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lost to him. Connected but remotely with the family, and never having had any opportunity of knowing the boy, it was with much reluctance that Lord Carlisle originally undertook the trust; nor can we wonder that when his duties as a guardian brought him acquainted with Mrs. Byron, he should be deterred from interfering more than was absolutely necessary for the child, by his fear of coming into collision with the violence and caprice of the mother.
· Had even the character which the last Lord left behind been sufficiently popular to pique his young successor into an emulation of his good name, such a salutary rivalry of the dead would have supplied the place of living examples; and there is no mind in which such an ambition would have been more likely to spring up than that of Byron. But unluckily, as we have seen, this was not the case; and not only was so fair a stimulus to goor conduct wanting, but a rivalry of a very different nature substituted in its place. The strange anecdotes told of the last lord by the country people, among whom his fierce and solitary habits had procured for him a sort of fearful renown, were of a nature livelily to arrest the fancy of the young poet, and even to waken in his mind a sort of boyish admiration for singularities which he found thus elevated into matters of wonder and record. By some it has been even supposed that in these stories of his eccentric relative his imagination found the first dark ontlines of that ideal character, which he afterwards embodied in so inany different shapes, and ennobled by his genius. But however this may be, it is at least far from improbable that, destitute as he was of other and better models, the peculiarities of his immediate predecessor should, in a considerable degree, have influenced his fancy and tastes. One habit, which he seems early to have derived from this spirit of imitation, and which he retained through life, was that of constantly having arms of some description about or near him
-it being his practice, when quite a boy, to carry, at all times, small loaded pistols in his waistcoat pockets. The affray, indeed, of the late lord with Mr. Chaworth had, at a very early age, by connecting duelling in his mind with the name of his race, led him to turn his attention to this mode of arbitrament; and the mortification which he had, for some time, to endure at school, from insults, as he imagined, hazarded on the presumption of his physical inferiority, found consolation in the thought that a day would yet arrive when the law of the pistol would place him on a level with the strongest.'-pp. 25—27.
By the advice of Lord Carlisle, and with the view of procuring the assistance of Dr. Baillie, towards the cure of his deformity, Lord Byron was sent to the late Dr. Glennie's school at Dulwich, in the summer of 1799. At the same time his mother fixed her residence at Sloane Terrace, and so frequently interrupted his attention to school business by sending for him, and led the worthy Doctor such a life when he refused to let him go home, that he was too happy, at the end of nearly two years, to get rid of both the mother and son. The latter was next placed at Harrow, of which the Rev. Dr. Drury was at that time, 1801, the head master. Of his habits while at that school we have from his own pen abundant memoranda, from which we shall select a few of the most characteristic.
** Till I was eighteen years old (odd as it may seem) I had never read a Review. But while at Harrow, my general information was so great on modern topics as to induce a suspicion that I could only collect so much information from Reviews, because I was never seen reading, but always idle, and in mischief, or at play. The truth is, that I read eating, read in bed, read when no one else read, and had read all sorts of reading since I was five years old, and yet never met with a Review, which is the only reason I know of why I should not have read them. But it is true, for I remember when Hunter and Curzon, in 1804, told me this opinion at Harrow, I made them laugh by my ludicrous astonishment in asking them • What is a Review?' To be sure, they were then less common. In three years more, I was better acquainted with that same; but the first I ever read was in 1806-7.
"“At school I was (as I have said) remarked for the extent and readiness of my general information ; but in all other respects idle, capable of great sudden exertions (such as thirty or forty Greek hexameters, of course with such prosody as it pleased God), but of few continuous drudgeries. My qualities were much more oratorical and martial than poetical, and Dr. Drury, my grand patron (our head master), had a great notion that I should turn out an orator, from my Auency, my turbulence, my voice, my copiousness of declamation, and my action. I remember that my first declamation astonished him into some unwonted (for he was economical of such) and sudden compliments, before the declaimers at our first rehearsal. My first Harrow verses (that is, English, as exercises), a translation of a chorus from the Prometheus of Eschylus, were received by him but coolly. No one had the least notion that I should subside into poesy.
