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may have had some share, perhaps, in father lifted him up and wiped the foam from suggesting that curious research through all his lips ; and, if a shower came, he made the various Accounts of Shipwrecks upon him open his mouth to receive the drops, or record, by which he prepared himself to gently squeezed them into it from a rag. depict with such power a scene of the same In this affecting situation both remained four description in Don Juan. The following or five days, till the boy expired. The unaffecting incident, mentioned by the author fortunate parent, as if unwilling to believe of this pamphlet, has been adopted, it will the fact, then raised the body, gazed wistbe seen, with but little change either of phrase fully at it, and, when he could no longer or circumstance, by the poet :

entertain any doubt, watched it in silence till “Of those who were not immediately near it was carried off by the sea ; then, wrapping

; me I knew little, unless by their cries. Some himself in a piece of canvass, sunk down and struggled hard, and died in great agony ; but rose no more ; though he must have lived it was not always those whose strength was two days longer, as we judged from the most impaired that died the easiest, though, quivering of his limbs, when a wave broke in some cases, it might have been so. I over him.” particularly remember the following instances. It was probably during one of the vaMr. Wade's servant, a stout and healthy boy, cations of this year, that the boyish love for died early and almost without a groan ; his young cousin, Miss Parker, to which he while another of the same age, but of a less attributes the glory of having first inspired promising appearance, held out much longer. him with poetry, took possession of his fancy. The fate of these unfortunate boys differed “My first dash into poetry,” he says, also in another respect highly deserving of early as 1800. It was the ebullition of a notice. Their fathers were both in the fore- passion for my first cousin, Margaret Parker top when the lads were taken ill. The (daughter and grand-daughter of the two father of Mr. Wade's boy hearing of his son's Admirals Parker), one of the most beautiful illness, answered with indifference, that he of evanescent beings. I have long forgotten could do nothing for him,' and left him to the verses, but it would be difficult for me his fate. The other, when the accounts to forget her — her dark eyes — her long reached him, hurried down, and watching eye-lashes — her completely Greek cast of for a favourable moment, crawled on all-fours face and figure! I was then about twelvealong the weather gunwale to his son, who she rather older, perhaps a year. She died was in the mizen rigging. By that time, only about a year or two afterwards, in consethree or four planks of the quarter-deck quence of a fall, which injured her spine, and remained, just over the weather-quarter induced consumption. Her sister Augusta gallery; and to this spot the unhappy man (by some thought still more beautiful) died led his son, making him fast to the rail to of the same malady ; and it was, indeed, in prevent his being washed away. Whenever attending her, that Margaret met with the the boy was seized with a fit of retching, the accident which occasioned her own death.

was as


" And o'er him bent his sire, and never raised

His eyes from off his face, but wiped the foam
From his pale lips, and ever on him gazed,

And when the wish'd-for shower at length was come,
And the boy's eyes, which the dull film half glazed,

Brighten'd, and for a moment seem'd to roam,
He squeezed from out a rag some drops of rain
Into his dying child's mouth, but in vain.

I The following is Lord Byron's version of this touching narrative; and it will be felt, I think, by every reader, that this is one of the instances in which poetry must be content to yield the palm to prose. There is a pathos in the last sentences of the scaman's recital, which the artifices of metre and rhyme were sure to disturb, and which, indeed, no verses, however beautiful, could half so naturally and powerfully express :“ There were two fathers in this ghastly crew,

And with them their two sons, of whom the one Was more robust and hardy to the view,

But be died early; and when he was gone, His nearest messmate told his sire, who threw

One glance on him, and said, “ Heaven's will be done, I can do nothing,' and he saw him thrown

Into the deep without a tear or groan. • The other father bad a weaklier child,

Of a soft cheek, and aspect delicate ; But the boy bore up long, and with a mild

And patient spirit held aloof his fate ;
Little he said, and now and then he smiled,

As if to win a part from off the weight
He saw increasing on his father's heart,
With the deep, deadly thought, that they must part.

“ The boy expired — the father held the clay,

And look'd upon it long, and when at last
Death left no doubt, and the dead burden lay

Stiff on his heart, and pulse and hope were past,
He watch'd it wistfully, until away

'Twas borne by the rude wave wherein 'twas cast : Then he himself sunk down all dumb and shivering, And gave no sign of life, save his limbs quivering."

Don JUAN, Canto 11.

