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'I had occasion to write to his lordship, and men'tioned having got this clever artist to draw a vignette 'to his beautiful lines, and the liberty he had taken by 'altering the action of the eagle. In reply to this, he 'wrote to me-"Reinagle is a better poet and a better 'ornithologist than I am; eagles, and all birds of prey, attack with their talons, and not with their 'beaks, and I have altered the line thus
Then tore, with bloody talon, the rent plain.'
This is, I think, a better line, besides its poetical 'justice.". I need hardly add, when I communicated 'this flattering compliment to the painter, that he was 'highly gratified.'
From Brussels the noble traveller pursued his course along the Rhine,-a line of road which he has strewed over with all the riches of poesy; and, arriving at Geneva, took up his abode at the wellknown hotel, Sécheron. After a stay of a few weeks at this place, he removed to a villa, in the neighbourhood, called Diodati, very beautifully situated on the high banks of the Lake, where he established his residence for the remainder of the summer.
I shall now give the few letters in my possession written by him at this time, and then subjoin to them such anecdotes as I have been able to collect relative to the same period.
TO MR. MURRAY.
'Ouchy, near Lausanne, June 27th, 1816.
I am thus far (kept by stress of weather) on my way back to Diodati (near Geneva) from a voyage in my boat round the Lake; and I enclose you a sprig ' of Gibbon's acacia and some rose-leaves from his gar'den, which, with part of his house, I have just seen.
You will find honourable mention, in his Life, made "of this "acacia," when he walked out on the night of 'concluding his history. The garden and summer'house, where he composed, are neglected, and the 'last utterly decayed; but they still show it as his ""cabinet," and seem perfectly aware of his memory.
'My route, through Flanders, and by the Rhine, to Switzerland, was all I expected, and more.
'I have traversed all Rousseau's ground with the 'Heloise before me, and am struck to a degree that I
( cannot express with the force and accuracy of his descriptions and the beauty of their reality. Meil
lerie, Clarens, and Vevay, and the Chateau de
Chillon, are places of which I shall say little, 'because all I could say must fall short of the impres'sions they stamp.
'Three days ago, we were most nearly wrecked in a squall off Meillerie, and driven to shore. I ran no risk, being so near the rocks, and a good swimmer; 'but our party were wet, and incommoded a good 'deal. The wind was strong enough to blow down
some trees, as we found at landing: however, all is
righted and right, and we are thus far on our return.
Dr. Polidori is not here, but at Diodati, left behind in hospital with a sprained ancle, which he acquired ' in tumbling from a wall-he can't jump.
'I shall be glad to hear you are well, and have ' received for me certain helms and swords, sent from 'Waterloo, which I rode over with pain and plea
I have finished a third Canto of Childe Harold (consisting of one hundred and seventeen stanzas),
longer than either of the two former, and in some 'parts, it may be, better; but of course on that I
'cannot determine. I shall send it by the first safelooking opportunity. Ever, &c.'
TO MR. MURRAY.
'Diodati, near Geneva, July 22d, 1816.
'I wrote to you a few weeks ago, and Dr. Polidori ' received your letter; but the packet has not made its appearance, nor the epistle, of which you gave notice therein. I enclose you an advertisement *, which was copied by Dr. Polidori, and which appears to be about the most impudent imposition that ever issued 'from Grub-street. I need hardly say that I know ' nothing of all this trash, nor whence it may spring,""Odes to St. Helena,"-" Farewells to England," ' &c. &c.—and if it can be disavowed, or is worth disI never
' avowing, you have full authority to do so.
' wrote, nor conceived, a line on anything of the kind, any more than of two other things with which I was 'saddled-something about "Gaul," and another about "Mrs. La Valette;" and as to the "Lily of France,' 'I should as soon think of celebrating a turnip. "On 'the morning of my daughter's birth," I had other
things to think of than verses; and should never * have dreamed of such an invention, till Mr. Johnston and his pamphlet's advertisement broke in upon me ' with a new light on the crafts and subtleties of the ⚫ demon of printing,—or rather publishing.
* The following was the advertisement enclosed:
Neatly printed and hot-pressed, 2s. 6d.,
Lord Byron's Farewell to England, with Three other Poems-Ode to St. Helena, to My Daughter on her Birthday, and To the Lily of
'Printed by J. Johnston, Cheapside, 335; Oxford, 9.
The above beautiful Poems will be read with the most lively interest,
as it is probable they will be the last of the author's that will appear in