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which he was naturally most inclined pre- P**, who was at Brighton at the time, and maturely palled upon him, for want of those had some suspicion of the real nature of the best zests of all enjoyment, rarity and re- relationship, said one day to the poet's comstraint. I have already quoted, from one of panion, " What a pretty horse that is you his note-books, a passage descriptive of his are riding!”—“Yes,"answered the pretended feelings on first going to Cambridge, in which cavalier, “ it was gave me by my brother !" he says that one of the deadliest and Beattie tells us, of his ideal poet, — heaviest feelings of his life was to feel that
“ The exploits of strength, dexterity, or speed, he was no longer a boy."--“ From that
To him nor vanity nor joy could bring.” moment (he adds) I began to grow old in my own esteem, and in my esteem age is not But far different were the tastes of the real estimable. I took my gradations in the vices poet, Byron ; and among the least romantic, with great promptitude, but they were not perhaps, of the exercises in which he took to my taste ; for my early passions, though delight was that of boxing or sparring. This violent in the extreme, were concentrated, taste it was that, at a very early period, and hated division or spreading abroad. Í brought him acquainted with the distinguished could have left or lost the whole world with, professor of that art, Mr. Jackson, for whom or for, that which I loved ; but, though my he continued through life to entertain the temperament was naturally burning, I could sincerest regard, one of his latest works connot share in the common-place libertinism of taining a most cordial tribute not only to the place and time without disgust. And the professional but social qualities of this yet this very disgust, and my heart thrown sole prop and ornament of pugilism. During back upon itself, threw me into excesses
his stay at Brighton this year, Jackson was perhaps more fatal than those from which I one of his most constant visiters,—the exshrunk, as fixing upon one (at a time) the pense of the professor's chaise thither and passions which spread amongst many would back being always defrayed by his noble have hurt only myself.”
patron. He also honoured with his notice, Though, from the causes here alleged, the at this time, D'Egville, the ballet-master, irregularities he, at this period, gave way to and Grimaldi; to the latter of whom he were of a nature far less gross and miscel- sent, as I understand, on one of his benefit laneous than those, perhaps, of any of his nights a present of five guineas. associates, yet, partly from the vehemence Having been favoured by Mr. Jackson which this concentration caused, and, still with copies of the few notes and letters, more, from that strange pride in his own which he has preserved out of the many aderrors, which led him always to bring them dressed to him by Lord Byron, I shall here forth in the most conspicuous light, it so lay before the reader one or two, which bear happened that one single indiscretion, in his the date of the present year, and which, hands, was made to go farther, if I may so though referring to matters of no interest in express it, than a thousand in those of themselves, give, perhaps, a better notion of others. An instance of this, that occurred the actual life and habits of the young poet, about the time of which we are speaking, at this time, than could be afforded by the was, I am inclined to think, the sole found- most elaborate and, in other respects, imation of the mysterious allusions just cited. portant correspondence. They will show, at An amour (if it may be dignified with such least, how very little akin to romance were a name) of that sort of casual description the early pursuits and associates of the author which less attachable natures would have of Childe Harold, and, combined with what forgotten, and more prudent ones at least
we know of the still less romantic youth of concealed, was by him converted, at this Shakspeare, prove how unhurt the vital period, and with circumstances of 'most un principle of genius can preserve itself even in necessary display, into a connection of some atmospheres apparently the most ungenial continuance, -the object of it not only and noxious to it. becoming domesticated with him in lodgings at Brompton, but accompanied him fterwards, disguised in boy's clothes, t, Brighton.
"N, A., Notts. September 18. 1808He introduced this young person, who used
“ Dear Jack, to ride about with him in her male attire, “I wish you would inform me what as his younger brother ; and the late Lady has been done by Jekyll, at No. 40. Sloane
TO MR. JACKSON.
I“I refer to my old friend and corporeal pastor and master, John Jackson, Esq., Professor of Pugilism, who I trust still retains the strength and symmetry of his
model of a form, together with his good humour and athletic, as well as mental, accomplishments." - Note on Don Juan, Canto XI. st. 19.
TO MR. BECHER.
