« PoprzedniaDalej »
their remonstrances were answered only by abuse and Guyana, -Lord Byron's yacht at anchor in : and menace, and an attempt on the part of the the offing: on the other side an almost boundguard at the gate to arrest them. This occasioned less extent of sandy wilderness, uucultivated and a severe scuffle, in which several of Lord Byron's uninhabited, here and there interspersed in tufts party were wounded, as was also the hussar. The with underwood, curved by the sea-breeze and consequence was, that all Lord Byron's servants stunted by the barren and dry nature of the soil (who were warmly attached to him, and had in which it grew. At equal distances along the shown great ardour in his defence) were banished coast stood high square towers, for the double from Pisa; and with them the Counts Gamba, purpose of guarding the coast from smuggling, father and son. Lord Byron was himself advised and enforcing the quarantine laws. This view I to leave it; and as the countess accompanied her was bounded by an immense extent of the Italian father, he soon after joined them at Leghorn, Alps, which are here particularly picturesque and passed six weeks at Monte Nero. His return from their volcanic and inanifold appearances, to Pisa was occasioned by a new persecution of and which, being composed of white marble, give the Connts Gamba. An order was issued for their summits the appearance of snow. As a them to leave the Tuscan states in four days; foreground to this picture appeared as extraorand after their embarkation for Genoa, the dinary a group : Lord Byron and Trelawney countess and Lord Byron openly lived together were seen standing over the burning pile, with at the Lanfranchi Palace.
some of the soldiers of the guard; and Leigh | It was at Pisa that Byron wrote « Werner,» a Hunt, whose feelings and nerves could not carry tragedy; the « Deformed Transformed,» and con- him through the scene of horror, lying back in tinued his - Don Juan, to the end of the sixteenth the carriage, - the four post-horses ready to drop
with the intensity of the noon-day sun. The Lord Byron's acquaintance with Leigh Hunt, stillness of all around was yet more felt by the the late editor of the Examiner, originated in his shrill scream of a solitary curlew, which, pergrateful feeling for the manner in which Mr Hunt haps attracted by the body, wheeled in such narstood forward in his justification, at a time when row circles round the pile, that it might have the current of public opinion ran strongly against been struck with the band, and was so fearless him. This feeling induced him to invite Mr Hunt that it could not be driven away. Looking at I to the Lanfranchi Palace, where a suite of apart. the corpse, Lord Byron said :-
Why, that old ments were fitted up for him. On his arrival in black silk bandkerchief retains its form better the spring of 1822, a periodical publication was than that human body! Scarcely was the ceprojected, under the title of « The Liberal,» of remony concluded, when Lord Byron, agitated which Hunt was to be the editor, and to which by the spectacle he had witnessed, tried to disLord Byrou and Percy Shelley (who was on terins sipate in some degree the impression of it by his of great intimacy with his lordship) were to con- favourite recreation. He took off his clothes, tribute Three numbers of the « Liberal» were therefore, and swam to the yacht, which was pablished in London, when, in consequence of riding a few miles distant. The heat of the sun the ophappy fate of Mr Shelley (who perished ic and checked perspiration threw him into a fever, the Mediterravean by the upsetting of a boat), which he felt coming on before he left the water, | and of other discouraging circumstances, it was and which became more violent before he reached discontinued.