In the collection of “ Shipwrecks and Disasters at Sea," to which Lord Byron so skilfully had recourse for the technical knowledge and facts out of which he has composed his own powerful description, the reader will find the account of the loss of the Juno here referred to.


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My sister told me, that when she went to Byron had left it, when the private character see her, shortly before her death, upon acci- of the poet was in the very crisis of its undentally mentioning my name, Margaret popularity, and when, among those friends coloured through the paleness of mortality who knew that Dr. Glennie had once been to the eyes, to the great astonishment of my his tutor, it was made a frequent subject of sister, who (residing with her grandmother, banter with this gentleman that he had not Lady Holderness', and seeing but little of more strictly disciplined his pupil, or, to use me, for family reasons), knew nothing of our their own words, "made a better boy of attachment, nor could conceive why my name him.” should affect her at such a time. I knew About the time when young Byron was nothing of her illness, being at Harrow and removed, for his education, to London, his in the country, till she was gone. Some nurse May Gray left the service of Mrs. Byron years after, I made an attempt at an elegy – and returned to her native country, where a very dull one.

she died about three years since. She had "I do not recollect scarcely any thing married respectably, and in one of her last equal to the transparent beauty of my cousin, illnesses was attended professionally by or to the sweetness of her temper, during Dr. Ewing of Aberdeen, who, having been the short period of our intimacy. She looked always an enthusiastic admirer of Lord Byron, as if she had been made out of a rainbow was no less surprised than delighted to find all beauty and peace.

that the person under his care had for so “My passion had its usual effects upon many years been an attendant on his favourite me- I could not sleep-I could not eat poet. With avidity, as may be supposed, I could not rest : and although I had reason he noted down from the lips of his patient to know that she loved me, it was the tex- all the particulars she could remember of his ture of my life to think of the time which Lordship’s early days; and it is to the commust elapse before we could meet again, munications with which this gentleman has being usually about twelve hours of sepa- favoured me, that I am indebted for many of ration! But I was a fool then, and am not the anecdotes of that period which I have much wiser now.”

related. He had been nearly two years under the As a mark of gratitude for her attention tuition of Dr. Glennie, when his mother, to him, Byron had, in parting with May discontented at the slowness of his progress Gray, presented her with his watch, — the --though being, herself, as we have seen, the first of which he had ever been possessor. principal cause of it -- entreated so urgently This watch the faithful nurse preserved of Lord Carlisle to have him removed to a fondly through life, and, when she died, it public school, that her wish was at length was given by her husband to Dr. Ewing, by acceded to; and “accordingly,” says Dr. whom, as a relic of genius, it is equally Glennie,“ to Harrow he went, as little


valued. The affectionate boy had also prepared as it is natural to suppose from two sented her with a full-length miniature of years of elementary instruction, thwarted by himself, which was painted by Kay of Edinevery art that could estrange the mind of burgh, in the year 1795, and which represents youth from preceptor, from school, and from him standing with a bow and arrows in his all serious study."

hand, and a profusion of hair falling over his This gentleman saw but little of Lord shoulders. This curious little drawing has Byron after he left his care ; but, from the likewise passed into the possession of Dr. manner in which both he and Mrs. Glennie Ewing. spoke of their early charge, it was evident The same thoughtful gratitude was evinced that his subsequent career had been watched by Byron towards the sister of this woman, by them with interest ; that they had seen his first nurse, to whom he wrote some years even his errors through the softening medium after he left Scotland, in the most cordial of their first feeling towards him, and had terms, making inquiries of her welfare, and never, in his most irregular aberrations, lost informing her, with much joy, that he had the traces of those fine qualities which they at last got his foot so far restored as to be had loved and admired in him when a child. able to put on a common boot,—"an event Of the constancy, too, of this feeling, Dr. for which he had long anxiously wished, and Glennie had to stand no ordinary trial, having which he was sure would give her great visited Geneva in 1817, soon after Lord pleasure.”

· [This lady, daughter of M. Doublette, a Dutch gentleman, was married at the Hague, in 1743, to Robert D'Arcy, fourth Earl of Holderness. Upon his death, in 1778, the carldom became extinct, and what remained of

his estate, together with the barony of Congers, descended to his only daughter, the first wife of the Poet's father. Lady Holderness died in London, October, 1801, aged eighty.]

2 (See Works, p. 376.)

