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borne through the air by two other to his prejudice, have themselves figures, and cast into the crater of disbursed the money. It had the efStromboli. This raised a long dis- fect of rendering them more wary cussion, with many arguments, in re, and cautious, and caused sometimes gard to superstition in general, and a doubt with regard to Lord Byron's tales of spectres, to a belief in which sincerity. This failing, with respect Lord Byron either was, or affected to those who did not perfectly unto be thought prone.
derstand his ways, was an unfortuWe found the mighty Charybdis, nate one, as it became the cause of so much dreaded by the ancients, much misrepresentation, dwindled to an inconsiderable whirl. The extreme apparent candour of ing eddy, caused by the conflicting his disposition engendered a procurrents. The furious bellowing of pensity for divulging every thing. the surge, which continually lashes No one who knew him well would the precipitous and cavernous pro- have liked to confide any matter of montory of Scylla, is, however, heard a secret nature to his discretion, or to a great distance.
even speak disparagingly about, or Charybdis is reported to be still turn any one into ridicule in his preformidable in stormy weather. The sence, as he was sure to disclose it, strait, most probably, is now wider and very likely to the party so asthan it was in olden times; but Iima sailed. In regard to this inherent ingine that poetic license in former firmity, I do not wish to cast any days greatly exaggerated its terrors. imputation on Lord Byron, although Lord Byron much regretted its state occasionally it might have been proof almost tranquil repose, and sighed, ductive of serious mischief, as I sin. but, in vain, for a stiff breeze.
cerely and honestly believe that he Both from attentive observation, could not control this defect, or error and many circumstances which sub. in judgment, call it which you please; sequently occurred, I was inclined besides, in some cases, I think that to consider Lord Byron as a man of he adopted this course advisedly, as extreme sensibility, but decidedly of a sort of test to elicit the truth, by first impulses; ready at once to as- listening to both sides. sist distress with purse and person; Lord Byron was exceedingly an, but, if the feeling were permitted to noyed at Mr Blaquiere quitting subside, and not instantaneously act- Greece before his arrival, and I am ed upon, it evaporated. I cannot persuaded, that had he been aware account for this, except in suppo. of that gentleman contemplating such sing that his first-I do not say al- a step, he would not have left Italy, ways better feelings, because in the as great responsibility thereby de. objects which kindled his sympathy volved on him alone, but most proba. he was sometimes too indiscriminate bly, from particular reasons, he would --became withered things, and were have visited England again in the first deadened by suspicion of the world, place, his thoughts appearing to lean or fear of ridicule ; but, at all events, much in that direction. As the Comhis second determination in such mittee and Blaquiere had urgently cases rarely coincided with the seem. pressed on him the advantage which ing original dictates of his heart and would result to the Greek cause expressed intentions. I assert this from his presence, and were the with no view to detract from Lord principal instigators to his embarkByron's charity, or to depreciate his ing on this expedition, he thought, philanthropy ; but those around him and with justice, that Mr Blaquiere were occasionally compromised by ought at least to have waited to reit, and placed in unpleasant predica ceive him, and to communicate his ments,-as, when a case of wretch- ideas on the posture of affairs in the edness was depicted to him, without Peleponnesus, from which he had stopping to institute any enquiry, he recently returned. Lord Byron was would entreat, nay, insist, that spe- informed by some one that Mr Blacific promises of relief should be quiere's precipitate departure promade, which not being afterwards ceeded from a mania for book-ma. fulfilled, I have known one or two king, and he was amusingly sarcastic instances where friends of his, rather on him accordingly. than occasion any misapprehension He used frequently to varrate bis adventures in Turkey during his to find an appropriate subject, and youthful travels. He found himself that, admitting he possessed the caat Constantinople in company with pacity to do so, he would not engage Captain Bathurst of the Solsette fri. in such a composition. He remarkgate, a most distinguished officer, ed, that even Milton was little read who afterwards unfortunately fell at at the present day, and how very Navarino. As a proof of the ex- few in number were those who were treme ignorance of the Turks, he familiar with the writings of that sumentioned that the Capitan Pacha blime author; adding, “I shall adapt enquired at Bathurst, who was a my own poesy, please God! to the rough old tar, if he could box the fashion of the time, and, in as far as compass. He was highly incensed I possess the power, to the taste of at the interrogatory, and said to the my readers of the present generainterpreter, “ Damn the stupid tion; if it survives me, tanto meglio, brute ! does he ever pretend to be a if not, I shall have ceased to care sailor? Tell him the youngest boy about it." I permitted myself to men. in my ship knows that." Upon which tion how generally Tasso and Ariosto his Excellency stroked his long were known to all Italians of any beard in amazement, at the astonish, education; he answered, “Ah! but ing skill of the Ghiaour. In order Italy is not like England, the two to see the Sultan's court, Lord By, countries cannot stand in compari. ron attended the audience of leave son; besides, I consider that almost granted to Mr Adair; bis successor, every Italian inherits from nature, Sir Stratford Canning, who had a more or less, some poetical feeling.” very youthful appearance, also rode It is strange how litile value he apin the procession, and his Lordshippeared to put on that fame which said that an old Turk, not acquaint, was already acquired by his immored with the person of the new En tal literary performances; he seemed voy, but seeing him magnificently to anticipate more lasting renown clad, with a very smooth chin, and from some insignificant achievement rather an effeminate look, very in Greece, which could only derive grarely asked if he was not a “ Mu- any importance from his being an sico," sent by the British monarch actor in it, than from any brilliant as a present to the Sublime Porte. emanation of bis genius.
