Imatges de pÓgina

"To-day (Feb. 18.) I have had no communication with my Carbonari cronies; but, in the mean time, my lower apartments are full of their bayonets, fusils, cartridges, and what not. I suppose that they consider me as a depôt, to be sacrificed, in case of accidents. It is no great matter, supposing that Italy could be liberated, who, or what is sacrificed. It is a grand object-the very poetry of politics. Only think-a free Italy !!! Why, there has been nothing like it since the days of Augustus. I reckon the times of Cæsar (Julius) free; because the commotions left every body a side to take, and the parties were pretty equal at the set out. But, afterwards, it was all prætorian and legionary business-and since !-we shall see, or, at least, some will see, what card will turn up. It is best to hope, even of the hopeless. The Dutch did more than these fellows have to do, in the seventy years' War.

"February 19th, 1821.

"Came home solus-very high wind-lightning-moonshine-solitary stragglers muffled in cloaks-women in masks-white houses-clouds hurrying over the sky, like spilt milk blown out of the pail-altogether very poetical. It is still blowing hard-the tiles flying, and the house rocking -rain splashing-lightning flashing-quite a fine Swiss Alpine evening, and the sea roaring in the distance.

"Visited-conversazione. All the women frightened by the squall: they won't go to the masquerade, because it lightens-the pious reason!

"Still blowing away. A. has sent me some news to-day. The war approaches nearer and nearer. Oh, those scoundrel sovereigns! Let us but see them beaten-let the Neapolitans but have the pluck of the Dutch of old, or the Spaniards of now, or of the German protestants, the Scotch presbyterians, the Swiss under Tell, or the Greeks under Themistoclesall small and solitary nations (except the Spaniards and German Lutherans), and there is yet a resurrection for Italy, and a hope for the world." ’—vol. ii. pp. 429, 430.

It would appear from this journal, which, in truth, is a strange compound, that Lord Byron had latterly indulged in drinking ardent liquors occasionally, and that his poetical faculties were becoming low and tame, in comparison with what they had been. His spirits were generally bad, and the life he led seems to have been indeed miserable. The following picture of himself is distressing.

"February 2d, 1821.

"I have been considering what can be the reason why I always wake at a certain hour in the morning, and always in very bad spirits-I may say, in actual despair and despondency, in all respects, even of that which pleased me over night. In about an hour or two, this goes off, and I compose either to sleep again, or, at least, to quiet. In England, five years ago, I had the same kind of hypochondria, but accompanied with so violent a thirst, that I have drank as many as fifteen bottles of soda-water in one night, after going to bed, and been still thirsty; calculating, however, some lost from the bursting out and effervescence and overflowing of the soda-water, in drawing the corks, or striking off the necks of the bottles, from mere thirsty impatience. At present I have not the thirst, but the depression of spirits is no less violent.

"I read in Edgeworth's Memoirs, of something similar (except that his thirst expended itself on small beer) in the case of Sir F. B. Delaval; but then he was, at least, twenty years older. What is it? liver?-In England, Le Man (the apothecary) cured me of the thirst in three days, and it had lasted as many years. I suppose that it is all hypochondria.

"What I feel most growing upon me are laziness, and a disrelish more powerful than indifference. If I rouse, it is into fury. I presume that I shall end (if not earlier by accident, or some such termination) like Swift -"dying at top." I confess, I do not contemplate this with so much horror as he apparently did, for some years before it happened. But Swift had hardly begun life at the very period (thirty-three) when I feel quite an old sort of feel.

"Oh! there is an organ playing in the street-a waltz, too! I must leave off to listen. They are playing a waltz, which I have heard ten thousand times at the balls in London, between 1812 and 1815. Music is a strange thing."-vol. ii. pp. 424, 425.

We agree with Mr. Moore, in feeling that there is something peculiarly affecting in this little incident of the music in the street, thus touching so suddenly upon the nerve of memory, and calling away his mind from its dark bodings, to a recollection of years and scenes the happiest, perhaps, of his whole life.'

The failure of the Carbonari, and the banishment of the Guiccioli family to Pisa, obliged the Countess to repair thither, as by the Papal decree of divorce, she was to reside either in her father's house or a convent. Lord Byron, of course, followed, though he had already fixed his mind, as the game of liberty was up in Italy, to see what he could do for it in Greece. Sardanapalus and Cain were, in the mean time, written and published, with what slender success we need not state. Before leaving Ravenna for Pisa, he entertained a strong presentiment, that "the principle of life in him, did not tend to longevity," and that although Moore was eight years older, he would nevertheless survive him. He moreover predicted, that his removal to Pisa, would be "the forerunner of a thousand evils." In fact, he had not resided long there, when his unlucky quarrel with the Serjeant Major, and its consequences, rendered his sojourn in that city any thing but comfortable. This, followed up by his servant's attempt upon the life of the young Count Gamba, brought the whole party under the immediate notice of the government, which ordered both the father and son to quit Tuscany. As the Countess was under the necessity of remaining under her father's protection, Lord Byron now removed to Genoa, whither he was accompanied by the whole family.

Having already, on more than one occasion, noticed the connexion of Lord Byron with the "Liberal," and the Hunts, as well as his voyage to Greece, and the premature termination, in that region, of his strange and passionate life, we shall only here attend to one or two curious particulars, connected with the latter part of his

career, which Mr. Moore's resources have enabled him to add to the accounts already published.

