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tion, more deeply seated than the two former ones, and, scarcely knowing whither he ran, never stopped and which really seems to have left traces not wholly till he found himself at Newstead. obliterated by any of the passions which surrowed his Twelve months afterwards, on his bidding Miss subsequent career.
Chaworth adieu, with a heart not the less convulsed It is well known that the solitary and eccentric man- | from the calm into which he had wrought his counner in which the old Lord Byron had passed the latter tenance,—“The next time I see you,” said he, “I part of his life was confounded with, and generally suppose you will be Mrs. Chaworth ;"(1) and her believed to be caused by, the unfortunate and fatal answer was,-“I hope so." affray he had had with a neighbour, Mr. Chaworth, In the following year this marriage took place. for whose death, some unfairness having been sus. “Take out your handkerchief, Byron," said bis mother; pected in the duel, he was tried by the House of “I have some news for you—Miss Chaworth is marLords. This Mr. Chaworth had left a daughter and ried!" An expression very peculiar, but impossible to heiress, who resided with her family at Annesley, in describe, passed over the youth's pale face, and, hurrythe immediate neighbourhood of Newstead. The ing his handkerchief into his pocket, with that mixture young lady was about eighteen years old, Lord Byron of cold sarcasm which seemed naturally to have alterbeing sixteen, and combined, with much personal | nated in his poesy and his passions, he said, “Is that beauty, a singularly fascinating manner and amiable all ?” with an affected air of careless nonchalance, disposition.
and dropped the conversation. The fate of Mrs. Newstead Abbey being let, Mrs. Byron lived at Chaworth, afterwards Mrs. Musters (taking the name this time in lodgings at Nottingham, where Byron of her husband), is one so melancholy, and Byron's passed his Harrow vacations, and had frequent op- subsequent matrimonial connection proved so unforportunities of being acquainted with Mary Chaworth. tunate, that it is impossible not to linger with some He fell in love with her, and there was nothing this feelings of regret over this episode in the history of time, in his age, to render the romantic sentiment both-an episode which, if it had had a different conhe experienced extraordinary. Or this attachment he clusion, might perchance have given a new direction
ys, “Our union would have healed feuds in which to the stormy energies of Lord Byron's character, and blood had been shed by our fathers; it would have led him, satisfied with his domestic affections, to have joined lands broad and rich; it would have joined at expended those faculties in a political career at home, least one heart and two persons, not ill-matched in which the disappointments of his youth, the unceryears, and-and-and-what has been the result!” tainty of his fortunes, and the wandering habits created
The deformity to which I have alluded, and of | by a restless and unsatisfied ambition, so differently which every event of his life seems predestined to have disposed of, Oh! had such been the case, at the very made bim sensible, mingled itself deeply and bitterly moment at which I am speaking, instead of a tomb with this his first real and most reasonable affection. in Greece, our poet might have had a triumph preWith no fame at that time to atone for eccentricities, paring for him in that impending struggle, where in a and even give an interest to personal defects, poor school-fellow he would have found a competitor, while Byron was made daily sensible that he wanted the names of Byron and Peel would have been linked many of those ways of pleasing which were likely by other than boyish chronicles together. to win the object of his love. He could vot dance, Here ends Lord Byron's boyhood, marked by his and she danced. He was obliged to sit solitary and own acknowledgment, that it was one of the deadliest, sullen, when some stranger pressed that hand and heaviest feelings of his life to know that it was or. guided those steps which his eyes and his hopes too! College he seems to have disliked, and to have fondly followed. Even the last mortification of which been principally known always thereat for keeping his lameness rendered him susceptible was not spared a bear, whose manners he was in a certain degree him, and he heard his dear and his doted-on Mary supposed to study, and for a skill in swimming, Anne say, with womanish and coquettish contempt, which was one of his most favourite boasts.(2) " Do you think I could care any thing for that lame In the summer vacation of 1806, he joined his boy?" This speech, as he himself described it, was mother at Southwell, and his disposition does not like a shot through his heart. Though late at night, appear to have profited by that lady's society; in bis when he heard it, he instantly darted out of the house, disputes with whom, the chief argument seems to have
(1) Miss Chaworth continued her own name for some years after ber marriage.
