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TO MR. DALLAS.
to Miss Dallas should be inscribed on the were respectable.' There is a sucking epic cenotaph which Miss *** (Milbanke) means poet at Granta, a Mr. Townsend”, protégé to stitch to his memory.
of the late Cumberland. Did you ever hear “ The newspapers seem much disappoint- of him and his . Armageddon ?' I think ed at his Majesty's not dying, or doing some- his plan (the man I don't know) borders on thing better. I presume it is almost over. the sublime: though, perpaps, the anticiIf parliament meets in October, I shall be pation of the Last Day' (according to you in town to attend. I am also invited to Nazarenes) is a little too daring : at least, Cambridge for the beginning of that month, it looks like telling the Lord what he is to but am first to jaunt to Rochdale. Now do, and might remind an ill-natured person Matthews is gone, and Hobhouse in Ireland, of the line, I have hardly one left there to bid me wel
* And fools rush in where angels fear to tread.' come, except my inviter. At three-andtwenty I am left alone, and what more can we But I don't mean to cavil, only other folks be at seventy? It is true I am young will, and he may bring all the lambs of enough to begin again, but with whom can Jacob Behmen about his ears. However, I I retrace the laughing part of life? It is hope he will bring it to a conclusion, though odd how few of my friends have died a quiet Milton is in his way.3 death, - I mean, in their beds.
“ Write to me - I dote on gossip - and quiet life is of more consequence. Yet one make a bow to Ju—“, and shake George loves squabbling and jostling better than by the hand for me; but, take care, for he yawning. This last word admonishes me to has a sad sea paw. relieve you from yours very truly,” &c.
“P. S. – I would ask George here, but
I don't know how to amuse him — all my LETTER 64.
horses were sold when I left England, and “ Newstead Abbey, Aug. 27. 1811.
I have not had time to replace them. Ne
vertheless, if he will come down and shoot “ I was so sincere in my note on the late in September, he will be very welcome : Charles Matthews, and do feel myself so but he must bring a gun, for I gave away all totally unable to do justice to his talents, mine to Ali Pacha, and other Turks. Dogs, that the passage must stand for the very
a keeper, and plenty of game, with a very reason you bring against it. To him all the large manor, I have a lake, a boat, housemen I ever knew were pigmies. He was
room, and neat wines." an intellectual giant. It is true I loved Wingfield better ; he was the earliest and the dearest, and one of the few one could never repent of having loved : but in ability
“ Newstead Abbey, Notts., Sept. 5. 1811. - ah! you did not know Matthews ! “ Sir,
“ • Childe Harold' may wait and welcome “ The time seems to be past when (as — books are never the worse for delay in the Dr. Johnson said) a man was certain to publication. So you have got our heir, George | hear the truth from his bookseller," for Anson Byron, and his sister, with you. you have paid me so many compliments,
“ You may say what you please, but you that, if I was not the veriest scribbler on are one of the murderers of Blackett, and earth, I should feel affronted. As I accept yet you won't allow Harry White's genius. your compliments, it is but fair I should Setting aside his bigotry, he surely ranks give equal or greater credit to your obnext Chatterton. It is astonishing how jections, the more so, as I believe them to little he was known ; and at Cambridge no be well founded. With regard to the poone thought or heard of such a man till his litical and metaphysical parts, I am afraid I death rendered all notice useless. For my can alter nothing ; but I have high authority own part, I should have been most proud of for my errors in that point, for even the such an acquaintance : his very prejudices Æneid was a political poem, and written for a
TO MR. MURRAY.
(Henry Kirke White died at Cambridge, in 1806.* Unhappy White ! while life was in its spring, And thy young muse just waved her joyous wing, The spoiler swept that soaring lyre away, Which else had sounded an immortal lay.".
English Bards, &c. His “ Remains," with a memoir of his Life by Mr. Southey, have frequently been reprinted.]
2 (The Rev. George Townsend, of Trinity College, Cambridge.)
3 [In 1815, Mr. Townsend published eight out of the twelve books of which “ Armageddon" was to consist, but never brought the poem to a conclusion, “ from a conviction," he says, " of his inability to support a subject, under which the greatest mental powers must inevitably sink.")
