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Introduction and Dedication

(_underscores_ denote italics)


Byron was a rapid as well as a voluminous writer. His _Tales_ were
thrown off at lightning speed, and even his dramas were thought out and
worked through with unhesitating energy and rapid achievement.
Nevertheless, the composition of his two great poems was all but
coextensive with his poetical life. He began the first canto of _Childe
Harold_ in the autumn of 1809, and he did not complete the fourth canto
till the spring of 1818. He began the first canto of _Don Juan_ in the
autumn of 1818, and he was still at work on a seventeenth canto in the
spring of 1823. Both poems were issued in parts, and with long intervals
of unequal duration between the parts; but the same result was brought
about by different causes and produced a dissimilar effect. _Childe
Harold_ consists of three distinct poems descriptive of three successive
travels or journeys in foreign lands. The adventures of the hero are but
the pretext for the shifting of the diorama; whereas in _Don Juan_ the
story is continuous, and the scenery is exhibited as a background for
the dramatic evolution of the personality of the hero. _Childe Harold_
came out at intervals, because there were periods when the author was
stationary; but the interruptions in the composition and publication of
_Don Juan_ were due to the disapproval and discouragement of friends,
and the very natural hesitation and procrastination of the publisher.
Canto I. was written in September, 1818; Canto II. in December-January,
1818-1819. Both cantos were published on July 15, 1819. Cantos III., IV.
were written in the winter of 1819-1820; Canto V., after an interval of
nine months, in October-November, 1820, but the publication of Cantos
III., IV., V. was delayed till August 8, 1821. The next interval was
longer still, but it was the last. In June, 1822, Byron began to work at
a sixth, and by the end of March, 1823, he had completed a sixteenth
canto. But the publication of these later cantos, which had been
declined by Murray, and were finally entrusted to John Hunt, was spread
over a period of several months. Cantos VI., VII., VIII., with a
Preface, were published July 15; Cantos IX., X., XI, August 29; Cantos
XII., XIII., XIV., December 17, 1823; and, finally, Cantos XV., XVI.,
March 26, 1824. The composition of _Don Juan_, considered as a whole,
synchronized with the composition of all the dramas (except _Manfred_)
and the following poems: _The Prophecy of Dante_, (the translation of)
_The Morgante Maggiore, The Vision of Judgment, The Age of Bronze_, and
_The Island_.

There is little to be said with regard to the "Sources" of _Don Juan_.
Frere's _Whistlecraft_ had suggested _Beppo_, and, at the same time, had
prompted and provoked a sympathetic study of Frere's Italian models,
Berni and Pulci (see "Introduction to _Beppo_," _Poetical Works_, 1901,
iv. 155-158; and "Introduction to _The Morgante Maggiore_" ibid., pp.
279-281); and, again, the success of _Beppo_, and, still more, a sense
of inspiration and the conviction that he had found the path to
excellence, suggested another essay of the _ottava rima_, a humorous
poem "_à la Beppo_" on a larger and more important scale. If Byron
possessed more than a superficial knowledge of the legendary "Don Juan,"
he was irresponsive and unimpressed. He speaks (letter to Murray,
February 16, 1821) of "the Spanish tradition;" but there is nothing to
show that he had read or heard of Tirso de Molina's (Gabriel Tellez) _El
Burlador de Sevilla y Convidado de Piedra_ (_The Deceiver of Seville and
the Stone Guest_), 1626, which dramatized the "ower true tale" of the
actual Don Juan Tenorio; or that he was acquainted with any of the
Italian (e.g. _Convitato di Pietra_, del Dottor Giacinto Andrea
Cicognini, Fiorentino [see L. Allacci _Dramaturgia_, 1755, 4º, p. 862])
or French adaptations of the legend (_e.g_. _Le Festin de Pierre, ou le
fils criminel_, Tragi-comédie de De Villiers, 1659; and Molière's _Dom
Juan, ou Le Festin de Pierre_, 1665). He had seen (_vide post_, p. 11,
note 2) Delpini's pantomime, which was based on Shadwell's
_Libertine_, and he may have witnessed, at Milan or Venice, a
performance of Mozart's _Don Giovanni_; but in taking Don Juan for his
"hero," he took the name only, and disregarded the "terrible figure" "of
the Titan of embodied evil, the likeness of sin made flesh" (see
_Selections from the Works of Lord Byron_, by A.C. Swinburne, 1885, p.
xxvi.), "as something to his purpose nothing"!