(2) A dialogue which took place between Lord Byron and Dr. Polidori, during their journey on the Rhine, is amusingly characteristic of both the persons concerned. "After all, said the physician, what is there you can do that I cannot ? * Wby, since you force me to say," answered the other, “
think there are three things I can do which you cannot.” Polidori defied him to name them. "I can," said Lord Byron, "swim across that river; I can snuff out that candle with a pistol-shot at the distance of twenty paces; and I have written a poem of which fourteen thousand copies were sold in one day!”
bed the poker and tongs, which both parties used and taking physic. The two last amusements have not had with peculiar dexterity.
the best effect in the world: for my attentions have been
divided amongst so many fair damsels, and the drugs I swal. · An anecdote relative to these disputes is worth
low are of such variety in their composition, that between mentioning, viz. :-chat each was known to have gone
Venus and Æsculapius I am harassed to death. However, privately, after one of them, to the apothecary's, in I have still leisure to devote some hours to the recollections quiring anxiously whether the other had been to pur of past regretted friendships, and in the interval to take the
advantage of the moment, to assure you how much I am, chase poison, and cautioning the vender of drugs not
and ever will be, my dearest Clare, to attend to such an application, if made.
w Your truly attached and sincere It was at Newark that Byron, under the superintendence of Mr. Ridge, bookseller and publisher,
“ Brion." first appeared as a poet. All the anecdotes told of The poems, first published for a few friends, were bin at this time are indicative of that passion for soon afterwards given to the public in general. These bull-dogs and Newfoundland dogs, and Wogden's poems were, as it appears from his own account, repistols, which seems to have been as much blended ceived favourably, and noticed with eulogium in most with his character and pursuits as even the poetry of the periodical papers of the day, always excepting which he was then preparing to produce; while, in the Edinburgh Review, the severity of whose attack, some private theatricals, acting alternately Penrud as well as the consequences attendant thereupon, are dock in the Wheel of Fortune, and the whimsical well known. The celebrated article which called Tristram Fickle in the farce of the Weathercock, he forth English Bards and Scotch Reviewers was, as even then displayed that powerful versatility and sin- it is now pretty well ascertained, from the pen of our gular contrast of light and shade which in after-life late Lord Chancellor, at that time Mr. Brougham, became so conspicuous.
and who then seemed to feel no common pleasure It would be difficult to give a more amiable and in displaying the energy of his sneer on a bad poet, interesting account of his pursuits at this time than he who happened to be a lord. It has been usual of gave in a letter to Lord Clare.
late years to discover a merit in these poems, which
would render the review in question not only most « Southwell, Notts, February 6th, 1807.