Square, concerning the pony I returned as The dress alluded to here was, no doubt, unsound.
wanted for a private play, which he, at this “ I have also to request you will call on time, got up at Newstead, and of which Louch at Brompton, and inquire what the there are some further particulars in the andevil he meant by sending such an insolent nexed letter to Mr. Becher. letter to me at Brighton ; and at the same time tell him I by no means can comply with the charge he has made for things pretended
“ Newstead Abbey, Notts. Sept. 14. 1808. to be damaged.
“My dear Becher, “ Ambrose behaved most scandalously “ I am much obliged to you for your about the pony. You may tell Jekyll if he inquiries, and shall profit by them accorddoes not refund the money, I shall put the ingly. I am going to get up a play here; affair into my lawyer's hands. Five and the hall will constitute a most admirable twenty guineas is a sound price for a pony, theatre. I have settled the dram. pers., and and by - if it costs me five hundred
can do without ladies, as I have some young pounds, I will make an example of Mr.Jekyll
, friends who will make tolerable substitutes and that immediately, unless the cash is re- for females, and we only want three male turned.
characters, beside Mr. Hobhouse and myself, “ Believe me, dear Jack," &c.
for the play we have fixed on, which will be
the Revenge. Pray direct Nicholson the carLETTER 27. TO MR. JACKSON.
penter to come over to me immediately, and
inform me what day you will dine and pass “N. A., Notts. October 4. 1808. “ You will make as good a bargain as
the night here. “Believe me," &c. possible with this Master Jekyll, if he is not a gentleman. If he is a gentleman, inform letters I have just given indicate, that he, for
It was in the autumn of this year, as the me, for I shall take
different steps. If he is not, you must get what you can of the Newstead Abbey. Having received the
the first time, took up his residence at money, for I have too much business on hand at present to commence an action. place in a most ruinous condition from the Besides, Ambrose is the man who ought to Ruthyn, he proceeded immediately to repair
hands of its late occupant, Lord Grey de refund, — but I have done with him. You can settle with L. out of the balance, and render them more with a view to his
and fit up some of the apartments, so as to dispose of the bidets, &c. as you best can.
mother's accommodation than his own— * I should be very glad to see you here; comfortably habitable. In one of his letters but the house is filled with workmen, and undergoing a thorough repair. I hope, how
to Mrs. Byron, published by Mr. Dallas, he ever, to be more fortunate before many this subject.
thus explains his views and intentions on months have elapsed.
“ If you see Bold Webster, remember me to him, and tell him I have to regret Sydney, TO THE HONOURABLE MRS. BYRON. who has perished, I fear, in my rabbit warren,
“Newstead Abbey, Notts. October 7. 1808. for we have seen nothing of him for the last
“Dear Madam, fortnight. Adieu. — Believe me,” &c.
“ I have no beds for the H** body else at present. The H **s sleep at Mansfield. I do not know that I resemble
Jean Jacques Rousseau. I have no ambition “N. A., Notts. December 12. 1808. to be like so illustrious a madman — but this “ My dear Jack,
I know, that I shall live in my own manner, “ You will get the greyhound from the and as much alone as possible. When my owner at any price, and as many more of the rooms are ready I shall be glad to see you : same breed (male or female) as you can collect. at present it would be improper, and uncom* “ Tell D'Egville his dress shall be returned fortable to both parties. You can hardly -I am obliged to him for the pattern. I object to my rendering my mansion habitable, am scrry you should have so much trouble, notwithstanding my departure for Persia in but I was not aware of the difficulty of pro- March (or May at farthest), since you
will curing the animals in question. I shall have be tenant till my return; and in case of any finished part of my mansion in a few weeks, accident (for I have already arranged my will and, if you can pay me a visit at Christmas, I shall be very glad to see you.
