Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Books, poems, drama…

Byron by John Nichol

Part 4 out of 4

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 0.4 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

In the same way, the later cantos of _Harold_ are steeped in Switzerland
and in Italy. Byron's genius, it is true, required a stimulus; it could
not have revelled among the daisies of Chaucer, or pastured by the banks
of the Doon or the Ouse, or thriven among the Lincolnshire fens. He had a
sincere, if somewhat exclusive, delight in the storms and crags that
seemed to respond to his nature and to his age. There is no affectation in
the expression of the wish, "O that the desert were my dwelling-place!"
though we know that the writer on the shores of the Mediterranean still
craved for the gossip of the clubs. It only shows that--

Two desires toss about
The poet's feverish blood;
One drives him to the world without,
And one to solitude.

Of Byron's two contemporary rivals, Wordsworth had no feverish blood;
nothing drove him to the world without; consequently his "eyes avert their
ken from half of human fate," and his influence, though perennial, will
always be limited. He conquered England from his hills and lakes; but his
spirit has never crossed the Straits which he thought too narrow. The
other, with a fever in his veins, calmed it in the sea and in the cloud,
and, in some degree because of his very excellencies, has failed as yet to
mark the world at large. The poets' poet, the cynosure of enthusiasts, he
bore the banner of the forlorn hope; but Byron, with his feet of clay, led
the ranks. Shelley, as pure a philanthropist as St. Francis or Howard,
could forget mankind, and, like his Adonais, become one with nature.
Byron, who professed to hate his fellows, was of them even more than for
them, and so appealed to them through a broader sympathy, and held them
with a firmer hand. By virtue of his passion, as well as his power, he was
enabled to represent the human tragedy in which he played so many parts,
and to which his external universe of cloudless moons, and vales of
evergreen, and lightning-riven peaks, are but the various background. He
set the "anguish, doubt, desire," the whole chaos of his age, to a music
whose thunder-roll seems to have inspired the opera of _Lohengrin_--a
music not designed to teach or to satisfy "the budge doctors of the Stoic
fur," but which will continue to arouse and delight the sons and daughters
of men.

Madame de Stael said to Byron, at Ouchy, "It does not do to war with the
world: the world is too strong for the individual." Goethe only gives a
more philosophic form to this counsel when he remarks of the poet, "He put
himself into a false position by his assaults on Church and State. His
discontent ends in negation.... If I call _bad_ bad, what do I gain? But
if I call _good_ bad, I do mischief." The answer is obvious: as long as
men call _bad_ good, there is a call for iconoclasts: half the reforms of
the world have begun in negation. Such comments also point to the common
error of trying to make men other than they are by lecturing them. This
scion of a long line of lawless bloods--a Scandinavian Berserker, if there
ever was one--the literary heir of the Eddas--was specially created to
wage that war--to smite the conventionality which is the tyrant of England
with the hammer of Thor, and to sear with the sarcasm of Mephistopheles
the hollow hypocrisy--sham taste, sham morals, sham religion--of the
society by which he was surrounded and infected, and which all but
succeeded in seducing him. But for the ethereal essence,--

The fount of fiery life
Which served for that Titanic strife,

Byron would have been merely a more melodious Moore and a more
accomplished Brummell. But the caged lion was only half tamed, and his
continual growls were his redemption. His restlessness was the sign of a
yet unbroken will. He fell and rose, and fell again; but never gave up the
struggle that keeps alive, if it does not save, the soul. His greatness as
well as his weakness lay, in the fact that from boyhood battle was the
breath of his being. To tell him not to fight, was like telling Wordsworth
not to reflect, or Shelley not to sing. His instrument is a trumpet of
challenge; and he lived, as he appropriately died, in the progress of an
unaccomplished campaign. His work is neither perfect architecture nor fine
mosaic; but, like that of his intellectual ancestors, the elder
Elizabethans whom he perversely maligned, it is all animated by the spirit
of action and of enterprise.

In good portraits his head has a lurid look, as if it had been at a higher
temperature than that of other men. That high temperature was the source
of his inspiration, and the secret of a spell which, during his life,
commanded homage and drew forth love. Mere artists are often mannikins.
Byron's brilliant though unequal genius was subordinate to the power of
his personality; he

Had the elements
So mix'd in him, that Nature might stand up
And say to all the world--"This was a man."

We may learn much from him still, when we have ceased to disparage, as our
fathers ceased to idolize, a name in which there is so much warning and so
much example.

INDEX.