ungenerous (we don't expect generosity from re*My dearest Clare,
viewers), but also most unjust. For my own part, Were I to make all the apologies necessary to atone for
I confess that I do not think I have ever read, even my late negligence, you would justly say you had received e petition instead of a letter, as it would be filled with among the most paltry of Lord Byron's juvenile imiprayers for forgiveness; but, instead of this, I will acknow tators, a more decided specimen of the to-be-damned ledge my sins at once, and I trust to your friendship and I do anel than we than exhibited hv La
doggrel, than was then exhibited by Lord Byron Senerosity rather than to my own excuses. Though my
| himself, with a kind of absurd apology for a lord conbealth is not perfectly re-established, I am out of all danger, and bave recovered every thing but my spirits, which are
descending to be a poet. The little volume, under the subject to depression. You will be astonished to hear I bave | title of Hours of Idleness, gave small promise as to lately written to Delawarr, for the purpose of explaining his Lordship's future hours being well employed. This (as far as possible without involving some old friends of mine
does not justify the reviewer, since unnecessary sevein the business) the cause of my behaviour to him during my
rity is never justifiable; but it justifies, in a certain last residence at Harrow (nearly two years ago), which you will recollect was rather .en cavalier.' Since that period I degree, the aspirations of other young scribblers, who, bave discovered be was treated with injustice, both by those in testifying a propensity, should not be at once-driven
* misrepresented his conduct, and by me in consequence from indulging it, even if the early specimens of their of their saggestions. I bave made all the reparation in my
taste should seem an accusation on their genius. power, by apologizing for my mistake, though with very faiat hopes of success; indeed I never expected any answer,
The value which Lord Byron set upon his aristobat desired one for form's sake; that has not yet arrived, and cratical pretensions, and upon those who enjoy simi. most probably never will. However, I have eased my own | lar titles to respect, fully appears in the letter wherein conscience by the atonement, which is humiliating enough to
he states himself, for these anti-poetic compositions, one of my disposition; yet I could not have slept satisfied
admired by duchesses, and much above the considerawith the reflection of having, even unintentionally, injured any individual. I have done all that could be done to repair
tion of rustic readers:—“My cousin,” he says, “ Lord the injury, and there the affair must end. Whether we re Alexander Gordon, who resided in the same hotel as new our intimacy or not is of very trivial consequence. I
myself, told me his mother, her Grace of Gordon, "As time bas lately been much occupied with very diffe.
requested he would introduce my poetical Lordship to rent pursuits. I have been transporting a servant (1) who
her Highness, as she had bought my volume, and cheated me,-rather a disagreeable event;-performing in private theatricals ;-publishing a volume of poems (at the admired it exceedingly, in common with the rest of regaest of my friends, for their perusal) ;-making love, the fashionable world." (2) (U) His valet Frank.
blank verse, on the subject of Bosworth Field; amidst the At this time he seems to have undertaken a poem in excitement of which he does not forget to inform his cor.
It is not however in his successes, but in bis disap- | a prostitute, who accompanied him in man's clothes pointments, that the genius of Byron seemed to de- to Brighton, and laid the foundation of reports which light: then all that was great and masculine in his | subsequently blackened his reputation,-outwardly character came forth. Instead of sickening, like the occupied with this disgraceful attachment, and with unfortunate Keats, at the Northern criticism of his those hardly more honourable amusements that were work, it was that criticism which seemed to give a to be found in Mr. Jackson's pugilistic academy, tone to his mind, and to awaken powers in his in- and d’Egville the ballet-master's and Grimaldi the tellect which had hitherto lain dormant; the clang of clown's most intellectual entertainments,-his mind battle struck upon the ears of a courser, who seemed must have been inwardly the prey to a feverish to have an instinctive passion for the strife. A friend, anxiety after nobler pursuits; and it was the imwho found him in the first moments of excitement patience, which would not permit him to pause after this attack, inquired anxiously whether he had before the different paths which might equally have just received a challenge, not knowing how else | led to fame, that made him at once take that path to account for the fierce defiance of his looks. It which was open to all ages, which required no pawould indeed be difficult for a sculptor or painter trons, and which was in harmony with the singular to imagine a subject of more fearful beauty than the solitude in which a man of his rank and station is fine countenance of the young Poet, in the collected hardly ever similarly found. energy of this crisis, when, instead of despairing of Having determined to quit, for a time at all events, poetic immortality, he drank three bottles of claret, the country in which he was so unnaturally placed, and commenced at once twenty lines of that satire by he resolved to mark his passage from it by a mewhich he ultimately avenged himself.