Why, then, did he choose the name, and what was the scheme or motif of
his poem? Something is to be gathered from his own remarks and
reflections; but it must be borne in mind that he is on the defensive,
and that his half-humorous paradoxes were provoked by advice and
opposition. Writing to Moore (September 19, 1818), he says, "I have
finished the first canto ... of a poem in the style and manner of
_Beppo_, encouraged by the good success of the same. It is ... meant to
be a little quietly facetious upon every thing. But I doubt whether it
is not--at least as far as it has gone--too free for these very modest
days." The critics before and after publication thought that _Don Juan_
_was_ "too free," and, a month after the two first cantos had been
issued, he writes to Murray (August 12, 1819), "You ask me for the plan
of Donny Johnny; I _have_ no plan--I _had_ no plan; but I had or have
materials.... You are too earnest and eager about a work never intended
to be serious. Do you suppose that I could have any intention but to
giggle and make giggle?--a playful satire, with as little poetry as
could be helped, was what I meant." Again, after the completion but
before the publication of Cantos III., IV., V., in a letter to Murray
(February 16, 1821), he writes, "The Fifth is so far from being the last
of _Don Juan_, that it is hardly the beginning. I meant to take him the
tour of Europe, with a proper mixture of siege, battle, and adventure,
and to make him finish as Anacharsis Cloots in the French Revolution....
I meant to have made him a _Cavalier Servente_ in Italy, and a cause for
a divorce in England, and a Sentimental 'Werther-faced' man in Germany,
so as to show the different ridicules of the society in each of these
countries, and to have displayed him gradually _gâté_ and _blasé_, as he
grew older, as is natural. But I had not quite fixed whether to make him
end in Hell, or in an unhappy marriage, not knowing which would be the

Byron meant what he said, but he kept back the larger truth. Great
works, in which the poet speaks _ex animo_, and the man lays bare the
very pulse of the machine, are not conceived or composed unconsciously
and at haphazard. Byron did not "whistle" _Don Juan_ "for want of
thought." He had found a thing to say, and he meant to make the world
listen. He had read with angry disapproval, but he had read, Coleridge's
_Critique on_ [Maturin's] _Bertram_ (_vide post_, p. 4, note 1), and,
it may be, had caught an inspiration from one brilliant sentence which
depicts the Don Juan of the legend somewhat after the likeness of Childe
Harold, if not of Lord Byron: "Rank, fortune, wit, talent, acquired
knowledge, and liberal accomplishments, with beauty of person, vigorous
health, ... all these advantages, elevated by the habits and sympathies
of noble birth and natural character, are ... combined in Don Juan, so
as to give him the means of carrying into all its practical consequences
the doctrine of a godless nature ... Obedience to nature is the only
virtue." Again, "It is not the wickedness of Don Juan ... which
constitutes the character an abstraction, ... but the rapid succession
of the correspondent acts and incidents, his intellectual superiority,
and the splendid accumulation of his gifts and desirable qualities as
coexistent with entire wickedness in one and the same person." Here was
at once a suggestion and a challenge.

Would it not be possible to conceive and to depict an ideal character,
gifted, gracious, and delightful, who should "carry into all its
practical consequences" the doctrine of a mundane, if not godless
doctrine, and, at the same time, retain the charities and virtues of
uncelestial but not devilish manhood? In defiance of monition and in
spite of resolution, the primrose path is trodden by all sorts and
conditions of men, sinners no doubt, but not necessarily abstractions of
sin, and to assert the contrary makes for cant and not for
righteousness. The form and substance of the poem were due to the
compulsion of Genius and the determination of Art, but the argument is a
vindication of the natural man. It is Byron's "criticism of life." _Don
Juan_ was _taboo_ from the first. The earlier issues of the first five
cantos were doubly anonymous. Neither author nor publisher subscribed
their names on the title-page. The book was a monster, and, as its maker
had foreseen, "all the world" shuddered. Immoral, in the sense that it
advocates immoral tenets, or prefers evil to good, it is not, but it is
unquestionably a dangerous book, which (to quote Kingsley's words used
in another connection) "the young and innocent will do well to leave
altogether unread." It is dangerous because it ignores resistance and
presumes submission to passion; it is dangerous because, as Byron
admitted, it is "now and then voluptuous;" and it is dangerous, in a
lesser degree, because, here and there, the purport of the quips and
allusions is gross and offensive. No one can take up the book without
being struck and arrested by these violations of modesty and decorum;
but no one can master its contents and become possessed of it as a whole
without perceiving that the mirror is held up to nature, that it
reflects spots and blemishes which, on a survey of the vast and various
orb, dwindle into _natural_ and so comparative insignificance. Byron was
under no delusion as to the grossness of _Don Juan_. His plea or
pretence, that he was sheltered by the superior grossness of Ariosto and
La Fontaine, of Prior and of Fielding, is _nihil ad rem_, if it is not
insincere. When Murray (May 3, 1819) charges him with "approximations to
indelicacy," he laughs himself away at the euphemism, but when Hobhouse
and "the Zoili of Albemarle Street" talked to him "about morality," he
flames out, "I maintain that it is the most moral of poems." He looked
upon his great work as a whole, and he knew that the "_raison d'être_ of
his song" was not only to celebrate, but, by the white light of truth,
to represent and exhibit the great things of the world--Love and War,
and Death by sea and land, and Man, half-angel, half-demon--the comedy
of his fortunes, and the tragedy of his passions and his fate.