For an insight into the true state of his mind at this crisis, the following observations of one, who watched him with eyes quickened by anxiety, will be found, perhaps, to afford the clearest and most certain clue. "At this time," says the Contessa Guiccioli, "Lord Byron again turned his thoughts to Greece; and, excited on every side by a thousand combining circumstances, found himself, almost before he had time to form a decision, or well knew what he was doing, obliged to set out for that country. But, notwithstanding his affection for those regions--notwithstanding the consciousness of his own moral energies, which made him say always that' man ought to do something more for society than write verses,'-notwithstanding the attraction which the object of this voyage must necessarily have for his noble mind, and that, moreover, he was resolved to return to Italy within a few months,-notwithstanding all this, every person who was near him at the time, can bear witness to the struggle which his mind underwent (however much he endeavoured to hide it), as the period fixed for his departure approached."



'In addition to the vagueness which this want of any defined object so unsatisfactorily threw round the enterprise before him, he had also a sort of ominous presentiment-natural, perhaps, to one of his temperament under such circumstances-that he was but fulfilling his own doom in this expedition, and should die in Greece. On the evening before the departure of his friends, Lord and Lady B**, from Genoa, he called upon them for the purpose of taking leave, and sate conversing for some time. He was evidently in low spirits, and, after expressing his regret that they should leave Genoa before his own time of sailing, proceeded to speak of his intended voyage in a tone full of despondence. "Here," said he, we are all now together-but when, and where, shall we meet again? I have a sort of boding that we see each other for the last time; as something tells me I shall never again return from Greece." Having continued a little longer in this melancholy strain, he leaned his head upon the arm of the sofa on which they were seated, and, bursting into tears, wept for some minutes with uncontrollable feeling. Though he had been talking only with Lady B**, all who were present in the room observed, and were affected by his emotion, while he himself, apparently ashamed of his weakness, endeavoured to turn off attention from it by some ironical remark, spoken with a sort of hysterical laugh, upon the effects of" nervousness."-vol. ii. pp. 663-665.

It was the wish of Madame Guiccioli to attend Lord Byron to Greece, but that, of course, he could not think of permitting. Mr. Moore has been able to add very little to the details of Lord Byron'sdeath, which have been given by Count Gamba, Fletcher, Millingen, and others. With respect to the Memoranda, which Mr. Moore placed at the disposal of Lord Byron's sister and executor, for the suppression of which he has been by some of our contemporaries much, and most unjustly censured, we perceive, what, indeed, we had already suspected and stated, that there was nothing in those papers worthy of being published, which has not

[ocr errors]

been found in other journals, or in letters over which Mr. Moore has exercised his own discretion. Whether that discretion has been properly used, in all cases, the public will decide. We complain, that it has given more of the immoral features of Lord Byron's character to the world, than there was any sort of necessity for. At the same time, we must do Mr. Moore the justice to say, that, in all other respects, he has acquitted himself of the task which his noble friend had, in some measure, imposed upon him, in a manner as creditable to his personal independence, as it is to his literary reputation.

ART. VI.-The Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, for the Year 1830. Part II. 4to. London: Taylor. 1830. THIS portion of the Royal Society's publication for the past year, contains a number of papers, which particularly recommend themselves to our attention, by their practical and useful tendency. We are not insensible to the advantages which may be derived from the propagation of ingenious, although merely speculative, suggestions. But we think that those compositions, which are thought most calculated to promote the arts of life, should always obtain a preference in the pages of the Philosophical Transactions. To a few of the articles in the work before us, we now invite the consideration of the reader.

Dr. Daubeny on the occurrence of Iodine and Bromine in certain Mineral Waters of South Britain.-In this paper, the learned author has given the results of his experiments on some of our mineral springs, which he tested, with the view of discovering the proportion of iodine or bromine, which they might contain. The enquiries of some continental chemists had led to the establishment of an opinion that all saline springs, as well as the waters of the ocean, were impregnated, more or less, with the two principles or either of them, we have mentioned. It was a natural, and might have proved a very important, object of curiosity, to ascertain the quantities of these powerful ingredients, bromine and iodine, which the visitors of our watering-places were unconsciously consuming every year. Iodine is at present much used in medicine, and, though very powerful, is certainly not dangerous. Bromine is the reverse. It is a very active poison, in even minute doses. We have, however, great satisfaction in stating, that the analysis of the principal saline springs of England has shown, that neither of the powerful principles named, exists in those waters, except in a proportion, and under circumstances of combination, that forbid the apprehension of danger from its use in any reasonable quantity. We give a catalogue of the English springs in which iodine or bromine were found, arranging them according to their geological position.



Lias Clay


Llandrindod Pure Saline, 1 grain in 343 A trace, but


not estimated

Bualt Do.

Coal Form- Moira Spring, Ashby de
la Zouch

Nantwich Brine Spring

Pittville Pure Saline,


Sherborne, Do.


Thomson's, Do.

Proportion of


Northwich Brine Spring None


Middlewich Brine Spring grain in 3439.36 grains in
gallons. 1 gallon

Old Well, Do.


4.68 grains in
1 gallon

Shirleywitch Brine Spring None

Leamington (Robbins's 1 grain in 101 grain in 10
Gloster Sulphureous Sa-1 grain in 501 grain in 10
gallons quarts

Walton Spring, Tewkes-1 grain in 36

1.2 grains in 1



1 grain in 126.32 grains in
1 gallon

4.32 grains in
1 gallon

1 grain in 90

grain in 30

I grain in 60


I grain in 6




1 grain in 1

The Sea off Portsmouth None

Dr. Daubeny concludes by the expression of his opinion, that Bromine may be collected in abundance from some of our native Brine Springs. This hint we hope will not be lost on some of our practical chemists.

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinua »