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causes of this melancholy catastrophe were many. Missolonghi, to which he had been confined by stress of weather, is a dismal, unhealthy swamp; his mind was incessantly harassed by finding himself involved in an affair out of which his talents could not extricate him; his dissipated life had weakened his constitution; on the 15th of February, he had a convulsion fit—and as he was little amenable to the advice of either friends or physicians, these altogether rendered a cold, which at another time might have beon got over, formidable. His last illness was only ten days in duration, and is a scene of confusion, discomfort, and privations melancholy to contemplate, as the departure of such a man. He evidently did not expect death, and there is little in the account of his last moments for the religionist or the philosopher to theorize upon. Every one was taken by surprise ; every one was absorbed in his own interests. Fletcher, his servant, and Count Gamba, the brother of the Countess Guiccioli, were the only persons deeply affected by the loss. Lord Byron, as I have said, formed strong attachments for those beneath him and dependent upon him, and was, consequently, beloved by his servants.
In his Timon-like feeling for England, he had desired to be buried anywhere but in his own country ; but this was, wisely, not acted upon. His remains were brought to England, and consigned to the family vault in the village of Hucknall, a spot so similar to Missolonghi, that the pilgrim to the tomb of genius who has seen both cannot help being struck with the dreary resemblance.
In this sketch, which must be unsatisfactory from its shortness, I have ventured so many remarks upon Lord Byron's character and writings, that, unless I had much more room at my command, I can add nothing else. As a man most highly gifted, and as writings of transcendent genius, Byron and his works must ever remain subjects of pride to his country ; whether, if the life of the man mig have been purer, and, if it had, whether the works would have been more brilliant and beneficial, must be left to the speculations of the moralist ; the biographer has only to declare that there has been no genius so universal since Shakspeare, and that no one man's writings belonging to modern times have been more generally read.
HOURS OF IDLENESS:
A SERIES OF POEMS, ORIGINAL AND TRANSLATED).
Virginibus puerisque canto.-HORACE, lib. iii. Ode 1.
TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE FREDERICK, EARL OF CARLISLE,
KNIGHT OF THE GARTER, ETC. ETC.
THE SECOND EDITION OF THESE POEMS IS INSCRIBED,
BY HIS OBLIGED WARD AND
PREFACE. In submitting to the public eye the following collection, I have not only to combat the difficulties that writers of verse generally encounter, but may incur the charge of presumption for obtruding myself on the world, when, without doubt, I might be, at my age, more usefully employed.
These productions are the fruits of the lighter hours of a young man who has lately completed his nineteenth year. As they bear the internal evidence of a boyish mind, this is, perhaps, unnecessary information. Some few were written during the disadvantages of illness and depression of spirits; under the former influence, " CHILDISH RECOLLECTIONS," in particular, were composed. This consideration, though it cannot excite the voice of praise, may at least arrest the arm of censure. A considerable portion of these poems has been privately printed, at the request and for the perusal of my friends. I am sensible that the partial and frequently injudicious admiration of a social circle is not the criterion by which poetical genius is to be estimated, yet“ to do greatly," we must “ dare greatly;" and I have hazarded my reputation and feelings in publishing this volume. “ I have passed the Rubicon," and must stand or fall by the “ cast of the die. In the latter event, I shall submit without a murmur; for, though not without solicitude for the fate of these effusions, my expectations are by no means sanguine. It is probable that I may have dared much and done little ; for, in the words of Cowper, “it is one thing to write what may please our friends, who, because they are such, are apt to be a little biassed in our favour, and another to write what may please everybody; because they who have no connection, or even knowledge of the anthor, will be sure to find fault if they can.” To the truth of this, however, I do not wholly subscribe; on the contrary, I feel convinced that these trifles will not be treated with injustice. Their merit, if they possess any, will be liberally allowed; their numerous faults, on the other hand, cannot expect that favour which has been denied to others of maturer years, decided character, and far greater ability.
