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Dogherty to please him, but the match went good Lort'—'Good Lort deliver us !' (Lort off. It was of course to have been a private was his christian name.) As he was very fight, in a private room.

free in his speculations upon all kinds of On one occasion, being too late to go subjects, although by no means either dishome and dress, he was equipped by a friend solute or intemperate in his conduct, and (Mr. Baillie, I beli e,) in a magnificently as I was no less independen fashionable and somewhat exaggerated shirt sation and correspondence used to alarm our and neckcloth. He proceeded to the Opera, friend Hobhouse to a considerable degree. and took his station in Fops’ Alley. During “ You must be almost tired of my packets, the interval between the opera and the ballet, which will have cost a mint of postage. an acquaintance took his station by him and “ Salute Gifford and all my friends. saluted him : 'Come round,' said Matthews,

“Yours, &c." come round.'—'Why should I come round? said the other ; ‘you have only to turn your Mr. Matthews commenced, Lord Byron had

As already, before his acquaintance with head — I am close by you.' — That is exactly what I cannot do," said Matthews : begun to bewilder himself in the mazes of * don't you see the state I am in ?' pointing this gentleman any further share in the

scepticism, it would be unjust to impute to to his buckram shirt collar and inflexible formation of his noble friend's opinions than cravat, — and there he stood with his head what arose from the natural influence of exalways in the same perpendicular position during the whole spectacle.

ample and sympathy ;- an influence which, “One evening, after dining together, as we

as it was felt perhaps equally on both sides, were going to the Opera, I happened to

rendered the contagion of their doctrines, in have a spare Opera ticket (as subscriber to

a great measure, reciprocal. In addition, a box), and presented it to Matthews. Now, too, to this community of sentiment on such sir,' said he to Hobhouse afterwards, this i subjects, they were both, in no ordinary call courteous in the Abbot — another man

degree, possessed by that dangerous spirit of would never have thought that I might do ridicule, whose impulses even the pious better with half a guinea than throw it to

cannot always restrain, and which draws the a door-keeper ; — but here is a man not

mind on, by a sort of irresistible fascination, only asks me to dinner, but gives me a ticket of all that is most solemn and awful. It is

to disport itself most wantonly on the brink for the theatre.' These were only his oddities, for no man was more liberal, or more

not wonderful, therefore, that, in such honourable in all his doings and dealings, should have been, at least, accelerated in

society, the opinions of the noble poet than Matthews. He gave Hobhouse and that direction to which their bias already me, before we set out for Constantinople, a most splendid entertainment, to which we

leaned ; and though he cannot be said to

have become thus confirmed in these did ample justice. One of his fancies was dining at all sorts of out-of-the-way places. of his life, was he a confirmed unbeliever, —

doctrines, -as neither now, nor at any time Somebody popped upon him in I know not what coffee-house in the Strand —and what he had undoubtedly learned to feel less do you think was the attraction ? Why, uneasy under his scepticism, and even to that he paid a shilling (I think) to dine with mingle somewhat of boast and of levity with his hat on. This he called his hat house, his expression of it. At the very first onset and used to boast of the comfort of being find him proclaiming his sentiments on all

of his correspondence with Mr. Dallas, we covered at meal-times. When Sir Henry Smith was expelled far different from the tone in which he had

such subjects with a flippancy and confidence from Cambridge for a row with a tradesman named · Hiron, Matthews solaced himself first ventured on his doubts, — from that with shouting under Hiron's windows every with its illusions, which breathes through

fervid sadness, as of a heart loth to part evening,

every line of those prayers, that, but a year "*Ah me! what perils do environ

before, his pen had traced.

Here again, however, we should recollect, " He was also of that band of profane there must be a considerable share of allowscoffers who, under the auspices of **** ance for his usual tendency to make the used to rouse Lort Mansel (late Bishop of most and the worst of his own obliquities. Bristol) from his slumbers in the lodge of There occurs, indeed, in his first letter to Trinity'; and when he appeared at the Mr. Dallas, an instance of this strange amwindow foaming with wrath, and crying out, bition,—the very reverse, it must be allowed, * I know you, gentlemen, I know you !' were of hypocrisy, - which led him to court, rather wont to reply, 'We beseech thee to hear us, than avoid, the reputation of profligacy, and

The man who meddles with hot Hiron.'

