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TO MR. MOORE.
Thomas Campbell, having called upon our LETTER 76.
host that morning, was invited to join the “ 8. St. James's Street, November 1. 1811. party, and consented. Such a meeting could Sir,
not be otherwise than interesting to us all. “As I should be very sorry to interrupt | It was the first time that Lord Byron was your Sunday's engagement, if Monday, or ever seen by any of his three companions ; any other day of the ensuing week, would while he, on his side, for the first time, found be equally convenient to yourself and friend, himself in the society of persons, whose I will then have the honour of accepting his names had been associated with his first invitation. Of the professions of esteem literary dreams, and to two of whom he with which Mr. Rogers has honoured me, I looked up with that tributary admiration cannot but feel proud, though undeserving. which youthful genius is ever ready to pay I should be wanting to myself, if insensible its precursors. to the praise of such a man ; and, should Among the impressions which this meetmy approaching interview with him and his ing left upon me, what I chiefly remember friend lead to any degree of intimacy with to have remarked was the nobleness of his both or either, I shall regard our past cor- air, his beauty, the gentleness of his voice respondence as one of the happiest events of and manners, and - what was naturally not life. I have the honour to be,
the least attraction - his marked kindness “ Your very sincere and obedient servant, to myself. Being in mourning for his mother,
“ BYRON.” the colour, as well of his dress, as of his
glossy, curling, and picturesque hair, gave It can hardly, I think, be necessary to call more effect to the pure, spiritual paleness the reader's attention to the good sense, of his features, in the expression of which, self-possession, and frankness, of these letters when he spoke, there was a perpetual play of Lord Byron. I had placed him, -by the of lively thought, though melancholy was somewhat national confusion which I had their habitual character when in repose. made of the boundaries of peace and war, of As we had none of us been apprised of hostility and friendship, — in a position his peculiarities with respect to food, the which, ignorant as he was of the character embarrassment of our host was not a little, of the person who addressed him, it required on discovering that there was nothing upon all the watchfulness of his sense of honour the table which his noble guest could eat or to guard from surprise or snare. Hence, drink. Neither meat, fish, nor wine, would the judicious reserve with which he abstained Lord Byron touch ; and of biscuits and from noticing my advances towards acquaint- soda-water, which he asked for, there had ance, till he should have ascertained exactly been, unluckily, no provision. He professed, whether the explanation which he was will. however, to be equally well pleased with poing to give would be such as his correspond tatoes and vinegar ; and of these meagre ent would be satisfied to receive. The mo- materials contrived to make rather a hearty ment he was set at rest on this point, the dinner. frankness of his nature displayed itself; and I shall now resume the series of his corthe disregard of all further mediation or respondence with other friends. etiquette with which he at once professed himself ready to meet me," when, where, and how” I pleased, showed that he could be as pliant and confiding after such an understanding, as he had been judiciously reserved My dear Harness, and punctilious before it.
“I write again, but don't suppose
I Such did I find Lord Byron, on my first mean to lay such a tax on your pen and paexperience of him ; and such, - so open tience as to expect regular replies. When and manly-minded, — did I find him to the you are inclined, write : when silent, I shall last.
have the consolation of knowing that you It was, at first, intended by Mr. Rogers are much better employed. Yesterday, that his company at dinner should not extend Bland and I called on Mr. Miller, who, being beyond Lord Byron and myself; but Mr. then out, will call on Bland ? to-day or to
TO MR. HARNESS
“ 8. St. James's Street, Dec. 6. 1811.
1 In speaking thus, I beg to disclaim all affected mo. desty. Lord Byron bad already made the same distinction himself in the opinions which he expressed of the living poets; and I cannot but be aware that, for the praises which he afterwards bestowed on my writings, I was, in a great degree, indebted to his partiality to myself.