_Don Juan_ has won great praise from the great. Sir Walter Scott
(_Edinburgh Weekly Journal_, May 19, 1824) maintained that its creator
"has embraced every topic of human life, and sounded every string of the
divine harp, from its slightest to its most powerful and
heart-astounding tones." Goethe (_Kunst und Alterthum_, 1821 [ed.
Weimar, iii. 197, and _Sämmtliche Werke_, xiii. 637]) described _Don
Juan_ as "a work of boundless genius." Shelley (letter to Byron, October
21, 1821), on the receipt of Cantos III., IV., V., bore testimony to his
"wonder and delight:" "This poem carries with it at once the stamp of
originality and defiance of imitation. Nothing has ever been written
like it in English, nor, if I may venture to prophesy, will there be,
unless carrying upon it the mark of a secondary and borrowed light....
You are building up a drama," he adds, "such as England has not yet
seen, and the task is sufficiently noble and worthy of you." Again, of
the fifth canto he writes (Shelley's _Prose Works_, ed. H. Buxton
Forman, iv. 219), "Every word has the stamp of immortality.... It
fulfils, in a certain degree, what I have long preached of
producing--something wholly new and relative to the age, and yet
surpassingly beautiful." Finally, a living poet, neither a disciple nor
encomiast of Byron, pays eloquent tribute to the strength and splendour
of _Don Juan_: "Across the stanzas ... we swim forward as over the
'broad backs of the sea;' they break and glitter, hiss and laugh, murmur
and move like waves that sound or that subside. There is in them a
delicious resistance, an elastic motion, which salt water has and fresh
water has not. There is about them a wide wholesome air, full of vivid
light and constant wind, which is only felt at sea. Life undulates and
Death palpitates in the splendid verse.... This gift of life and variety
is the supreme quality of Byron's chief poem" (_A Selection, etc._, by
A.C. Swinburne, 1885, p. x.).

Cantos I., II. of _Don Juan_ were reviewed in _Blackwood's Edinburgh
Magazine_, August, 1819, vol. v. pp. 512-518; Cantos III., IV., V.,
August, 1821, vol. x. pp. 107-115; and Cantos VI., VII., VIII., July,
1823, vol. xiv. pp. 88-92: in the _British Critic_, Cantos I., II. were
reviewed August, 1819, vol. xii. pp. 195-205; and Cantos III., IV., V.,
September, 1821, vol. xvi. pp. 251-256: in the _British Review_, Cantos
I., II. were reviewed August, 1819, vol. xiv. pp. 266-268; and Cantos
III., IV., V., December, 1821, vol. xviii. pp. 245-265: in the
_Examiner_, Cantos I., II. were reviewed October 31, 1819; Cantos III.,
IV., V., August 26, 1821; and Cantos XV., XVI., March 14 and 21, 1824:
in the _Literary Gazette_, Cantos I., II. were reviewed July 17 and 24,
1819; Cantos III., IV., V., August 11 and 18, 1821; Cantos VI., VII.,
VIII., July 19, 1823; Cantos IX., X., XL, September 6, 1823; Cantos
XII., XIII., XIV., December 6, 1823; and Cantos XV., XVI., April 3,
1824: in the _Monthly Review_., Cantos I., II. were reviewed July, 1819,
Enlarged Series, vol. 89, p. 309; Cantos III., IV., V., August, 1821,
vol. 95, p. 418; Cantos VI., VII., VIII., July, 1823, vol. 101, p. 316;
Cantos IX., X., XI., October, 1823, vol. 102, p. 217; Cantos XII.,
XIII., XIV., vol. 103, p. 212; and Cantos XV., XVI., April, 1824, vol.
103, p. 434: in the _New Monthly Magazine_, Cantos I., II. were reviewed
August, 1819, vol. xii. p. 75. See, too, an article on the "Morality of
_Don Juan_," _Dublin University Magazine_, May, 1875, vol. lxxxv. pp.

Neither the _Quarterly_ nor the _Edinburgh Review_ devoted separate
articles to _Don Juan_; but Heber, in the _Quarterly Review_ (Lord
Byron's _Dramas_), July, 1822, vol. xxvii. p. 477, and Jeffrey, in the
_Edinburgh Review_ (Lord Byron's _Tragedies_), February, 1822, vol. 36,
pp. 446-450, took occasion to pass judgment on the poem and its author.