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to put, at all times, the worst face on his commonly called honour has, and I trust ever own character and conduct. His new cor- will, prevent me from disgracing my name by respondent having, in introducing himself to a mean or cowardly action, I have been his acquaintance, passed some compliments already held up as the votary of licentiouson the tone of moral and charitable feeling ness, and the disciple of infidelity. How which breathed through one of his poems, far justice may have dictated this accusation, had added, that it “ brought to his mind I cannot pretend to say; but, like the genanother noble author, who was not only a tleman to whom my religious friends, in the fine poet, orator, and historian, but one of warmth of their charity, have already devoted the closest reasoners we have on the truth of me, I am made worse than I really am. that religion of which forgiveness is a promi- However, to quit myself (the worst theme nent principle, the great and good Lord I could pitch upon), and return to my Lyttleton, whose fame will never die. His poems, I cannot sufficiently express my son,” adds Mr. Dallas, “to whom he had thanks, and I hope I shall some day have an transmitted genius, but not virtue, sparkled opportunity of rendering them in person. A for a moment and went out like a star, second edition is now in the press, with and with him the title became extinct.” To some additions and considerable omissions ; this Lord Byron answers in the following you will allow me to present you with a letter :

copy. The Critical, Monthly, and Anti

Jacobin Reviews have been very indulgent ; LETTER 20. TO MR. DALLAS.

but the Eclectic has pronounced a furious « Dorant's Hotel, Albemarle Street, Jan. 20. 1808. Philippic, not against the book but the author, • Sir,

where you will find all I have mentioned “ Your letter was not received till this asserted by a reverend divine who wrote the morning, I presume from being addressed to critique. me in Notts., where I have not resided since

Your name and connection with our last June; and as the date is the 6th, you will family have been long known to me, and I excuse the delay of my answer.

hope your person will be not less so : you “ If the little volume you mention has will find me an excellent compound of a given pleasure to the author of Percival and Brainless' and a. Stanhope.' 'I am afraid Aubrey, I am sufficiently repaid by his praise. you will hardly be able to read this, for my Though our periodical censors have been hand is almost as bad as my character ; but uncommonly lenient, I confess a tribute from you will find me, as legibly as possible, a man of acknowledged genius is still more

Your obliged and obedient servant, flattering. But I am afraid I should forfeit

“ BYRON.” all claim to candour, if I did not decline such praise as I do not deserve ; and this is, I There is here, evidently, a degree of pride am sorry to say, the case in the present in being thought to resemble the wicked instance.

Lord Lyttleton; and, lest his known irre“My compositions speak for themselves, gularities should not bear him out in the and must stand or fall by their own worth pretension, he refers mysteriously, as was or demerit : thus far I feel highly gratified by his habit, to certain untold events of his life, your favourable opinion. But my pretensions to warrant the parallel.? Mr. Dallas, who to virtue are unluckily so few, that though I seems to have been but little prepared for should be happy to merit, I cannot accept, such a reception of his compliments, escapes your applause in that respect. One passage out of the difficulty by transferring to the in your letter struck me forcibly: you young lord's “candour” the praise he had so mention the two Lords Lyttleton in the thanklessly bestowed on his morals in genemanner they respectively deserve, and will ral ; adding, that from the design Lord Byron be surprised to hear the person who is now had expressed in his preface of resigning the addressing you has been frequently compared service of the Muses for a different vocation, to the latter. I know I am injuring myself he had “conceived him bent on pursuits in your esteem by this avowal, but the cir- which lead to the character of a legislator cumstance was so remarkable from your and statesman ;-had imagined him at one observation, that I cannot help relating the of the universities, training himself to habits fact. The events of my short life have been of reasoning and eloquence, and storing up a of so singular a nature, that, though the pride large fund of history and law.” It is in reply

6

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1 Characters in the novel called Percival.

? This appeal to the imagination of his correspondent was not altogether without effect. -"I considered,"

says Mr.Dallas, "these letters, though evidently grounded on some occurrences in the still carlier part of his life, rather as jeux d'esprit than as a true portrait.”

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Dogherty to please him, but the match went good Lort'-'Good Lort deliver us !' (Lort off. It was of course to have been a private was his christian name.) As he was very fight, in a private room.

free in his speculations upon all kinds of “ On one occasion, being too late to go subjects, although by no means either dishome and dress, he was equipped by a friend solute or intemperate in his conduct, and (Mr. Baillie, I believe,) in a magnificently as I was no less independent, our converfashionable and somewhat exaggerated shirt sation and correspondence used to alarm our and neckcloth. He proceeded to the Opera, friend Hobhouse to a considerable degree. and took his station in Fops' Alley. During “ You must be almost tired of my packets, the interval between the opera and the ballet, which will have cost a mint of postage. an acquaintance took his station by him and “ Salute Gifford and all my friends. saluted him : 'Come round,' said Matthews,

Yours, &c." 'come round.'—Why should I come round ?' said the other ; ‘you have only to turn your Mr. Matthews commenced, Lord Byron had

As already, before his acquaintance with head — I am close by you.'—' That is exactly what I cannot do," said Matthews ; begun to bewilder himself in the mazes of don't you see the state I am in ?. pointing this gentleman any further share in the

scepticism, it would be unjust to impute to to his buckram shirt collar and inflexible formation of his noble friend's opinions than cravat, — and there he stood with his head what arose from the natural influence of exalways in the same perpendicular position during the whole spectacle.

ample and sympathy ;- an

;- an influence which, “One evening, after dining together, as we

as it was felt perhaps equally on both sides, were going to the Opera, I happened to

rendered the contagion of their doctrines, in have a spare Opera ticket (as subscriber to

a great measure, reciprocal. In addition, a box), and presented it to Matthews. Now, too, to this community of sentiment on such sir,' said he to Hobhouse afterwards, this i subjects, they were both, in no ordinary

degree, possessed by that dangerous spirit of call courteous in the Abbot — another man would never have thought that I might do ridicule, whose impulses even the pious better with half a guinea than throw it to

cannot always restrain, and which draws the a door-keeper ;- but here is a man not

mind on, by a sort of irresistible fascination, only asks me to dinner, but gives me a ticket

to disport itself most wantonly on the brink for the theatre.' These were only his od- of all that is most solemn and awful. It is dities, for no man was more liberal, or more

not wonderful, therefore, that, in such honourable in all his doings and dealings, should have been, at least, accelerated in

society, the opinions of the noble poet than Matthews. He gave Hobhouse and

that direction to which their bias already me, before we set out for Constantinople, a most splendid entertainment, to which we

leaned ; and though he cannot be said to

have become thus confirmed in these did ample justice. One of his fancies was dining at all sorts of out-of-the-way places. of his life, was he a confirmed unbeliever, —

doctrines, -as neither now, nor at any time Somebody popped upon him in I know not what coffee-house in the Strand –and what he had undoubtedly learned to feel less do you think was the attraction? Why, uneasy under his scepticism, and even to that he paid a shilling (I think) to dine with mingle somewhat of boast and of levity with his hat on. This he called his hat house,' of his correspondence with Mr. Dallas, we

his expression of it. At the very first onset and used to boast of the comfort of being find him proclaiming his sentiments on all covered at meal-times. “When Sir Henry Smith was expelled far different from the tone in which he had

such subjects with a flippancy and confidence from Cambridge for a row with a tradesman first ventured on his doubts, — from that named “Hiron,' Matthews solaced himself with shouting under Hiron's windows every with its illusions, which breathes through

fervid sadness, as of a heart loth to part evening,

every line of those prayers, that, but a year " • Ah me! what perils do environ

before, his pen had traced.

Here again, however, we should recollect, “ He was also of that band of profane there must be a considerable share of allowscoffers who, under the auspices of ** ance for his usual tendency to make the used to rouse Lort Mansel (late Bishop of most and the worst of his own obliquities. Bristol) from his slumbers in the lodge of There occurs, indeed, in his first letter to Trinity'; and when he appeared at the Mr. Dallas, an instance of this strange amwindow foaming with wrath, and crying out, bition,- the very reverse, it must be allowed, 'I know you, gentlemen, I know you !' were of hypocrisy,—which led him to court, rather wont to reply, “We beseech thee to hear us, than avoid, the reputation of profligacy, and

The man who meddles with hot Hiron.'