Pisa. On his return he immediately took a warm Eyrou attended the funeral of his poet-friend, bath, and the next morning was perfectly recothe following description of which, by a person vered.» who was present, is not without interest:
The enmity between Byron and Southey, the • 18th August, 1822.-On the occasion of poet-laureate, is as well known as that between Shelley's melancholy fate, I revisited Pisa, and Pope and Colley Cibber. Their politics were on the day of my arrival learnt that Lord Byron diametrically opposite, and the noble bard re
as gone to the sea-shore, to assist in performing garded the bard of royalty as a renegado from the last offices to his friend. We came to a spot his early principles. It was not, however, so marked by an old and withered trunk of a fir- much on account of political principles that the tree, and near it, on the beach, stood a solitary enmity between Byron and Southey was kept up. but covered with reeds. The situation was well The peer, in his satire, had handled the epics of calculated for a poet's grave. A few weeks before the laureate « too roughly,” and this the latter I had ridden with him and Lord Byron to this very deeply resented. Whilsı travelling on the coni spot, which I afterwards visited more than once. tinent, Southey observed Shelley's name in the In front was a magnificent extent of the blne and album, at Mont Anvert, with « A0sos» written after windless Mediterranean, with the isles of Elba it, and an indignant comment in the same language written under it; also the names of some Mr Murray, the bookseller, for the sum of two of Byron's other friends. The laureate, it is said, thousand guineas. The following statement by copied the names and the comment, and, on his Mr Moore, will however show its fate. «Without return to England, reported the whole circum- entering into the respective claims of Mr Murray stances, and hesitated not to conclude that Byron and myself to the property in these memoirs (a was of the same principles as his friends. In a question which now that they are destroyed can poem he subsequently wrote, called the «Vision of be but of little moment to any one), it is sufficient Judgment,” he stigmatized Lord Byron as the to say that, believing the manuscript still to be father of the - Satanic School of Poetry. His mine, I placed it at the disposal of Lord Byron's
lordship, in a note appended to the a Two Fos- sister, Mrs Leigh, with the sole reseryation of a tron
cari,» retorted in a severe manner, and even protest against its total destruction; at least,
permitted himself to ridicule Southey's wife, the without previous perusal and consultation among nau" sister of Mrs Coleridge, they having been at one the parties. The majority of the persons present iil ,
time « milliners of Bath. The laureate wrote an disagreed with this opinion, and it was the only
answer to this note in the Courier newspaper, point upon which there did exist any difference gs.
which, when Byron saw it, enraged him so much between us. The manuscript was accordingly that he consulted with his friends whether or not torn and burnt before our eyes, and I immediately he ought to go to England to answer it personally. paid to Mr Murray, in the presence of the gentleIn cooler moments, however, he resolved to write men assembled, two thousand guineas, with inthe «Vision of Judgment, » a parody on Southey's, terest, etc., being the amount of what I owed him and it appeared in one of the numbers of the «Li- upon the security of my bond, and for which I beral,»
» on account of which Hunt, the publisher, now stand indebted to my publishers, Messrs was prosecuted by the « Constitutional Associa- Longman and Co. Since then, the family of tion,» and found guilty.
Lord Byron have, in a manner highly honourable As our readers may be curious to know the to themselves, proposed an arrangement, by rate at which Lord Byron was paid for his pro- which the sum thus paid to Mr Murray might be ductions, we annex the following statement, by reimbursed me; but from feelings and consideraMr Murray, the bookseller, of the sums given by tions, which it is unnecessary here to explain, I him for the copy-rights of most of his lordship’s have respectfully, but peremptorily, declined their works :
As is the case with many men in affluent cirChilde Harold, I. II.
cumstances, Byron was at times more than geIII.
nerous; and at other times, what might be callIV.
He once borrowed 500l. in order to Giaour.
525 Bride of Abydos
give it to the widow of one who had been his 525
friend; he frequently dined on five pauls, and Corsair.
once gave his bills to a lady to be examined, Lara
because he thought he was cheated. He paid Siege of Corinth
1000l. for a yacht, which he sold again for 3ool., Parisipa
and refused to give the sailors their jackets. It Lament of Tasso
315 Manfred .
ought, however, to be observed, that generosity 315
was natural to him, and that his avarice, if it can Beppo
525 Don Juan, I. II.
be so termed, was a mere whim or caprice of the 1,525
moment-a character he could not long sustain. III. IV, V.
He once borrowed 100l. to give to Coleridge, the Doge of Venice
1,050 Sardanapalus, Cain, and Foscari
poet, the brother-in-law of Southey, when in
distress. In his quarrel with the laureate he was Mazeppa
525 Prisoner of Chillon
provoked to allude to this circumstance, which 525
certainly he ought not to have done. Sundries
The following is a pleasing instance of delicacy
and benevolence. Total 15,4551.
A young lady of considerable talents, but who Several years ago, Lord Byron presented his had never been able to succeed in turning them friend, Mr Thomas Moore, with his « Memoirs,» to any profitable account, was reduced to great written by himself, with an understanding that hardships through the misfortunes of her family. they were not to be published until after his The only persons from whom she could have death. Mr Moore, with the consent and at the hoped for relief were abroad, and urged on, more desire of Lord Byron, sold the manuscript to by the sufferings of those she held dear than by
her own, she summoned up resolution to wait on and I could not have trusted her with a son's Lord Byron at his apartments in the Albany, education. I have no idea of boys being brought and solicit his subscription to a volume of poems : up by mothers. I suffered too much from that she had no previous knowledge of him except myself: and then, wandering about the world as from his works, but from the boldness and feeling I do, I could not take proper care of a child; expressed in them, she concluded that he must otherwise 1 should not have left Allegra, poor be a man of kiud heart and amiable disposition. little thing! at Ravenna. She has been a great she entered the apartment with faltering steps resource to me, though I am not so fond of her and a palpitating heart, but soon found courage as of Ada : and yet I mean to make their fortunes to state her request, which she did in a simple equal - there will be enough for them both. I and delicate manner : he heard it with marked have desired in my will that Allegra shall not attention and sympathy; and when she had done marry an Englishman. The Irish and Scotch speaking, he, as if to divert her thoughts from a make better husbands than we do. You will subject which could not but be painful to her, think it was an odd fancy; but I was not in the began to converse in words so fascinating and best of humours with my countrymen at that loues so gentle, that she hardly perceived he had moment-you know the reason. I am told that been writing, until he put a slip of paper into her ada is a little termagant; I hope not. I shall band, saying it was his subscription, and that he write to my sister to know if this is the case: perDost heartily wished her success. But,» added baps I am wrong iu letting Lady Byron have enbe, - we are both young, and the world is very tirely her own way in her education. I hear that ceasorious, and so if I were to take any active part my name is not mentioned in her presence; that a in procuring subscribers to your poems, 1 fear it green curtain is always kept over my portrait, as would do you harm rather than good.» The over something forbidden; and that she is not to Foung lady, overpowered by the prudence and know that she has a father till she comes of delicacy of his conduct, took her leave; and upon Of course she will be taught to hate me; she will opening the paper in the street, which in her be brought up to it. Lady Byron is conscious of agitation she had not previously looked at, she all this, and is afraid that I shall so:ne day carry found it was a draft upou his banker for fifty off her daughter by stealth or force. I might pounds!
claim her of the Chancellor, without having Byron was a great admirer of the Waverley recourse to either one or the other; but I had novels, and never travelled without them. They rather be unhappy myself than make her mother are,. said he to Captain Medwin one day, so; probably I shall never see her again.” Here library in themselves,-a perfect literary trea- he opened his writing-desk and showed me some sure. I could read them once a year with new hair, which he told me was his child's. pleasure.. During that morning he had been In the autumn of 1822, Lord Byron quitted reading one of Sir Walter's novels, and delivered, Pisa, and went to Genoa, where he remained according to Medwin, the following criticisin. throughout the winter. A letter written by his - How difficult it is to say any thing new! Who lordship, while at Genoa, is singularly bonourwas that voluptuary of antiquity, who offered a able to him, and is the more entitled to notice, reward for a new pleasure ? Perhaps all nature as it tends to diminish the credibility of an asserand art could not supply a new idea. »
tion made since his death, that he could bear no The anxious and paternal tenderness Lord By- rival in fame, and that he was animated with a rop felt for his daughter, is expressed with un- bitter jealousy and hatred of any person who equalled beauty and pathos in the first stanza of withdrew the public attention from himself. If the third canto of Childe Harold. What do there be a living being towards whom, according you think of Ada?» said he to Medwin, looking to that statement, Lord Byron could have enterearnestly at his daughter's miniature, that hung tained such a sentiment, it must have been the by the side of his writing-table. «They tell me author of a Waverley. » And yet, in a letter to ! she is like me, but she has her mother's eyes. It Monsieur Beyle, dated May 29, 1823, the followis very odd that my mother was an only child;–1 ing are the just and liberal expressions used by ann an only child; my wife is an only child; and Lord Byron. Ada is an ooly child. It is a singular coinci- There is one part of your observations in the dence ; that is the least that can be said of it.
I pamphlet which I shall venture to remark upon : can't help thinking it was destined to be so; and - it regards Walter Scott. You say that “ his perhaps it is best. I was once anxious for a son; character is little worthy of enthusiasm,' at the but, after our separation, was glad to have had a same time that you mention his productions in daughter; for it would have distressed me too the manner they deserve. I have known Walter much to have taken biin away from Lady Byron, Scott long and well, and in occasional situations
which call forth the real character, and I can in which he perished only checked, but did not assure you that his character is worthy of admi- prevent the advance of the Turks towards Anaration ; – that, of all men, he is the most open, tolica and Missolonghi. This gallant chief, the most honourable, the most amiable. With bis worthy of the best days of Greece, hailed with politics I have nothing to do : they differ from transport Lord Byron's arrival in that country ; mine, which renders it difficult for me to speak and his last act, before proceeding to the attack of them. But he is perfectly sincere in them, in which he fell, was to write a warm invitation and sincerity may be humble, but she cannot be to his lordship to come to Missolonghi. In his servile. I pray you, therefore, to correct or letter, which he addressed to a friend at Missoften that passage.
You may, perhaps, attri- solonghi, Botzaris alludes to almost the first probute this officiousness of mine to a false affecta- ceeding of Lord Byron in Greece, which was the tion of candour, as I happen to be a writer also. arining and provisioning of forty Suliotes, whoin Attribute it to what motive you please, but be- he sent to join in the defence of Missolonghi. lieve the truth. I say that Walter Scott is as After the battle Lord Byron transmitted bandages nearly a thorough good man as nian can be, be- and medicines, of which he had brought a large cause I know it by experience to be the case. » store from Italy, and pecuniary succour to those
The motives which ultimately induced Lord who had been wounded. He had already made Byron to leave Italy, and join the Greeks, strug- a generous offer to the government. gling for emancipation, are sufficiently obvious. in a letter, « I offered to advance a thousand It was in Greece that his high poetical faculties dollars a month, for the succour of Missolonghi, bad been first fully developed. It was necessa- and the Suliotes under Botzaris (since killed); rily the chosen and favourite spot of a man of but the government have answered me through powerful and original intellect, of quick and of this island, that they wish to confer sensible feelings, of varied information, and with me previously, which is, in fact, saying who, above all, was satiated with common they wish me to spend my money in some other enjoyments, and disgusted with what appeared direction. I will take care that it is for the public to him to be the formality and sameness of daily cause, otherwise I will not advance a para. The life. Dwelling upon that country, as it is clear opposition say they want to cajole me, and the from all Lord Byron's writings he did, with the party in power say the others wish to seduce me; fondest solicitude, and being an ardent, though, so between the two, I have a difficult part to play: perhaps, not a very systematic lover of freedom, however, I will have nothing to do with the fiche could be no unconcerned spectator of its revo- tions, unless to reconcile them, if possible.» Jution : as soon as it seemed to him that his Lord Byron established himself for some time presence might be useful, he prepared to visit at the small village of Metaxata, in Cephalonia, once more the shores of Greece.
and dispatched two friends, Mr Trelawney and Lord Byron embarked at Leghorn, and ar- Mr Hamilton Browne, with a letter to the Greek rived in Cephalonia in the early part of Angust, government, in order to collect intelligence as to 1823, attended by a suite of six or seven friends, the real state of things. His lordship’s genein an English vessel (the Hercules, Captain Scott), rosity was almost daily exercised in his new which he had chartered for the express purpose neighbourhood. He provided for many Italian of taking him to Greece. His lordship had never families in distress, and even indulged the people seen any of the volcanic mountains, and for this of the country in paying for the religious ceremopurpose the vessel deviated from its regular nies which they deemed essential to their success. course, in order to pass the island of Stromboli, Whileat Metaxata, an embankment, near which and lay off that place a whole night, in the several persons had been engaged digging, fell hopes of witnessing the usual phenomena, but, in, and buried some of them alive: he was at for the first time within the memory of man, dinner when he heard of the accident; starting the volcano emitted no fire. The disappointed up from table, he ran to the spot, accompanied poet was obliged to proceed, in no good humour by his physician. The labourers employed in with the fabled forge of Vulcan.
extricating their companions, soon became alarmGreece, though with a fair prospect of ultimate ed for themselves, and refused to go on, saying, triumph, was at that time in an unsettled state. they believed they had dug out all the bodies The third campaign had commenced, with several which had been covered by the rubbish. Byron instances of distinguished success—her arms were endeavoured to force them to continue their every where victorious, but her councils were exertions, but finding menaces in vain, he seized distracted. Western Greece was in a critical a spade and began to dig most zealously; when situation, and although the heroic Marco Botzaris the peasantry joined him, and they succeeded in had not fallen in vain, yet the glorious enterprise saving two more persons from certain death.