_Abydos, Bride of_
Adeline (Lady), analysis of female character
Albrizzi (Countess), salon of
Ali Pasha, his reception of Byron
Allegra, Byron's daughter
Athenians, character of
Athens
Aurora Raby, La Guiccioli idealised

Becher's, Rev. J.T., influence on Byron
_Beppo_
_Blackwood's Magazine_
Blessington, Lady
_Blues, The_
Boatswain (Byron's dog)
Bologna
Boston's _Fourfold State_
Bowers, Byron's tutor
Bowles, controversy about Pope
Bozzaris, Marco, death of
Brandes, Prof., criticism of Byron's bust
_British Review, To the Editor of the_
_Bronze, The Age of_
Brougham's, Lord, criticism of _Hours of Idleness_
Brown, Hamilton
Bruno, Dr.
Brydges, Sir Egerton, criticism of _Cain_
Burns
Burun, an ancestor of Byron
Butler, Dr., master of Harrow
Byron, Augusta Ada (the poet's daughter)
Byron, George Gordon, 6th Lord
genealogy;
birth;
residence at Ballater;
school-life;
early loves;
"first dash into poetry";
accession to peerage;
Baillie, Dr., medical adviser;
at Harrow;
coming of age;
writes review on Wordsworth;
Annesley, residence at;
at Cambridge;
takes seat in House of Lords;
travels;
studies Romaic;
Armenian;
attacks of fever;
speeches in House of Lords;
writes address on re-opening of Drury Lane Theatre;
publishes the _Giaour_;
friendship with Sir Walter Scott;
marriage;
separation from wife;
departure from England;
friendship with Shelley;
in Switzerland;
in Italy;
life in Venice
completes _Childe Harold_
life at Ravenna
at Pisa
relations with Leigh Hunt
life in Albaro
joins conspiracy in Italy
joins movement for liberation of Greece
leaves Italy
life in Greece
last illness and death
last words
funeral honours
Byron, Lord
allusions in his poetry to his training
appreciation of
aristocratic sentiments
Austria, hatred of, characteristics
characteristics of literature in Byron's age
cleverness
comparison with Shelley and Wordsworth
contemporary admiration
debts
defects of character
defects of his poetry
descriptive power
dislike of professional _litterateurs_
dissipations
dogmatism
early friends
financial affairs
follower of Pope
garrulity
idleness
knowledge of languages
knowledge of Scripture
in London society
lameness
love of mountains
melancholy
pecuniary profits
personal appearance
physical endurance
poetic character
politics
reading
relations to female sex
scholarship
Scotch superstition
social views
solitude
sources of Byron's work
swimming, feats of
tame bear
temper
theological views
verse-romances
women
estimate of
works translated
Byron, John, Admiral
Byron, John, of Clayton
Byron, John (father)
Byron, Lady (wife)
Byron, Mrs. (mother)
Byron, Richard (2nd Lord)
Byron, Robert de
Byron, Sir John (1st Lord)
Byron, Sir Nicholas
Byron, William (3rd Lord)
Byron, William (4th Lord)
Byron, William (5th Lord)

Cadiz, estimate of
_Cain_
Cambridge
Campbell, Thomas
Carbonari, a secret society
Carlisle, Lord
Carlyle
Castelar
_Cenci_
Charlotte, Princess
Chasles, criticism by
Chatterton
Chaucer
Chaworth, Mary Ann
Chaworth, Mr.
Chaworth, Viscount
Cheltenham
_Childe Harold_
criticism of
_Chillon, Prisoner of_
_Christabel_
_Churchill's Grave_
Civil Wars
Clairmont, Miss, intimacy with
Clare, Lord, friendship with
Clermont, Mrs., Lady Byron's maid
Cogni, Margarita, intimacy with
Coleridge
Colocatroni, the brigand
Constantinople
_Corinth, Siege of_
_Corsair_
_Could I remount the River of my Years_
Cowley
Cowper
Crabbe
_Curse of Minerva_

Dallas, R.C.
Dante
D'Arcy, Amelia (Countess Conyers)
_Darkness_
Davies, Scrope
Davy, Sir H.
_Deformed Transformed_
_Don Juan_
criticism of
Doomsday Book
Dramas (Byron's)
_Dream, The_
Drury, Dr. Joseph
Drury, Henry
Drury Lane Theatre
Drury, Mark
Dryden
Duff, Mary, intimacy with
Dulwich

Eddlestone, the chorister
_Edinburgh Review_
Ekenhead, Lieutenant
Eldon, Lord
Elgin, Lord
Elze
England's vice of hypocrisy
_English Bards and Scotch Reviewers_
English character
English literature

_Faery Queene_ (Spenser's)
Falkland, Lord
_Faust_, influence of, on Byron
Ferrara
Fletcher (valet)
Florence
_Foscari, The Two_
_Francesca of Rimini_
Frere

Galt
Gamba
Gell
Geneva
Genoa
George, Prince of Denmark
George III.
_Giaour_
Gibbon
Gibraltar
Gifford
_Glenarvon_ (Lady Caroline Lamb's novel)
Glennie, Dr.
Goethe
Gray, May, her influence over Byron
Gray (poet)
Greece
Grindelwald
Guiccioli

Hailstone, Prof.
Hanson, Mr., solicitor
Harness, a school-fellow
Harrogate, trip to
Harrow
Hawthorne
_Heaven and Earth_
Heber, Bishop
_Hebrew Melodies_
_Hints from Horace_
Hiron, a Cambridge tradesman
Hobhouse
Hodgson, Rev. F.
Holderness, Earl of
Holland, Lord
Hoppner
_Hours of Idleness_
Howard, Hon. F.
Howitt, William
Hucknall Torkard, church
_Hudibras_
Hunt, John
Hunt, Leigh

