exceeded by the future. You hope it is not so with me.

"To be plain with Regard to myself. Nature stampt me in the Die of Indifference. I consider myself as destined never to be happy, although in some instances fortunate. I am an isolated Being on the Earth, without a Tie to attach me to life, except a few School-fellows, and a 'score of females.' Let me but 'hear my fame on the winds' and the song of the Bards in my Norman house, I ask no more and don't expect so much. Of Religion I know nothing, at least in its 'favour'. We have 'fools' in all sects and Impostors in most; why should I believe mysteries no one understands, because written by men who chose to mistake madness for Inspiration, and style themselves 'Evangelicals?' However enough on this subject. Your 'piety' will be 'aghast,' and I wish for no proselytes. This much I will venture to affirm, that all the virtues and pious 'Deeds' performed on Earth can never entitle a man to Everlasting happiness in a future State; nor on the other hand can such a Scene as a Seat of eternal punishment exist, it is incompatible with the benign attributes of a Deity to suppose so.

"I am surrounded here by parsons and methodists, but, as you will see, not infected with the mania. I have lived a 'Deist', what I shall die I know not; however, come what may, 'ridens moriar'.

"Nothing detains me here but the publication, which will not be complete till June. About 20 of the present pieces will be cut out, and a number of new things added. Amongst them a complete Episode of Nisus and Euryalus from Virgil, some Odes from Anacreon, and several original Odes, the whole will cover 170 pages. My last production has been a poem in imitation of Ossian, which I shall not publish, having enough without it. Many of the present poems are enlarged and altered, in short you will behold an 'Old friend with a new face.' Were I to publish all I have written in Rhyme, I should fill a decent Quarto; however, half is quite enough at present. You shall have 'all' when we meet.

"I grow thin daily; since the commencement of my System I have lost 23 lbs. in my weight '(i.e.)' 1 st. and 9 lbs. When I began I weighed 14 st. 6 lbs., and on Tuesday I found myself reduced to 12 st. 11 lb. What sayest thou, Ned? do you not envy? I shall still proceed till I arrive at 12 st. and then stop, at least if I am not too fat, but shall always live temperately and take much exercise.

"If there is a possibility we shall meet in June. I shall be in Town, before I proceed to Granta, and if the 'mountain will not come to Mahomet, Mahomet will go to the mountain.' I don't mean, by comparing you to the mountain, to insinuate anything on the Subject of your Size. Xerxes, it is said, formed Mount Athos into the Shape of a Woman; had he lived now, and taken a peep at Chatham, he would have spared himself the trouble and made it unnecessary by finding a 'Hill' ready cut to his wishes.

"Adieu, dear Mont Blanc, or rather 'Mont Rouge'; don't, for Heaven's sake, turn Volcanic, at least roll the Lava of your indignation in any other Channel, and not consume Your's ever,


"Write Immediately."

Byron lived to modify these opinions, as is shown by the following passages from his 'Detached Thoughts':

"If I were to live over again, I do not know what I would change in my life, unless it were 'for—not to have lived at all'. All history and experience, and the rest, teaches us that the good and evil are pretty equally balanced in this existence, and that what is most to be desired is an easy passage out of it. What can it give us but years? and those have little of good but their ending.

"Of the immortality of the soul it appears to me that there can be little doubt, if we attend for a moment to the action of mind; it is in perpetual activity. I used to doubt of it, but reflection has taught me better. It acts also so very independent of body—in dreams, for instance;—incoherently and 'madly', I grant you, but still it is mind, and much more mind than when we are awake. Now that this should not act 'separately', as well as jointly, who can pronounce? The stoics, Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius, call the present state 'a soul which drags a carcass,'—a heavy chain, to be sure; but all chains being material may be shaken off. How far our future life will be 'individual', or, rather, how far it will at all resemble our 'present' existence, is another question; but that the mind is eternal seems as probable as that the body is not so. Of course I here venture upon the question without recurring to Revelation, which, however, is at least as rational a solution of it as any other. A 'material' resurrection seems strange, and even absurd, except for purposes of punishment; and all punishment which is to 'revenge' rather than 'correct' must be 'morally wrong'; and 'when the world is at an end', what moral or warning purpose 'can' eternal tortures answer? Human passions have probably disfigured the divine doctrines here;—but the whole thing is inscrutable."

"It is useless to tell me 'not' to 'reason', but to 'believe'. You might as well tell a man not to wake, but 'sleep'. And then to 'bully' with torments, and all that! I cannot help thinking that the 'menace' of hell makes as many devils as the severe penal codes of inhuman humanity make villains."