Whilst engaged in conversation, His vivid and ardent imagination one day, with Lord Byron, about Mr was wont to convert those every day Hobhouse, with whom I had not occurrences that related to himself then the honour of being personally into extraordinary events, which acquainted, I remember his remark were to exercise an influence on his ing, that if I lived, I should at some future destinies; distorted concepperiod see him in office. I ven- tions arose to his morbid fancy, from tured to express my dissent; he re- which he extracted gloomy and dejoined, that place would obtrude sponding inferences, which no ordiitself on Mr Hobhouse, as he was nary man would ever have contemconvinced the time would arrive plated in idea ; when in a fitful mood, when a Ministry, coinciding in the as he was a most ingenious self-torgeneral political tenets of that gen. mentor, they furnished him with tleman, must come into power. materials to vomit forth bitter imEvery thing, he maintained, was precations against his own supposed gradually tending to such a consum. unhappy fate, and the villany of mation; and as Mr Hobhouse was a mankind. This miserable feeling man of the highest endowments, and appeared to be with him quite a connected with the Radical or Liberal second nature, and, I venture to say, party, that, consequently, he would no greater calamity could have bebe obliged to join an Administration fallen him than suddenly to find him. wbieh should be constituted on his self without a grievance, real or own principles.
ideal, of which he could complain. I once used the liberty of asking Lord Byron set great store by his Lord Byron why he appeared never independence in mind and action, to have thought of writing an Epic, but he was, however, if I may use such or some grand and continuous work. a term, the slave of that liberty on He replied, that it was very difficult which he piqued himself so highly, as in support of it he was almost “but we shall retain our own monies; continually doing or saying some- and then if our appetite disagrees thing, that, on calm reflection, was with the kingly authority, we shall, the cause of sincere regret, and bit- like Sancho, have the alternative of terly lamented, on discovering that abdicating.” he had been in error. He was also He often contended in favour of easily influenced and led by those the Oriental custom of secluding fewho had the tact to use their sway males, and teaching them only a few mildly, and allow him to suppose pleasing accomplishments, affirming that he governed them, whilst the the learned education lavished so reverse was the fact; but had any frequently in England on the sex, one suggested this to him, or even only served to turn their heads with hinted it, he would have been frantic conceit, and look with contempt on at the idea, and perhaps never after domestic duties ; that the Greeks endured the presence of the party were sensible people in not allowing supposed to exercise the obnoxious their daughters to be instructed in dominion. He sometimes on the writing, as it taught them to scribpassage expressed his intention, ble billets-doux and practise decep. should his services prove of no tion. Had he to choose a second avail to Greece, of endeavouring to wife, he would select one born in obtain by purchase, or otherwise, the East, young and beautiful, whom some small island in the South Sea, he alone had been permitted to visit, to which, after visiting England, he and whom he had taught to love him might retire for the remainder of his exclusively, but of her he would be life, and very seriously asked Tre jealous as a tiger. lawny if he would accompany him, Lord Byron could scarcely be seto which the latter, without hesita- rious in such a strange idea, and tion, replied in the affirmative. perhaps was but mystifying some of
He frequently reverted to the ex- our party. He used to indulge in treme dissolute conduct and incon. many mirthful sallies about his in. tinence which reigned among the creasing love of money; when he higher circles in his younger days, possessed little, he said that he was observing, that married ladies of that extremely profuse, but now that his class of society in England were fortune had been so much augmentmuch more depraved than those of ed, he felt an irresistible inclination the Continent, but that the strict to hoard, and contemplated with deoutward regard paid to the obser- light any accumulation. From this vances of morality in the former, propensity he augured that a predicled the fair sinners to be more dex. tion once made in respect to him terous and cunning in concealing would be forth with fulfilled, viz., tbeir delinquencies.
that he would die a miser and a meHe professed to entertain a very thodist, which he said he intended indifferent opinion in respect to ha. should also be the denouément of bitual virtue and constancy in the Don Juan. fair sex, this unfair and severe judg With occasional liberality, Lord ment may probably be ascribed to Byron certainly united a considerthe tone of society in which his able degree of unnecessary parsiLordship had so unfortunately in his mony, and those who had known younger days, and afterwards at Vem him much longer than myself, stated nice, indulged; and to having early that this habit was to be dated from abandoned himself to the mastery of the period of the increase to his forhis passions, without any one to act tune, arising from the large properas his Mentor and protector.
ty which he had become entitled to The Greek Schilizzi, by way of at the demise of Lady Noel, his flattery, used frequently to insinuate wife's mother. that his countrymen might possibly Lord Byron sometimes spoke in choose Lord Byron for their King, terms of unqualified praise of the as a considerable party were in fa. extremely careful and penurious Tour of a Monarchical Government; character of old Lega, his Maestro di this idea did not displease bis Lord. Casa. This man, he said, guarded ship, who said he would perhaps his treasure like the Dragon watchnot decline the offer, if made, adding, ing the golden fruit in the garden of the Hesperides, and viewed his mo- wester, and was not at bottom a bad nies with the same self-satisfaction fellow. Lord Byron's first question as if they were his own property, to him, on coming on deck in the grumbling and murmuring at making morning, was, “ Well, Captain, have the most trivial disbursement on you taken your meridian?” which Lord Byron's own order, and sleep- meant a stiff tumbler of grog; if he ing on the boxes of specie, yet was had, he never objected to a second, strictly honest.
and Lord Byron almost invariably I should not have been able to joined him in it. appreciate so singular a character, We had some diverting scenes and would have feared to encounter with him during the passage. It in him (I do not mean, however, in was discovered that Vitali, one of saying so, to cast any imputation on the Greek passengers, had contrived Signor Lega) a second Ambrose de to bring on board some cloth and Lamela. I hope that I shall be ex- other articles of merchandise, which cused mentioning a trait of the most he no doubt intended to smuggle marked kindness and condescension into the Ionian Islands. The disin Lord Byron towards myself. covery arose from a ridiculous cirWhen at Cephalonia, I was engaged cumstance. A most abominable to dine either at Colonel Napier's, stench was observed by the captain or the mess of the 8th regiment. to proceed from a large trunk After having dressed in the cabin, I amongst the luggage, but he did not came on deck, and requested the fa- know the owner of it; at last he vour of Captain Scott's directing one ordered it to be brought upon deck, of his men to put me ashore. The and said, if no one claimed it, he skipper, however, who occasionally would throw it overboard. Vitali indulged in deep potations, and was then rushed forward in defence of at these times very surly and inso- his property. lent, refused the use of the boat. The captain insisted on its being Lord Byron, who, the skylight being opened ; Vitali, after many wry off his cabin, bad overheard our confaces, produced the key, and behold versation, instantly made his ap- a most disgusting spectacle presentpearance, and going over the side ed itself to our astonished optics, in into a small punt, which belonged the shape of a roasted pig, in a state to the yacht he sold to Lord Bles- of decomposition. The captain was sington at Geneva, prepared it, and so enraged at the sight, that, with returning on deck, addressed me, great difficulty, Vitali prevented his saying, “ Now, Browne, allow me to cloth from following the pig, which conduct you.”
was instantly thrown overboard. I remonstrated; the day being Vitali had perhaps thought that he excessively hot, and the boat too was to find his own provisions, calsmall for me to assist in rowing it. culating on a short passage, reserved
“ Never mind,” he rejoined; “I the poor little grunter for a bonne insist upon it, you shall accept my bouche on landing. This sordid beoffer."
haviour, so unexpectedly brought to Scott, who stood by growling like light, alienated Lord Byron, who had a bear, amazed, then proffered his become rather partial to the copper own boat.
captain, as he called him; and Scott Lord Byron exclaimed, « No! was instructed, on our arrival in Captain Scott, Mr Browne is my Cephalonia, to make a declaration guest, and I wish him and every to the customhouse regarding the other gentlenian on board to be treate cloth, for which Vitali, much to his ed with the same respect as myself. annoyance, had to pay duty. The We shall not accept it after your be- captain after this could not endure haviour."
