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quence of the fatigue she had undergone. This instance of her affection, while it increased his lordship's regard for her, induced him to be very reluctant in believing the reports which her subsequent misconduct gave rise to; and it was not until he received absolute conviction of her guilt and his own dishonour that he resorted to the only means that were left him of wiping off the stain.
If it did not invariably happen in affairs of this description that the husband is the last person to hear of the injury which has been done him, we should wonder that the Marquis of Carmarthen could have remained ignorant of a fact which not only every servant in his own house knew, but which was the town-talk. Captain Byron was in the habit of going to the house of the marquis whenever the latter happened to be out of town. He does not seem to have taken the most common precautions against a discovery. The servants found him, on one occasion, fast asleep in her ladyship's chamber; and on another he walked down stairs whistling a tune after he had passed the night in the same place. Her ladyship was in the habit of writing frequently to her paramour; and it was by means of one of these billets that her intrigue was discovered. The servant who was intrusted with the delivery of it did as all servants do by all the letters that fall into their hands; that is to say, he read it; and, being seized with a sudden fit of virtue, he told the housekeeper, an old servant of Lady Holdernesse's, who thought she should best consult the honour of the family by disclosing the affair to her former mistress. Lady Holdernesse was a person of such strict propriety and inflexible principle, that she was hardly disposed to conceal the affair from the Marquis of Carmarthen; believing, perhaps, also, that, after the length to which affairs had gone, it would be impossible to reclaim her daughter from the fatal passion which had taken possession of her. The old lady had, however, an interview with Lady Carmarthen, in which her own maternal feelings and her daughter's apparent repentance, and assurances that she would renounce Captain Byron for ever, so far prevailed on her, that she consented the matter should be hushed up. The servant who had made the discovery was bribed to silence, and for a short time it seemed that the danger was over.
Some of the Marquis of Carmarthen's friends, however, now thought it necessary to represent to him that his lady's conduct was the theme of the scandalous world, and prevailed upon him to have her movements watched. Her imprudence soon furuished them with unequivocal proofs of her guilt. Her paramour was absent from London, end, having occasion for a supply of money, he wrote to the mar
chioness. requesting her to send him as much as she could. She who had loved him too well to hesitate at the surrender of her honour and her character, did not pause upon the application, but immediately sent him bank-notes to the amount of one hundred pounds, and with them a letter in which she begged him to come to her. She expressed n this letter the most boundless love for him, and informed him that, the marquis being out of town, they could again enjoy each other's society without the fear of detection. This letter never reached its destination, being intercepted by the agents of the marquis. Captain Byron came to town full of wonder at receiving no answer to his very urgent application; and the eclaircissement which took place on his seeing her ladyship of course convinced them that their connexion was no longer a secret. They learnt that the servants had been examined; and Lady Carmarthen immediately left her own house, and went to that of Admiral Byron. A suit for a divorce was then commenced by the marquis, to which no defence was offered on the part of his lady; and sentence was pronounced of a separation between them, a mensa et thoro.
Lord and Lady Holdernesse and the old admiral exerted themselves to bring about a marriage between the guilty parties, as the only means of repairing the lady's character: in this they succeeded, but her happiness was blighted for ever. Her new husband was brutal and unprincipled; his passion for her, which was never, perhaps, very ardent, had now entirely subsided; and after lingering out two years of uninterrupted misery, during which she bore him a daughter, the wretched lady died of remorse, and the incurable pains of a broken heart.
Captain Byron was married a second time, to Miss Gordon, of Gight, in 1785. This lady was of one of the most ancient families in Scotland, and possessed in her own right of a very considerable estate in Aberdeenshire. She, however, experienced the fate of every one who came in contact with Captain Byron: he dissipated the whole of her property, and, soon after the birth of his only son, the late Lord Byron, he totally abandoned her: he went to live at Valenciennes, where death put an end to his powers of doing mischief in 1791. He was one of those beings who seem to possess the active principles of evil alone, and who are permitted to exist for no other purpose, as far as human knowledge can penetrate, but to work out the punishment of others. The death of the fifth Lord Byron's eldest son having taken place in the same year as the late Lord Byron was born, the latter became on his father's death the heir apparent to the honours and estates of the family, which were limited on the heirs male.
GEORGE GORDON BYRON was born on his mother's estate in Aberdeenshire, on the 22d of January, 1788. The extravagance of her husband soon afterwards reduced her income to little more than a bare competence; and his subsequent desertion, which compelled her to retire to lodgings in the city of Aberdeen, left her no care nor employment but that of educating her son. Her amiable temper and accomplished mind qualified her for this task, so far as it could be effected by a female; but the infirmity of her child's constitution during his earlier years rendered any thing like application inconsistent with the preservation of his health. A lameness, the consequence of the malformation of one of his feet, and some symptoms indicating a tendency towards consumption, induced his mother to suffer him to spend his time at this period of his life with very little restraint. He was permitted to .oam at will through the romantic scenery in the neighbourhood of Aberdeen; and perhaps it was this practice that first cherished those sparks of genius which afterwards burst into so brilliant a blaze. The effect which the objects of Nature, in her wildest and most sublime forms, (and such are those which she presents in Aberdeenshire,) cau produce upon a mind in which the principles of poetry lie hid are little short of inspiration; that Lord Byron's was such a mind, and that such were the habits of his infancy, being beyond doubt, seem to prove irrefragably the truth of the position, and to give an air of prophecy to Beattie's delightful poem :
Lo! where the stripling, rapt in wonder, roves
Aud oft he trac'd the uplands, to survey,
When o'er the cloud advanced the kindling dawn,
But, lo! the son appears! and heaver, earth, ocean, smile:
And oft the craggy cliff he loved to climb,
In billows, lengthening to the horizon round
The following account of Lord Byron's early days, by a schoolfellow, is characteristic, and, we have every reason to believe, quite faithful:—
'As soon as circumstances permitted, he was sent to the Grammar School, and there, though he did not show any symptoms of talent superior to that of his fellow-students, he was among the boldest and bravest of them all Though weak in body, he was invincible in mind and in all sports and amusements which were of a manly nature he took the lead among his schoolfellows. Riding upon horses, fishing, sailing, swimming, and all those occupations which had something of spirit in them, were congenial to his mind; and in all these he condacted himself with a dignity far surpassing what could have been expected from one of his years. Although by no means the strongest either in frame or in constitution, he was exceedingly brave; and in the juvenile wars of the school he generally had the victory. Upon one occasion, a boy who had been attacked, rather without just cause, took refuge in his mother's house; and he interposed his authority to say that nobody should be ill used while under his roof and protection. Upon this the aggressor dared him to fight; and, though the boy was by much the stronger of the two, the spirit of Byron was so determined, that, after they had fought for nearly two hours, the combat had to be suspended, because both were out of breath.
'The most remarkable circumstance of Byron at this time was extreme sensibility of mind; and he'was exceedingly attached to the customs of the remote place in which he was born, and deeply impressed by the legends and sayings which were common among the people.
'One of his schoolfellows had a little Shetland pony; and, one day, the two together had got the pony to take an alternate ride, or to “ride and tie,” as it was vulgarly called, along the banks of the Don. When they come to the old bridge, Byron stopped his companion, and
insisted that he should dismount, while he himself rode along the bridge; "for," said he, "you remember the prophecy
"Brig o' Balgownie, though wight be thy wa',
Wi' a widow's ae son, an' a mare's ae foal,
"Now who knows but the pony may be a 'mare's ae foal;' and we are both widows ae sons;' but you have a sister, and I have nobody to lament for me but my mother." The other boy consented; but, as soon as young Byron had escaped the terrors of the bridge, the other insisted upon following his example. He, too, rode safely across, and they concluded that the pony was not the only production of its mother.
'As an instance of his sensibility, it may be mentioned that, when his name was first called out in the catalogue as Georgius Dominus de Byron," the boys set up a shout, which the master could not suppress; and this had such an effect upon him, that it was with great difficulty he could be prevailed upon to continue at the school. His elevation seemed to give him no great pleasure; and the distance which many of his old companions felt it proper to keep from him, upon its being made generally known, gave him so much pain that he sometimes burst into tears.
At that time, though he was occasionally a moody and thoughtful boy, he was the foremost and gayest in all the more manly sports; but he was extremely kind-hearted, and would not be guilty of any act of cruelty or injustice. All who knew him at that time must hold his memory in the greatest respect.'
The death of his noble relative, in 1798, altogether changed the prospects of the subject of these memoirs. His right to the family honours was acknowledged; the Earl of Carlisle undertook the office of his guardian; and he was sent to Harrow School, to receive an education more suitable to his rank and fortune than could be procured at the humble Grammar School of Aberdeen. In his progress through this justly famous seminary he seems to have differed little from ordinary boys; and perhaps, indeed, at this period, he was but an ordinary boy. The restraint was, of course, hateful to him, because it was repugnant to his temper, and totally opposite to the babits in which he had, up to this time of his life indulged. The nature of the studies to which he was compelled do not seem to have been very congenial with his feelings or his temper; and, although he had every disposition to