"Man is born 'passionate' of body, but with an innate though secret tendency to the love of good in his main-spring of mind. But, God help us all! it is at present a sad jar of atoms."]

[Footnote 2: The lines are quoted from Seneca's 'Troades' (act ii. et seqq.):

"Post mortem nihil est, ipsaque mors nihil. ........ ........ Quaeris, quo jaceas post obitum loco? Quo non nata jacent."]

[Footnote 3: The sentiment is found in one of the [Greek: monostichoi] of Menander ('Menandri et Philemonis reliquiae,' edidit Augustus Meineke, p. 48). It is thus quoted by Stobaeus ('Florilegium', cxx. 8) as an iambic:

[Greek: Hon oi theoi philousin apothnaeskei neos.]

In the 'Comicorum Graecorum Sententiae, id est' [Greek: gnomai](p. 219, ed, Henricus Stephanus, MDLXIX.) it is quoted as a leonine verse:

[Greek: Hon gar philei theos apothnaeskei neos.]

Plautus gives it thus ('Bacchides', iv. 7):

"Quem di diligunt adolescens moritur."]

[Footnote 4: The word is said to be illegible, and the conclusion of the letter to be lost ('Memoir of the Rev. Francis Hodgson', vol. i. p. 196). Only the latter statement is correct. The word is perfectly legible. Talapoin (Yule's 'Glossary of Anglo-Indian Words, sub voce') is the name used by the Portuguese, and after them by the French writers, and by English travellers of the seventeenth century (Hakluyt, ed. 1807, vol. ii. p. 93; and Purchas, ed. 1645, vol. ii. p. 1747), to designate the Buddhist monks of Ceylon and the Indo-Chinese countries. Pallegoix ('Description du Royaume Thai ou Siam', vol. ii. p. 23) says,

"Les Europeens les ont appeles 'talapoins', probablement du nom de l'eventail qu'ils tiennent a la main, lequel s'appelle 'talapat', qui signifie 'feuille de palmier'."

Possibly Byron knew the word through Voltaire ('Dial.' xxii., 'Andre des Couches a Siam');

"'A. des C.': Combien avez-vous de soldats?

'Croutef.': Quatre-vingt mille, fort mediocrement payes.

'A. des C.': Et de talapoins?

'Cr.': Cent vingt-mille, tous faineans et tres riches," etc.]

* * * * *

178.—To R.C. Dallas.

Newstead Abbey, September 4th, 1811.

My dear Sir,—I am at present anxious, as Cawthorn seems to wish it, to have a small edition of the 'Hints from Horace' [1] published immediately, but the Latin (the most difficult poem in the language) renders it necessary to be very particular not only in correcting the proofs with Horace open, but in adapting the parallel passages of the imitation in such places to the original as may enable the reader not to lose sight of the allusion. I don't know whether I ought to ask you to do this, but I am too far off to do it for myself; and if you condescend to my school-boy erudition, you will oblige me by setting this thing going, though you will smile at the importance I attach to it.

Believe me, ever yours,


[Footnote 1: 'Hints from Horace', written during Byron's second stay at Athens, March 11-14, 1811, and subsequently added to, had been placed in the hands of Cawthorn, the publisher of 'English Bards, and Scotch Reviewers', for publication. Byron afterwards changed his mind, and the poem remained unpublished till after his death.

The following letter from Cawthorn shows that considerable progress had been made with the printing of the poem, and that Byron also contemplated another edition of 'English Bards, and Scotch Reviewers'. The advice of his friends led him to abandon both plans; but his letter to Cawthorn, printed below, is evidence that in September he was still at work on 'Hints from Horace':

"24, Cockspur Street, Aug. 22'd, 1811.

"My Lord,—Mr. Green the Amanuensis has finished the Latin of the Horace, and I shall be happy to do with it as your Lordship may direct, either to forward it to Newstead, or keep it in Town. Would it not be better to print a small edition seperate ('sic'), and afterwards print the two satires together? This I leave to your Lordship's consideration. Four Sheets of the 'Travels' are already printed, and one of the plates (Albanian Solain) is executed. I sent it Capt. H[obhouse] yesterday to Cork, to see if it meets his approbation. The work is printed in quarto, for which I may be in some measure indebted to your Lordship, as I urged it so strongly. I shall be extremely sorry if Capt. H. is not pleased with it, but I think he will. Your Lordship's goodness will excuse me for saying how much the very sudden and melancholy events that have lately transpired—I regret—Capt. Hobhouse has written me since the decease of Mr. Mathews. I am told Capt. H. is very much affected at it. I have received some drawings of costumes from him, which I am to deliver to your Lordship. Is it likely we shall see your Lordship in Town soon?

