LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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The Life of William Roscoe
Chapter X. 1808
William Roscoe to William Smyth, [June? 1808]

Vol I. Contents
Chapter I. 1753-1781
Chapter II. 1781-1787
Chapter III. 1787-1792
Chapter IV. 1788-1796
Chapter V. 1795
Chapter VI. 1796-1799
Chapter VII. 1799-1805
Chapter IX. 1806-1807
Chapter X. 1808
Chapter XI. 1809-1810
Vol II. Contents
Chapter XII. 1811-1812
Chapter XIII. 1812-1815
Chapter XIV. 1816
Chapter XV. 1817-1818
Chapter XVI. 1819
Chapter XVII. 1820-1823
Chapter XVIII. 1824
Chapter XIX. 1825-1827
Chapter XX. 1827-1831
Chapter XXI.
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“My polite critics were never more mistaken than when they assert that I have a rage for writing pamphlets, whilst the fact is, that the hesitation and reluctance I feel on such occasions are inexpressible. Who can have any pleasure in putting his head into such a hornet’s nest? or in being held up to the public as a scarecrow? or what, but an idea (right or wrong) that what I have to say is of some importance, could induce me to undergo such an ordeal?

“I think with you that the last pamphlet was too late, and what interest it had has been wholly taken away by new circumstances and events, in which some persons foresee the liberation of Europe. The liberation of Europe! alas! what can liberate countries sunk in the darkest superstition—the devoted slaves of despotic authority—who dispute only for the right of bringing back their former tyrants, adoring the Virgin Mary,
and burning their neighbours? I execrate the rapacity and ambition of
Bonaparte, and should be truly glad to see his projects defeated; but with respect to Spain and Portugal, if the only result be that which is professed by themselves and confirmed by our government, that they are to return to the authority of their former dynasties, under the wretched governments which have so long oppressed them; if, after having driven out the invader, they are to relapse into the same intellectual and moral imbecility in which they have so long remained, I see little at which liberty can congratulate herself or humanity rejoice. My wishes, however, go with them. They are struggling, if not for civil or political freedom, for national independence; and if they should accomplish it by their valour, it is yet to be hoped that they will not resign, unconditionally, into the hands of their former rulers, those rights which they have preserved from the violation of foreign arms.”