Sidor som bilder

poems were omitted and others added. It was praised in the Critical Review of September 1807, and abused in the first number of the Satirist. A new edition, with some additions and without the prefaces, appeared in March 1808.1 In January 1808 the famous criticism came out in the Edinburgh (Byron speaks of this as about to appear in a letter dated 26 Feb. 1808). The critique has been attributed both to B.rougham and Jeffrey. Jeffrey seems to have denied the authorship, and the ponderous legal facetiousness is certainly not unlike Brougham, whom Byron came to regard as the author. The severity was natural enough. Scott, indeed, says that he remonstrated with Jeffrey, thinking that the poems contained ("some passages of noble promise." But the want of critical acumen is less obvious than the needless cruelty of the wound inflicted upon a boy's harmless vanity. Byron was deeply stung. He often boasted afterwards that he instantly drank three bottles of claret and began a reply. He had already in his desk, on 26 Oct. 1807, 380 lines of his satire, besides 214 pages of a novel, 560 lines in blank verse of a poem on Bosworth Field, and other pieces. He now carefully polished his satire, and had it put in type by Ridge.

On leaving Cambridge he had settled at Newstead, given up in ruinous condition by Lord Grey in the previous April, where he had a few rooms made habitable, and celebrated his coming of age by some meagre approach to the usual festivities. A favourable decision in the courts had given him hopes of Rochdale, and made him, he says, £60,000 richer. The suit, however, dragged on through his life. Meanwhile he had to raise money to make repairs and maintain his establishment at Newstead, with which he declares his resolution never to part (Letter of 6 March 1809). The same letter announces the death of his friend Lord

1 See account of these editions in appendix to English translation of Elz's Byron (1872), P.446.

Falkland in a duel. In spite of bis 01 difficulties Byron tried to help t widow, stood godfather to her infa and left a £500 note for his godchild a breakfast cup. In a letter from M Byron 1 this is apparently mention e<J a loan to Lady Falkland. On 13 Mar he took his seat in the House of Lorx Lord Carlisle had acknowledged t receipt of "Hours of Idleness," t second edition of which had been de< cated to him, in a "tolerably handsor letter," but would take no trouble abo introducing his ward. ( Byron w accompanied to the house by no 01 but Dallas, a small author, whose sist was the wife of Byron's uncle, Geori Anson, and who ^had recently soug his acquaintance, i Byron felt his isol tion, and sulkily put aside a greetir from the chancellor (Eldon). He eras* a compliment to Carlisle and subst tuted a bitter attack in his satire whic was now going through the press und< Dallas's superintendence. "Englis Bards and Scotch Reviewers" appeare in the middle of March, and at one made its mark. He prepared a secon edition at the end of April with add tions and a swaggering prose postscripi announcing his departure from Englan and declaring that his motive was nc fear of his victims' antipathies. Th satire is vigorously written and" mor carefully polished than Byron's late efforts; but has not the bitterness, th keenness, or the fine workmanship o Pope. The retort upon his reviewer is only part of a long tirade upon thi other poets of the day. In 1816 Byrot made some annotations on the poem a Geneva, admitting the injustice of man; lines. A third and fourth edition ap peared in 1810 and 1811; in the lasi year he prepared a fifth for the press He suppressed it, as many of his adversaries were now on friendly terms with him, and destroyed all but one copy, from which later editions have been printed. He told Murray (23 Oct. 1817) that he would never consent to its republication.

'Alhrnaum, 6 Sept. 1884.

Byron had for some time contemplated making his "grand tour." In tar autumn of 1808 he got up a play at Nesrstead; he buried his Newfoundiind. Boatswain, who died of madness iS Nov. 1808, under a monument with a misanthropical inscription; and in the following spring entertained his collese friends. C. S. Matthews describes their amusements in a letter published by Moore. They dressed themselves in theatrical costumes of monks (with a recollection, perhaps, of Medmenham), and drank burgundy out of a human skull found near the abbey, which Byron had fashioned into a. cup with an appropriate inscription. (Such revelries suggested extravagant rumours of reckless orgies and "harems" in the' abbey. Moore assures us that the life there was in reality "simple and inexpensive," and the scandal of limited application.