* [Julia-Maria, sister of the present Lord Byron ; who married, in 1817, the Rev. Robert Heath, Fellow of St. John's College, Oxford.)
political purpose ; and as to my unlucky than 'all Bocara's vaunted gold, than all opinions on subjects of more importance, I the gems of Samarcand.'' But I am sorry am too sincere in them for recantation. On the MS. was shown to him in such a manSpanish affairs I have said what I saw, and ner, and had written to Murray to say as every day confirms me in that notion of the much, before I was 'aware that it was too result formed on the spot; and I rather late. think honest John Bull is beginning to come “ Your objection to the expression 'cenround again to that sobriety which Mas- tral line' I can only meet by saying that, sena's retreat had begun to reel from its before Childe Harold left England, it was centre -- the usual consequence of unusual his full intention to traverse Persia, and success. So you perceive I cannot alter return by India, which he could not have the sentiments ; but if there are any alter- done without passing the equinoctial. ations in the structure of the versification “ The other errors you mention, I must you would wish to be made, I will tag correct in the progress through the press. rhymes and turn stanzas as much as you I feel honoured by the wish of such men please. As for the 'orthodox,' let us hope that the poem should be continued, but to they will buy, on purpose to abuse — you do that I must return to Greece and Asia ; will forgive the one, if they will do the other. I must have a warm sun and a blue sky; I You are aware that any thing from my pen cannot describe scenes so dear to me by a must expect no quarter, on many accounts ; sea-coal fire. I had projected an additional and as the present publication is of a nature canto when I was in the Troad and Convery different from the former, we must not stantinople, and if I saw them again, it be sanguine.
would go on; but under existing circun)“ You have given me no answer to my stances and sensations, I have neither harp, question — tell me fairly, did you show the heart, nor voice to proceed. I feel that MS. to some of your corps ? — I sent an you are all right as to the metaphysical introductory stanza to Mr. Dallas, to be part ; but I also feel that I am sincere, and forwarded to you ; the poem else will open that if I am only to write 'ad captandum too abruptly. The stanzas had better be vulgus,' I might as well edit a magazine at numbered in Roman characters. There is once, or spin canzonettas for Vauxhall. a disquisition on the literature of the modern My work must make its way as well as Greeks, and some smaller poems to come in it can; I know I have every thing against at the close. These are now at Newstead, me, angry poets and prejudices ; but if the but will be sent in time. If Mr. D. has lost poem is a poem, it will surmount these obthe stanza and note annexed to it, write, stacles, and if not, it deserves its fate. Your and I will send it myself. — You tell me to friend's Ode? I have read — it is no great add two cantos, but I am about to visit my compliment to pronounce it far superior to collieries in Lancashire on the 15th instant, | Smythe'ss on the same subject, or to the which is so unpoetical an employment that merits of the new Chancellor. It is eviI need say no more. I am, sir, your most dently the production of a man of taste, and obedient,” &c.
a poet, though I should not be willing to
say it was fully equal to what might be The manuscripts of both his poems having expected from the author of · Horæ Ionica.' been shown, much against his own will
, to I thank you for it, and that is more than Mr. Gifford, the opinion of that gentleman I would do for any other Ode of the present was thus reported to him by Mr. Ďallas :- day. “ of your Satire he spoke highly; but this " I am very sensible of your good wishes, poem (Childe Harold) he pronounced not and, indeed, I have need of them. My only the best you have written, but equal to whole life has been at variance with proany of the present age.”
priety, not to say decency ; my circumstances are become involved ; my friends are dead
or estranged, and my existence a dreary “ Newstead Abbey, September 7. 1811. void. In Matthews I have lost my guide, As Gifford has been ever my 'Magnus philosopher, and friend ;' in Wingfield a Apollo,' any approbation, such as you men- friend only, but one whom I could have tion, would, of course, be more welcome wished to have preceded in his long journey.
TO MR. DALLAS.
[" That rosy cheek, that lily hand,
Would give thy poet more delight,
Sir W. Jones.]
? [An Ode written by Mr. Walter Wright, on the occasion of the Duke of Gloucester's installation as Chancellor of the University of Cambridge.)
3 (Professor Smythe, of Peter House. See antè, p. 76.]