In the summer of the year 1801 he accom- leader in all the sports, schemes, and mispanied his mother to Cheltenham, and the chief of the school. account which he himself gives of his sen- For a general notion of his dispositions sations at that period 1 shows at what an and capacities at this period, we could not early age those feelings that lead to poetry have recourse to a more trustworthy or had unfolded themselves in his heart. Å valuable authority than that of the Rev. Dr. boy, gazing with emotion on the hills at sun- Drury, who was at this time head master of set, because they remind him of the mountains the school, and to whom Lord Byron has among which he passed his childhood, is left on record a tribute of affection and already, in heart and imagination, a poet. It respect, which, like the reverential regard of was during their stay at Cheltenham that a Dryden for Dr. Busby, will long associate fortune-teller, whom his mother consulted, together honourably the names of the poet pronounced a prediction concerning him and the master. From this venerable schowhich, for some time, left a strong impression lar I have received the following brief but on his mind. Mrs. Byron had, it seems, in important statement of the impressions her first visit to this person, (who, if I which his early intercourse with the young mistake not, was the celebrated fortune- noble left upon him :: teller, Mrs. Williams,) endeavoured to pass “ Mr. Hanson, Lord Byron's solicitor, herself off as a maiden lady. The sibyl, how- consigned him to my care at the age of 13}, ever, was not so easily deceived ;- she pro- with remarks, that his education had been nounced her wise consulter to be not only a neglected ; that he was ill prepared for a married woman, but the mother of a son public school, but that he thought there was who was lame, and to whom, among other a cleverness about him. After his departure events which she read in the stars, it was I took my young disciple into my study, and predestined that his life should be in danger endeavoured to bring him forward by enfrom poison before he was of age, and that quiries as to his former amusements, emhe should be twice married, — the second ployments, and associates, but with little or time, to a foreign lady. About two years no effect ; and I soon found that a wild afterwards he himself mentioned these par- mountain colt had been submitted to my ticulars to the person from whom I heard management. But there was mind in his the story, and said that the thought of the eye. In the first place, it was necessary to first part of the prophecy very often occurred | attach him to an elder boy, in order to to him. The latter part, however, seems to familiarise him with the objects before him, have been the nearer guess of the two. and with some parts of the system in which

he was to move. But the information he

received from his conductor gave him no CHAPTER III.,

pleasure, when he heard of the advances

of some in the school, much younger than 1801-1805.

himself, and conceived by his own deficiency HARROW. - ANECDOTES OF SCHOOL LIFE.

that he should be degraded, and humbled,

GEORGE by being placed below them. This I disSINCLAIR, — CLAYTON. —LORD CLARE.

covered, and having committed him to the care of one of the masters, as his tutor, I

assured him he should not be placed till, by YARD.— BYRON'S TOMB. —SUMMER HOLI- diligence, he might rank with those of his

own age. He was pleased with this assurance, and felt himself on easier terms with

his associates ; — for a degree of shyness To a shy disposition, such as Byron's was in hung about him for some time. His manner his youth—and such as, to a certain degree, and temper soon convinced me, that he might it continued all his life —the transition from be led by a silken string to a point, rather a quiet establishment, like that of Dulwich than by a cable ;-on that principle I acted. Grove, to the bustle of a great public school, After some continuance at Harrow, and was sufficiently trying. Accordingly, we

when the powers of his mind had begun to find from his own account, that, for the first expand, the late Lord Carlisle, his relation, year and a half, he hated Harrow.” The desired to see me in town ;-I waited on activity, however, and sociableness of his his Lordship. His object was to inform me nature soon conquered this repugnance ; of Lord Byron's expectations of property and, from being, as he himself says,




when he came of age, which he represented unpopular boy,” he rose at length to be a

as contracted, and to inquire respecting his abilities. On the former circumstance I

a most

I See page 8.

