LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Conversations on Religion, with Lord Byron
Jean-Jacques Meyer to James Kennedy, 4 March 1824

First Conversation
Kennedy on Scripture
Second Conversation
Third Conversation
Fourth Conversation
Fifth Conversation
Memoir of Byron
Byron’s Character
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Produced by CATH
Missolunghi, March 4th, 1824.

I have received your letter, from which I am confirmed in the sentiments that Colonel Stanhope caused me to form of you.

The box, with the religious and moral tracts, are at present in the hands of Lord Byron, who will consign them to me to-day.

We feel here, perhaps more than in any other part of Greece, the necessity of imparting instruction, and that the only basis on which a positive liberty can be founded is that of religion and morality.

The inhabitants of the Koreli repose so much confidence in me, that they have entrusted to me the organizing of. . . *. After I had spoken to them of the important results that might ensue from the reading of the Bible and moral treatises, they have consented to form a society for the Bible, and for the establishment of a school. Many excellent patriots and Christians are united with me in committee, desirous that I should endeavour, in the first place, to disperse the Bible, and then attempt the formation of a school.

The Bible and treatises that I have received have been distributed to priests who are well informed, and to esta-

* Torn by the seal.

blishments which are termed a school: very pleasing results have been witnessed, as a priest (of Kraveri) thus writes me.

“I received your Bibles on Sunday last before the church, and I commenced reading under a plane-tree. I was surrounded by men, women, and children. ‘What book is that you are reading?’ they inquired. I explained to them what it was, and for my first public lecture, I selected Christ’s sermon on the Mount. The people were astonished at hearing words to which they had never before listened; and I was compelled to promise that I would read the Gospel to them every sabbath.”

With respect to the school, I have fixed on the Lancasterian method as that which is likely to produce a more quick return than any other. In a short time I hope I shall have two masters who will be capable of instructing children. The funds for this institution are almost all gained by subscription, and other assured means, for a house, a garden, for the payment of the masters, &c.

This slight recital will enable you to perceive that it is my intention to lay a moral and religious basis, as conductor of the Greek Chronicle, and as one of the editors of the Greek Telegraph, which in a few days will make its appearance. I am perfectly convinced that religion and morality alone can adorn, or form the liberty so much desired by the Greeks: without these enlightening graces, the Greeks would never be worthy of so great a good; which, except united with religion and morality, would prove as a sword in the hands of a child.


Books for education, and for moral purposes, even in different languages, would be very desirable. May I entreat you to procure for me as many as you possibly can?

I shall have the honour of writing to you more fully in my next letter. Excuse me in the meantime. Accept of my most distinguished consideration.

(Signed) T. J. Meyer,
Editor of the
Greek Chronicle.
Dr. Kennedy,