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bend perpetually to their humours. They are too prone to indulge that love of singularity or eccentricity which, it is probable, is an essential accompaniment of uncommon intellectual endowment. They will call for biscuits and soda-water on occasions when the ordinary herd of mortals conform to honest mutton and sherry wine, and anything to be unlike the rest of the world—they will not condescend to participate in the notions of matrimonial regularity, so vulgarised by its being uniformly observed amongst the herd of mankind. To return to Lady Byron's vindication :
• The passages, (her Ladyship says,) from Lord Byron's letters, to wbich I refer, are the aspersion on my mother's character, p. 648, 1. 4:—“My child is very well, and Aourishing, I hear ; but I must see also. I feel no disposition to resign it to the contagion of its grandmother's society." The assertion of her dishonourable conduct in employing a spy, p. 645, 1.7, &c. “A Mrs. C., (now a kind of housekeeper and spy of Lady N.'s,) who, in her better days, was a washerwoman, is supposed to be-by the learned—very much the occult cause of our domestic discrepancies.” The seeming exculpation of myself, in the extract, p. 646, with the words immediately following,~" Her nearest relatives are a ;" where the blank clearly implies something too offensive for publication. These passages tend to throw suspicion on my parents, and give reason to ascribe the separation either to their direct agency, or to that of “officious spies" employed by them.* From the following part of the narrative, p. 642, it must also be inferred that an undue influence was exercised by them for the accomplishment of this purpose. “It was in a few weeks after the latter communication between us, (Lord Byron and Mr. Moore,) that Lady Byron adopted the determination of parting from him. She had left London at the latter end of January, on a visit to her father's house, in Leicestershire, and Lord Byron was in a short time to follow her. They had parted in the utmost kindness,—she wrote him a letter full of playfulness and affection, on the road; and immediately on her arrival at Kirkby Mallory, her father wrote to acquaint Lord Byron that she would return to him no more."
Mr. Moore puts the case in a more invidious light afterwards, though Lady Byron does not notice it. He says (p. 651) :
• 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 the tenderest eulogy-are, in themselves, a sufficient proof that, at the time of their parting, there could have been no very deep sense of injury on either side."
* Mr. Moore uses these words as though he were personally convinced that Lord Byron was watched by spies. His words are, that considering the circumstances of his Lordship's early life, and the recklessness with which he married, no surprise could be felt that he should not have been able to settle down into that “tame level of conduct which the officious spies of his privacy required.”
The charge here may not easily be understood against Lady Byron. It is, however, either for caprice or hypocrisy, or perhaps for both, she is arraigned by our biographer. But her answer meets any point of the indictment,-it is ample, complete, and satisfactory Disclaiming all anxiety about herself, her Ladyship says :
• I left London for Kirkby Mallory, the residence of my father and mother, on the 15th of January, 1816. Lord Byron had signified to me in writing (Jan. 6th) his absolute desire that I should leave London on the earliest day that I could conveniently fix. It was not safe for me to undertake the fatigue of a journey sooner than the 15th. Previously to my departure, it had been strongly impressed on my mind, that Lord Byron was under the influence of insanity. This opinion was derived, in a great measure, from the communications made to me by his nearest relatives and personal attendant, who had more opportunities than myself of observing him during the latter part of my stay in town. It was even represented to me that he was in danger of destroying himself. With the concurrence of his family, I had consulted Dr. Baillie as a friend (Jan. Sth) respecting this supposed malady. On acquainting him with the state of the case, and with Lord Byron's desire that I should leave London, Dr. Baillie thought that my absence might be adviseable as an experiment, assuming the fact of mental derangement; for Dr. Baillie, not having had access to Lord Byron, could not pronulince a positive opinion on that point. He enjoined that, in correspondence with Lord Byron, I should avoid all but light and soothing topics. Under these impressions, I left London, determined to follow the advice given by Dr. Baillie. Whatever might have been the nature of Lord Byron's conduct towards me from the time of my marriage, yet, supposing him to be in a state of mental alienation, it was not for me, nor for any person of common humanity, to manifest, at that moment, a sense of injury. On the day of my departure, and again on my arrival at Kirkby, Jan. 16th, I wrote to Lord Byron in a kind and cheerful tone, according to those medical directions.