2 The Rev. Robert Bland, one of the authors of “ Col. lections from the Greek Anthology.” Lord Byron was, at this time, endeavouring to secure for Mr. Bland the task of translating Lucien Buonaparte's poem. (This accomplished scholar died at Leamington in 1825, at the age of forty-seven. Besides contributing to the “ Col
morrow. I shall certainly endeavour to bring in poetical or personal accomplishments. them together. - You are censorious, child; How Bland has settled with Miller, I know when you are a little older, you will learn to I have very little interest with either, dislike every body, but abuse nobody. and they must arrange their concerns ac
“With regard to the person of whom you cording to their own gusto. I have done speak, your own good sense must direct you. my endeavours, at your request, to bring them I never pretend to advise, being an implicit together, and hope they may agree to their believer in the old proverb. This present mutual advantage. frost is detestable. It is the first I have Coleridge has been lecturing against felt for these three years, though I longed Campbell. Rogers was present, and from for one in the oriental summer, when no him I derive the information. We are going such thing is to be had, unless I had to make a party to hear this Manichean of the top of Hymettus for it.
poesy. Pole is to marry Miss Long, and “I thank you most truly for the concluding will be a very miserable dog for all that.' part of your letter. I have been of late not The present ministers are to continue, and much accustomed to kindness from any his Majesty does continue in the same state; quarter, and am not the less pleased to meet so there's folly and madness for you, both in with it again from one where I had known a breath. it earliest. I have not changed in all my I never heard but of one man truly forramblings, — Harrow, and, of course, your
tunate, and he was Beaumarchais, the author self, never left me, and the
of Figaro, who buried two wives and gained " "Dulces reminiscitur Argos'
three lawsuits before he was thirty. attended me to the very spot to which
“ And now, child, what art thou doing? that sentence alludes in the mind of the fall- degree.' Remember, this is the most im
Reading, I trust. I want to see you take a en Argive. — Our intimacy began before we began to date at all, and it rests with you to appoint your papa and your aunt, and all
portant period of your life ; and don't discontinue it till the hour which must num
your kin — besides myself
. Don't you know ber it and me with the things that were.
that all male children are begotten for the “Do read mathematics. - I should think X plus Y at least as amusing as the Curse that even I am an A.M., though how I be
express purpose of being graduates ? and of Kehama, and much more intelligible.
came so the Public Orator only can resolve. Master Southey's poems are, in fact, what Besides, you are to be a priest ; and to conparallel lines might be — viz. prolonged ad fute Sir William Drummond's late book infinitum without meeting anything half so
about the Bible, (printed, but not published,) absurd as themselves.
and all other infidels whatever. Now leave " What news, what news ? Queer Oreaca, Master H.'s gig, and Master S.'s Sapphics,
and become as immortal as Cambridge can S-W-,C-L-d, and L-?All damn'd, though yet alive.
“ You see, Mio Carissimo, what a pesColeridge is lecturing. Many an old fool,'tilent correspondent I am likely to become; said Hannibal to some such lecturer, ‘ but but then you shall be as quict at Newstead such as this, never.'
as you please, and I won't disturb your “ Ever yours, &c.” studies as I do now. When do you fis the
day, that I may take you up according to
contract ? Hodgson talks of making a third “ St. James's Street, Dec. 8. 1811.
in our journey ; but we can't stow him, “ Behold a most formidable sheet, without inside at least. Positively you shall go with gilt or biack edging, and consequently very me as was agreed, and don't let me have vulgar and indecorous, particularly to one any of your politesse to H. on the occasion. of your precision ; but this being Sunday, I | I shall manage to arrange for both with a can procure no better, and will atone for its little contrivance. I wish H. was not quite length by not filling it. Bland I have not so fat, and we should pack better. You seen since my last letter ; but on Tuesday will want to know what I am doing – he dines with me, and will meet M**e chewing tobacco. (Moore), the epitome of all that is exquisite You see nothing of my allies, Scrope
What news of scribblers five ?
TO MR. HARNESS.
lections," he published a volume of original poems, anong which are “ Edwy and Elgiva," and the “ Four Slaves of Cytheria.")
Lord Maryborough, married, in March 1812, Catherine, daughter and heir of the late Sir James Tylney-Long. Bart. ; upon which occasion he assumed the additional names of Tylney and Long. The lady terminated a most unhappy life in Sept. 1825.]