TO MR. MURRAY,
“ Matthews was indeed an extraordinary to my wishes, as Mr. D. could have explained, man ; it has not entered into the heart of a and as my own letter to you did, in fact, stranger to conceive such a man : there was explain, with my motives for objecting to the stamp of immortality in all he said or such a proceeding. Some late domestic did ; - and now what is he? When we events, of which you are probably aware, see such men pass away and be no more prevented my letter from being sent before ; men, who seem created to display what the indeed, I hardly conceived you would have Creator could make his creatures, gathered so hastily thrust my productions into the into corruption, before the maturity of minds hands of a stranger, who could be as little that might have been the pride of posterity, pleased by receiving them, as their author is what are we to conclude ? For my own at their being offered, in such a manner, and part, I am bewildered.
To me he was to such a man. much, to Hobhouse every thing. My poor “ My address, when I leave Newstead, Hobhouse doted on Matthews. For me, I will be to Rochdale, Lancashire ;' but I did not love quite so much as I honoured have not yet fixed the day of departure, and him ; I was indeed so sensible of his infinite I will apprise you when ready to set off. superiority, that though I did not envy, I “ You have placed me in a very ridiculous stood in awe of it. He, Hobhouse, Davies, situation, but it is past, and nothing more is to and myself, formed a coterie of our own at be said on the subject. You hinted to me that Cambridge and elsewhere. Davies is a wit you wished some alterations to be made ; if and man of the world, and feels as much as they have nothing to do with politics or resuch a character can do ; but not as Hob- ligion, I will make them with great readiness. house has been affected. Davies, who is not “I am, Sir, &c. &c. a scribbler, has always beaten us all in the
“ BYRON.” war of words, and by his colloquial powers at once delighted and kept us in order. Hobhouse and myself always had the worst
“ Newstead Abbey, Sept. 16. 1811.1 of it with the other two ; and even Mat- I return the proof, which I should wish thews yielded to the dashing vivacity of to be shown to Mr. Dallas, who understands Scrope Davies. But I am talking to you typographical arrangements much better than of men, or boys, as if you cared about such I can pretend to do. The printer may place beings.
the notes in his own way, or any way, so that “ Ì expect mine agent down on the 14th they are out of my way; I care nothing to proceed to Lancashire, where I hear from about types or margins. all quarters that I have a very valuable pro- “ If you have any communication to make, perty in coals, &c. I then intend to accept I shall be here at least a week or ten days an invitation to Cambridge in October, and longer. shall, perhaps, run up to town. I have four
I am, Sir,” &c. &c. invitations to Wales, Dorset, Cambridge, and Chester ; but I must be a man of business. I am quite alone, as these long
“ Newstead Abbey, Sept. 17. 1811. letters sadly testify. I perceive, by referring to your letter, that the Ode is from the
“I can easily excuse your not writing, as author ; make my thanks acceptable to him. you have, I hope, something better to do,
and His muse is worthy a nobler theme. You you must pardon my frequent invasions will write as usual, I hope. I wish you good
on your attention, because I have at this evening, and am,” &c.
moment nothing to interpose between you and my epistles.
“I cannot settle to any thing, and my LETTER 67.
days pass, with the exception of bodily “ Newstead Abbey, Notts., Sept. 14. 1811. exercise to some extent, with uniform in« Sir,
dolence, and idle insipidity. I have been Since
your former letter, Mr. Dallas expecting, and still expect, my agent, when informs me that the MS. has been submitted I shall have enough to occupy my reflections to the perusal of Mr. Gifford, most contrary in business of no very pleasant aspect.
TO MR. DALLAS.
TO MR. MURRAY.
1 On a leaf of one of his paper-books I find an Epigram written at this time, which, though not perhaps par. ticularly good, I consider myself bound to insert :“ ON YOORE'S LAST OPERATIC FARCE, OR FARCICAL OPERA.
“ Good plays are scarce,
So Moore writes farce :
The poet's fame grows brittle
We knew before
That Little's Moore,
Sept. 14. 1811.
