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AGAIN ATTACKED BY REVIEWERS.
hostility; and in this sort of warfare they were joined by the Literary Gazette, a periodical public cation which (as we are informed in a note on the • Dogs,' a poetical piece contained in the Liberal,) Byron at first countenanced, but soon, for some reason or other, turned his back upon it, and the proprietor and editor set their faces against him. He was confirmed in this opinion of the decline of his reputation by Mr. Murray's refusing to have any thing to do with the publication of his • Vision of Judgment,' under the apprehension that, if the work should be pirated (as had been the case with · Cain') he should have no redress at law if the work should be deemed of an immoral or libellous tendency. So complete seemed to be the alteration in Mr. Murray's sentiments, that the Quarterly Review (which had hitherto been favourable to Byron) began to veer round, and, after a long interval, gave a review of Byron's tragedies which was very far from being friendly. There was evidently a vacillating—a leaning to the adverse side, although the editor felt some little hesitation at abusing the man whom he had till then been in the habit of lauding to the skies. He was probably afraid, too, of sharing the fate of Jeffrey, and of being hung up as a sort of scare-crow, as Byron threatened to do, if he ventured to declare open war; and Byron was not a White or a Keats, to be frightened to death by a fly-blow. Byron states the reason of this change
of system. Mr. Murray, he says, was offered the alternative of either giving up himself or the Navy-Lists, The balance was in favour of the Admiralty, and it gained the day. This was altogether probable.
The “ Vision of Judgment” was then offered to Longman and Co., who also declined it; and in this emergency Byron turned his thoughts on Leigh Hunt, who alone, in the outcry that his matrimonial squabble had raised against him, had had courage enough to offer a single word in his favour. Hunt was accordingly invited to Pisa, with the view of conducting a publication, of which he was to reap the sole benefit. The “ Liberal” was commenced, and Byron's “ Vision of Judgment” appeared in the first number of it, and gave it éclat. But Shelley's death, and Byron's subsequent difference with Leigh Hunt, soon put an end to the scheme, and the work died a natural death. Whether that Byron was sated with publishing, or that the affairs of Greece now occupied his whole attention, here closed his literary labours. That however he intended to have resumed them is evident, from his mentioning the loss of his manuscripts on board the vessel that was captured by the Turkish frigate, on the passage to Missolonghi ; and from the circumstance of his going out of his direct course to Greece, in the hope of witnessing an eruption of Mount Stromboli, in which we may suppose him to have
END OF BYRON'S LITERARY CAREER.
had some poetical view. It is probable that he intended to have made his last grand work on the subject of his beloved Greece; but, as the Spanish proverb says, “Man proposes, but God disposes ;": his thread of life was nearly spun out, and Atropos stood ready with her scissors to cut it in twain.
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Recollections of Lord Byron's “ Memoirs of His Own Life.”
-Parental discord gives him a distaste for the marriage state. --His attachment to Scotland, the cradle of his poetic genius. _His passion for Miss Mary Chaworth, and disappointment. -Its dreadful effects on his temper and future course of life. -Harrow school.—Youthful scenes and friendships.-Anecdote of his prudence at Harrow. Cambridge.—Byron's dislike of a college life, and contempt of academical honours.Newstead Abbey, and story of the skull converted into a drinking-cup.—Byron associates with Greeks, Demireps, and Bons Vivans, and becomes a man of the town.-His imprudences a salutary lesson to other young men.—His dreadful struggles between dissipation and remorse.—Mortification on taking his seat in the House of Lords. His final determination to go abroad. Occurrences on the Tour until his return to England.
HITHERTO Lord Byron has been considered principally as a poet, it now remains to trace his character as a man : the varied circumstances of his life; the causes of action; their effects on his temper, manners, and course of life ; and in making this survey, it will be found that, throughout the whole of the foregoing pages, the Memoirs have been kept so constantly in view, that there is very little to alter or amend; and, if the memoirs themselves should ever be brought to light, they