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•• The Staël was at the other end of the table, and less loquacious thap heretofore. We are now very good friends; though she asked Lady Melbourne whether I had really any bonhommie. She might as well have asked that question before she told C. L. c'est un demon.' True enough, but rather premature, for she could not have found it out, and so—she wants me to dine there next Sunday.
"“ Murray prospers, as far as circulation. For my part, I adhere in liking) to my Fragment. It is no wonder that I wrote one-my mind is a fragment.
« Saw Lord Gower, Tierney, &c. in the square. Took leave of Lord Gr. wbo is going to Holland and Germany. He tells me, that he carries with bim a parcel of · Harolds and Giaours,' &c. for the readers of Berlin, who, it seems, read English, and have taken a caprice for mine. Um!have I been German all this time, when I thought myself Oriental? ***
• " Lent Tierney my box for to-morrow; and received a new Comedy sent by Lady C. A.—but not hers. I must read it, and endeavour not to displease the author. I hate annoying thern with cavil ; but a comedy I take to be the most difficult of compositions, more so than tragedy.
•“ G-t says there is a coincidence between the first part of “the Bride" and some story of his—whether published or not, I know not, never having seen it. He is almost the last person on whom any one would commit literary larceny, and I am not conscious of any witting thefts on any of the genus. As to originality, all pretensions are ludicrous,-- there is nothing Dew under the sun.'
5" Went last night to the play. * * * * Invited out to a party, but did not go ;-right. Refused to go to Lady * *'s on Monday ;right again. If I must fritter away my life, I would rather do it alone. I was much tempted ;-C * * looked so Turkish with her red turban, and her regular dark and clear features. Not that she and I ever were, or could be, any thing; but I love any aspect that reminds me of the children of the sun.'
1" To dine to-day with Rogers and Sharpe, for which I have some appetite, not having tasted food for the preceding forty-eight hours. I wish I could leave off eating altogether.'-pp. 466-468.
Lord Byron's marriage with Miss Milbanke took place in the early part of 1815, and as the separation which took place in about a year after, was then, and still is, in many respects, a mystery, we must dedicate our remaining space to Mr. Moore's account of that anhappy event.
I have already, in some observations on the general character of men of genius, endeavoured to point out those peculiarities, both in disposition and habitudes, by which, in the far greater number of instances, they have been found unfitted for domestic happiness. Of these defects (which are, as it were, the shadow that genius casts, and too generally, it is to be feared, in proportion to its stature,) Lord Byron could not, of course, fail to have inherited his share, in common with all the painfully-gifted class to which he belonged. How thoroughly, with respect to one attribute of this temperament which he possessed,-one that “ sicklies o'er” the face of happiness itself,—he was understood by the person most interested in observing him, will appear from the following anecdote, as related by himself.
«« People have wondered at the melancholy which runs through my writings. Others have wondered at my personal gaiety. But I recollect once, after an hour in which I had been sincerely and particularly gay and rather brilliant, in company, my wife replying to me when I said (upon her remarking my high spirits), ' And yet, Bell, I have been called and mis-called melancholy- you must have seen how falsely, frequently ?'* No, Byron,' she answered, “it is not so : at heart you are the most melancholy of mankind; and often when apparently gayest.'”
To these faults and sources of faults, inherent in his own sensitive nature, he added also many of those which a long indulgence of self-will generates,-the least compatible, of all others (if not softened down, as they were in him, by good-nature), with that system of mutual concession and sacrifice by which the balance of domestic peace is maintained. When we look back, indeed, to the unbridled career, of which this marriage was meant to be the goal, -to the rapid and restless course in which his life had run along, like a burning train, through a series of wanderings, adventures, successes, and passions, the fever of all which was still upon him, when, with the same headlong recklessness, he rushed into this marriage,- it can but little surprise us that, in the space of one short year, he should not have been able to recover all at once from his bewilderment, or to settle down into that tame level of conduct which the officious spies of his privacy required. As well might it be expected that a steed like his own Mazeppa's,
««« Wild as the wild deer and untaught,
With spur and bridle undefiled
'Twas but a day he had been caught," should stand still, when reined, without chafing or champing the bit.