«« Peel, the orator and statesman (“that was, or is, or is to be '), was my form-fellow, and we were both at the top of our remove (a public school phrase). We were on good terms, but his brother was my intimate friend. There were always great hopes of Peel, amongst us all, masters and scholars—and he has not disappointed them. As a scholar he was greatly my superior; as a declaimer and actor, I was reckoned at least his equal; as a schoolboy, out of school, I was always in scrapes, and he never ; and in school, he always knew his lesson, and I rarely,—but when I knew it, I knew it nearly as well. In general information, history, &c., &c., I think I was his superior, as well as of most boys of my standing.”—pp. 40–41.
One of the most redeeming traits in the character of Lord Byron, was that strong susceptibility for friendship, to which we have already alluded.
«« My school-friendships were with me passions* (for I was always violent), but I do not know that there is one which has endured (to be sure some have been cut short by death) till now. That with Lord Clare begun one of the earliest and lasted longest-being only interrupted by distance—that I know of. I never hear the word · Clare' without a beating of the heart even now, and I write it with the feelings of 1803-4-5 ad infinitum."'-p. 42.
* On a leaf of one of his note books, dated 1808, I find the following passage from Marmontel, which no doubt struck him as anplicable to the enthusiasm of his own youthful friendships :-“ L'amitié, qui dans le
Mr. Moore states, that the following description of what Lord Byron felt after leaving Harrow, when he encountered in the world any of his old school fellows, falls far short of the scene which actually occurred but a few years before his death in Italy ; when on meeting with his friend, Lord Clare, after a long separation, he was affected almost to tears, by the recollections which rushed upon bim.'
“ If chance some well remember'd face,
Some old companion of my early race,
Were all forgotten when my friend was found.”—p. 45. There is a trait of magnanimity about the subjoined anecdote, which it is impossible not to admire.
- While Lord Byron and Mr. Peel were at Harrow together, fa tyrant some few years older, whose name was ******, claimed a right to fag little Peel, which claim (whether rightly or wrongly, I know not) Peel resisted. His resistance, however, was in vain :-****** not only subdued him, but determined also to punish the refractory slave ; and proceeded forthwith to put this determination in practice, by inflicting a kind of bastinado on the inner fleshy side of the boy's arm, which, during the operation, was twisted round with some degree of technical skill, to render the pain more acute. While the stripes were succeeding each other, and poor Peel writhing under them, Byron saw and felt for the misery of his friend ; and, although he knew that he was not strong enough to fight * * * * * * with any hope of success, and that it was dangerous even to approach him, he advanced to the scene of action, and with a blush of rage, tears in his eyes, and a voice trembling between terror and indignation, asked very humbly if ****** would be pleased to tell him, “how many stripes he meant to inflict ?"_" Why,” returned the executioner, “ you little rascal, what is that to you?"_" Because, if you please,” said Byron, holding out his arm, “I would take half?"-pp. 45, 46.
His remarkable attachment to aristocratic notions, had already obtained for him at Dulwich, the appropriate nickname of the “Old English Baron." His friendships were indeed chiefly formed among boys, who in point of rank were his inferiors ; yet even this preference would appear to have arisen from the pride of affording protection," and was in itself essentially Patrician.
We have already mentioned Lord Byron's first love. Her image was in due time displaced by Margaret Parker, his cousin, who, having died in consequence of a fall which injured her spine, left the throne of his affections open for a new sovereign, who took possession of it when he was about the age of fifteen. This affair was rather more serious than any which preceded it, for his biographer
monde est à peine un sentiment, est une passion dans les Cloîtres.”— Contes Moraux.
tells us that 'it sunk so deep into his mind, as to give a colour to all his future life. The object of his new flame, was Miss Chaworth, who was about two years older than himself, and the heiress of Annesley, an estate adjoining his own. A union with her he hoped would heal the feuds which had existed between their fathers, and have paired lands“ broad and rich.” He evidently set his heart upon her, for besides her worldly endowments, she was possessed of 'much personal beauty, and a disposition the most amiable and attaching.' But alas for his hopes, her heart was already engaged, and the mortification of his rejection as a lover was infinitely enhanced by Miss Chaworth having said to her maid, “do you think I could care any thing for that lame boy?” This pretty speech was either overheard by, or reported to him, and as he himself described it, “was like a shot through his heart.” No more of his Harrow vacations appear to have been spent at Annesley. The object of his attachment was married in 1805, to Mr. John Musters.