1 Thus addressed always by Lord Byron, but without “ Believe me,” &c.
any right to the distinction.
s or any
TO MR. JACKSON.
to be drawn up the moment I am twenty- house with my wife: he thought all the world one), I have taken care you shall have the in a plot against him; my little world seems house and manor for life, besides a sufficient to think me in a plot against it, if I may judge income. So you see my improvements are by their abuse in print and coterie : he liked not entirely selfish. As i have a friend here, botany ; I like flowers, herbs, and trees, but we will go to the Infirmary Ball on the 12th ; know nothing of their edigrees : he wrote we will drink tea with Mrs. Byron at eight music ; I limit my knowledge of it to what I o'clock, and expect to see you at the ball. catch by car - I never could learn any thing If that lady will allow us a couple of by study, not even a language--it was all by rooms to dress in, we shall be highly obliged : rote and ear, and memory: he had a bad me
—if we are at the ball by ten or eleven, it mory; I had, at least, an excellent one (ask will be time enough, and we shall return to Hodgson the poet a good judge, for he Newstead about three or four. Adieu. has an astonishing one): he wrote with he“ Believe me yours very truly, sitation and care ; I with rapidity, and rarely
“ BYRON." with pains : he could never ride, nor swim,
nor was cunning of fence;' I am an exThe idea, entertained by Mrs. Byron, of cellent swimmer, a decent, though not at all a resemblance between her son and Rousseau a dashing, rider, (having staved in a rib at was founded chiefly, we may suppose, on
eighteen, in the course of scampering), and those habits of solitariness, in which he had
was sufficient of fence, particularly of the even already shown a disposition to follow Highland broadsword, not a bad boxer, that self-contemplative philosopher, and
when I could keep my temper, which was which, manifesting themselves thus early, difficult, but which I strove to do ever since gained strength as he advanced in life. În I knocked down Mr. Purling, and put his one of his Journals, to which I frequently knee-pan out (with the gloves on), in Anhave occasion to refer', he thus, in question- gelo's and Jackson's rooms in 1806, during ing the justice of this comparison between the sparring, — and I was, besides, a very himself and Rousseau, gives, - as usual,
fair cricketer, one of the Harrow eleven, vividly, some touches of his own dispo- when we played against Eton in 1805. sition and habitudes :
Besides, Rousseau's way of life, his coun
try, his manners, his whole character were “My mother, before I was twenty, would so very different, that I am at a loss to have it that I was like Rousseau, and conceive how such a comparison could have Madame de Stael used to say so too in arisen, as it has done three several times, 1813, and the Edinburgh Review has some- and all in rather a remarkable manner. I thing of the sort in its critique on the fourth forgot to say that he was also short-sighted, Canto of Childe Harold. I can't see any and that hitherto my eyes have been the point of resemblance :- he wrote prose, I contrary, to such a degree that, in the largest verse : he was of the people ; I of the aris- theatre of Bologna, I distinguished and read tocracy3: he was a philosopher ; I am none : some busts and inscriptions, painted near the he published his first work at forty ; I mine stage, from a box so distant and so darkly at eighteen : his first essay brought him lighted, that none of the company (composed universal applause ; mine the contrary : he of young and very bright-eyed people, some married his housekeeper ; I could not keep of them in the same box,) could make out a
1 The Journal entitled by himself"Detached Thoughts."
2 [" There are two writers in modern literature, whose extraordinary power over the minds of men, it may be truly said, has existed less in their works than in them. selves - Rousseau and Lord Byron. They have other points of resemblance. Both are distinguished by the most ardent and vivid delineations of intense conception,and by an intense sensibility of passion, rather than affection. Both too, by this double power, have held a dominion over the sympathy of their readers, far beyond the range of those ordinary feelings which are usually excited by the mere efforts of genius. The impression of this interest still accompanies the perusal of their writings : but there is another interest of more lasting, and far stronger power, which the one has possessed, and the other now possesses -which lies in the continual embodying of the individual character, - it might almost be said, of the very person of the writer. When we speak or think of Rousseau or Byron, we are not conscious of speaking or thinking of an author. We have a vague but impassioned remembrance
of men of surpassing genius, eloquence, and power, - of prodigious capacity both of misery and happiness. We feel as if we had transiently met such beings in real life, or had known them in the dim and dark communion of a dream. Each of their works presents, in succession, a fresh idea of themselves ; and, while the productions of other great men stand out from them, like something they have created, theirs, on the contrary, are images, pictures, busts of their living selves, - clothed, no doubt, at different times in different drapery, and prominent from a different back-ground, but uniformly impressed with the same fort, and mien, and lineaments, and not to be mistaken for the representations of any other of the children of men.”_Wilson, 1818.]
3 Few philosophers, however, have been so indulgent to the pride of birth as Rousseau.—“S'il est un orgueil pardonnable (he says) après celui qui se tire du mérite, personnel, c'est celui qui se tire de la naissance." Confess.
our own senses.