Vitali. Lord Byron dearly loved a And the matter ended in his row. practical joke, and it was insinuated ing me ashore in his own diminutive to Scott that the Greek was adskiff; and after having done so, he dicted to certain horrible propensi. instantly regained the ship.
ties, too common in the Levant. Scott was a bluff English seaman, The look of horror and aversion whose countenance showed that he with which Scott then regarded the had stood the brunt of many a north- poor man was indescribable, swear.
VOL. XXXV. NO. CCXVII.
ing at the same time, and wondering Lord Byron, in adverting to his how such a scoundrel could dare to travels in Albania in early life, often look any honest man in the face. spoke of the Arnouts and Suliots, Scott could not speak a word of whom he considered as old friends; Italian, and the Greek seeing him in in shipwreck and illness having been these passions, whenever he beheld his kind though rough nurses. He him, could not comprehend the rea- said that his Albanian attendants had son of it, but went about, addressing terrified his doctor, by threatening first one and then another, with him with death should he not re“ Mi dica, per amor di Dio, Signore, cover; and to this he ascribed his casa mi vuoli il Senior Capitano, che safety, placing great faith in surgery, mi mira sempre cosi fieramenti ?" but little in the skill of a physician. Lord Byron at these scenes was He was, therefore, extremely reabsolutely convulsed with laughter. joiced at the first sight of the Suliots Scott also attacked his Lordship, at Cephalonia. On their coming on expressing his surprise and concern board in the harbour of Argostoli, that he could have thought of ad- he bounded on deck, evidently very mitting so infamous a person into much affected, his expressive counthe ship; who replied, that it was tenance radiant with gladness to Schilizzi who had mentioned the welcome them, and he immediately matter, otherwise it would have engaged a few of them to form a been unknown to us.
body-guard in Greece, with a proOne morning the skylight being mise to employ a great many more. off, Vitali was perceived in his It was, however, a very different afdrawers, with his mouth wide open, fair to have Albanians or other rude asleep on the cabin table, whilst the warriors assigned to him by Ali boys were employed in washing the Paseia as an escort, to enlisting them decks. Scott, who could not resist in their new character as mercenary the temptation, discharged the con- soldiers. Ali's stern rule compelled tents of a bucket of dirty water over them to obey and pay every dethe poor Greek, who, in a state of ference to Lord Byron as his guest, frenzy, rushed upon deck, and and their lives probably would bave Scott, paying no attention to him, he paid the forfeit of any ill-treatment. might have stabbed the captain, or În the present instance, his pleasing done some mischief in his fury, bad illusion was speedily dispelled, when not Lord Byron come up and as he witnessed their attempts to oversured him the drenching he had un- reach him in the very hard bargain dergone was purely accidental. they drove for their services; insist
Lord Byron's original intention was ing, too, on being paid in advance. to go in the Hercules to Zante, but The Suliots are individually brave; having represented to him that the and without complaint endure exResident of that island was not con- treme privations, bearing them with sidered so favourably disposed to resignation and patience. They are wards the Greek cause as my friend reckoned excellent light soldiers, but Colonel Napier, who filled the same will submit to no regular discipline; office at Cephalonia, his Lordship de- and, like all the tribes of Epirus, sired Captain Scott to steer thither. are avaricious, and of predatory He had no reason to regret having habits, done so, as Colonel Napier welcomed The hope of sharing in Lord Bybim with the most warmhearted ron's supposed enormous wealth hospitality; and, on farther acquaint influenced them far beyond any af. ance, he admired bim as an officer fection which they pretended to enpossessing first-rate military talents, tertain towards him personally, and gifted with no ordinary acquire that he very soon discovered. I do ments, the quintessence of chival. not question their devotion to leaders rous feeling, and imbued with that born amongst themselves, and acreasonable and tempered enthusiasm customed to command them; or to in the Greek cause, which was con- the heads of their distinguished fasequent on a long residence in the milies or clans, who exercise a speIonian Islands, and a thorough know. cies of patriarchal sway over them. ledge of the people with whom Lord The Albanians and Suliots of the Byron was about to link his destiny. present day resemble much the Scot