Here, then, is a solution of the whole mystery. Here is the real woman after all. Unable to account for the conduct of her husband ; not believing it possible that his treatment of her was sanctioned by the deliberate reason of the man, she was ready to coincide in any theory, however monstrous, however incredible, which would leave the intention of her husband, after all, free from the stain of malice; he must be mad, she concluded, to treat me as he does, for it is impossible that I can reconcile such conduct with the possession of ordinary reason in a human being. Hence, then, her letters of kindness,-hence that course of hers which Mr. Moore has been at the pains of showing to be so inconsistent,-hence her letters of well meant kindness, after her departure from her husband, when she sought the protection of her parents. Mr. Moore tells us indeed, that the wife had taken the resolution of separating herself from her husband for ever. But what will he say to the fact, that such was the effect of Lady Byron's representations on
her own family, after she had got to Kirkby-Mallory, that the mother of the lady actually wrote to Lord Byron, within a few hours after his wife's arrival under her father's roof, inviting his Lordship to go down to the place where she was ? He did not comply with the invitation ; but we have no allusion whatever to so pregnant a fact in the “ Notices.” Lady Byron began now to think that the notion of the insanity of her Lord was a delusion; her eyes were now a little opened to the extent to which human frailty will go, even when reason cannot be said wholly to abandon its functions; she was soon convinced that the excesses of Lord Byron were not to be attributed to the suspension of intellectual jurisdiction, but to the predominance of those evil passions by which that jurisdiction was completely controled :
• Under this uncertainty,' observes her ladyship, • I deemed it right to communicate to my parents, that if I were to consider Lord Byron's past conduct as that of a person of sound mind, nothing could induce me to return to him. It therefore appeared expedient both to them and myself to consult the ablest advisers. For that object, and also to obtain still further information respecting the appearances which seemed to indicate mental derangement, my mother determined to go to London. She was empowered by me to take legal opinions on a written statement of mine, though I had then reasons for reserving a part of the case from the knowledge of even my father and mother. Being convinced by the result of these inquiries, and by the tenor of Lord Byron's proceedings, that the notion of insanity was an illusion, I no longer hesitated to authorise such measures as were necessary, in order to secure me from being ever again placed in his power. Conformably with this resolution, my father wrote to him on the 2d of February, to propose an amicable separation. Lord Byron at first rejected this proposal ; but when it was distinctly notified to him, that if he persisted in his refusal, recourse must be had to legal measures, he agreed to sign a deed of separation. Upon applying to Dr. Lushington, who was intimately acquainted with all the circumstances, to state in writing what he recollected on this subject, I received from him the following letter, by which it will be manifest that my mother cannot have been actuated by any hostile or ungenerous motives towards Lord Byron. : «“My dear Lady Byron, I can rely upon the accuracy of my memory for the following statement. I was originally consulted by Lady Noel on your behalf, whilst you were in the country; the circumstances detailed by her were such as justified a separation, but they were not of that aggravated description as to render such a measure indispensable. On Lady Noel's representations, I deemed a reconciliation with Lord Byron practicable, and felt most sincerely a wish to aid in effecting it. There was not on Lady Noel's part any exaggeration of the facts ; nor, so far as I could perceive, any determination to prevent a return to Lord Byron : certainly none was expressed when I spoke of a reconciliation. When you came to town in about a fortnight, or perhaps more, after my first interview with Lady Noel, I was for the first time informed by you of faets utterly unknown, as I have no doubt, to Sir Ralph and Lady Noel. On receiving this additional information my opinion was entirely changed : I considered a reconciliation
impossible. I declared my opinion, and added, that if such an idea should be entertained, I could not, either professionally or otherwise, take any part towards effecting it. Believe me, very faithfully yours, “ Great George-street, Jan, 21, 1830. Stepi. LUSHINGron.”