Before my journey to Rochdale, you shall
TO MR. DALLAS. have due notice where to address me I
“ Newstead Abbey, Sept. 21. 1811. believe at the post-office of that township. From Murray I received a second proof of
“ I have shown my respect for your sug. the same pages, which I requested him to gestions by adopting them ; but I have made show you, that any thing which may have many alterations in the first proof, over and escaped my observation may be detected above ; as, for example : before the printer lays the corner-stone of " Oh Thou, in Hellas deem'd of heavenly birth, an errata column.
“I am now not quite alone, having an old " Since shamed full off by later lyres on earth, acquaintance and school-fellow with me, so
“ Yet there I've wander'd by the vaunted rill ; old, indeed, that we have nothing new to say on any subject, and yawn at each other in a and so on. So I have got rid of Dr. Lowth sort of quiet inquietude. I hear nothing from and drunk' to boot, and very glad I am to Cawthorn, or Captain Hobhouse ; and their say so. I have also sullenised the line as quarto - Lord have mercy on mankind! heretofore, and in short have been quite We come on like Cerberus with our triple conformable. publications. As for myself, by myself, I “ Pray write ; you shall hear when I remust be satisfied with a comparison to move to Lancashire. I have brought you Janus.
and my friend Juvenal Hodgson upon my “I am not at all pleased with Murray for back, on the score of revelation. You are showing the MS. ; and I am certain Gifford fervent, but he is quite glowing ; and if he must see it in the same light that I do. take half the pains to save his own soul, His praise is nothing to the purpose : what which he volunteers to redeem mine, great could he say? He could not spit in the face will be his reward hereafter. I honour and of one who had praised him in every possible thank you both, but am convinced by neither. way. I must own that I wish to have the Now for notes. Besides those I have sent, impression removed from his mind, that II shall send the observations on the Edinhad any concern in such a paltry transaction. burgh Reviewer's remarks on the modern The more I think, the more it disquiets me; Greek, an Albanian song in the Albanian so I will say no more about it. It is bad (not Greek) language, specimens of modern enough to be a scribbler, without having re-Greek from their New Testament, a comedy course to such shifts to extort praise, or de- of Goldoni’s translated, one scene, à prosprecate censure. It is anticipating, it is pectus of a friend's book, and perhaps a song begging, kneeling, adulating, — the devil! | or two, all in Romaic, besides their Pater the devil! the devil! and all without my Noster ; so there will be enough, if not too wish, and contrary to my express desire. I much, with what I have already sent. Have wish Murray had been tied to Payne's neck you received the 'Noctes Atticæ ? I sent when he jumped into the Paddington Canal', also an annotation on Portugal. Hobhouse and so tell him, that is the proper recep is also forthcoming." tacle for publishers. You have thoughts of settling in the country, why not try
'TO MR. DALLAS. I think there are places which would suit
“ Newstead Abbey, Sept. 23. 1811. you in all points, and then you are nearer
“ Lisboa is the Portuguese word, consethe metropolis. But of this anon. “I am, yours," &c.
quently the very best. Ulissipont is pe“ BYRON."
dantic ; and as I have Hellas and Eros not long before, there would be something like an affectation of Greek terms, which I wish
" In a note on his “ Hints from Horace,” he thus never since been heard of, though some maintain that it humorously applies this incident:-
is at this moment concealed at Alderman Birch's pastry“ A literary friend of mine walking out one lovely premises, Cornhill. Be this as it may, the coroner's evening last summer on the eleventh bridge of the Padding- inquest brought in a verdict of * Fel de Bibliopola' ton canal, was alarmed by the cry of One in jeopardy!'
against a quarto unknown,' and circumstantial evidence He rushed along, collected a body of Irish haymakers being since strong against the Curse of Kehama' (of (supping on buttermilk in an adjoining paddock), pro- which the above words are an exact description), it will cured three rakes, one eel spear, and a landing-net, and be tried by its peers next session in Grub Street. Arthur, at last (horresco referens) pulled out -- his own publisher. | Alfred, Davideis, Richard Cæur de Lion, Exodus, EsThe unfortunate man was gone for ever, and so was a odiad, Epigoniad, Calvary, Fall of Cambria, Siege of large quarto wherewith he had taken the leap, which Acre, Don Roderick, and Tom Thumb the Great, are proved, on inquiry, to have been Mr. Southey's last the names of the twelve jurors. The judges are Pye, work. Its alacrity of sinking' was so great, that it has Bowles, and the bellman of St. Sepulchre's."