It appears that the character of young Byron, at Harrow, was that of a capital declaimer and an idle body. The latter imputation was not unfounded, says his biographer, as far as regards his tasks in school. He had, however, already devoured an incredible number of works in all departments of literature, always excepting those which were in any way connected with his scholastic studies.
In October, 1805, he was removed to Trinity College, Cambridge, where his time does not appear to have passed very pleasantly. His vacations were usually spent with his mother, at Southwell, amid the cheerful society of the Pigots, the Bechers, the Leacrofts, and the Hansons, from whom he experienced the most affectionate attentions. With these friends, particularly with the Pigots, his letter-writing first began; they also had the good fortune to be acquainted with his first experiments in poetry, which appear to have been commenced about the year 1806; at least it would seem that he then first thought of printing his verses. He was, says his biographer, in the parlour of that cottage which, during his visits to South well, had become his adopted home. Miss Pigot, who was not before aware of his turn for versifying, had been reading aloud the poems of Burns, when young Byron said that “ he too was a poet sometinies, and would write down for her some verses of his own, which he remembered.” He then, with a pencil, wrote those lines beginning “ In thee I fondly hoped to clasp,” which were printed in his first unpublished volume, but are not contained in the editions that followed. The rage for printing then took entire possession of him, although his views were limited only to the circle of his friends. Ridge, the bookseller, at Newark, had the honour of receiving his first manuscripts. At Southwell, alsó, young Byron enacted in private theatricals with no mean eclat. His favourite characters, at least those in which he appeared to the greatest advantage, were Pen
ions and consistor are now watec
ruddock, in the “ Wheel of Fortune,” and Fickle, in the “ Weathercock;" the gloom of the one, and the whim of the other, ' being types, as it were, of the two extremes, between which his own character in after-life so singularly vibrated.' He furnished the prologues and epilogues on these occasions, in which he frequently betrayed his talent for satire.
Of his first volume of poetry, printed for private circulation, only two, or, at the utmost, three copies, are now said to be extant. It was printed in quarto, and consisted but of a few sheets, filled chiefly with imitations of Lord Strangford's Camoen's, and Little's poems. It is due to Mr. Moore to remark, that he fully agreed in the opinion of a friend of Lord Byron, who represented to him that, at least so far as the latter author was concerned, there were much more worthy models, both in style and thought, to be found among the established names of English literature. In compliance with the wishes of his friend, the first edition was recalled, and a second substituted for it in 1807, consisting of about one hundred copies. The applause which they obtained, urged him at length to the publication of the “ Ilours of Idleness," which launched him fairly upon the tide of public opinion, and appears, in the first instance, to have had very considerable success.
In the Spring of the following year, 1808, appeared the famous critique upon this production in the Edinburgh Review, with the history and consequences of which our readers are so well inforined that we need not dwell upon them. We fully agree, however, in the justice of Mr. Moore's' remark, 'that the early verses of Lord Byron, however distinguished by tenderness and grace, give but little promise of those dazzling miracles of poesy with which he afterwards astonished and enchanted the world, and that, if his · youthful verses now have a peculiar charm in our eyes, it is because we read them, as it were, by the light of his subsequent glory.'
It is lamentable to find that at this early period of his life, Lord Byron, having scarcely attained his twentieth year, had been already a thorough sceptic in religion, and a complete adept in the vices of the metropolis. He had even formed a connection, the object of which became domesticated with him in lodgings at Brompton, and accompanied him disguised in boy's clothes. This person he introduced as his younger brother. In the vulgar exer- . cises of boxing and sparring he took great delight, and thus became acquainted with the well-known Jackson, 'for whoin he continued through life to entertain the sincerest regard.' D'Egville, the ballet master, and Grimaldi, the clown, were amongst his favourite companions. In gambling also he was already a proficient.
It was in the autumn of this year (1808), that Lord Byron took up his residence at Newstead, where, from his disappointed affections and baffled hopes, melancholy gained fast upon him. A great portion of his time was dedicated to his satire, “ English Bards and