"I have the honour to be your Lordship's

"Most respectful and greatly obliged Servt.,


"If a small edition is printed of 'Horace' for the first" [words erased] "that, and I think in all probability the 'E. Bards' will want reprinting about March next, when both could be done together. Do not think me too sanguine."

A few days later, Byron writes to Cawthom as follows:

"Newstead Abbey, September 4th, 1811.

"More notes for the 'Hints'! You mistake me much by thinking me inattentive to this publication. If I had a friend willing and able to correct the press, it should be out with my good will immediately. Pray attend to annexing additional notes in their proper places, and let them be added immediately.

"Yours, etc.,


* * * * *

179.—To John Murray. [1]

Newstead Abbey, Notts., Sept. 5, 1811.

SIR,—The time seems to be past when (as Dr. Johnson said) a man was certain to "hear the truth from his bookseller," for you have paid me so many compliments, that, if I was not the veriest scribbler on earth, I should feel affronted. As I accept your compliments, it is but fair I should give equal or greater credit to your objections, the more so as I believe them to be well founded. With regard to the political and metaphysical parts, I am afraid I can alter nothing; but I have high authority for my Errors in that point, for even the 'AEneid' was a political poem, and written for a political purpose; and as to my unlucky opinions on Subjects of more importance, I am too sincere in them for recantation. On Spanish affairs I have said what I saw, and every day confirms me in that notion of the result formed on the Spot; and I rather think honest John Bull is beginning to come round again to that Sobriety which Massena's retreat [2] had begun to reel from its centre—the usual consequence of unusual success. So you perceive I cannot alter the Sentiments; but if there are any alterations in the structure of the versification you would wish to be made, I will tag rhymes and turn stanzas as much as you please. As for the "Orthodox," let us hope they will buy, on purpose to abuse—you will forgive the one, if they will do the other. You are aware that any thing from my pen must expect no quarter, on many accounts; and as the present publication is of a nature very different from the former, we must not be sanguine.

You have given me no answer to my question—tell me fairly, did you show the MS. to some of your corps? [3]

I sent an introductory stanza to Mr. Dallas, that it might be forwarded to you; the poem else will open too abruptly. The Stanzas had better be numbered in Roman characters, there is a disquisition on the literature of the modern Greeks, and some smaller poems to come in at the close. These are now at Newstead, but will be sent in time. If Mr. D. has lost the Stanza and note annexed to it, write, and I will send it myself.—You tell me to add two cantos, but I am about to visit my Collieries in Lancashire on the 15th instant, which is so unpoetical an employment that I need say no more.

I am, sir, your most obedient, etc., etc.,


[Footnote 1: The following is Murray's letter, to which Byron replies:

"London, Sept. 4, 1811, Wednesday.

"MY LORD,—An absence of some days, passed in the country, has prevented me from writing earlier in answer to your obliging letter. I have now, however, the pleasure of sending under a separate cover, the first proof sheet of your Lordship's 'Poem', which is so good as to be entitled to all your care to render perfect. Besides its general merit, there are parts, which, I am tempted to believe, far excel anything that your Lordship has hitherto published, and it were therefore grievous indeed, if you do not condescend to bestow upon it all the improvement of which your Lordship's mind is so capable; every correction already made is valuable, and this circumstance renders me more confident in soliciting for it your further attention.

"There are some expressions, too, concerning Spain and Portugal, which, however just, and particularly so at the time they were conceived, yet as they do not harmonize with the general feeling, would so greatly interfere with the popularity which the poem is, in other respects, so certainly calculated to excite, that, in compassion to your publisher, who does not presume to reason upon the subject, otherwise than as a mere matter of business, I hope your Lordship's goodness will induce you to obviate them, and, with them, perhaps, some religious feelings which may deprive me of some customers amongst the 'Orthodox'.

"Could I flatter myself that these suggestions were not obtrusive, I would hazard another, in an earnest solicitation that your Lordship would add the two promised Cantos, and complete the 'Poem'. It were cruel indeed not to perfect a work which contains so much that is excellent; your Fame, my Lord, demands it; you are raising a Monument that will outlive your present feelings, and it should therefore be so constructed as to excite no other associations than those of respect and admiration for your Lordship's Character and Genius.

"I trust that you will pardon the warmth of this address when I assure your Lordship that it arises, in the greatest degree, in a sincere regard for your lasting reputation, with, however, some view to that portion of it, which must attend the Publisher of so beautiful a Poem, as your Lordship is capable of rendering

"'The Romaunt of Childe Harold'.

"I have the honour to be, My Lord,

"Your Lordship's

"Obedient and faithful servant,


[Footnote 2: On the night of March 5, 1811, Massena retreated from his camp at Santarem, whence he had watched Wellington at Torres Vedras, and on April 4 he crossed the Coa into Spain.]

[Footnote 3: Murray had shown the MS. to Gifford for advice as to its publication. Byron seems to have resented this on the ground that it might look like an attempt to propitiate the 'Quarterly Review'.]

* * * * *

180.—To R. C. Dallas.

Newstead Abbey, September 7, 1811.

As Gifford has been ever my "Magnus Apollo," any approbation, such as you mention, would, of course, be more welcome than "all Bocara's vaunted gold", than all "the gems of Samarcand." [1] But I am sorry the MS. was shown to him in such a manner, and had written to Murray to say as much, before I was aware that it was too late.

Your objection to the expression "central line" I can only meet by saying that, before Childe Harold left England, it was his full intention to traverse Persia, and return by India, which he could not have done without passing the equinoctial.

The other errors you mention, I must correct in the progress through the press. I feel honoured by the wish of such men that the poem should be continued, but to do that I must return to Greece and Asia; I must have a warm sun, a blue sky; I cannot describe scenes so dear to me by a sea-coal fire. I had projected an additional canto when I was in the Troad and Constantinople, and if I saw them again, it would go on; but under existing circumstances and 'sensations', I have neither harp, "heart, nor voice" to proceed, I feel that 'you are all right' as to the metaphysical part; but I also feel that I am sincere, and that if I am only to write "ad captandum vulgus," I might as well edit a magazine at once, or spin canzonettas for Vauxhall. [2]

My work must make its way as well as it can; I know I have every thing against me, angry poets and prejudices; but if the poem is a 'poem', it will surmount these obstacles, and if 'not', it deserves its fate. Your friend's Ode [3] I have read—it is no great compliment to pronounce it far superior to Smythe's on the same subject, or to the merits of the new Chancellor. It is evidently the production of a man of taste, and a poet, though I should not be willing to say it was fully equal to what might be expected from the author of "'Horae Ionicae'." [4] I thank you for it, and that is more than I would do for any other Ode of the present day.

I am very sensible of your good wishes, and, indeed, I have need of them. My whole life has been at variance with propriety, not to say decency; my circumstances are become involved; my friends are dead or estranged, and my existence a dreary void. In Matthews I have lost my "guide, philosopher, and friend;" in Wingfield a friend only, but one whom I could have wished to have preceded in his long journey.

Matthews was indeed an extraordinary man; it has not entered into the heart of a stranger to conceive such a man: there was the stamp of immortality in all he said or did;—and now what is he? When we see such men pass away and be no more—men, who seem created to display what the Creator 'could make' his creatures, gathered into corruption, before the maturity of minds that might have been the pride of posterity, what are we to conclude? For my own part, I am bewildered. To me he was much, to Hobhouse every thing. My poor Hobhouse doted on Matthews. For me, I did not love quite so much as I honoured him; I was indeed so sensible of his infinite superiority, that though I did not envy, I stood in awe of it. He, Hobhouse, Davies, and myself, formed a coterie of our own at Cambridge and elsewhere. Davies is a wit and man of the world, and feels as much as such a character can do; but not as Hobhouse has been affected. Davies, who is not a scribbler, has always beaten us all in the war of words, and by his colloquial powers at once delighted and kept us in order. Hobhouse and myself always had the worst of it with the other two; and even Matthews yielded to the dashing vivacity of Scrope Davies. But I am talking to you of men, or boys, as if you cared about such beings.

I expect mine agent down on the 14th to proceed to Lancashire, where I hear from all quarters that I have a very valuable property in coals, etc. I then intend to accept an invitation to Cambridge in October, and shall, perhaps, run up to town. I have four invitations—to Wales, Dorset, Cambridge, and Chester; but I must be a man of business. I am quite alone, as these long letters sadly testify. I perceive, by referring to your letter, that the Ode is from the author; make my thanks acceptable to him. His muse is worthy a nobler theme. You will write as usual, I hope. I wish you good evening, and am, etc.

[Footnote 1: The lines, which are parodied in Byron's unpublished 'Barmaid', are from Sir W. Jones's translation of a song by Hafiz ('Works, vol. x. p. 251):

"Sweet maid, if thou would'st charm my sight, And bid these arms thy neck infold; That rosy cheek, that lily hand, Would give thy poet more delight, Than all Bocara's vaunted gold, Than all the gems of Samarcand."]

[Footnote 2: Vauxhall Gardens (1661 to July 25, 1859) were still not only a popular but a fashionable resort, though fireworks and masquerades threatened to expel musicians and vocalists. At this time the principal singers were Charles Dignum (1765-1827); Maria Theresa Bland (1769-1838), a famous ballad-singer; Rosoman Mountain, 'nee' Wilkinson (1768-1841), whose husband was a violinist and leader at Vauxhall.—('The London Pleasure Gardens', pp. 286-326.)]

[Footnote 3: On June 29, 1811, the Duke of Gloucester was installed as Chancellor of the University of Cambridge. The Installation Ode, written by W. Smyth, of Peterhouse (1765-1849), Professor of Modern History at Cambridge, and author of 'English Lyrics' (1797) and other works, was set to music by Hague, and performed in the Senate House, Braham and Ashe, it is said, particularly distinguishing themselves among the performers. The Ode is given in the 'Annual Register' for 1811, pp. 593-596. The rival Ode, which Byron preferred, was by Walter Rodwell Wright.]

[Footnote 4: For Walter Rodwell Wright, author of 'Horae Ionicae' (1809), see Letters, vol. i. p. 336, 'note' 1. [Footnote 2 of Letter 167]]

* * * * *

181.—To the Hon. Augusta Leigh.

[Six Mile Bottom, Newmarket.]

Newstead Abbey, Sept. 9th, 1811.

My Dear Augusta,—My Rochdale affairs are understood to be settled as far as the Law can settle them, and indeed I am told that the most valuable part is that which was never disputed; but I have never reaped any advantage from them, and God knows if I ever shall. Mr. H., my agent, is a good man and able, but the most dilatory in the world. I expect him down on the 14th to accompany me to Rochdale, where something will be decided as to selling or working the Collieries. I am Lord of the Manor (a most extensive one), and they want to enclose, which cannot be done without me; but I go there in the worst humour possible and am afraid I shall do or say something not very conciliatory. In short all my affairs are going on as badly as possible, and I have no hopes or plans to better them as I long ago pledged myself never to sell Newstead, which I mean to hold in defiance of the Devil and Man.

I am quite alone and never see strangers without being sick, but I am nevertheless on good terms with my neighbours, for I neither ride or shoot or move over my Garden walls, but I fence and box and swim and run a good deal to keep me in exercise and get me to sleep. Poor Murray is ill again, and one of my Greek servants is ill too, and my valet has got a pestilent cough, so that we are in a peck of troubles; my family Surgeon sent an Emetic this morning for one of them, I did not very well know which, but I swore Somebody should take it, so after a deal of discussion the Greek swallowed it with tears in his eyes, and by the blessing of it, and the Virgin whom he invoked to assist it and him, I suppose he'll be well tomorrow, if not, another shall have the next. So your Spouse likes children, that is lucky as he will have to bring them up; for my part (since I lost my Newfoundland dog,) I like nobody except his successor a Dutch Mastiff and three land Tortoises brought with me from Greece.

I thank you for your letters and am always glad to hear from you, but if you won't come here before Xmas, I very much fear we shall not meet here at all, for I shall be off somewhere or other very soon out of this land of Paper credit (or rather no credit at all, for every body seems on the high road to Bankruptcy), and if I quit it again I shall not be back in a hurry.

However, I shall endeavour to see you somewhere, and make my bow with decorum before I return to the Ottomans, I believe I shall turn Mussulman in the end.

You ask after my health; I am in tolerable leanness, which I promote by exercise and abstinence. I don't know that I have acquired any thing by my travels but a smattering of two languages and a habit of chewing Tobacco. [1]

Yours ever,


[Footnote 1: To appease the pangs of hunger, and keep down his fat, Byron was in the habit of chewing gum-mastic and tobacco. For the same reason, at a later date, he took opium. The mistake which he makes in his letter to Hodgson (December 8,1811), "I do nothing but eschew tobacco," is repeated in 'Don Juan' (Canto XII. stanza xiiii.)—

"In fact, there's nothing makes me so much grieve, As that abominable tittle-tattle, Which is the cud eschewed by human cattle."]

* * * * *

182.—To Francis Hodgson.

Newstead Abbey, Sept. 9, 1811.

Dear Hodgson,—I have been a good deal in your company lately, for I have been reading 'Juvenal' and 'Lady Jane', [1] etc., for the first time since my return. The Tenth Sat'e has always been my favourite, as I suppose indeed of everybody's. It is the finest recipe for making one miserable with his life, and content to walk out of it, in any language. I should think it might be redde with great effect to a man dying without much pain, in preference to all the stuff that ever was said or sung in churches. But you are a deacon, and I say no more. Ah! you will marry and become lethargic, like poor Hal of Harrow, [2] who yawns at 10 o' nights, and orders caudle annually.

I wrote an answer to yours fully some days ago, and, being quite alone and able to frank, you must excuse this subsequent epistle, which will cost nothing but the trouble of deciphering. I am expectant of agents to accompany me to Rochdale, a journey not to be anticipated with pleasure; though I feel very restless where I am, and shall probably ship off for Greece again; what nonsense it is to talk of Soul, when a cloud makes it melancholy and wine makes it mad.

Collet of Staines, your "most kind host," has lost that girl you saw of his. She grew to five feet eleven, and might have been God knows how high if it had pleased Him to renew the race of Anak; but she fell by a ptisick, a fresh proof of the folly of begetting children. You knew Matthews. Was he not an intellectual giant? I knew few better or more intimately, and none who deserved more admiration in point of ability.

Scrope Davies has been here on his way to Harrowgate; I am his guest in October at King's, where we will "drink deep ere we depart." "Won't you, won't you, won't you, won't you come, Mr. Mug?" [3] We did not amalgamate properly at Harrow; it was somehow rainy, and then a wife makes such a damp; but in a seat of celibacy I will have revenge. Don't you hate helping first, and losing the wings of chicken? And then, conversation is always flabby. Oh! in the East women are in their proper sphere, and one has—no conversation at all. My house here is a delightful matrimonial mansion. When I wed, my spouse and I will be so happy!—one in each wing.

I presume you are in motion from your Herefordshire station, [4] and Drury must be gone back to Gerund Grinding. I have not been at Cambridge since I took my M.A. degree in 1808. Eheu fugaces! I look forward to meeting you and Scrope there with the feelings of other times. Capt. Hobhouse is at Enniscorthy in Juverna. I wish he was in England.

Yours ever,


[Footnote 1: See 'Letters', vol. i. p. 195, 'note' I. [Footnote 1 of Letter 102]]

[Footnote 2: For Henry Drury, see 'Letters', vol. i. p. 41, 'note' 2. [Footnote 1 of Letter 14]]

[Footnote 3: Byron may possibly allude to "Matthew Mug," a character in Foote's 'Mayor of Garratt', said to be intended for the Duke of Newcastle. In act ii. sc. 2 of the comedy occurs this passage—

"'Heel-Tap'. Now, neighbours, have a good caution that this Master Mug does not cajole you; he is a damn'd palavering fellow."

But there is no passage in the play which exactly corresponds with Byron's quotation.]

[Footnote 4: Hodgson was staying with his uncle, the Rev. Richard Coke, of Lower Moor, Herefordshire.]

* * * * *

183.—To R.C. Dallas.

Newstead Abbey, Sept. 10, 1811.

Dear Sir,—I rather think in one of the opening stanzas of 'Childe Harold' there is this line:

'Tis said at times the sullen tear would start.

Now, a line or two after, I have a repetition of the epithet "sullen reverie;" so (if it be so) let us have "speechless reverie," or "silent reverie;" but, at all events, do away the recurrence.

Yours ever,


* * * * *

184.—To Francis Hodgson.

Newstead Abbey, September 13, 1811.

My Dear Hodgson,—I thank you for your song, or, rather, your two songs,—your new song on love, and your old song on religion. [1] I admire the first sincerely, and in turn call upon you to admire the following on Anacreon Moore's new operatic farce, [2] or farcical opera—call it which you will:

Good plays are scarce, So Moore writes Farce; Is Fame like his so brittle? We knew before That "Little's" Moore, But now 'tis Moore that's Little.

I won't dispute with you on the Arcana of your new calling; they are Bagatelles like the King of Poland's rosary. One remark, and I have done; the basis of your religion is injustice; the Son of God, the pure, the immaculate, the innocent, is sacrificed for the Guilty. This proves His heroism; but no more does away man's guilt than a schoolboy's volunteering to be flogged for another would exculpate the dunce from negligence, or preserve him from the Rod. You degrade the Creator, in the first place, by making Him a begetter of children; and in the next you convert Him into a Tyrant over an immaculate and injured Being, who is sent into existence to suffer death for the benefit of some millions of Scoundrels, who, after all, seem as likely to be damned as ever. As to miracles, I agree with Hume that it is more probable men should lie or be deceived, than that things out of the course of Nature should so happen. Mahomet wrought miracles, Brothers [3] the prophet had proselytes, and so would Breslaw [4] the conjuror, had he lived in the time of Tiberius.