[The Honourable William Wellesley-Pole, son of
Davies and Matthews 1 they don't suit consequence to be noticed by the man of you ; and how does it happen that I — who lectures, I should not hear him without an am a pipkin of the same pottery – continue answer: For you know, an a man will in your good graces ? Good night, — I will be beaten with brains, he shall never keep a go on in the morning.
clean doublet.' Campbell will be despe“ Dec. 9th. —In a morning, I'm always rately annoyed. I never saw a man (and sullen, and to-day is as sombre as myself. of him I have seen very little) so sensitive ; Rain and mist are worse than a sirocco, - what a happy temperament! I am sorry particularly in a beef-eating and beer-drinking for it; what can he fear from criticism? I country. 'My bookseller, Cawthorne, has don't know if Bland has seen Miller, who just left me, and tells me, with a most im- was to call on him yesterday. portant face, that he is in treaty for a novel To-day is the Sabbath,
- a day I never of Madame D'Arblay's, for which 1000 gui- pass pleasantly, but at Cambridge ; and, neas are asked! He wants me to read the even there, the organ is a sad remembrancer. MS. (if he obtains it), which I shall do Things are stagnant enough in town; as long with pleasure ; but I should be very cautious as they don't retrograde, 'tis all very well. in venturing an opinion on her whose Cecilia Hobhouse writes and writes and writes, and Dr. Johnson superintended.? If he lends it to is an author. I do nothing but eschew I shall
put it into the hands of Rogers tobacco. I wish parliament were assembled, and M**e, who are truly men of taste. I that I may hear, and perhaps some day be have filled the sheet, and beg your pardon ; heard ; – but on this point I am not very I will not do it again. I shall, perhaps, sanguine. I have many plans ;- - sometimes write again ; but if not, believe, silent or I think of the East again, and dearly beloved scribbling, that I am, my dearest William, Greece. I am well, but weakly. Yesever, &c."
terday Kinnaird told me I looked very ill, and sent me home happy.
Is Scrope still interesting and invalid ?
And how does Hinde with his cursed cheI sent you a sad Tale of Three Friars mistry? To Harness I have written, and the other day, and now take a dose in have nothing now to do but write again, till
he has written, and we have all written, and another style. I wrote it a day or two ago, death splits up the pen and the scribbler. on hearing a song of former days.
· The Alfred has three hundred and fiftyAway, away, ye notes of woc 3,' &c. &c.
four candidates for six vacancies. The cook “ I have gotten a book by Sir W. Drum- has run away and left us liable, which mond, (printed, but not published,) entitled makes our committee very plaintive. Master Cdipus Judaicus, in which he attempts to Brook, our head serving-man, has the gout, prove the greater part of the Old Testament and our new cook is none of the best. Í an allegory, particularly Genesis and Joshua. speak from report, — for what is cookery to He professes himself a theist in the preface, a leguminous-eating ascetic ? So now you and handles the literal interpretion very know as much of the matter as I do. Books roughly. I wish you could see it. Mr.W** and quiet are still there, and they may dress has lent it me, and I confess to me it is their dishes in their own way for me. Let worth fifty Watsons.
me know your determination as to Newstead, “ You and Harness must fix on the time and believe me, for your visit to Newstead ; I can command mine at your wish, unless any thing particular
Μπαιρών.” occurs in the interim. Bland dines with me on Tuesday to meet Moore. Coleridge
LETTER 80. has attacked the pleasures of Hope,' and
“ 8. St. James's Street, Dec. 12. 1811. all other pleasures whatsoever. Mr. Rogers “Why, Hodgson! I fear you have left was present, and heard himself indirectly off wine and me at the same time, — I have rowed by the lecturer. We are going in a
written and written and written, and no party to hear the new Art of Poetry by this answer! My dear Sir Edgar, water disreformed schismatic; and were I one of agrees with you,
- drink sack and write. these poetical luminaries, or of sufficient Bland did not come to his appointment,
TO MR. HODGSON.
“ London, Dec. 8. 1811.
“ Yours ever,
TO MR. HODGSON.
1 The brother of his late friend, Charles Skinner Matthews.
2 Lord Byron is here mistaken. Dr. Johnson never saw Cecilia till it was in print. A day or two before publication, the young authoress, as I understand, sent
three copies to the three persons who had the best claim to them, - her father, Mrs. Thrale, and Dr. Johnson.Second edition.
3 This poem is now printed in Lord Byron's Works. [See Works, p. 550.),
being unwell, but M**e supplied all other your dolorous gentlemen : so now let us vacancies most delectably. I have hopes of laugh again. his joining us at Newstead.