Ilissus
Ilium
_Island, The_
Italy
Ithaca

Jackson, Mr., a pugilist
Janina
Jeffrey
Jones (tutor)
Journal (Byron's)
Juliet, story of
Jungfrau
_Juvenilia_

Keats
Kemble, Frances Ann, memoirs of
Kennedy, Dr.
Kharyati
Kinnaird, Douglas
Kirkby Mallory

_Lalla Rookh_
Lamb, Lady Caroline
La Mira
_Landlord, Tales of a_
Landor
Lanfranchi
_Lara_
Lausanne
Lavender, a quack
Lee, Harriet
Leeds, Duke of
Leghorn
Leigh, Colonel
Leigh, Mrs. (poet's sister Augusta)
Loman, Lake
Lepanto
Lewis
_Liberal_, the
Lido
Lion (pet dog)
Lisbon
Lisle, Rouget de
Loch Leven
Locke
Lockhart
London
Londonderry, Lord
Long, Edward Noel
Longman
Loughborough
Lucca
Lucifer
Lushington, Dr.

Macaulay
Mackenzie (the Man of Feeling)
Mafra
Magellan, Straits of
Mallet
Malta
Mandeville, Sir John
_Manfred_
criticism of
Mansel, Dr. Lort
Marathon
Marilyn, Mrs.
_Marina Faliero_
criticism of
Marius
Marlowe
Martineau, Miss
Matlock
Matthews, C.S.
Mavrocordatos, Prince Alexander
Mayor, Dr.
_Mazeppa_
Mazzini
Medora (daughter of Mrs. Leigh)
Medwin, Captain
Meister, Wilhelm
Melbourne
Memoirs (Byron's)
Mesolonghi
Milan
Milbanke, Sir Ralph
Milligen (a physician)
Milton
Moore
Morea
Morgan, Lady
_Morgantc Maggiore_
Murray, Joe (butler)
Murray, John
Musters

Napier, Colonel
Naples
Napoleon
Newark
Newbury, battle of
Nowstead
Noel, Lady
Norton, Mrs.
_Nottingham_

Odysseus
Ossington
Oxford

Paganini
_Parisina_
Parker, Margaret, intimacy with
Parr, Dr.
Parry (engineer)
Parthenon
Paterson (a tutor)
Patras
Peel, Sir Robert
Peloponnesus
Pentelicus
Persia
Petrarch
Philopoemen
Pigot
Pisa
Plato's Glaucus
_Pleasures of Hope_
Po (river)
Polidori
Pope
Porson, 39
Power, Miss
_Prometheus_
Pulci

_Quarterly Review_

_Rambler_
Raphael
Ravenna
Regent, the
Regillus
Reid, Dr.
_Rejected Addresses_
Revolution, the French
Rhine
Rhoetian hill
Richter
Robinson, Crabb
Rochdale
Rochester
Rogers, Samuel, (poet)
Rogers (tutor)
Roman Catholic Emancipation, speech on behalf of
Roman Catholic religion
Rome
Ross (a tutor)
Rossina
Rousseau
Rubens
Rushton, Robert
Ruskin
Russell, Lord John
Russia
Ruthyn, Lord Grey de

Sainte Beuve
Santa Croce
_Saragassa, Maid of_
Sardanapalus
_Saturday Review_
Schlegel, F.
Scotland, allusions to
Scott, Sir Walter
Seaham
Segati, Mariana, intimacy with
Seville
Shakespeare
Shelley
Shelley, Mrs.
Shepherd, Mrs., letter of
Sheridan
Siddons, Mrs.
Sinclair, George, friend of Byron
Sligo, Marquis of
Smith, Mrs. Spencer ("Florence")
Smith, Sir Henry
Smyrna
Socrates
Soraete
Southey
Southwell
Spain
Spectator
Spencer, Earl
Spenser
Spielberg
Spinoza
Stael, Madame de
Stanhope, Colonel
Stanhope, Lady Hester
Staubbach
Stendhal
Stephen, Leslie
Stromboli
Suliotes
Swift
Swinstead
Switzerland

Taafe
Taine
Tasso
Tavell (a tutor)
_Telegrapho_(newspaper)
Tennant
Tennyson
Tepaleni
Thackeray
Thebes
Theresa (Maid of Athens)
Thorwaldsen
Tickhill
Titian
Trelawny
Turkey
Tusculum

University training

_Vampire, The_
Vanessa
Vathi
Venice
Verona
"Victory," the
_Vision of Judgment_
Voltaire

"Wager," the
_Waltz, The,_
Washington
Waterloo
Watkins, Dr. John
Wellington
Wengern
_Werner_
West (artist)
Westminster Abbey
Wildman
Williams, Captain
Wingfield, John
Woodhouselee, Lord
Wordsworth
_World_
Wycliffe

York
Yussuf Pasha

Zante
Zitza

THE END.

Book of the day: