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tion which so fascinated the poet, that had it not | purpose. On this occasion Byron composed the been for an accident which deferred a levee intend- following epigram : ed to have been held the next day, he would have gone to court. Soon after, however, an unfor
Carlisle subscribes a thousand pound
Out of his rich domains; tunate influence counteracted the effect of royal
And for a sixpence circles round praise, and Byron permitted himself to write and
The produce of his brains : speak disrespectfully of the prince.
"T is thus the difference you may bit The whole of Byron's political career may be
Between his fortune and his wit. summed up in the following anecdotes :
Byron retained to the last his antipathy to this The Earl of Carlisle having declined to intro- relative. On reading some lines addressed to Lady dace him to the House of Peers, he resolved to Holland by the Earl of Carlisle, persuading her to introduce himself, and accordingly went there a reject the snuff-box bequeathed to her by Napolittle before the usual hour, when he knew few
leon, beginning of the lords would be present. On entering he appeared rather abashed and looked very pale,
Lady, reject the gift, etc. bat, passing the woolsack, where the Chancellor
He immediately wrote the following parody: Lord Eldon) was engaged in some of the ordiBary routine of the house, he went directly to the
Lady, accept the gift a hero wore, table, where the oaths were administered to him.
In spite of all this elegiac stuff :
Let not seven stanzas written by a bore The Lord Chancellor then approached, and of- Prevent your ladyship from taking snuff. fered his hand in the most open friendly manner, ongratulating him on his taking possession of
On Byron's return from his first tour, Mr Dallas his seat. Lord Byron only placed the tips of his called upon him, and, after the usual salutations fingers in the Chancellor's hand : the latter re- inquired if he was prepared with any other work farned to his seat, and Byron, after lounging a to support the fame which he had already acfew minutes on one of the opposition benches, quired. Byron in reply delivered to him a poem, retired. To Mr Dallas, who followed him out, entitled « Hints from Horace, » being a paraphrase he gave as a reason for not entering into the spirit of the Art of Poetry. Mr Dallas promised to suof the Chancellor, « that it might have been sup- perintend its publication as he had done that of posed he would join the court party, whereas he the satire; and, accordingly, it was carried to Cawintended to have nothing at all to do with po- thorn the bookseller, and matters arranged; but
Mr D. not thinking the poem likely to increase He only addressed the house three times: the his lordship's reputation, allowed it to linger in first of his speeches was on the Frame-work the press. It began thus : Bill; the second in favour of the Catholic claims, which gave good hopes of his becoming an ora
Who would not laugh if Lawrence, hired to
His costly canvas with each flatter'd face, tor; and the other related to a petition from Abused his art, till Nature with a blush Stajor Cartwright. Byron himself says, the Lords Saw cits grow centaurs underneath his brush? told him « his manner was not dignified enough
Or should some limner join, for show or sale, for them, and would better suit the lower house;»
A maid of honour to a mermaid's tail;
Or low D*** (as once the world has seen) others say, they gathered round him while
Degrade God's creatures in his graphic spleenspeaking, listening with the greatest attention-a
Not all that forced politeness which defends sign at any rate that he was interesting. He Fools in their faults, could gag his grivning friends. always voted with the opposition, but evinced no
Believe me, Moschus, like that picture seems likelihood of becoming the blind partisan of either
The book which, sillier than a sick man's dreams,
Poetic nightmares, without bead or feet. The enmity that Byron entertained towards the Earl of Carlisle was owing to two causes : the earl Mr Dallas having expressed his sorrow that his lead spoken rather irreverently of the a Hours of lordship had written nothing else, Byron told him billeness, - and had also refused to introduce his that he had occasionally composed some verses kinsman to the House of Lords, even, it is said, in the Spenserean measure, relative to the countries doubting his right to a seat in that honourable he had visited. They are not worth troubling house. The Earl was a great admirer of the you with,» said his lordship, « but you shall have classic drama, and once published a pamphlet, in them all with you. He then handed him «Childe which he strenuously argued in behalf of the Harold's Pilgrimage.” When Mr Dallas had read propriets and necessity of small theatres : the the poem, he was in raptures with it, and resolved same day that this weighty publication appeared, to do his utmost to suppress the Hints from he subscribed a thousand pounds for soine public ilorace,» and bring out Childe Harold. He urged