In the mean while, Lord Byron's friends pro in such a way as to blast the brightest hopes you ceeded to Tripolitza, and found Colocotroni (the indulge, and that are indulged by your friends. enemy of Mavrocordato, who had been com- And allow me to add once for all, I desire the pelled to flee from the presidency) in great well-being of Greece, and nothing else; I will do power; his palace was filled with armed men, all I can to secure it; but I cannot consent-I like the castle of some ancient feudal chief, and never will consent, to the English public or a good idea of his character may be formed English individuals being deceived as to the real from the language he held. He declared that state of Greek affairs. The rest, gentlemen, dehe had told Mavrocordato that, unless he depends on you; you have fought gloriously: act sisted from bis intrigues, he would put him on honourably towards your fellow-citizens and toan ass and whip him out of the Morea; and that wards the world, and then it will no more be
he had only been withheld from doing so by the said, as has been repeated for two thousand years ! representation of his friends, who had said that with the Roman historian, that Philopemen was it would injure the cause.
the last of the Grecians. Let not calumny itself They next proceeded to Salamis, where the (and it is difficult to guard against it in so difcongress was sitting, and Mr Trelawney agreed ficult a struggle) compare the Turkish Pacha with to accompany Odysseus, a brave mountain chief, the patriot Greek in peace, after you have exterinto Negropont. At this tiine the Greeks were minated him in war. » preparing for many active enterprises. Marco The dissensions among the Greek chiefs eviBotzaris' brother, with his Suliotes, and Mavro- dently gave great pain to Lord Byron, whose cordato, were to take charge of Missolonghi, sensibility was keenly affected by the slightest which, at that time (October, 1823), was in a circumstance which he considered likely to retard very critical state, being blockaded both by land the deliverance of Greece. « For my part,” he and sea. «There have been," says Mr Trelawney, observes in another of his letters, « I will stick
thirty battles fought and won by the late Marco by the cause while a plank remains which can be Potzaris, and his gallant tribe of Suliotes, who honourably clung to; if I quit it, it will be by the are shut up in Missolonghi. if it fall, Athens Greeks” conduct, and not the Holy Allies, or the will be in danger, and thousands of throats cut. holier Mussulmans.” In a letter to his banker A few thousand dollars would provide ships to at Cephalonia he says : « I hope things here will relieve it; a portion of this sum is raised -and I go well, some time or other; I will stick by the would coin my heart to save this key of Greece!» cause as long as a cause exists.» A report like this was sufficient to show the point His playful humour sometimes broke out amidst where succour was most needed, and Lord Byron's the deep anxiety he felt for the success of the determination to relieve Missolonghi was still Greeks. He ridiculed with great pleasantry some more decidedly confirmed by a letter which he of the supplies which had been sent out from received from Mavrocordato.
England by the Greek committee. In one of his Mavrocordato was at this time endeavouring letters, after alluding to his having advanced | to collect a fleet for the relief of Missolonghi, 4,000l., and expecting to be called on for 4,00ol.
and Lord Byron generously offered to advance more, he says : « How can I refuse, if they (the four hundred thousand piastres (about 12,0001.) Greeks) will fight, and especially if I should hapto pay for fitting it out. In a letter in which he pen to be in their company? I therefore request announced this noble intention, he alluded to the and require that you should apprise my trusty dissensions in Greece, and stated, that if these and trust-worthy trustee and banker, and crown continued, all bope of a loan in England, or of and sheet-anchor, Douglas Kinnaird the honourassistance from abroad, would be at an end. able, that he prepare all monies of mine, includ
«I must frankly confess,» he says in his letter, ing the purchase-money of Rochdale manor, • that unless union and order are confirmed, all and mine income for the year A. D. 1824, to anhopes of a loan will be in vain, and all the as- swer and anticipate any orders or drafts of mine, sistance which the Greeks could expect from for the good cause, in good and lawful money of abroad, an assistance which might be neither Great Britain, etc. etc. etc. May you live a trifling nor worthless, will be suspended or de- thousand years! which is nine hundred and stroyed; and, what is worse, the great powers ninety-nine longer than the Spanish Cortes conof Europe, of whom no one was an enemy to stitution.» Greece, but seemed inclined to favour her in When every thing was arranged two Ionian consenting to the establishment of an independent vessels were ordered, and, embarking his horses power, will be persuaded that the Greeks are un- and effects, Lord Byron sailed from Argostoli on able to govern themselves, and will, perhaps, the 29th of December. At Zante, his lordship theinselves undertake to arrange your disorders took a considerable quantity of specie on board,