teor, which should warn the coming times that there Lord Byron's situation was a singular one. High was something to expect from his career. Mortion the rolls of the aristocracy, without one single fied in his person, because the handsome intelligence aristocratical acquaintance,—the heir to a property of his countenance rather served to call a halt in bis which had been for centuries in his family,—the ex gait into notice than to extinguish its effects,--morpectant of wealth which, if not of the nature we are tified in his love, since the only person for whom he accustomed to consider concomitant with the British seems to have felt a real affection had treated his peerage, was still such as would in any other country pretensions with a contempt not easily, under similar have been considered a noble independence, -having circumstances, to be forgiven,-mortified in his ama right to claim a relationship with some of the bition, since the effort which he made to show the greatest names in the country, and yet ostensibly injustice of the attack upon his muse proved his connected with only a vulgar and violent old woman, sensibility to it,-mortified also, in a greater degree, -having no home but a coffee-house,- little imme where he was most likely to be susceptible, having diate income beyond the debts he could create, been nursed up in all those ideas of family pride totally unlinked from that society to which he was and feudal consequence which poverty, allied to noborn, and just launched in a career which, if we con bility and unexpectedly called to assume its honours, sider the boyish talents, or the more manly propen is sure to engender, -never bad a man more elements sities which he had evinced, seemed as little likely in his mind, out of which to form a satirist, than to suit his abilities and his character, as to be in young Lord Byron, when he flung in the face of the harmony with his situation,
critics he was answering, and the country he was
quitting, his refutation of one and his farewell to the " Reft of his sire-- too young such loss to know; Lord of himself--that heritage of woe;"
It was in the beginning of the year 1809, that he He seemed, indeed, in a position where, with every- set out for London, in his way, as he then intended, thing to choose from, there was nothing eligible to for Persia, with the intention of first publishing his decide upon. Hall adventurer, half lord, still more poem, and taking his seat with the peerage. inclined to be the peer than the poet, and driven as He first entered the House of Lords in this it were into poesy by his susceptibility to the rights year, 1809, March 13, “ more lone and unfriended," of the peerage, there never was a man who appeared writes his biographer, “ thau perhaps any youth in to owe less to Providence and more to fortune, or his high station had ever been before," not having a who, by the disadvantages he was assailed with, single individual of his own class, either to take him was so cast in spite of himself, as it were, upon a by the hand as a friend, or to acknowledge him as an glorious career.
acquaintance. “His countenance," says M1. Dallas, Outwardly occupied at this time by his passion for who accompanied him on this occasion, " paler than respondents that the Duke of York, the Marchioness of lead.
usual, showed that his mind was agitated. There fort, and the again-to-be-mentioned Dachess of Gordon, was not a single member of the senate to which he were among the purchasers of his other publication. belonged to whom he could or would apply to introduce him in a manner becoming his birth. I saw a mule, and swears Portuguese, and have got a dithat he felt the situation, and I fully partook of his arrhæa, and bites from the musquitos. But what of indignation." This indignation, indeed, was not di- that? Comfort must not be expected by folks that minished by certain difficulties that had attended the go a-pleasuring." Few boarding-school misses would proof of his birth, and consequently the ceremonial have received this as an autograph note from the roclaim of his station; the marriage of Admiral Byron mantic author of Childe Harold! with Miss Trevanion having taken place in a private Lord Byron's travels at this time form an epoch chapel at Carhais, from which no regular certificate and not the least important epoch—in his life. There of the ceremony could be produced. Speaking of was naturally in his character a strange assemblage this, and of his reception by the Chancellor, Lord of different and, as some would imagine, incompatible Elion, whose cordial welcome to him was not very qualities. He had in that character much romance : seleomely received, Lord Byron himself says :- his early verses, his early loves, bis early friend"When I came of age, some delays, on account of ships and fights, his mysterious passion for parading birth and marriage certificates from Cornwall, occa- fire-arms, and even the anecdote of his disinterring and soos me not to take my seat for several weeks ; drinking out of the old monk's skull, are all proofs of wben these were over, and I had taken the oaths, the this. He had also much common sense. This we see Chancellor apologised to me for the delay, observing in his admiration of Pope, in his horror of the Lake that these forms were part of his duty. I begged school, and the Cockney-school, in his careful imihim to make no apology, and added, as he had cer- tation of the beauties of Shelley, and as careful tainly shown no violent hurry, Your Lordship is ex- abstainment from his faults. One of the memorialists actly like Tom Thumb,' which was then being acted,
of Byron has said, that he had much playfulness and * you did your duty, and you did no more.'»