Byron to publish this last poem; but he was or causes, however, are upto this moment involved unwilling. He would not be convinced of the in mystery, though, as might be expected, a wongreat merit of the « Childe,» and as some person derful sensation was excited at the time, and every had seen it before Mr Dallas, and expressed dis- description of contradictory rumour was in active approbation, Byron was by no means sure of its circulation. kind reception by the world. In a short time Byron was first introduced to Miss Millbank at afterwards, hov ver, he agreed to its publication, Lady --'s. In going up stairs he stumbled, and and requested Mr Dallas not to deal with Caw- remarked to Moore, who accompanied him, that thorn, but to offer it to Miller of Albemarle Street: it was a bad omen. On entering the room,
he he wished a fashionable publisher. Miller declined perceived a lady more simply dressed than the it, chiefly on account of the strictures it contained rest sitting on a sofa. He asked Moore if she was on Lord Elgin, whose publisher he was. Longman a humble companion to any of the ladies. The had refused to publish the « Satire," and Byron latter replied, She is a great heiress; you'd would not suffer any of his works to come from better marry her, and repair the old place at that house. The work was therefore carried to Newstead., Mr Murray, who had expressed a desire to publish The following anecdotes on the subject of his for Lord Byron, and regretted that Mr Dallas had marriage are given from Lord Byron's Conversanot taken the « English Bards and Scotch Re- tions, in his own words: viewers» to him; but this was after its success. There was something piquant, and what we
Byron became acquainted with Mr Hogo, the term pretty, in Miss Millbank; her features were Ettrick Shepherd, at ihe Lakes. Hogg was stand- small and feminine, thougli not regular; she had ing at the inn door of Ambleside, when a strappin:: che fairest skin imaginable; her figure was peryoung man came out of the house, and taking off tect for her height, and there was a simplicity, a his hat, held out his hand to him. The Shepherd retired modesty about her, which was very chadid not know him, and appearing at a loss, the racteristic, and formed a happy contrast to the other relieved him by saying, « Mr Hogg, I hope cold artificial formality and studied stiffness you will excuse me; my name is Byron, and 1 which is called fashion : she interested me excannot help thinking that we ought to hold our ceedingly. It is unnecessary to detail the proselves acquainted. The poets accordingly shook gress of our acquaintance : 1 became daily more hands, and, while they continued at the Lakes, attached to her, and it ended in any making her were on the most intimate terms, drinking deeply a proposal that was rejected; her refusal was together, and laughing at their brother bards. couched in terms that could not offend me. On Byron's leaving the Lakes, he sent Hogg a was besides persuaded that in declining my offer letter quizzing the Lakists, which the Shepherd she was governed by the influence of her mother; was so mischievous as to show to them.
and was the more confirmed in this opinion by On the 2d of January, 1815, Lord Byron mar- her reviving our correspondence herself twelve ried, at Seaham, in the county of Durham, Anne months after. The tenor of her letter was, that Isabella, only daughter of Sir Ralph Millbank although she could not love me,
she desired my (since Noel), Bart. To this lady he had made a friendship. Friendship is a dangerous word for proposal twelve months before, but was rejected : young ladies; it is love full-fledged, and waiting well would it have been for their mutual hap- for a fine day to fly. piness had that rejection been repeated. After I was not so young when my father died, their marriage, Lord and Lady Byron took a but that I perfectly reinember him, and had very house in London, gave splendid dinner-parties, early a horror of matrimony, from the sight of and launched into every sort of fashionable ex. domestic broils : this feeling came over me very travagance. This could not last long; the portion strongly at my wedding. Something whispered which his lordship received with Miss Milibank me that I was sealing my own death-warrant. (ten thousand pounds) soon melted away; and, at am a great believer in presentiments: Socrates' length, an execution was actually levied on the demon was not a fiction; Monk Lewis had his furniture of his residence. It was then agreed monitor; and Napoleon many warnings. At the that Lady Byron, who, on the oth of December, last moment I would have retreated if I could 1815, had presented her lord with a daughter, have done so; I called to mind a frievd of mine, should pay a visit to her father till the storm was who had married a young, beautiful, and rich blown over, and some arrangements had been girl, and yet was miserable; he had strongly made with their creditors. From that visit she urged me agaiust putting my neck in the same never returned, and a separation ensued, for which yoke: and, to show you how firmly I was revarious reasons have been assigned; the real cause solved to attend to his advice, I belted Hay fifty
guineas to one that I should always remain single. | hampered with a law-suit, which has cost me six years afterwards, I sent him the money. The 14,000l., and is not yet fiuished. day before I proposed to Lady Byron, I had no « I heard afterwards that Mrs Charlment had idea of doing so.
been the means of poisoning Lady Noel's mind • It had been predicted by Mrs Williams, that against me; that she had employed herself and twenty-seven was to be a dangerous age for me; others in watching me in London, and had rethe fortune-telling witch was right; it was des- ported having traced me into a house in Porttined to prove so.
