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THE DÉNOUEMENT.

time of the day. In the morning he was Somnus ; in the afternoon Sol; and Silenus in the evening.

In what manner Lord Byron's theatrical and matrimonial careers ended together (the one giving the death-blow to the other) has been already fully detailed. The “ Jealous Wifewas succeeded by The Devil to Pay," and, at the drop of the curtain, (it being the end of the season), the principal performer, Lord Byron, (being about to depart for the Continent), took leave of the English stage in a

“ FAREWELL ADDRESS."

( 275 )

CHAPTER X.

Further Recollections of the Memoirs of Lord Byron, &c.

Tot Moment de menom. Ovo byron, &c. First Meeting of Lord Byron and Miss Millbank.-Description of that lady.—Offer of Marriage, first rejected, and then accepted. The Wedding Day fixed.— The Fortune-Teller's Prediction.—The Wedding Ceremony described.—The Wedding Night.Singular Dream.—The Honey-moon eclipsed.Byron refutes the charge of having married from interested motives.—Distress in High Life.—Temporary Separation.Lady Byron, under parental influence, refuses to return.Statement of the causes of Disagreement.-Mrs. C— 's insidious Conduct and ill offices.-Treacherous acts against Lord Byron.-Attempt to prove him a Lunatic.-Character and poetical Genius of Lady Byron, with Specimens of the latter.-Public outcry against Lord Byron. His disinterested behaviour towards Lady Byron. He again leaves England, never to return!

It was on a visit to Lady — 's that Lord Byron and Miss Millbank first met. Byron stumbled as he went up stairs, and observed to his friend, Mr. Moore, who accompanied him, that it was malum omen. Miss Millbank was sitting in the room, so plainly attired as to attract the notice of Lord Byron, who mistook her for some humble

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companion of the mistress of the house, and signified his suspicions to Moore, who corrected his error, by whispering in his ear that she was a great heiress, and adding his advice to make up to her, as the readiest means of repairing the old Abbey (Newstead).

Miss Millbank was rather what might be termed piquante, than beautiful ; her features were small and feminine, without much regularity, but with the fairest skin imaginable. There was a native modesty and simplicity about her, very different from the masculine boldness of the fashionable world, and which could not fail of interesting a beholder in her behalf. His Lordship made the proper advances towards a further acquaintance, and becoming daily more attached to her, at length ventured to offer a proposal of marriage, which was declined, but not in so peremptory a manner as entirely to preclude all hopes. His Lordship suspected that the young lady was influenced to this refusal by her mother, who ever expressed a dislike towards him, and in this belief he was confirmed by the daughter's renewing the correspondence some months afterwards of her own accord, by a letter, in which she expressed a wish for his friendship, although she could not entertain a stronger passion for him ; but friendship, as has been justly observed, is near a-kin to love. The correspondence, thus renewed, was THE FORTUNE-TELLER, AND THE RING. 277

kept up briskly, until it ended in a treaty of marriage, and the happy day was fixed.

Byron's nativity had been cast by a Mrs. Williams, and the fortune-telling gypsy had foretold that twenty-seven was to be a dangerous epoch of his life. The second of January was a memorable

-an eventful day! The parson mispronounced the name (Byrn); Lady Noel cried ; Byron trembled like an aspen leaf; made. the wrong responses, and after the ceremony, saluted his newly made bride (who was the only unconcerned person present) as Miss Millbank : it was a day of bad omens. Not the least singular circumstance was that of the wedding ring. On the very day that the union was agreed upon, a ring, that had belonged to Lord Byron's mother, was dug up by the gardener at Newstead, as if it had been destined for the celebration of the marriage of the son. The mother's marriage had not been a happy one, and the same ring was doomed to seal one still more unfortunate. At the conclusion of the ceremony, the happy pair set off for a country seat of Sir Ralph Millbank, and Lord Byron was not a little surprized and chagrined to find that a temporary separation was effected between him and the object of his ardent vows by the starch person of a lady's maid; but it was rather too soon to assuine the husband, and he submitted, though not with a very good grace. It was said that Lord Byron, on getting

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THE WEDDING-DAY, into the carriage, made use of a very inhuman remark," that he had married Lady Byron out of spite, merely because she had refused him twice;" “but,” adds Lord Byron, “although I was for a moment vexed at her prudery, if I had made use of so ungallant, not to say brutal speech, I am convinced Lady Byron would have instantly left the carriage to me and the maid (the lady's maid !) She had spirit enough to have properly resented such an affront.”

The rest of the day, no doubt, passed away heavy enough, and seemed very long to the parties most interested in wishing it to draw to a close; but how it was passed, we are left wholly to guess,

and we shall not endeavour to supply the chasm.

“ It was now near two o'clock in the morning (proceeds the writer of the Memoirs), and I was jaded to the soul by the delay. I had left the company and retired to a private apartment. Will those, who think that a bridegroom, on his bridal night, should be so thoroughly saturated with love, as to render it impossible for him to yield to any other feeling, pardon me when I say, that I had almost fallen asleep on a sofa, when a giggling, tittering, half-blushing face popped itself in at the door, and popped as fast back again, after having

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