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made no remark; as to the latter, I replied, I shall now lay before the reader such • He has talents, my Lord, which will add notices of his school-life as I find scattered lustre to his rank.' Indeed!!!' said his through the various note-books he has left Lordship, with a degree of surprise, that, behind. Coming, as they do, from his own according to my feeling, did not express in it pen, it is needless to add, that they afford all the satisfaction I expected.

the liveliest and best records of this period “ The circumstance to which you allude, that can be furnished. as to his declamatory powers, was as follows. “ Till I was eighteen years old (odd as it The upper part of the school composed de- may seem) I had never read a review. But clamations, which, after a revisal by the while at Harrow, my general information tutors, were submitted to the master : to was so great on modern topics as to induce him the authors repeated them, that they a suspicion that I could only collect so much might be improved in manner and action, information from Reviews, because I was before their public delivery. I certainly was never seen reading', but always idle, and in much pleased with Lord Byron's attitude, mischief, or at play. The truth is, that I gesture, and delivery, as well as with his read eating, read in bed, read when no one composition. All who spoke on that day else read, and had read all sorts of reading adhered, as usual, to the letter of their com- since I was five years old, and yet never met position ; as, in the earlier part of his delivery, with a Review, which is the only reason I did Lord Byron. But, to my surprise, he know of why I should not have read them. suddenly diverged from the written compo- But it is true ; for I remember when Hunter sition, with a boldness and rapidity sufficient and Curzon, in 1804, told me this opinion at to alarm me, lest he should fail in memory Harrow, I made them laugh by my ludicrous as to the conclusion. There was no failure : astonishment in asking them "What is a Re- he came round to the close of his com- view ?' To be sure, they were then less position without discovering any impediment common. In three years more, I was better and irregularity on the whole. I questioned acquainted with that same ; but the first I him, why he had altered his declamation ? ever read was in 1806–7. He declared he had made no alteration, and “At school I was (as I have said) redid not know, in speaking, that he had de marked for the extent and readiness of my viated from it one letter. I believed him ; general information ; but in all other respects and from a knowledge of his temperament idle, capable of great sudden exertions, (such am convinced, that fully impressed with the as thirty or forty Greek hexameters, of sense and substance of the subject, he was course with such prosody as it pleased God) hurried on to expressions and colourings more

but of few continuous drudgeries. My quastriking than what his pen had expressed." lities were much more oratorical and martial

In communicating to me these recollec- than poetical ; and Dr. Drury, my grand tions of his illustrious pupil, Dr. Drury has patron, (our_head master,) had a great added a circumstance which shows how notion that I should turn out an orator, strongly, even in all the pride of his fame, from my fluency, my turbulence, my voice, that awe with which he had once regarded my copiousness of declamation, and my the opinions of his old master still hung action.. I remember that my first declaaround the poet's sensitive mind :

mation astonished him into some unwonted “ After my retreat from Harrow, I re- (for he was economical of such) and sudden ceived from him two very affectionate letters. compliments, before the declaimers at our In my occasional visits subsequently to first rehearsal. My first Harrow versés, London, when he had fascinated the public (that is, English, as exercises, a translation with his productions, I demanded of him, of a chorus from the Prometheus of Æswhy, as in duty bound, he had sent none to chylus,) were received by him but coolly me? Because,' said he, you are the only No one had the least notion that I should man I never wish to read them :'- but, in subside into poesy. a few moments, he added — What do you “ Peel, the orator and statesman, (that think of the Corsair ?'”

was, or is, or is to be,') was my form-fellow,

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(Here on Sir Walter Scott's copy of Byron's Life is Alonzo, and Lear's address to the storm. On one of the following MS. note:-“Blockheads never can find these public occasions, when it was arranged that he out how folks cleverer than themselves came by their in- should take the part of Drances, and young Peel that of formation. They never know what is done at dressing. | Turnus, Lord Byron suddenly changed his mind, and time, meal-time even-or in how few minutes they can get preferred the speech of Latinus, – searing, it was supat the sense of many pages."]

posed, some ridicule from the inappropriate taunt of For the display of his declamatory powers, on the Turnus, “Ventosa in lingua, pedibusque fugacibus speech-days, he selected always the most vehement pas. istis." sages, - such as the speech of Zanga over the body of 3 [Now the Right Honourable Sir Robert Peel, 1838.] 1 (Now (1838) Sir George Sinclair, M. P. for Caith- “ Concourse, and noise, and toil, he ever fled, ness : he succeeded to the baronetcy on the death of his

and we were both at the top of our remove do not know that there is one which has (a public school phrase). We were on endured (to be sure some have been cut good terms, but his brother was my intimate short by death) till now. That with Lord friend. There were always great hopes of Clare+ begun one of the earliest, and lasted Peel amongst us all, masters and scholars — | longest-being only interrupted by distance and he has not disappointed them. As a - that I know of. I never hear the word scholar he was greatly my superior ; as a Clare' without a beating of the heart even declaimer and actor, I was reckoned at least now, and I write it with the feelings of 1803his equal; as a schoolboy, out of school, I 4-5, ad infinitum.” was always in scrapes, and he never ; and in The following extract is from another of school, he always knew his lesson, and I his manuscript journals : rarely, - but when I knew it, I knew it “ At Harrow, I fought my way very nearly as well. In general information, his fairly.5 I think I lost but one battle out of tory, &c. &c., I think I was his superior, as seven ; and that was to H;- and the well as of most boys of my standing. rascal did not win it, but by the unfair treat