satire; he might have said so from his works-- from A few days after this, was published the bitter
the English Bards, from Beppo, and from Don Juan: espression of those feelings which, even thus early, but this talent is far more visible in his incomparable a variety of circumstances had excited: and now, letters, written evidently without effort or affectation, wrapping himself up in his loneliness, and a desola | and totally free from that dressing and drapery for tion which his ardent temperament and poetic ima- stage effect, which is seen in most of his other pergigation led him naturally even to exaggerate, he formances. Indeed, if Byron had one quality more retired to the seclusion of his cowl-haunted Abbey,
naturally conspicuous than the rest, it was wit. in part to brood over the disappointments he bad ex
Had he not travelled at this time, left to the success perienced, in part, perhaps, to indulge unchecked in of the English Bards and Scotch Reviewers, and to those anticipations of brighter lands and more glo
his own strong taste and inclination, which, even rions days which the poem he was publishing, and amidst the mountains of Albania and the temples of tbe expedition he was undertaking, were likely to
to | Athens, did not wholly yield to more lone and magnicreate. Not bat that in his solitude-a solitude
| ficent aspirations,(2) it is very probable, not that his perbaps not the less lonely for a crowd-he was, if fame would have been less, but that it would have I we may credit his own accounts (which his now sage rested on a totally different basis from that which now companions do not disavow)
forms the mystic pedestal of his genius.
His travels at this period, when his mind was most * Sore given to revel and ongodly glee;
likely to be susceptible to their impressions, developed Few earthly things found favour in his sight Sare concubines and carnal companie,
the romantic part of his character in such a manind flaunting wassailers of high and low degree.” ner as to throw the other parts of it into the shade.
Remembering, as I do, the sensations which even saluted me on my first visiting a southern climeremembering the strange and wild ecstacy with
which I also at an early period of life first found Is Jone he set sail with Mr. Hobhouse for Lisbon, myself on those shores, the images of which are, from describing the commencement of his undertaking in their singularity as well as their associations, the resses that do no disgrace to the author of Beppo.(1) most striking-remembering, as I well remember,
The following passage, in a prose letter to Mr. the strange, exulting, and indescribable feeling with Hodgson, exhibits the same boyish and light-hearted which I stood on the shores of Greece, hearing a spirit:-“I am very happy here (Lisbon), because I new and yet half-familiar language, gazing on garbs kaut oranges, and talks bad Latin to the monks, who wild and picturesque, and looking over, from the spot nderstand it, as it is like their own; and I goes into on which I stood, those plains so sacred to history and Society (with my pocket-pistols), and I swims in the to song, and which mingled so naturally with all my Tagus all across at once, and I rides on an ass and youthful recollections and heroic reveries-remember(1) See page 851.
(2) See Hints from Horace.
ing my own sensations, as I well remember them, at passing out with dispatches, the kettle-drums beating, such a time and in such scenes, it is not difficult for boys calling the hour from the minaret of the mosque, me to imagine what must have been the sensations of altogether with the singular appearance of the building a more poetic and impassioned miyd, which a passage itself, formed a new and delightful spectacle to a through Portugal and Spain must have already deeply stranger.” excited.