Besides I trust that God is not a Jew, but the God of all Mankind; and as you allow that a virtuous Gentile may be saved, you do away the necessity of being a Jew or a Christian.

I do not believe in any revealed religion, because no religion is revealed: and if it pleases the Church to damn me for not allowing a nonentity, I throw myself on the mercy of the "Great First Cause, least understood," who must do what is most proper; though I conceive He never made anything to be tortured in another life, whatever it may in this. I will neither read pro nor con. God would have made His will known without books, considering how very few could read them when Jesus of Nazareth lived, had it been His pleasure to ratify any peculiar mode of worship. As to your immortality, if people are to live, why die? And our carcases, which are to rise again, are they worth raising? I hope, if mine is, that I shall have a better pair of legs than I have moved on these two-and-twenty years, or I shall be sadly behind in the squeeze into Paradise. Did you ever read "Malthus on Population"? If he be right, war and pestilence are our best friends, to save us from being eaten alive, in this "best of all possible Worlds." [5]

I will write, read, and think no more; indeed, I do not wish to shock your prejudices by saying all I do think. Let us make the most of life, and leave dreams to Emanuel Swedenborg. Now to dreams of another genus—Poesies. I like your song much; but I will say no more, for fear you should think I wanted to scratch you into approbation of my past, present, or future acrostics. I shall not be at Cambridge before the middle of October; but, when I go, I should certes like to see you there before you are dubbed a deacon. Write to me, and I will rejoin.

Yours ever, BYRON.

[Footnote 1: The lines in which Hodgson answered Byron's letter on his religious opinions are quoted in the 'Memoir of the Rev. F. Hodgson', vol. i. pp. 199, 200.]

[Footnote 2: Moore's 'M.P., or The Bluestocking', was played at the Lyceum, September 9, 1811, but was soon withdrawn.]

[Footnote 3: Richard Brothers (1757-1824) believed that, in 1795, he was to be revealed as Prince of the Hebrews and ruler of the world. In that year he was arrested, and confined first as a criminal lunatic, afterwards in a private asylum, where he remained till 1806. A portrait of "Richard Brothers, Prince of the Hebrews," was engraved, April, 1795, by William Sharp, with the following inscription:

"Fully believing this to be the Man whom God has appointed, I engrave this likeness. William Sharp."]

[Footnote 4: See 'Breslaw's Last Legacy; or, the Magical Companion'. Including the various exhibitions of those wonderful Artists, Breslaw, Sieur Comus, Jonas, etc. (1784).]

[Footnote 5: 'Candide, ou l'Optimisms' (chapitre xxx.):

"et Pangloss disait quelquefois a Candide; Tous les evenements sont enchaines dans le meilleur des mondes possibles," etc.

Hodgson replies (September 18, 1811):

"Your last letter has unfeignedly grieved me. Believing, as I do from my heart, that you would be better and happier by thoroughly examining the evidences for Christianity, how can I hear you say you will not read any book on the subject, without being pained? But God bless you under all circumstances. I will say no more. Only do not talk of 'shocking my prejudices,' or of 'rushing to see me 'before' I am a Deacon.' I wish to see you at all times; and as to our different opinions, we can easily keep them to ourselves."

The next day he writes again:

"Let me make one other effort. You mentioned an opinion of Hume's about miracles. For God's sake,—hear me, Byron, for God's sake—examine Paley's answer to that opinion; examine the whole of Paley's 'Evidences'. The two volumes may be read carefully in less than a week. Let me for the last time by our friendship, implore you to read them."]

* * * * *

185.—To John Murray. [1]

Newstead Abbey, Notts., Sept. 14, 1811.

Sir,—Since your former letter, Mr. Dallas informs me that the MS. has been submitted to the perusal of Mr. Gifford, most contrary to my wishes, as Mr. D. could have explained, and as my own letter to you did, in fact, explain, with my motives for objecting to such a proceeding. Some late domestic events, of which you are probably aware, prevented my letter from being sent before; indeed, I hardly conceived you would have so hastily thrust my productions into the hands of a Stranger, who could be as little pleased by receiving them, as their author is at their being offered, in such a manner, and to such a Man.

My address, when I leave Newstead, will be to "Rochdale, Lancashire;" but I have not yet fixed the day of departure, and I will apprise you when ready to set off.

You have placed me in a very ridiculous situation, but it is past, and nothing more is to be said on the subject. You hinted to me that you wished some alterations to be made; if they have nothing to do with politics or religion, I will make them with great readiness.

I am, Sir, etc., etc., BYRON.

[Footnote 1: As soon as Byron came to town, he was a frequent visitor at 32, Fleet Street, while the sheets of 'Childe Harold' were passing through the press.

"Fresh from the fencing rooms of Angelo and Jackson, he used to amuse himself by renewing his practice of 'Carte et Tierce', with his walking-cane directed against the bookshelves, while Murray was reading passages from the poem with occasional ejaculations of admiration, on which Byron would say, 'You think that a good idea, do you, Murray?' Then he would fence and lunge with his walking-stick at some special book which he had picked out on the shelves before him. As Murray afterwards said, 'I was often very glad to get rid of him!'"

(Smiles's 'Memoir of John Murray', vol. i. p. 207).]

* * * * *

186.—To R. C. Dallas.

Newstead Abbey, Sept. 15, 1811.

My dear Sir,—My agent will not he here for at least a week, and even afterwards my letters will be forwarded to Rochdale. I am sorry that Murray should groan on my account, tho' that is better than the anticipation of applause, of which men and books are generally disappointed.

The notes I sent are merely matter to be divided, arranged, and published for notes hereafter, in proper places; at present I am too much occupied with earthly cares to waste time or trouble upon rhyme, or its modern indispensables, annotations.

Pray let me hear from you, when at leisure. I have written to abuse Murray for showing the MS. to Mr. G., who must certainly think it was done by my wish, though you know the contrary.—Believe me, Yours ever, B—

* * * * *

187.—To John Murray.

Newstead Abbey, Sept. 16, 1811.

DEAR SIR,—I return the proof, which I should wish to be shown to Mr. Dallas, who understands typographical arrangements much better than I can pretend to do. The printer may place the notes in his own way, or any way, so that they are out of my way; I care nothing about types or margins.

If you have any communication to make, I shall be here at least a week or ten days longer. I am, Sir, etc., etc.,


* * * * *

188—To R. C. Dallas.

Newstead Abbey, Sept. 16, 1811.

DEAR SIR,—I send you a 'motto':

"L'univers est une espece de livre, dont on n'a lu que la premiere page quand on n'a vu que son pays. J'en ai feuillete un assez grand nombre, que j'ai trouve egalement mauvaises. Cet examen ne m'a point ete infructueux. Je haissais ma patrie. Toutes les impertinences des peuples divers, parmi lesquels j'ai vecu, m'ont reconcilie avec elle. Quand je n'aurais tire d'autre benefice de mes voyages que celui-la, je n'en regretterais ni les frais, ni les fatigues."

"Le Cosmopolite." [1]

If not too long, I think it will suit the book. The passage is from a little French volume, a great favourite with me, which I picked up in the Archipelago. I don't think it is well known in England; Monbron is the author; but it is a work sixty years old.

Good morning! I won't take up your time.

Yours ever, BYRON.

[Footnote 1: Fougeret de Monbron, born at Peronne, served in the 'Gardes du Corps', but abandoned the sword for the pen, and published 'Henriade Travestie' (1745); 'Preservatif Centre l'Anglomanie' (1787); and 'Le Cosmopolite' (1750). His novels, 'Margot la Ravaudeuse, Therlse Philosophe', and others, appeared under the name of Fougeret. He died in 1761. In that year was published in London an edition of 'Le Cosmopolite, ou le Citoyen du Monde', par Mr. de Monbron, with the motto, "Patria est ubicunque est bene" (Cic. 5, Tusc. 37).

Byron's quotation is the opening paragraph of the book. The author, who had travelled in England, returns to France a complete "Jacques Rot-de-Bif." He then visits Holland, the Low Countries, Constantinople, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and England a second time. He finds that the charm has vanished, and that the English are no better than their neighbours. It is a cynical little book, abounding in such sayings as. "Make acquaintances, not friends; intimacy breeds disgust;" "The best fruit of travelling is the justification of instinctive dislikes." Monbron, like Byron, ridicules the traveller's passion for collecting broken statues and antiques.]

* * * * *

189.—To R. C. Dallas.

Newstead Abbey, Sept. 17, 1811.

I can easily excuse your not writing, as you have, I hope, something better to do, and you must pardon my frequent invasions on your attention, because I have at this moment nothing to interpose between you and my epistles.

I cannot settle to any thing, and my days pass, with the exception of bodily exercise to some extent, with uniform indolence, and idle insipidity. I have been expecting, and still expect, my agent, when I shall have enough to occupy my reflections in business of no very pleasant aspect. Before my journey to Rochdale, you shall have due notice where to address me—I believe at the post-office of that township. From Murray I received a second proof of the same pages, which I requested him to show you, that any thing which may have escaped my observation may be detected before the printer lays the corner-stone of an errata column.

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