LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Letters and Journals of Lord Byron
Lord Byron to John Murray, 13 June 1813

Life of Byron: to 1806
Life of Byron: 1806
Life of Byron: 1807
Life of Byron: 1808
Life of Byron: 1809
Life of Byron: 1810
Life of Byron: 1811
Life of Byron: 1812
Life of Byron: 1813
Life of Byron: 1814
Life of Byron: 1815
Life of Byron: 1816 (I)
Life of Byron: 1816 (II)
Life of Byron: 1817
Life of Byron: 1818
Life of Byron: 1819
Life of Byron: 1820
Life of Byron: 1821
Life of Byron: 1822
Life of Byron: 1823
Life of Byron: 1824
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“Maidenhead, June 13th, 1813.

“ * * * I have read the ‘Strictures,’ which are just enough, and not grossly abusive, in very fair couplets. There is a note against Massinger near the end, and one cannot quarrel with one’s company, at any rate. The author detects some incongruous figures in a passage of English Bards, page 23, but which edition I do not know. In the sole copy in your possession—I mean the fifth edition—you may make these alterations, that I may profit (though a little too late) by his remarks:—For ‘hellish instinct,’ substitute ‘brutal instinct;’ ‘harpies’ alter to ‘felons:’ and for ‘blood-hounds’ write ‘hell-hounds*.’ These be ‘very bitter words, by my troth,’ and the alterations not much sweeter; but as I shall not

* In an article on this Satire (written for Cumberland’s Review, but never printed) by that most amiable man and excellent poet, the late Rev. Wm. Crowe, the incongruity of these metaphors is thus noticed:—“Within the space of three or four couplets he transforms a man into as many different animals. Allow him but the compass of three lines, and he will metamorphose him from a wolf into a harpy, and in three more he will make him a bloodhound.”

There are also in this MS. critique some curious instances of oversight or ignorance adduced from the Satire; such as “Fish from Helicon—“Attic flowers Aonian odours breathe,” &c. &c.

A. D. 1813. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 407
publish the thing, they can do no harm, but are a satisfaction to me in the way of amendment. The passage is only twelve lines.

“You do not answer me about H’s book; I want to write to him, and not to say any thing unpleasing. If you direct to Post-office, Portsmouth, till called for, I will send and receive your letter. You never told me of the forthcoming critique on Columbus, which is not too fair; and I do not think justice quite done to the ‘Pleasures,’ which surely entitle the author to a higher rank than that assigned him in the Quarterly. But I must not cavil at the decisions of the invisible infallibles; and the article is very well written. The general horror of ‘fragments’ makes me tremulous for the ‘Giaour;’ but you would publish it—I presume, by this time, to your repentance. But as I consented, whatever be its fate, I won’t now quarrel with you, even though I detect it in my pastry; but I shall not open a pie without apprehension for some weeks.

“The books which may be marked G. O. I will carry out. Do you know Clarke’s Naufragia? I am told that he asserts the first volume of Robinson Crusoe was written by the first Lord Oxford, when in the Tower, and given by him to Defoe; if true, it is a curious anecdote. Have you got back Lord Brooke’s MS.? and what does Heber say of it? Write to me at Portsmouth.

“Ever yours, &c.