At last, after crossing Portagal, traversing the South In Cadiz' white walls, indeed, the young poet seems of Spain, visiting Sardinia, Sicily, Malta, and thence to have experienced some of the effects of that Spa passing through Albania, Illyria, and Chaonia, over nish beauty which I, judging very differently from Mr. the Gulf of Actium and the Achelous, larrying in the Galt(1) on this subject, think he has so voluptuously Morea, visiting Thebes, Athens, Delphi, Parnassus, described. Among those women “of long black hair, and finally Constantinople (2) baving lived with the dark languishing eyes, clear olive complexions, and highest and the lowest, been for days in a Pacha's forms more graceful in motion than can be conceived palace, and nights in a cow-house,—having stored by an Englishman, used to the drowsy listlessness of his mind with all that adventure, nature, art, and his countrywomen,” he found one to whom he made history, could pour into it,-having, moreover, sticarnest love, by the help of a dictionary. At Malta mulated and excited those passions which chimed in again, the interesting and romantic Mrs. S with the wild and wandering existence he had been whom he has celebrated as Florence, drew from him leading,—the Childe returned to his native England, those beautiful lines, which I still remember, though with much that had been doubtful in his destiny deI have not read them since I was a boy at school: - cided, and all that had been doubtful in his character
confirmed. Before his journey, Lord Byron might " Though far from Albin's craggy sbore, Divided by the dark blue main,
have been any thing ;-after it, he must have beenA few brief rolling seasons o'er,
a Poet. Perchance I view her cliffs again
His welcome back again was certainly not an in“But wheresoe'er I now may roam,
viting one; and affords a new proof of the almost Through scorching clime, and varied sea, perpetual unhappiness in which persons, eminent in Though time restore me to my home,
literature, seem usually to pass their lives :-" Indeed, I ne'er may bend my eyes on thee,” etc. etc.
my prospects are not very pleasant. Embarrassed When I said that I could well conceive Lord in my private affairs, indifferent to public, solitary Byron's feelings on this his first and least fatal visit without the wish to be social, with a body a little to Greece, I ought to have added, that if one man was enfeebled by a succession of fevers, but a spirit, I more likely than another to have deepened the im- trust, yet unbroken, I am returning home without a pressions naturally produced by that land, and its hope, and almost without a desire. The first thing I people strange and wild, it was the Albanian chief shall have to encounter will be a lawyer, the next a to whose camp our Poet, on first arriving, directed his creditor, then colliers, farmers, surveyors, and all the steps. On many of his subsequent pages fell the dark agreeable attachments to estates out of repair and conshadow of the daring Ruler of Albania; and, indeed, tested coal-pits. In short, I am sick and sorry, and it is difficult to underrate the effect which such scenes when I have a little repaired my irreparable affairs, as the following must have had upon a young and away I shall march, either to campaign in Spain, or imaginative mind:
back again to the East, where I can at least havo “I shall never forget the singular scene on entering cloudless skies and a cessation from impertinence.”— Tepaleen at five in the afternoon, as the sun was going Such were his feelings on arriving ; nor did fate seem down. It brought to my mind (with some change of to brighten with his stay. i dress, however) Scott's description of Brank some A sbort time after his return, died Mrs. Byron, at Castle in his Lay, and the feudal system. The Al- Newstead. She died suddenly. “I heard," he says, banians, in their dresses (the most magnificent in the one day of her illaess—the next, of her death.” — Nor world, consisting of a long white kilt, gold-worked was this all: besides the loss of his mother, he had cloak, crimson velvet gold-laced jacket and waistcoat, to mourn, within a few weeks, two of his most valued silver-mounted pistols and daggers), the Tartars with friends, Mr. Wingfield and Mr. Matthews. “Some their high caps, the Turks in their vast pelisses curse," he writes to Mr. S. Davies, “ hangs over me and turbans, the soldiers and black slaves with the and mine. My mother lies a corpse in this house ; horses, the former in groups in an immense large open one of my best friends is drowned (3) in a ditch. gallery in front of the palace, the latter placed in a What can I say, or think, or do? Come to me, kind of cloister below it, two hundred steeds ready Scrope, I am almost desolate-left almost alone in caparisoned to move in a moment, couriers entering or the world.” “Peace, however," he adds, in another
(1) See Galt's Life of Byron.
(3) Mr. Matthews. Mr. Wingåeld died at Coimbre.