Byron took leave of England by some ttrses to Mrs. Musters about his blighted affections, and sailed from Falmouth in the Lisbon packet on 2 July Isoq. Hobbouse accompanied him, and he took three servants, Fletcher 1 who followed him to the last), Rushton, and Joe Murray. From Lisbon he rode across Spain to Seville and Cadiz, and thence sailed to Gibraltar in the Hyperion frigate in the beginning of August. He sent home Murray and Rushton with instructions for the proper education of the latter at his own expose. He sailed in the packet for Malta on 19 Aug. 1809, in company with Gait, who afterwards wrote his life, and who was rather amused by the iflectations of the youthful peer. At Malta he fell in with a Mrs. Spencer Smith with a romantic history,1 to *d>om he addressed the verses "To Florence," "stanzas composed during a thunderstorm," and a passage in "Childe Harold" (ii. st. 30-3), explainiag.that his heart was now past the power of loving. From Malta he reached Prcvesa in the Spider, brig of

■See Memoirs of the Due base tfAbrantes (i«S4). r». 1-74

war, on 19 Sept. 1809. He thence visited Ali Pasha at Tcpelen, and was nearly lost in a Turkish man-of-war on his return. In November he travelled to Missolonghi (21 Nov.) through Acarnania with a guard of Albanians. He stayed a fortnight at Patras, and thence left for Athens. He reached Athens on Christmas eve and lodged with Theodora Macri, widow of the English vice-consul, who had three lovely daughters. The eldest, Theresa, celebrated by Byron as the Maid of Athens, became Mrs. Black.1 He sailed from Athens for Smyrna in the Pylades, sloop of war, on 5 March 1810; visited Ephesus; and on 11 April sailed in the Salsette frigate for Constantinople, and visited the Troad. On 3 May he repeated Leandcr's feat of swimming from Sestos to Abydos. In February 1821 he wrote a long letter to Murray, defending his statements against some criticisms in W. Turner's "Tour in the Levant" (see Appendix to Moore).

Byron reached Constantinople on 14 May, and sailed in the Salsette on 14 July. Hobhouse returned to England, while Byron landed at Zea, with Fletcher, two Albanians, and a Tartar, and returned to Athens. Here he professed to have met with the adventure turned to account in the "Giaour" about saving a girl from being drowned in a sack. A letter from Lord Sligo, who was then at Athens, to Byron, proves that some such report was current at Athens a day or two later, and may possibly have had some foundation. Hobhouse J says that Byron's Turkish servant was the lover of the girl. He made a tour in the Morea, had a dangerous fever at Parras (which left a liability to malaria), and returned to Athens, where he passed the winter of 1810-11 in the Capuchin convent. Here he met Lady Hester Stanhope, and formed one of his strong attach

1 She fell into poverty, and an appeal for her support was made in the Times on 23 March 1872. She died in October 187s (Times, 31, 25, 27 Oct. 1875).

'Westminster Review, January 1825.

ments to a youth called Nicolo Giraud. To this lad he gave a sum of money on parting, and left him £700 in a will of August 1811. From Athens Byron went to Malta, and sailed from thence for England in the Volage frigate on 3 June 1811. He reached Portsmouth at the beginning of July, and was met by Dallas at Reddish's Hotel, St. James Street, on 15 July, 1811.

Byron returned to isolation and vexation. He had told his mother that, if compelled to part with Newstead, he should retire to the East. To Hodgson he wrote while at sea that he was returning embarrassed, unsocial, "without a hope and almost without a desire." His financial difficulties arc shown by a series of letters published in the Athenaum.1 The court of chancery had allowed him £500 a year at Cambridge, to which his mother had added as much, besides incurring a debt of £1000 on his behalf. He is reduced to his last guinea in December 1807, has obtained loans from Jews, and expects to end by suicide or the marriage of a "golden dolly." His mother was put to the greatest difficulties during his travels, and he seems to have been careless in providing for her wants. The bailiffs were at Newstead in February 1810; a sale was threatened in June. Byron writes from Athens in November refusing to sell Newstead. While returning to England he proposed to join the army, and had to borrow money to pay for his journey to London. News of his mother's illness came to him in London, and before he could reach her she died (1 Aug. i8ri) of a "fit of rage caused by reading the upholsterer's bills." The loss affected him deeply, and he was found sobbing by her remains over the loss of his one friend in the world. The deaths of his school friend Wingfield (14 May 1811), of C. S. Matthews, and of Eddlestone were nearly simultaneous blows, and he tells Miss Pigot that the last death "made the sixth, within four months, of friends and relatives lost between May and the end of 1 30 Aug. and 6 Sept. 1884.