I shall never forget the ad land-Place. There was one act unworthy of of January! Lady Byron (Byrn, he pronounced any one but such a confidante; I allude to the it was the only unconcerned person present; breaking open my writing-desk : a book was Lady Noel, her mother, cried; I trembled like a found in it that did not do much credit to my leaf, mnade the wrong responses, and, after the taste in literature, and some letters from a martremony, called her Miss Millbank.
ried woman with whom I had been intimate • There is a singular history attached to the i before my marriage. The use that was made of ring; the very day the match was concluded, a the latter was most unjustifiable, whatever may nog of my mother's that had been lost was dug be thought of the breach of confidence that led up by the gardener at Newstead. I thought it to their discovery. Lady Byron sent them to the sas sent on purpose for the wedding; but my husband of the lady, who had the good sense to mother's marriage had not been a fortunate one, take no notice of their contents. The gravest and this ring was doomed to be the seal of an accusation that has been made against me is that sohappier union still.
of having intrigued with Mrs Mardyn in my own • After the ordeal was over, we set off for a house, introduced her to niy own table, etc.; country-seat of Sir Ralph's, and I was surprised there never was a more unfounded calumny. at the arrangements for the journey, and some- Being on the Committee of Drury-Lane Theatre, what out of humour to find a lady's maid stuck I have no doubt that several actresses called on between me and my bride. It was rather too me; but as to Mrs Mardyn, who was a beautiful early to assume the husband, so I was forced to woman, and might have been a dangerous visisubmit, but it was not with a very good grace.
tress, I was scarcely acquainted (to speak) with I • I have been accused of saying, on getting her. I might even make a more serious charge into the carriage, that I had married Lady Byron against than employing spies to watch susout of spite, and because she had refused me pected amours. I had been shut up in a dark twice. 1 hough I was for a moment vexed at her street in London writing “The Siege of Corinth,' pradery, or whatever it may be called, if I had and had refused myself to every one till it was made so uncavalier, not to say brutal, a speech, finished. I was surprised one day by a doctor I am convinced Lady Byron would instantly and a lawyer almost forcing themselves at the bave left the carriage to me and the maid (I mean same time into my room; I did not know till the lady's); she had spirit enough to have done afterwards the real object of their visit. I 30, and would properly have resented the affront. thought their questions singular, frivolous, and
• Qar honey-moon was not all sunshine, it somewhat importunate, if not impertinent; but had its clouds; aud Hobhouse has some letters what should I have thought if i had known that which would serve to explain the rise and fall in they were sent to provide proofs of my insanity? the barometer; but it was never down at zero. I have no doubt that my answers to these emis
• A curious thing happened to me shortly saries' interrogations were not very rational or after the honey-moon, which was very awkward consistent, for my imagination was heated by | at the time, but has since amused me much. It other things; but Dr Baillie could not conscienso happened that three married women were on tiously make ine out a certificate for Bedlam, a wedding visit to my wife (and in the same room and perhaps the lawyer gave a more favourable at the same time), whom I had known to be all report to his employers. The doctor said afterbirds of the same nest. Fancy the scene of con-wards he had been told that I always looked fusion that ensued !
down when Lady Byron bent her eyes on me, • The world says I married Miss Millbank for and exhibited other symptoms equally infallible, her fortune, because she was a great heiress. All particularly those that marked the late king's I have ever received, or am likely to receive case so strongly. I do not, however, tax Lady and that has been twice paid back too), was Byron with this transaction: probably she was 10,000l. My own income at this period was not privy to it; she was the tool of others. Her suall and soinewhat bespoke. Newstead was a mother always detested me : she had not even very naprofitable estate, and brought me in a the decency to conceal it in her own house. bare 1500l. a year; the Lancashire property was Dining one day at Sir Ralph's (who was a good
sort of man, and of whom you may form some time. As it is, I shall never forgive myself for idea, when I tell you that a leg of mutton was having done so, though I am told that the estate always served at his table, that he might cut the would not now bring half as much as I got for it: same joke upon it), 1 broke a tooth, and was in this does not at all reconcile me to having parted great pain, which I could not avoid showing. It with the old Abbey. I did not make up my will do you good,' said Lady Noel; 'I am glad of mind to this step but from the last necessity; I it! I gave her a look!
had my wife's portion to repay, and was deterLady Byron had good ideas, but could never mined to add 10,000l. more of my own to it, express them; wrote poetry too, but it was only which I did : 1 always hated being in debt, and yood by accident; her letters were always enig- do not owe a guinea. The moment I had put matical, often unintelligible. She was easily my affairs in train, and in little more than made the dupe of the designing, for she thoughi eighteen months after my marriage, I left Engher knowledge of mankiud infallible. She had land, an involuntary exile, intending it shoulu got some foolish idea of Madame de Stael's into be for ever.» her head, that a person may be better known We shall here avail ourselves of some obserin the first honr than in ten years. She had the vations by a powerful and elegant critic,' whose habit of drawing people's characters after she opinions on the personal character of Lord Byron, had seen them once or twice. She wrote pages as well as on the merits of his poems, are, from on pages
my character, but it was as unlike their originality, candour, and discrimination, as possible. She was governed by what she of considerable weight. called fixed rules and principles, squared mathe
The charge against Lord Byron, » says this matically. She would have made an excellent writer, a is, not that he fell a victim io erwrangler at Cambridge. It must be confessedt
, cessive temptations, and a combination of cirhowever, that she gave no proof of her boasted cumstances, which it required a rare and extraconsistency; first she refused me, then she ac- ordinary degree of virtue, wisdom, prudence, cepted me,
then she separated herself from me, and steadiness to surmount; but that he abanso much for consistency. I need not tell you of doned a situation of uncommon advantages, and the obloquy and opprobrium that were cast upon feli weakly, pusillanimously, and selfishly, when my name when our separation was made public. victory would have been easy, and when defeat I once made a list from the journals of the day was ignomivious. In reply to this charge, I do of the different worthies, ancient and modern, not deny that Lord Byron inherited some very to whom I was compared : I remember a few,- desirable, and even enviable privileges, in the lot Nero, Apicius, Epicurus, Caligula, Heliogabalus, of life which fell to his share. I should falsity Heury the Eighth, and lastly, the -. All my my own sentiments if I treated lightly the gift former friends, even my cousin George Byron, of an ancient English peerage, and a name of who had been brought up with me, and whom I honour and venerable antiquity; but without a loved as a brother, took my wife's part: he fol- fortune conipetent to that rank, it is not a bed lowed the stream when it was strongest against of roses, nay, it is attended with many and exme, and can never expect any thing from me; treme difficulties, and the difficulties are exactly he shall never louch a sixpence of mine. I was such as a genius and temper like Lord Byron's looked upon as the worst of husbands, the most were least caleulated to meet—at any rate, least abandoned and wicked of men; and my wife as calculated to meet under the peculiar collateral a suffering angel, an incarnation of all the vir- circumstances in which he was placed. His intues and perfections of the sex. I was abused in come was very narrow; his Newstead property the public prints, made the common talk of pri- left him a very small disposable surplus ; his vate companies, hissed as I went to the House of Lancashire property was, in its condition, etc. Lords, insulted in the streets, afraid to go to the unproductive. A profession, such as the army, theatre, whence the unfortunate Mrs Mardyn might have lessened, or almost annihilated the had been driven with insult. The Examiner was difficulties of his peculiar position ; but probably the only paper that dared say a word in my his lameness rendered this impossible. He seems defence, and Lady Jersey the only person in the to have had a love of independence , which was fashionable world that did not look upon me as a noble, and probably even an intractability; but
this temper added to his indisposition to bend « In addition to all these mortifications, my and adapt himself to his lot. A dull, or supple, affairs were irretrievably involved, and almost or intriguing man, without a single good quality so as to make me what they wished. I was com- of head or heart, might have managed it macla pelled to part with Newstead, which I never could have ventured to sell in my mother's life
Sir Egerton Brydges, Bart.