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:

LETTER 20.

TO MR. DALLAS.

“ Sir,

to put, at all times, the worst face on his commonly called honour has, and I trust ever own character and conduct. His new cor- will, prevent me from disgracing my name by respondent having, in introducing himself to a mean or cowardly action, I have been his acquaintance, passed some compliments already held up as the votary of licentiouson the tone of moral and charitable feeling ness, and the disciple of infidelity. How which breathed through one of his poems, far justice may have dictated this accusation, had added, that it “ brought to his mind I cannot pretend to say ; but, like the genanother noble author, who was not only a tleman to whom my religious friends, in the fine poet, orator, and historian, but one of warmth of their charity, have already devoted the closest reasoners we have on the truth of me, I am made worse than I really am. that religion of which forgiveness is a promi. However, to quit myself (the worst theme nent principle, the great and good Lord I could pitch" upon), and return to my Lyttleton, whose fame will never die. His poems, I cannot sufficiently express my son,” adds Mr. Dallas, “to whom he had thanks, and I hope I shall some day have an transmitted genius, but not virtue, sparkled opportunity of rendering them in person. A for a moment and went out like a star, – second edition is now in the press, with and with him the title became extinct." To some additions and considerable omissions ; this Lord Byron answers in the following you will allow me to present you with a letter :

copy. The Critical, Monthly, and AntiJacobin Reviews have been very indulgent ;

but the Eclectic has pronounced a furious “ Dorant's Hotel, Albemarle Street, Jan. 20. 1808. Philippic, not against the book but the author,

where you will find all I have mentioned Your letter was not received till this asserted by a reverend divine who wrote the morning, I presume from being addressed to critique. me in Notts., where I have not resided since

Your name and connection with our last June; and as the date is the 6th, you will family have been long known to me, and I excuse the delay of my answer.

hope your person will be not less so : you “ If the little volume you mention has will find me an excellent compound of a given pleasure to the author of Percival and · Brainless' and a‘ Stanhope.' 'I am afraid Aubrey, I am sufficiently repaid by his praise. you will hardly be able to read this, for my Though our periodical censors have been hand is almost as bad as my character ; but uncommonly lenient, I confess a tribute from you will find me, as legibly as possible, a man of acknowledged genius is still more

“ Your obliged and obedient servant, flattering. But I am afraid I should forfeit

“Byron." all claim to candour, if I did not decline such praise as I do not deserve ; and this is, I There is here, evidently, a degree of pride am sorry to say, the case in the present in being thought to resemble the wicked instance.

Lord Lyttleton ; and, lest his known irre“My compositions speak for themselves, gularities should not bear him out in the and must stand or fall by their own worth pretension, he refers mysteriously, as

as was or demerit : thus far I feel highly gratified by his habit, to certain untold events of his life, your favourable opinion. But my pretensions to warrant the parallel. Mr. Dallas, who to virtue are unluckily so few, that though I seems to have been but little prepared for should be happy to merit, I cannot accept, such a reception of his compliments, escapes your applause in that respect. One passage out of the difficulty by transferring to the in your letter struck me forcibly: you young lord's “ candour” the praise he had so mention the two Lords Lyttleton" in the thanklessly bestowed on his morals in genemanner they respectively deserve, and will ral ; adding, that from the design Lord Byron be surprised to hear the person who is now had expressed in his preface of resigning the addressing you has been frequently compared service of the Muses for a different vocation, to the latter. I know I am injuring myself he had “ conceived him bent on pursuits in your esteem by this avowal, but the cir- which lead to the character of a legislator cumstance was so remarkable from your and statesman ;— had imagined him at one observation, that I cannot help relating the of the universities, training himself to habits fact. The events of my short life have been of reasoning and eloquence, and storing up a of so singular a nature, that, though the pride large fund of history and law.” It is in reply

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I Characters in the novel called Percival.

? This appeal to the imagination of his correspondent was not altogether without effect. — “I considered,"

says Mr.Dallas, “these letters, though evidently grounded on some occurrences in the still earlier part v his life, rather as jeu d'esprit than as a true portrait.”

LETTER 21.

TO MR. DALLAS.

“ Sir,

a

to this letter that the exposition of the noble at the same moment : so I quitted Zeno for poet's opinions, to which I have above Aristippus, and conceive that pleasure conalluded, is contained.

stitutes the to kalov. [In morality, I prefer Confucius to the Ten Commandments, and

Socrates to St. Paul, though the two latter Dorant's, January 21. 1808. agree in their opinion of marriage. In re

ligion, I favour the Catholic emancipation, “ Whenever leisure and inclination per- but do not acknowledge the Pope ; and I mit me the pleasure of a visit, I shall feel truly have refused to take the sacrament, because gratified in a personal acquaintance with one I do not think eating bread or drinking wine whose mind has been long known to me in from the hand of an earthly vicar will make his writings.

me an inheritor of heaven.] I hold virtue, “ You are so far correct in your conjecture, in general, or the virtues severally, to be only that I am a member of the University of in the disposition, each a feeling, not a prinCambridge, where I shall take my degree ciple. 2 I believe truth the prime attribute of A.M. this term ; but were reasoning, of the Deity, and death an eternal sleep, at eloquence, or virtue, the objects of my search, least of the body. You have here a brief Granta not their metropolis, nor is the compendium of the sentiments of the wicked place of her situation an ·El Dorado, far | George Lord Byron; and, till I get a new less an Utopia. The intellects of her children suit, you will perceive I am badly clothed. are as stagnant as her Cam, and their pursuits

I remain,” &c. limited to the church—not of Christ, but of the nearest benefice.

Though such was, doubtless, the general “As to my reading, I believe I may aver, cast of his opinions at this time, it must be without hyperbole, it has been tolerably recollected, before we attach any particular extensive in the historical department; so importance to the details of his creed, that, that few nations exist, or have existed, with in addition to the temptation, never easily whose records I am not in some degree ac- resisted by him, of displaying his wit at the quainted, from Herodotus down to Gibbon. expense of his character, he was here adOf the classics, I know about as much as dressing a person who, though, no doubt, most school-boys after a discipline of thirteen well meaning, was evidently one of those years ; of the law of the land as much as officious, self-satisfied advisers, whom it was enables me to keep' within the statute'— to the delight of Lord Byron at all times to use the poacher's vocabulary. I did study astonish and mystify., The tricks which, the Spirit of Laws' and the Law of when a boy, he played upon the Nottingham Nations ; but when I saw the latter violated quack, Lavender, were but the first of a long every month, I gave up my attempts at so series with which, through life, he amused useless an accomplishment :-of geography, himself, at the expense of all the numerous I have seen more land on maps than I should quacks whom his celebrity and sociability wish to traverse on foot ;-of mathematics, drew around him. enough to give me the headach without The terms in which he speaks of the clearing the part affected ;--of philosophy, university in this letter agree in spirit with astronomy, and metaphysics, more than I can many passages both in the “ Hours of comprehendi; and of common sense so little, Idleness,” and his early Satire, and prove that I mean to leave a Byronian prize at that, while Harrow was remembered by him each of our Almæ Matres' for the first with more affection, perhaps, than respect, discovery,—though I rather fear that of the Cambridge had not been able to inspire him longitude will precede it.

with either. This feeling of distaste to his I once thought myself a philosopher, and “nursing mother” he entertained in common talked nonsense with great decorum : I defied with some of the most illustrious names of pain, and preached up equanimity. For some English literature. So great was Milton's time this did very well, for no one was in hatred to Cambridge, that he had even conpain for me but my friends, and none lost ceived, says Warton, a dislike to the face of their patience but my hearers. At last, a

to the fields in its neighbourfall from my horse convinced me bodily hood. The poet Gray thus speaks of the suffering was an evil ; and the worst of an same university :-“ Surely, it was of this argument overset my maxims and my temper place, now Cambridge, but formerly known

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1 He appears to have had in his memory“ Voltaire's 2 The doctrine of Hume, who resolves all virtue into lively account of Zadig's learning : “Il savait de la mé- sentiment. — See his “ Enquiry concerning the Printaphysique ce qu'on en a su dans tous les âges, - c'est à ciples of Morals.” dire, fort peu de chose," &c.

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