August." In February 1812 he mer tions Eddlestone to Hodgson as th "only human being that ever loved hir in truth and entirely." He adds tha where death has set his seal the iir pression can never be broken. Th phrase recurs in the most impressiv of the poems to Thyrza, dated in th same month. The coincidence seem to confirm Moore's statement tha Thyrza was no more than an imper sonation of Byron's melancholy cause* by many losses. An apostrophe to 1 "loved and lovely one" at the end of thi second canto of "Childe Harold' (st. 95, 96) belongs to the same series Attempts to identify Thyrza have failed Byron spoke to Trelawny of a passior for a cousin who was in a decline wher he left England, and whom Trelawrn identifies with Thyrza. No one seems to answer to the description. It mai be added that he speaks of a "violent, though pure love and passion" which absorbed him while at Cambridge, and writes to Dallas (11 Oct. 1811) of a loss about this time which would have profoundly moved him but that he "has supped full of horrors," and that Dallas understands him as referring to some one who might have made him happy as a wife. Byron had sufficient elasticity of spirit for a defiance of the world, and a vanity keen enough to make a boastful exhibition of premature cynicism and a blighted heart.

At the end of October 1S11 he took lodgings in St. James Street. He had shown to Dallas upon his return to England the first two cantos of "Childe Harold" and "Hints from Horace," a tame paraphrase of the "Ars Poetica." According to Dallas, he preferred the last, and was unwilling to publish the "Childe." Cawthorn, who had published the "English Bards," &c, accepted the "Hints" (which did not appear till after Byron's death), but the publication was delayed, apparently for want of a good classical reviser. The Longmans had refused the "English Bards," which attacked their friends, and Byron told Dallas to offer "Ctilde Harold" elsewhere. ^Miller jbjfcted to the attack, upon Lord ifa (is the despoiler of the PartheM!, for whom he published; 7^nd I nas ultimately accepted by MurK, who thus began a permanent 'collection with Byron. "Childe HarM." appeared in March 1812. Byron bad meanwhile spoken for the first irs; in the House of Lords, 27 Feb. All, against a bill for suppressing •ics of Nottingham frameworkers. and •tt considerable success. A second mi less successful speech against atiohc disabilities followed on 21 April litt He made one other short speech in presenting a petition from Major Carwright on 1 June 1813. Lord Holland helped him in providing materials for the firs^, and the speeches indicate a leaning/towards something more liua whiggism. The first two are of raw elaborate rhetoric, and his delivery was criticised as too theatrical and sing-song. Any political ambition *a> extinguished by the startling success of "Childe Harold," of which a fa edition was immediately sold. Byron "woke one morning and found himself famous.'^ Murray gave £600 S the copyright, which Byron handed over to Dallas, declaring that he would lever take money for his poems.

The two cantos now published are i'imittedly inferior to the continuation d the poem; and the affectation of *Hkh it set the fashion is obsolete. Byron tells Murray 1 that he is like a tiger. If he misses his first spring, he S«s "grumbling back to the jungle spin." His poems are all substantially impromptus; but the vigour and descriptive power, in spite of all blemishes, are enough to explain the success d a poem original in conception and setting forth a type of character which embodied a prevailing sentiment.

Byron became the idol of tne sentimental parj 0f society. Friends and ^ers of notoriety gathered round this fascinating rebel. Among the first was il'jore, who had sent him a challenge '3 Nov. i8ai.

for a passage in "English Bards" ridiculing the bloodless duel with Jeffrey. Hodgson had suppressed the letter during Byron's absence. Moore now wrote a letter ostensibly demanding explanations, but more like a request for acquaintance. The two met at a dinner given by Rogers, where Campbell made a fourth. Byron surprised his new friends by the distinction of his appearance and the eccentricity of his diet, consisting of potatoes and vinegar alone. Moore was surprised at Byron's isolation. Dallas, his solicitor, Hanson, and three or four college friends were at this time (November 1811) his only associates. Moore rapidly became intimate. [Byron liked him as a thorough man 01 the world and as an expert in the arts which compensate for in- I feriority of birth, and which enabled Moore to act as an obsequious monitor and to smother gentle admonition in abundant flattery. In his diary 1 Byron says that Moore was the best-hearted man he knew and with talents equal to his feelings. ^Byron was now at the height of his proverbial beauty.> Coleridge in 1816 speaks enthusiastically of the astonishing beauty and expressiveness of his face. Dark brown locks, curling over a lofty forehead, grey eyes with long dark lashes, a mouth and chin of exquisite symmetry, are shown in his portraits, and were animated by an astonishing mobility of expression, varying from apathy to intense passion. His head was very small; his nose, though well formed, rather too thick; looking, says Hunt (i. 150) in a front view as if "grafted on the face"; his complexion was colourless; he had little beard; his height, he says ( iary, 17 March 1814), 5 ft. 8^ in. or a little less. He had a broad chest, long muscular arms, with white delicate hands, and beautiful teeth. A tendency to excessive fatness, inherited from his mother, was not only disfiguring but productive of great discomfort, and increased the unwieldiness arising from his lameness. To remedy the evil he 110 Dec. 1813.

resorted to the injurious system of diet often set down to mere affectation. Trelawny observes more justly that Byron was the only human being he knew with self-restraint enough not to get fat. In April 1807 he tells Pigot that he has reduced himself by exercise, physic, and hot baths from 14 st. 7 lbs. to 12 st. 7 lbs; in January 1808 he tells -Drury that he has got down to 10 st. 7 lbs. When last weighed at Genoa he was 10 st. 9 lbs. He carried on this system at intervals through life; at Athens he drank vinegar and water, and seldom ate more than a little rice; on his return he gave up wine and meat. He sparred with Jackson for exercise, and took hot baths. In 1813 he lived on six biscuits a day and tea; in December he fasts for forty-eight hours; in 1816 he lived on a thin slice of bread for breakfast and a vegetable dinner, drinking green tea and selUcr water. He kept down hunger by chewing mastic and tobacco. He sometimes took laudanum. He tells Moore in 1821 that a dose of salts gave him most exhilaration. Occasional indulgences varied this course. Moore describes a supper (19 May 1814) when he finished two or three lobsters, washed down by half a dozen glasses of strong brandy, with tumblers of hot water. He wrote " Don Juan "on gin and water, and Medwin speaks of his drinking too much wine and nearly a pint of hollands every night (in 1822). Trelawny, however, declares that the spirits was mere "water bewitched." When Hunt reached Pisa in 1X22, he found Byron so fat as to be scarcely recognisable. Medwin, two or three months later, found him starved into "unnatural thinness." Such a diet was no doubt injurious in the long run; but the starvation seems to have stimulated his brain, and Trelawny says that no man had brighter eves or a clearer voice.

In the spring of 181,1 Byron published anonymously the "Waltz," and disowned it on its deserved failure. Various avatars of "Childe Harold," however, repeated his previous success. The "Giaour" appeared in May 1813;

the "Bride of Abydos" in Decemb 1813; the "Corsair" in January 181 They were all struck off at a white hca The "Giaour" was increased from 4c lines in the first edition to 1400 in tl fifth, which appeared in the autumn 1813. The first sketch of the "Bride was written in four nights "to distra his dreams from . . . ," and afterwan increased by 200 lines. The "Corsair written in ten days, or between 18 ar 31 Dec., was hardly touched afterward He boasted afterwards that 14,000 copi of the last were sold in a day. With i first edition appeared the impromp lines, "Weep, daughter of a royal line1 the Princess Charlotte having wept, was said, on the inability of the whi to form a cabinet on Perceval's deat The lines were the cause of veheme attacks upon the author by the goven ment papers. A satire called "Anl Byron," shown to him by Murray March 1814, indicated the rise of hostile feeling. Byron was artnoyi by the shift of favour. He had said the dedication of the "Corsair" Moore that he should be silent for sor years, and on 9 April 1814 tells Moo that he has given up rhyming. T same letter announces the abdication Napoleon, and next day he compos and sent to Murray his ode upon th event. On 29 April he tells Murr that he has resolved to buy back 1 copyrights and suppress his poeti but he instantly withdrew the resoluti on Murray's assurance that it would inconvenient. By the middle of Ju he had finished "Lara," which « published in the same volume w Rogers's "Jacqueline" in August. T "Hebrew Melodies," written at the quest of Kinnaird, appeared with mu in January 1815. The "Siege Corinth," begun July 1815 and copi by Lady Byron, and "Parisina," wi ten the same autumn, appeared January and February 1816. Mun gave £700 for "Lara" and 500 guim for each of the others. Dallas wr to the papers in February 1814, defei ing his noble relative from the charge

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