I am sure you
Yesterday I went with Moore to Sywould like him more and more as he de- denham to visit Campbell.? He was not velopes, at least I do.
visible, so we jogged homeward merrily How Miller and Bland go on, I don't enough. To-morrow I dine with Rogers, know. Cawthorne talks of being in treaty and am to hear Coleridge, who is a kind of for a novel of Madame D'Arblay's!, and if rage at present. Last night I saw Kemble he obtains it (at 1500 guineas !!) wishes me in Coriolanus;—he was glorious, and exerted to see the MS. This I should read with himself wonderfully. By good luck I got pleasure, - not that I should ever dare to an excellent place in the best part of the venture a criticism on her whose writings house, which was more than overflowing. Dr. Johnson once revised, but for the plea-Clare and Delawarr, who were there on the sure of the thing. If my worthy publisher same speculation, were less fortunate. I wanted a sound opinion, I should send the saw them by accident, we were not toMS. to Rogers and M**e, as men most gether. I wished for you, to gratify your alive to true taste. I have had frequent love of Shakspeare and of fine acting to its letters from Wm. Harness, and you are si- fullest extent. Last week I saw an exhi. lent; certes, you are not a schoolboy. bition of a different kind in a Mr. Coates, However, I have the consolation of knowing at the Haymarket, who performed Lothario that you are better employed, viz, reviewing. in a damned and damnable manner. You don't deserve that I should add another “I told you the fate of B. and H. in my syllable, and I won't. Yours, &c.
last. So much for these sentimentalists, “P. S. – I only wait for your answer to
who console themselves in their stews for fix our meeting."
the loss the never to be recovered loss – the despair of the refined attachment of a couple of drabs! You censure my life,
Harness, — when I compare myself with “8. St. James's Street, Dec. 15. 1811.
these men, my elders and my betters, I “I wrote you an answer to your last, ally begin to conceive myself a monument which, on reflection, pleases me as little as of prudence -- a walking statue — without it probably has pleased yourself. I will not feeling or failing; and yet the world in wait for your rejoinder ; but proceed to tell general hath given me a proud pre-eminence you, that I had just then been greeted with over them in profligacy. Yet I like the an epistle of **" full of his petty grievances, men, and, God knows, ought not to condemn and this at the moment when (from circum- their aberrations. But I own I feel prostances it is not necessary to enter upon) I voked when they dignify all this by the name was bearing up against recollections to which of love — romantic attachments for things his imaginary sufferings are as a scratch to a marketable for a dollar!
These things combined, put me “ Dec. 16th. — I have just received your out of humour with him and all mankind. letter ; I feel your kindness very deeply. The latter part of my life has been a per- The foregoing part of my letter, written yes. petual struggle against affections which em-terday, will, I hope, account for the tone of bittered the earliest portion ; and though I the former, though it cannot excuse it. I flatter myself I have in a great measure do like to hear from you
more than like. conquered them, yet there are moments (and Next to seeing you, I have no greater satis.
I this was one) when I am as foolish as faction. But you have other duties, and formerly. I never said so much before, nor greater pleasures, and I should regret to take had I said this now, if I did not suspect a moment from either. H** was to call myself of having been rather savage in my to-day, but I have not seen him. The cir. letter, and wish to inform you thus much cumstances you mention at the close of your of the cause.
You know I am not one of letter is another proof in favour of my
TO MR. HARNESS.
[" The Wanderer, or Female Difficulties," was not published till the year 1814. “ This novel," say the Quarterly Reviewers, " which might be expected to finish and crown Madame D'Arblay's literary labours, is not only inferior to its sister-works, but cannot, in our judgment, claim any very decided superiority over the thousand-and-one volumes with which the Minerva Press Inundates the shelves of circulating libraries, and increases, instead of diverting the ennui of the loungers at watering-places ?" - Vol. xi. p. 124.)