I have only to observe, that if the statements on which my legal advisers (the late Sir Samuel Romilly and Dr. Lushington) formed their opinions, were false, the responsibility and the odium should rest with me only. I trust that the facts which I have here briefly recapitulated, will absolve my father and mother from all accusations with regard to the part they took in the separation between Lord Byron and myself. They neither originated, instigated, nor advised that separation ; and they cannot be condemned for having afforded to their daughter the assistance and protection which she claimed. There is no other near relative to vindicate their memory from insult. I am therefore compelled to break the silence which I had hoped always to observe, and to solicit from the readers of Lord Byron's life an impartial consideration of the testimony extorted from
• Hanger Hill, Feb. 19, 1830.
A. I. Noel Byron.' We lament exceedingly that Mr. Moore should have been betrayed into the discussion of those points of Lord Byron's domestic history, with respect to which this gentleman must have well known, from his experience of the nobleman's character, every chance was against his being in the right. Is Mr. Moore really piqued against Lady Byron? Has her ladyship, in any way, afforded an excuse for the existence of that rancour which, whenever she appears upon the scene, Mr. Moore seems to labour withal ? Is it true that her ladyship's memory clung too exclusively to the report of Mr. Moore's early misapplication of his genius, and that she did not either forgive his juvenile errors or affect to pass them over? Was she too proud, indeed, to acquiesce in any arrangement that might be consequent upon Lord Byron's suggestion in one of his letters to Mr. Moore, as “to bringing their women together”? Of all this we profess to be extremely ignorant, let busy scandal promulgate what it may.
Lady Byron, it is superfluous to say, completely triumphs in this strife. She employs the invincible weapons of truth, which, by their own simple and unaided weight, will ever overmatch, by whomsoever used, the utmost refinement of dexterity and skill when wielding instruments of different materials. Lord Byron's eulogy on her whilst she lived with him, her own conduct since their separation, the dignified reserve which she maintained as long as herself only was in question, the precipitancy of her eagerness to vindicate her parents,—all attest a character utterly without reproach. It is only justice in us to add, that for the first and authentic copy of Lady Byron's letter, we are indebted to the Editor of the Literary Gazette.
or kedy for the to be read. Sce it on the tool was, we upon the He publishesis name beforeing a long list does not prin
Art. XI.-The Descent into Hell; a Poem. 8vo. pp. 229. London:
Murray. 1830. When we opened this poem and found it commencing with a dedication to Mr. Southey, we flattered ourselves with the hope that it was to repay us for the weariness we have suffered in tasting of the hecatombs, which the combined stupidity of the land appears to have made a point of recently offering upon the altars of the Muses. The name of Murray, too, was, we thought, a good omen, as we very seldom see it on the title-page of a volume which is not worthy to be read. For Murray does not print at random, merely for the sake of having a long list of new publications, and of keeping his name before the world as some other book sellers do. He publishes with discretion, after having carefully considered what he is about, and, though he be not infallible, he is, for the most part, as he deserves to be, eminently successful. Then the title of this work, too, put us in mind of Dante, and induced us to expect a noble satire upon the vices and follies of the great men who have gone to the region of woe and fire since that poet's lay was ended. The Descent into Hell’ brought also to our recollection Robert Montgomery's Satan, and we felt already persuaded that the blunders of that bombastical ranter would have served as a beacon to all other adventurers bound for Pandemonium. But, alas, neither the patronage of Southey, the classic name of Murray, the beauties of Dante, nor the warning deformities of Montgomery, seem to have acted upon the author of this poem in a favourable manner. His production is simply a sermon upon the Apostles' creed, or rather upon those words in it, “HE DESCENDED INTO Hell;" it is a mad paraphrase, in very peculiar verse, of Bishop Horseley's beautiful discourse on that great theme, and is, in itself, as remarkable a specimen of the ridiculous, intended for the sublime, as ever fell under our notice, in our own or in any language known to mankind. The inspired author sets forth in an exordium,-for it is to be observed that with a laudable zeal for rivalling the Greek dramatists, he has his addresses to the supernal powers, his narratives, and then his choral cantos. The measure, which, if we did not tell him, the reader, perhaps, would have had some difficulty in discovering, is the terza rima of Dante. Hear, all ye little poetasters of London, this grand opening strain.
• Hell and Messiah, Heaven's anointed King,