Sidor som bilder
[graphic][subsumed][ocr errors][merged small][subsumed][subsumed]




to count upon it*. In her usual frank style, she took him to task upon his matrimonial conduct-but in a way that won upon his mind, and disposed him to yield to her suggestions. He must endeavour, she told him, to bring about a reconciliation with his wife, and must submit to contend no longer with the opinion of the world. In vain did he quote her own motto to Delphine, Un homme peut braver, une femme doit se 'succomber aux opinions du monde ;'-her reply was, that all this might be very well to say, but that, in real life, the duty and necessity of yielding belonged also to the man. Her eloquence, in short, so far succeeded, that he was prevailed upon to write a letter to a friend in England, declaring himself still willing to be reconciled to Lady Byron,-a concession not a little startling to those who had so often, lately, heard him declare that, 'having done all in his power to persuade Lady

Byron to return, and with this view put off as long

[ocr errors]


as he could signing the deed of separation, that step being once taken, they were now divided for


' ever.'

Of the particulars of this brief negotiation that ensued upon Madame de Staël's suggestion, I have no very accurate remembrance; but there can be little doubt that its failure, after the violence he had done his own pride in the overture, was what first infused any mixture of resentment or bitterness into the feel

In the account of this visit to Copet in his Memoranda, he spoke in high terms of the daughter of his hostess, the present Duchess de Broglie, and, in noticing how much she appeared to be attached to her husband, remarked that Nothing was more pleasing than to see the development

of the domestic affections in a very young woman.' Of Madame de Staël, in that Memoir, he spoke thus: Madame de Staël was a good woman at heart and the cleverest at bottom, but spoilt by a wish to be • —she knew not what. In her own house she was amiable; in any other 'person's, you wished her gone, and in her own again.'

ings hitherto entertained by him throughout these painful differences. He had, indeed, since his arrival in Geneva, invariably spoken of his lady with kindness and regret, imputing the course she had taken, in leaving him, not to herself but others, and assigning whatever little share of blame he would allow her to bear in the transaction to the simple and, doubtless, true cause-her not at all understanding him. 'I have 'no doubt,' he would sometimes say, 'that she really 'did believe me to be mad.'

Another resolution connected with his matrimonial affairs, in which he often, at this time, professed his fixed intention to persevere, was that of never allowing himself to touch any part of his wife's fortune. Such a sacrifice, there is no doubt, would have been, in his situation, delicate and manly: but though the natural bent of his disposition led him to make the resolution, he wanted,-what few, perhaps, could have attained, the fortitude to keep it.


The effects of the late struggle on his mind, in stirring up all its resources and energies, was visible in the great activity of his genius during the whole of this period, and the rich variety, both in character and colouring, of the works with which it teemed. Besides the Third Canto of Childe Harold and the Prisoner of Chillon, he produced also his two Poems, 'Darkness' and the Dream,' the latter of which cost him many a tear in writing,-being, indeed, the most mournful, as well as picturesque story of a wandering life' that ever came from the pen and heart of man. Those verses, too, entitled the Incantation,' which he introduced afterwards, without any connexion with the subject, into Manfred, were also (at least, the less bitter portion of them) the production of this period; and as they

were written soon after the last fruitless attempt at reconciliation, it is needless to say who was in his thoughts while he penned some of the opening stanzas.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

Besides the unfinished Vampire,' he began also, at this time, another romance in prose, founded upon the story of the Marriage of Belphegor, and intended to shadow out his own matrimonial fate. The wife of this satanic personage he described much in the same spirit that pervades his delineation of Donna Ines in the First Canto of Don Juan. While engaged, however, in writing this story, he heard from England that Lady Byron was ill, and, his heart softening at the intelligence, he threw the manuscript into the fire. So constantly were the good and evil principles of his nature conflicting for mastery over him*,

The two following Poems, so different from each other in their character,-the first prying with an * Upon the same occasion, indeed, he wrote some verses in a spirit

[ocr errors]
« FöregåendeFortsätt »