• Even had the new condition of life into which he passed been one of prosperity and smoothness, some time, as well as tolerance, must still have been allowed for the subsiding of so excited a spirit into rest. But, on the contrary, his marriage (from the reputation, no doubt, of the lady, as an heiress) was, at once, a signal for all the arrears and claims of a long-accumulating state of embarrassment to explode upon him ;-his door was almost daily beset by duns, and his house nine times during that year in possession of bailiffs; * while, in addition to these anxieties and—what he felt still more
** An anecdote connected with one of these occasions is thus related in the Journal just referred to.
"" When the bailiff (for I have seen most kinds of life) came upon me in 1815 to seize my chattels, (being a peer of parliament, my person was beyond him,) being curious (as is my habit), I first asked him what extents elsewhere he had for government ?' upon which he showed me one upon one house only for seventy thousand pounds! Next I asked him if he had nothing for Sheridan ? "Oh-Sheridan!' said he; "ay, I have this' (pulling out a pocket book, &c.); · but, my lord, I have been in Sheridan's house a twelvemonth at a time--a civil gentleman-knows how to deal with us, &c. &c. &c. Our own business was then discussed, which was none of the easiest for me at that time. But the man was civil, and (what I valued more) communicative. I had met many of his brethren, years before, in affairs of my friends (commoners, that is), but this was the first (or second) on my own account. A civil man ; fee'd accordingly: probably he anticipated as much.”'
-indignities of porerty, he had also the pain of fancying, whether rightly or wrongly, that the eyes of enemies and spies were upon him, even under bis own roof, and that his every hasty word and look were interpreted in the most perverting light.
'As, from the state of their means, his lady and he saw but little society, his only relief from the thoughts which a life of such embarrassment brought with it was in those avocations which his duty, as a member of the Drury-lane Committee, imposed upon him. And here,- in this most unlucky connection with the theatre, -one of the fatalities of his short year of trial, as husband, lay. From the reputation which he had previously acquired for gallantries, and the sort of reckless and boyish levity to which—often in very“ bitterness of soul ”- he gave way, it was not diffi. cult to bring suspicion upon some of those acquaintances which his frequent intercourse with the green-room induced him to form, or even (as, in one instance, was the case), to connect with his name injuriously that of a person to whom he had scarcely ever addressed a single word.
• Notwithstanding, however, this ill-starred concurrence of circumstances, which might have palliated any excesses either of temper or conduct into which they drove him, it was, after all, I am persuaded, to no soch serious causes that the unfortunate alienation, which so soon ended in disunion, is to be traced. “In all the marriages I have ever seen,” says Steele,“ most of which have been unhappy ones, the great cause of evil has proceeded from sligh: occasions ;” and to this remark the marriage at present under our consideration would not be found, I think, on inquiry, to furnish much exception. Lord Byron himself, indeed, when at Cephalonia, a short time before his death, seems to have expressed, in a few words, the whole pith of the mystery. An English gentleman with whom he was conversing on the subject of Lady Byron, having ventured to enumerate to him the various causes he had heard alleged for the separation, the noble poet, who had seemed much amused with their absurdity and falsehood, said, after listening to them all,—" the causes, my dear sir, were too simple to be easily found out.”
"In truth, the circumstances, so unexampled, that attended their separation,—the last words of the parting wife to the husband being those of the most playful affection, while the language of the deserted husband towards the wife was in a strain, as the world knows, of tenderest eulogy, -are in theniselves a sufficient proof that, at the time of their parting, there could have been no very deep sense of injury on either side. It was pot till afterwards that, in both bosoms, the repulsive force came into operation,-when, to the party which had taken the first decisive step in the strife, it became naturally a point of pride to persevere in it with dignity, and this unbendingness provoked, as naturally, in the haughty spirit of the other, a strong feeling of resentment which overflowed, at last, in acrimony and scorn. If there be any truth, however, in the principle that they “ never pardon, who have done the wrong," Lord Byron, who was, to the last, disposed to reconciliation, proved so far, at least, his conscience to have been unhaunted by any very disturbing consciousness of aggression.
• But though it would have been difficult, perhaps, for the victims of this strife, themselves, to have pointed out any single, or definite, cause for their disunion,-beyond that general incompatibility which is the canker of all such marriages,—the public, which seldom allows itself to be at a fault on these occasions, was, as usual, ready with an ample supply of reasons for the breach,—all tending to blacken the already darkly painted character of the poet, and representing him, in short, as a finished monster of cruelty and depravity. The reputation of the object of his choice for every possible virtue (a reputation which had been, I doubt not, one of: his own chief incentives to the marriage, from the vanity, reprobate as he knew he was deemed, of being able to win such a paragon), was now turned against him by his assailants, not only in the way of contrast with his own character, but as if the excellences of the wife were proof positive of every enormity they chose to charge upon the husband.