I have not aimed at exclusive originality, still less have I studied any particular model for imitation: some translations are given, of which many are paraphrastic. In the original pieces, there may appear a casual coincidence with authors whose works I have been accustomed to read; but I have not been guilty of intentional plagiarism. To produce anything entirely new, in an age so fertile in rhyme, would be a Herculean task, as every subject has already been treated to its utmost extent. Poetry, however, is not my primary vocation; to divert the dull moments of indisposition, or the monotony of a vacant hour, urged me " to this sin :" little can be expected from so unpromising a muse. My wreath, scanty as it must be, is all I shall derive from these productions, and I shall never attempt to replace its fading leaves, or pluck a single additional sprig from groves where I am, at best, an intruder. Though accustomed, in my younger days, to rove a careless mountaineer on the Highlands of Scotland, I have not, of late years, had the benefit of such pure air, or so elevated a residence, as might enable me to enter the lists with genuine bards, who have enjoyed both these advantages. But they derive considerable faine, and a few not less profit. from their productions; while I shall expiate my rashness as an interloper, certainly without the latter, and in all probability with a very slight share of the former. I leave to others “ virum volitare per ora." I look to the few who will hear with patience " dulce est desipere in loco.” To the former worthies I resign, without repining, the hope of immortality, and content myself with the not very magnificent prospect of ranking amongst " the mob of gentlemen who write ;”—my readers inust determine whether I dare say " with ease,” or the honour of a posthumous page in “ The Catalogue of Royal and Noble Authors," -a work to which the Peerage is under infinite obli. gations; inasmuch as many names of considerable length, sound, and antiquity, are thereby rescued from the obscurity which unluckily over. shadows several voluminous productions of their illustrious bearers.
With slight hopes, and some fears, I publish this first and last attempt. To the dictates of young ambition may be ascribed many actions more criminal and equally absurd. To a few of my own age, the contents may afford amusement: I trust they will, at least, be found harmless. It is highly improbable, from my situation and pursuits hereafter, that I should ever obtrude myself a second time on the public; nnr, even in the very doubtful event of present indulgence, shall I be tempted to commit a future trespass of the same nature The opinion of Dr. Johnson on the Poems of a noble relation of mine,* “ That when a man of rank appeared in the character of an author, he deserved to have his merit handsomely allowed,” can have little weight with verbal, and still less with periodical censors; but were it otherwise, I should be loath to avail myself of the privilege, and would rather incur the bitterest censure of anonymous criticism, than triumph in honours granted solely to a title.
• The Earl of Carlisle, whose works have long received the meed of public applause, to which, by their intrinsic worth, they were well entitled.
HOURS OF IDLENESS.
ON THE DEATH OF A YOUNG LADY,* +
COUSIN TO THE AUTHOR, AND VERY DEAR TO HIM.
Hush'd are the winds, and still the evening gloom,
Not e'en a zephyr wanders through the grove,
And scatter flowers on the dust I love.
That clay, where once such animation beam'd;
Not worth, nor beauty, have her life redeem'd.
Or Heaven reverse the dread decrees of fate!
Tiut here the muse her virtues would relate.
Beyond where splendid shines the orb of day;
Where endless pleasures virtue's deeds repay.
And, madly, godlike Providence accuse?
I'll ne'er submission to my God refuse.
Yet fresh the memory or that beauteous face;
Still in my heart retain their wonted place.
Of thee and ine in friendship twined ;
To love, than rank with vice combined.
• The author claims the indulgence of the reader more for this piece, than, perhaps, any other in the collection ; but as it was written at an earlier period than the rest (being composed at the age of fourteen), and his first essay, he preferred submitting it to the indulgence of his friends in its present state, to making either addition or alteration. | The daughter of Admiral Parker, who died at the age of fifteen.
And though unequal is thy fate,
Since title deck'd my higher birth !
Thine is the pride of modest worth.
Nor can thy lot my rank disgrace;
In thee, I fondly hoped to clasp
A friend, whom death alone could sever ;
Detach'd thee from my breast for ever.
Yet, in my heart thou keep'st thy seat;
Until that heart shall cease to beat.
When life again to dust is given,
EPITAPH ON A FRIEND.
'Αστήρ πρίν μέν έλαμπες ένι ζωοίσιν έφος.-LAERTIUS.