TO MRS. BYRON.
letter, and thought it was a trick, though I sisters, brothers, &c. I shall take care of had never been in that theatre before. you, and when I return I
may possibly “Altogether, I think myself justified in become a politician. A few years' knowledge thinking the comparison not well founded. of other countries than our own will not inI don't say this out of pique, for Rousseau capacitate me for that part. If we see no was a great man ; and the thing, if true, were nation but our own, we do not give mankind flattering enough ; — but I have no idea of a fair chance it is from experience, not being pleased with the chimera.”
books, we ought to judge of them. There
is nothing like inspection, and trusting to In another letter to his mother, dated
“Yours,” &c. some weeks after the preceding one, he explains further his plans both with respect to In the November of this year he lost his Newstead and his projected travels. favourite dog, Boatswain, — the poor animal
having been seized with a fit of madness, at
the commencement of which so little aware " Newstead Abbey, November 2. 1808.
was Lord Byron of the nature of the malady, « Dear Mother,
that he more than once, with his bare hand, “ If you please, we will forget the things wiped away the slaver from the dog's lips you mention. I have no desire to remember during the paroxysms. In a letter to his them. When my rooms are finished, I shall friend, Mr. Hodgson', he thus announces be happy to see you ; as I tell but the truth,
this event :
Boatswain is dead !- he you will not suspect me of evasion. I am expired in a state of madness on the 18th, furnishing the house more for you than
after suffering much, yet retaining all the
myself, and I shall establish you in it before I gentleness of his nature to the last, never sail for India, which I expect to do in March, attempting to do the least injury to any one if nothing particularly obstructive occurs. I
near him. I have now lost every thing am now fitting up the green drawing-room ;
except old Murray." the red for a bed-room, and the rooms over
The monument raised by him to this dog, as sleeping-rooms. They will be soon com
- the most memorable tribute of the kind, pleted; — at least I hope so.
since the Dog's Grave, of old, at Salamis, “I wish you would inquire of Major is still a conspicuous ornament of the gardens Watson (who is an old Indian) what things of Newstead. The misanthropic verses enwill be necessary to provide for my voyage. graved upon it may be found among his I have already procured a friend to write to poems, and the following is the inscription the Arabic Professor at Cambridge, for some by which they are introduced :information I am anxious to procure. I can
“ Near this spot easily get letters from government to the
Are deposited the Remains of one ambassadors, consuls, &c., and also to the
Who possessed Beauty without Vanity, governors at Calcutta and Madras. I shall
Strength without Insolence,
Courage without Ferocity, place my property and my will in the hands of trustees till my return, and I mean to This Praise, which would be unmeaning Flattery appoint you one. From H** (Hanson] I have heard nothing — when I do, you shall
Is but a just tribute to the Memory of have the particulars,
BOATSWAIN, a Dog, “ After all, you must own my project is
Who was born at Newfoundland, May, 1803,
And died at Newstead Abbey, November 18. 1808. not a bad one. If I do not travel now, I never shall, and all men should one day or The poet Pope, when about the same age other, I have at present no connections to as the writer of this inscription, passed a keep me at home ; no wife, or unprovided similar eulogy on his dog ?, at the expense
And all the Virtues of Man without his Vices.
If inscribed over human ashes,
1 This gentleman, who took orders in the year 1814, is the author of a spirited translation of Juvenal, and of other works of distinguished merit. He was long in correspondence with Lord Byron, and to him I am indebted for some interesting letters of his noble friend, which will be given in the course of the following pages.
He had also, at one time, as appears from an anecdote preserved by Spence, some thoughts of burying this dog in his garden, and placing a monument over him, with the inscription, “Oh, rare Bounce !"
In speaking of the members of Rousseau's domestic establishment, Hume says, “ She (Thérèse) governs him
as absolutely as a nurse does a child. In her absence, his dog has acquired that ascendant. His affection for that creature is beyond all expression or conception.". Private Correspondence. See an instance which he gives of this dog's influence over the philosopher, p. 143.
