LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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The Life of William Roscoe
Chapter XI. 1809-1810
William Roscoe to Sir Philip Francis, [June 1810]

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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“I am not surprised at your giving up all hope of the country, much less at your intention to withdraw yourself from political discussion. An author whom I greatly respect has told me ‘that in all ages the rage of popular violence has been principally directed against the best friends and benefactors of mankind.’ So, if you are fortunate enough to escape unpunished from the public service, you must be satisfied with impunity, and consider it as a reward. There may, probably, be an exception in your favour, but the general rules of human justice are against you. The only traveller I know of whose veracity is not to be suspected, informs us that, in the island of Glubdubdrib, he had an opportunity of conversing with the spirits of the dead; and he says, that ‘having read of some great services done to princes and states, he desired to see the persons by whom those services were performed. On enquiry, he was told that their names were to be found on no record, except a few of them whom history hath represented as the vilest rogues and traitors. As to the rest, he had never once heard of them. They all appeared with dejected looks, and in the meanest habit; most of them telling him they died in poverty and disgrace, and the rest of them on a scaffold or a gibbet.’ Nevertheless, if you believe, as I do, that great faculties are given in trust, and that duty may survive hope, I cannot
allow you to quit your station. The very worst of all the symptoms in the present case, is the universal indifference of the country to the dangers that surround it. Something must be done to rouse the people and bring them to their senses; and I, for one, shall look to you for some great contribution to that service. While I am here at
Lord Thanet’s, I shall read and study all your tracts again. You cannot give me wealth or power; but you can, and shall, give instruction. I will not suffer you to forget me, if I can help it. I would rather have accompanied Charles Fox to his grave, and into it, egenus et exul uterque, than have been witness to what I heard and saw in the last six months of his life. He missed the moment—e curru descendens Teutonico. He might have commanded, as you will do, his own Euthanasia. To my knowledge, more than twenty years of his life were heroic. Farewell, dear sir; do not yet despair of the Republic.”