Meanwhile, the unmoved silence of the lady herself (from motives, it ; is but fair to suppose, of generosity and delicacy), under the repeated demands made for a specification of her charges against him, left to malice and imagination the fullest range for their combined industry. It was accordingly stated, and almost universally believed, that the noble lord's second proposal to Miss Milbanke had been but with a view to revenge himself for the slight inflicted by her refusal of the first, and that he himself had confessed so much to her, on their way from church. At the time when, as the reader has seen from his own honey-moon letters, he was with all the good-will in the world, imagining himself into happiness, and even boasting, in the pride of his fancy, that if marriage were to be upon lease, he would gladly renew his own for a term of ninety-nine years, -at this very time, according to these veracious chroniclers, he was employed in darkly following up the aforesaid scheme of revenge, and tormenting his lady by all sorts of unmanly cruelties, such as firing off pistols, to frighten her as she lay in bed, and other such freaks.
* To the falsehoods concerning his green-room intimacies, and particularly with respect to one beautiful actress, with whom, in reality, he had hardly ever exchanged a single word, I have already adverted; and the extreme confidence with which this tale was circulated and believed affords no unfair specimen of the sort of evidence with which the public, in all such fits of moral wrath, is satisfied. It is, at the same time, very far from my intention to allege that, in the course of the noble poet's intercourse with the theatre, he was not sometimes led into a line of acquaintance and converse, unbesitting, if not dangerous to, the steadiness of married life. But the imputations against him on this head were (as far as affected his conjugal character) not the less unfounded, -as the sole case, in which he afforded any thing like real grounds for such an accusation, did not take place till after the period of the separation.'—pp. 649–653.
** For this story, however, there was so far a foundation that the practice to which he had accustomed himself from boyhood, of having loaded pistols always near him at night, was considered so strange a propensity as to be included in that list of symptoms (sixteen, I believe, in number) which were submitted to medical opinion, in proof of his insanity. Another symptom was the emotion, almost to hysterics, which he had exhibited on seeing Kean act Sir Giles Overreach. But the most plausible of all the grounds, as he himself used to allow, on which these articles of impeachment against his sanity were drawn up, was an act of violence committed by him on a favourite old watch that had been his companion from boyhood, and had gone with him to Greece. In a fit of vexation and rage, brought on by some of those humiliating embarrassments to which he was now almost daily a prev, he furiouslv dashed this watch upon the hearth, and ground it to pieces among the ashes with the poker.'
To this account, which, after all, still leaves something to be explained, it is but an act of justice towards Lady Byron, to add a note which her husband addressed to Mr. Rogers on this melancholy subject.
"“ March 25th, 1816. •“ You are one of the few persons with whom I have lived in what is called intimacy, and have heard me at times conversing on the untoward topic of my recent family disquietudes. Will you have the goodness to say to me at once, whether you ever heard me speak of her with disrespect, with unkindness, or defending myself at her expence by any serious imputation of any description against her? Did you never hear me say that when there was a right or a wrong, she had the right ?'-The reason I put these questions to you or others of my friends is, because I am said, by her and hers, to have resorted to such means of exculpation, Ever very truly yours,
""B.'”-p. 655. Shortly after this event Lord Byron once more took his departure from England-never to see its shores again. The history of the renainder of his career, will be told in the second volume. It
will, we fear, be in too many respects like that which we have just En closed, the picture of a wayward, and yet powerful mind,-knowing * what is right, but unhappily too often adopting what is wrong.
We follow his story with much of that sort of interest which attaches to the memoirs of Napoleon, and shall look forward to its continuation with impatience.
Art. VIII.--- The Pleasures of Anarchy, a Dramatic Poem, intended as
a Warning to the Nursery, with Preface, fc. By the Rev. F. Newnham. 8vo. London: 1829. Of all calamities we think the unmerited misfortunes of genius ought to possess the most irresistible influence over the fountains of pity. Nothing can exceed the pathos of a true tale of literary woe,such, for instance, as when a hard-hearted, impenetrable book
seller, by his coldness, drives an ardent and aspiring author to dis3 traction. Since the days when Milton sold his divine poem for
five pounds, and the author of “ Venice Preserved ” died from want, there is scarcely a member of the tuneful brotherhood more worthy of universal compassion than the Reverend writer before us.
Mr. Newnham was early in the vineyard-his labours were commensurate with his life; the patience, industry, perseverance,
under transcendent disappointments,-employed by him in pushing Suport this dramatic poem into circulation, Aling the Discoverer of America selsinto the shade. Nothing can be more simple and natural than the => impulses of our author, except perhaps the prompt obedience 91 which he always yields to them. It can never be forgotten by those bany who witnessed its celebration, that the jubilee took place in 1809. E by To that event is Mr. Newnham indebted for his maiden inspiration;
for, after having maturely weighed the peaceful character of the