In Burns's elegy on the death of his favourite Mailie,
She ran wi' speed :
Than Mailie dead."
of human nature ; adding, that “ Histories The following extract, relating to a reare more full of examples of the fidelity of verend friend of his Lordship, is from another dogs than of friends.” In a still sadder and of his letters to Mr. Hodgson, this year : bitterer spirit, Lord Byron writes of his fa- “A few weeks ago I wrote to ***, to vourite,
request he would receive the son of a citizen “ To mark a friend's remains these stones arise ; of London, well known to me, as a pupil ; the
I never knew but one, and here he lies." I family having been particularly polite during Melancholy, indeed, seems to have been the short time I was with them induced gaining fast upon his mind at this period. me to make this application. Now, mark în another letter to Mr. Hodgson, he says; On this day arrives an epistle signed ***
what follows, as somebody sublimely saith. “ You know laughing is the sign of a rational animal — so says Dr. Smollet. I containing not the smallest reference to think so too, but unluckily my spirits don't tuition or intuition, but a petition for Robert always keep pace with my opinions.”
Gregson, of pugilistic notoriety, now in old Murray, the servant whom he men-bondage for certain paltry pounds sterling, tions, in a preceding extract, as the only and liable to take up his everlasting abode faithful follower now remaining to him, had in Banco Regis. Had the letter been from long been in the service of the former lo any of my lay acquaintance, or, in short, from and was regarded by the young poet with a any person but the gentleman whose sig. fondness of affection which it has seldom nature it bears, I should have marvelled not. been the lot of age and dependence to inspire. If *** is serious, I congratulate pugilism “ I have more than once," says a gentleman on the acquisition of such a patron, and who was at this time a constant visiter at
shall be most happy to advance any sum Newstead,“ seen Lord Byron at the dinner- necessary for the liberation of the captive table fill out a tumbler of Madeira, and hand Gregson. But I certainly hope to be cerit over his shoulder to Joe Murray, who tified from you, or some respectable housestood behind his chair, saying, with a cor keeper, of the fact, before I write to ** diality that brightened his whole counte- on the subject. When I say the fact, I mean nance, ‘Here, my old fellow.'”
of the letter being written by ***, not The unconcern with which he could some- having any doubt as to the authenticity of times allude to the defect in his foot is the statement. The letter is now before manifest from another passage in one of me, and I keep it for your perusal.” these letters to Mr. Hodgson. That gen
His time at Newstead during this autumn tleman having said jestingly that some of the was principally occupied in enlarging and verses in the “Hours of Idleness” were preparing his Satire for the press; and with calculated to make schoolboys rebellious. the view, perhaps, of mellowing his own judgLord Byron answers — “ If my songs have ment of its merits, by keeping it some time produced the glorious effects you mention, before his eyes in a printed forms, he had I shall be a complete Tyrtæus ; --- though I proofs taken off from the manuscript by his am sorry to say. I resemble that interesting former publisher at Newark. It is someharper more in his person than in his poesy.”?
what remarkable, that, excited as he was by Sometimes, too, even an allusion to this the attack of the reviewers, and possessing, infirmity by others, when he could perceive at all times, such rapid powers of compothat it was not offensively intended, was
sition, he should have allowed so long an borne by him with the most perfect good interval to elapse between the aggression humour. “I was once present,” says the and the revenge. But the importance of his friend I have just mentioned, “ in a large next move in literature seems to have been and mixed company, when a vulgar person fully appreciated by him. He saw that his asked him aloud – Pray, my Lord, how is chances of future eminence now depended that foot of yours ?'- * Thank you, sir,' upon the effort he was about to make, and answered Lord Byron, with the utmost mild therefore deliberately collected all his ener* much the same as usual.'”
gies for the spring. Among the preparatives
In speaking of the favourite dogs of great poets, we must not forget Cowper's little spaniel
“ Beau ; will posterity fail to add to the list the name of Sir Walter Scott's “ Maida."
2 [“ And old Tyrtæus, when the Spartans warr'd,
(As lame as I am, but a better bard)
Hints from Horace: Works, p. 450.] 3 We are told that Wieland used to have his works printed thus for the purpose of correction, and said that he found great advantage in it. The practice is, it appears, not unusual in Germany. (Nor in England.)
1 In the epitaph, as first printed in his friend's Miscellany, this line runs thus :
" I knew but one unchanged - and here he lies."