: On this occasion, another of the noble poet's peculiarities was, somewhat startlingly, introduced to my notice. When we were on the point of setting out from his lodgings in St. James's Street, it being then about mid-day, he said to the servant, who was shutting the door of the vis-à-vis, “ Have you put in the pistols ? " and was answered in the affirmative. It was difficult,more especially, taking into account the circumstances under which we had just become acquainted, - to keep from smiling at this singular noonday precaution.
opinion of mankind. Such you will always of a London spring, we were generally (as find them - selfish and distrustful. I except in one of his own letters he expresses it) "em
The cause of this is the state of so- barked in the same Ship of Fools together." ciety. In the world, every one is to stir for But, at the time when we first met, his himself — it is useless, ps selfish, to position in the world was most solitary. expect any thing from his neighbour. But Even those coffee-house companions who, I do not think we are born of this disposition; before his departure from England, had for you find friendship as a schoolboy, and served him as a sort of substitute for more love enough before twenty.
worthy society, were either relinquished or “I went to see **; he keeps me in town, had dispersed; and, with the exception of where I don't wish to be at present. He is three or four associates of his college days a good man, but totally without conduct. (to whom he appeared strongly attached), And now, my dearest William, I must wish Mr. Dallas and his solicitor seemed to be you good morrow, and remain ever, most the only persons whom, even in their very sincerely and affectionately yours, &c.” questionable degree, he could boast of as
friends. Though too proud to complain of From the time of our first meeting, there this loneliness, it was evident that he felt it ; seldom elapsed a day that Lord Byron and I and that the state of cheerless isolation, did not see each other ; and our acquaintance |“ unguided and unfriended,” to which, on ripened into intimacy and friendship with a entering into manhood, he had found himrapidity of which I have seldom known an self abandoned, was one of the chief sources example. I was, indeed, lucky in all the of that resentful disdain of mankind, which circumstances that attended my first intro- even their subsequent worship of him came duction to him. In a generous nature like too late to remove. The effect, indeed, his, the pleasure of repairing an injustice which his subsequent commerce with society would naturally give a zest to any partiality had, for the short period it lasted, in softI might have inspired in his mind; while the ening and exhilarating his temper, showed manner in which I had sought this reparation, how fit a soil his heart would have been for free as it was from resentment or defiance, the growth of all the kindlier feelings, had left nothing, painful to remember in the but a portion of this sunshine of the world's transaction between us, -no compromise smiles shone on him earlier. or concession that could wound self-love, or At the same time, in all such speculations take away from the grace of that frank and conjectures as to what might have been, friendship to which he at once, so cordially under more favourable circumstances, his and so unhesitatingly, admitted me. character, it is invariably to be borne in also not a little fortunate in forming my ac- mind, that his very defects were among the quaintance with him, before his success had elements of his greatness, and that it was out yet reached its meridian burst, — before the of the struggle between the good and evil triumphs that were in store for him had principles of his nature that his mighty brought the world all in homage at his feet, genius drew its strength. A more genial and, among the splendid crowds that courted and fostering introduction into life, while it his society, even claims less humble than would doubtless have softened and discimine had but a feeble chance of fixing his plined his mind, might have impaired its regard. As it was, the new scene of life vigour ; and the same influences that would that opened upon him with his success, have diffused smoothness and happiness over instead of detaching us from each other, only his life might have been fatal to its glory. In a multiplied our opportunities of meeting, and short poem of his', which appears to have been increased our intimacy: In that society produced at Athens, (as I find it written on where his birth entitled him to move, cir- ! a leaf of the original MS. of Childe Harold, cumstances had already placed me, notwith- and dated “ Athens, 1811,") there are two standing mine ; and when, after the ap- lines which, though hardly intelligible as pearance of “ Childe Harold,” he began to connected with the rest of the poem, may, mingle with the world, the same persons, who taken separately, be interpreted as implying had long been my intimates and friends, a sort of prophetic consciousness that it became his ; our visits were mostly to the was out of the wreck and ruin of all his hopes same places, and, in the gay and giddy round the immortality of his name was to arise.2
1 " Written beneath the picture of Miss Chaworth." [See Works, p. 540.)
(“ The meaning of these two lines is so obvious, that it is marvellous how any one could miss it :- By the death-blow of my hope -- the blow that deprived me of
the original of this picture - my memory grew immortal : - my remembrance of her became so strong that it shows not the slightest symptom of decay ; now, when after a lapse of time I look at her picture, the painful feelings of memory are as vivid as on the day I lost her. This