to avoid, since I shall have a perilous as though I were to experience in my youth quantity of modern Greek in my notes, as the greatest misery of age. My friends fall specimens of the tongue ; therefore Lisboa around me, and I shall be left a lonely tree may keep its place. You are right about the before I am withered. Other men can al‘Hints ;' they must not precede the Romaunt; ways take refuge in their families ; I have but Cawthorn will be savage if they don't ; no resource but my own reflections, and however, keep them back, and him in good they present no prospect here or hereafter, humour, if we can, but do not let him publish. except the selfish satisfaction of surviving
“ I have adopted, I believe, most of your my betters. I am indeed very wretched, suggestions, but 'Lisboa' will be an ex- and you will excuse my saying so, as you ception to prove the rule. I have sent a know I am not apt to cant of sensibility. quantity of notes, and shall continue ; but Instead of tiring yourself with my conpray let them be copied ; no devil can read cerns, I should be glad to hear your plans of my hand. By the by, I do not mean to ex- retirement. I suppose you would not like to change the ninth verse of the 'Good Night.' be wholly shut out of society ? Now I know I have no reason to suppose my dog better a large village, or small town, about twelve than his brother brutes, mankind ; and Argus miles off, where your family would have the we know to be a fable. The Cosmopolite' advantage of very genteel society, without was an acquisition abroad. I do not believe the hazard of being annoyed by mercantile it is to be found in England. It is an affluence ; where you would meet with men amusing little volume, and full of French of information and independence; and where flippancy. I read, though I do not speak the I have friends to whom I should be proud language.
to introduce you. There are, besides, a "I will be angry with Murray. It was coffee-room, assemblies, &c. &c., which bring a bookselling, back-shop, Paternoster-row, people together. My mother had a house paltry proceeding; and if the experiment had there some years, and I am well acquainted turned out as it deserved, I would have with the economy of Southwell, the name raised all Fleet Street, and borrowed the of this little commonwealth. Lastly, you giant's staff from St. Dunstan's church, to will not be very remote from me ; and though immolate the betrayer of trust. I have I am the very worst companion for young written to him as he never was written to people in the world, this objection would before by an author, I'll be sworn, and I hope not apply to you, whom I could see frequentyou will amplify my wrath, till it has an ly. Your expenses, too, would be such as etfeet upon him. You tell me always you best suit your inclinations, more or less, as have much to write about. Write it, but let you thought proper ; but very little would us drop metaphysics ; - on that point we be requisite to enable you to enter into all shall never agree. I am dull and drowsy, as the gaieties of a country life. You could usual. I do nothing, and even that nothing be as quiet or bustling as you liked, and fatigues me. Adieu."
certainly as well situated as on the lakes of Cumberland, unless you have a particular
wish to be picturesque. " Newstead Abbey, Oct. 11. 1811. Pray, is your Ionian friend in town? “I have returned from Lancashire, and you have promised me an introduction. ascertained that my property there may be You mention having consulted some friend made very valuable, but various circum- on the MSS. Is not this contrary to our stances very much circumscribe my exertions usual way? Instruct Mr. Murray not to at present. I shall be in town on business allow his shopman to call the work • Child in the beginning of November, and perhaps of Harrow's Pilgrimage !!!!!’ as he has at Cambridge before the end of this month ; done to some of my astonished friends, who but of my movements you shall be regularly wrote to inquire after my sanity on the ocapprised. Your objections I have in part casion, as well they might. I have heard done away by alterations, which I hope will nothing of Murray, whom I scolded heartily. suffice ; and I have sent two or three ad- Must I write more notes? - Are there not ditional stanzas for both · Fyttes. I have enough? Cawthorn must be kept back been again shocked with a death, and have with the 'Hints.' — I hope he is getting on lost one very dear to me in happier times ; with Hobhouse's quarto. Good evening. but I have almost forgot the taste of grief,'| Yours ever,” &c. and ' supped full of horrors' till I have become callous, nor have I a tear left for an Of the same date with this melancholy letter event which, five years ago, would have are the following verses, never before printed, bowed down my head to the earth. It seems which he wrote in answer to some lines re
TO MR. DALLAS.