“ The prodigy of our school-days was ment of his own boarding-house, where we George Sinclair (son of Sir John); he made boxed : ! had not even a second. I never exercises for half the school (literally), verses forgave him ; and I should be sorry to meet at will, and themes without it. * * * He him now, as I am sure we should quarrel. was a friend of mine, and in the same remove, My most memorable combats were with and used at times to beg me to let him do Morgan, Rice, Rainsford, and Lord Jocelyn, my exercise, –a request always most readily - but we were always friendly afterwards. accorded upon a pinch, or when I wanted I was a most unpopular boy, bút led latterly, to do something else, which was usually and have retained many of my school friendonce an hour. On the other hand, he was ships, and all my dislikes — except to Dr. pacific and I savage ; so I fought for him, or Butler, whom I treated rebelliously, and thrashed others for him, or thrashed himself have been sorry ever since. Dr. Drury, to make him thrash others when it was whom I plagued sufficiently too, was the necessary, as a point of honour and stature, best, the kindest, (and yet strict, too,) friend that he should so chastise ;- ; — or we talked I ever had — and I look upon him still as a politics, for he was a great politician, and father. were very good friends. I have some of his “P. Hunter, Curzon, Long, and Tatersall, letters, written to me from school, still. 2 were my principal friends. Clare, Dorset,

“ Clayton was another school-monster of Cf. Gordon, De Bath, Claridge, and Jno. learning, and talent, and hope ; but what Wingfield, were my juniors and favourites, has become of him I do not know. He was whom I spoilt by indulgence. Of all human certainly a genius.

beings, I was, perhaps, at one time, the most “My school friendships were with me attached to poor Wingfield, who died at Copassions ), (for I was always violent,) but I imbra, 1811, before I returned to England.”6

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Nor cared to mingle in the clamorous fray father, the well known president of the board of agri

Of squabbling imps, but to the forest sped. culture, &c. &c., in December, 1832.)

His highest authority, however, is Milton, who says of 2 His letters to Mr. Sinclair, in return, are unluckily himself, lost, - one of them, as this gentleman tells me, having

" When I was yet a child, no childish play been highly characteristic of the jealous sensitiveness of

To me was pleasing." his noble schoolfellow, being written under the impression of some ideal slight, and beginning, angrily,

Such general rules, however, are as little applicable to “ Sir."

the dispositions of men of genius as to their powers. If, 3 On a leaf of one of his note-books, dated 1808, I find

in the instances which Mr. D'Israeli adduces, an indisthe following passage from Marmontel, which no doubt

position to bodily exertion was manifested, as many struck him as applicable to the enthusiasm of his own

others may be cited in which the directly opposite proyouthful friendships :- L'amitié, qui dans le monde est

pensity was remarkable. In war, the most turbulent of à peine un sentiment, est une passion dans les cloitres."

exercises, Æschylus, Dante, Camoens, and a long list o -Contes Morauz.

other poets, distinguished themselves; and, though it • (John Fitzgibbon, second Earl of Clare, born June

may be granted that Horace was a bad rider, and Virgil 2. 1792. His father, whom he succeeded in 1802, was for

no tennis-player, yet, on the other hand, Dante was, we many years Lord Chancellor of Ireland.)

know, a falconer as well as swordsman; Tasso, expert > Mr. D’Israeli, in his ingenious work “On the Li.

both as swordsman and dancer ; Alfieri, a great rider ; terary Character," has given it as his opinion, that a

Klopstock, a skaiter ; Cowper, famous, in his youth, at disinclination to athletic sports and exercises will be, in

cricket and foot-ball, and Lord Byron, pre-eminent in general, found among the peculiarities which mark a

all sorts of exercises. youthful genius. In support of this notion he quotes 6 (The Hon. John Wingfield, of the Coldstream guards, Beattie, who thus describes his ideal minstrel :

brother to Lord Powerscourt. He died of a fever, May

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