better; he might have made himself subservient versation pleasing to ladies when he chose to to government, and wormed himself into some please; but, to the young dandies of fashion, noble lucrative place; or he might have lived meanly, and ignoble, he must have been very repulsive : conformed himself stupidly or cringingly to all as long as he continued to be the ton,--the lion, humours, and been borne onward on the wings - they may have endured him without opening of society with little personal expeuse.
their mouths, because he had a frown and a lash • Lord Byron was of another quality and tem- which they were not willing to encounter ; but perament. If the world would not conform to when his back was turned, and they thought it him, still less would be conform to the world. He safe, I do not doubt that they burst out into full bad all the manly, baronial pride of his ances- cry! I have heard complaints of his vanity, his tors, though he had not all their wealth, and peevishness, his desire to monopolize distinction, their means of generosity, hospitality, and pa- his dislike of all hobbies but his own. It is not tronage. He had the will, alas! without the improbable that there may have been some founpower.
dation for these complaints : I am sorry for it if • With this temper, these feelings, this genius, there was ; I regret such littlenesses. And then exposed to a combination of such untoward and another part of the story is probably left untold : trying circumstances, it would indeed have been we hear nothing of the provocations given him ; inimitably praiseworthy if Lord Byron could --sly hints, curve of the lip, side looks, treacheI have been always wise, prudent, calin, correct, rous smiles, flings at poetry, shrugs at noble aupure, virtuous, and unassailable :-if he could thors, slang jokes, idiotic bets, enigmatical aphave shown all the force and splendour of his pointments, and boasts of being senseless brutes ! mighty poetical energies, without any mixture We do not hear repeated the jest of the glory of of their clouds, their baneful lightnings, or their the Jew, that buys the ruined peer’s falling castle; storms: - if he could have preserved all his sensi- the d—d good fellow, that keeps the finest stud bility to every kind and noble passion, yet have and the best hounds in the country out of the remained placid, and unaffected by the attack of snippings and odds and ends of his contract; and any blameable emotion ;- that is, it would have the famous good match that the duke's daughter
been admirable if he had been an angel, and not is going to make with Dick Wigly, the son of the i a man!
rich slave-merchant at Liverpool! We do not • Unbappily, the outrages he received, the hear the clever dry jests whispered round the gross calumnies which were heaped upon him, table by Mr —-, eldest son of the new and rich even in the time of his highest favour with the Lord – by young Mr--, only son of Lord, | pablic, turned the delights of his very days of the ex-lords A., B., and C., sons of the three Irish triumph to poison, and gave him a sort of moody, Union earls, great borough-holders, and the very fierce, and violent despair, which led to humours, grave and sarcastic Lord --, who believes that acts, and words, that mutually aggravated the ill he has the monopoly of all the talents and all the will and the offences between hin and his assail- political and legislative knowledge of the kingants. There was a daring spirit in his temper dom, and that a poet and a bellman are only fit and his talents, which was always inflamed rather to be yoked together. than corrected by opposition.
Thus, then, was this illustrious and mighty . In this most unpropitious state of things, poet driven into exile! Yes, driven! Who would every thing that went wrong was attributed to live in a country in which he had been so used, Lord Byron, and, when once attributed, was as- even though it was the land of his nativity, the samed and argued upon as an undeniable fact. land of a thousand noble ancestors, the land of Yet, to my mind, it is quite clear, - quite unat- freedom, the land where his head had been tended by a particle of doubt, -that in many crowned with laurels, but where his heart had things in which he has been the most blamed, he been tortured; where all his most generous and was the absolute victim of misfortune; that un- most noble thoughts had been distorted and renpropitious trains of events (for I do not wish to dered ugly, and where his slightest errors and
shift the blame on others) led to explosions and indiscretions had been magnified into hideous | consequent derangements, which no cold, prudent crimes ? »
pretender to extreme propriety and correctness Lord Byron's own opinions on the connubial I coull bave averted or met in a manner less state are thus related by Captain Parry: blameable than that in which Lord Byron met it.
said his lordship, « so many unIt is not easy to conceive a character less definable, and nameless, and not-to-be named fitted to conciliate general society by his manners causes of dislike, aversion, and disgust, in the maand habits than that of Lord Byron. It is pro- trimonial state, that it is always impossible for bable that he could make his address and con- the public, or the best friends of the parties, to