For the history of the legend, see _History of Spanish Literature_, by
George Ticknor, 1888, vol. ii. pp. 380, 381; and _Das Kloster_, von J.
Scheible, 1846, vol. iii. pp. 663-765. See, too, _Notes sur le Don
Juanisme_, par Henri de Bruchard, _Mercure de France_, Avril, 1898, vol.
xxvi. pp. 58-73; and _Don Juan_, par Gustave Kahn, _Revue
Encyclopédique_, 1898, tom. viii. pp. 326-329.




I WOULD to Heaven that I were so much clay,
As I am blood, bone, marrow, passion, feeling--
Because at least the past were passed away,
And for the future--(but I write this reeling,
Having got drunk exceedingly to-day,
So that I seem to stand upon the ceiling)
I say--the future is a serious matter--
And so--for God's sake--hock and soda-water!



BOB SOUTHEY! You're a poet--Poet-laureate,
And representative of all the race;
Although 't is true that you turned out a Tory at
Last,--yours has lately been a common case;
And now, my Epic Renegade! what are ye at?
With all the Lakers, in and out of place?
A nest of tuneful persons, to my eye
Like "four and twenty Blackbirds in a pye;


"Which pye being opened they began to sing,"
(This old song and new simile holds good),
"A dainty dish to set before the King,"
Or Regent, who admires such kind of food;--
And Coleridge, too, has lately taken wing,
But like a hawk encumbered with his hood,--
Explaining Metaphysics to the nation--
I wish he would explain his Explanation.[2]


You, Bob! are rather insolent, you know,
At being disappointed in your wish
To supersede all warblers here below,
And be the only Blackbird in the dish;
And then you overstrain yourself, or so,
And tumble downward like the flying fish
Gasping on deck, because you soar too high, Bob,
And fall, for lack of moisture, quite a-dry, Bob![3]


And Wordsworth, in a rather long "Excursion,"
(I think the quarto holds five hundred pages),
Has given a sample from the vasty version
Of his new system[4] to perplex the sages;
'T is poetry-at least by his assertion,
And may appear so when the dog-star rages--
And he who understands it would be able
To add a story to the Tower of Babel.


You--Gentlemen! by dint of long seclusion
From better company, have kept your own
At Keswick, and, through still continued fusion
Of one another's minds, at last have grown
To deem as a most logical conclusion,
That Poesy has wreaths for you alone:
There is a narrowness in such a notion,
Which makes me wish you'd change your lakes for Ocean.


I would not imitate the petty thought,
Nor coin my self-love to so base a vice,
For all the glory your conversion brought,
Since gold alone should not have been its price.
You have your salary; was 't for that you wrought?
And Wordsworth has his place in the Excise.[5]
You're shabby fellows--true--but poets still,
And duly seated on the Immortal Hill.


Your bays may hide the baldness of your brows--
Perhaps some virtuous blushes;--let them go--
To you I envy neither fruit nor boughs--
And for the fame you would engross below,
The field is universal, and allows
Scope to all such as feel the inherent glow:
Scott, Rogers, Campbell, Moore, and Crabbe, will try
'Gainst you the question with posterity.


For me, who, wandering with pedestrian Muses,
Contend not with you on the wingéd steed,
I wish your fate may yield ye, when she chooses,
The fame you envy, and the skill you need;
And, recollect, a poet nothing loses
In giving to his brethren their full meed
Of merit--and complaint of present days
Is not the certain path to future praise.


He that reserves his laurels for posterity
(Who does not often claim the bright reversion)
Has generally no great crop to spare it, he
Being only injured by his own assertion;
And although here and there some glorious rarity
Arise like Titan from the sea's immersion,
The major part of such appellants go
To--God knows where--for no one else can know.


If, fallen in evil days on evil tongues,[6]
Milton appealed to the Avenger, Time,
If Time, the Avenger, execrates his wrongs,
And makes the word "Miltonic" mean "_Sublime_,"
_He_ deigned not to belie his soul in songs,
Nor turn his very talent to a crime;
_He_ did not loathe the Sire to laud the Son,
But closed the tyrant-hater he begun.


Think'st thou, could he--the blind Old Man--arise
Like Samuel from the grave, to freeze once more
The blood of monarchs with his prophecies,
Or be alive again--again all hoar
With time and trials, and those helpless eyes,
And heartless daughters--worn--and pale[7]--and poor;
Would _he_ adore a sultan? _he_ obey
The intellectual eunuch Castlereagh?[8]


Cold-blooded, smooth-faced, placid miscreant!
Dabbling its sleek young hands in Erin's gore,
And thus for wider carnage taught to pant,
Transferred to gorge upon a sister shore,
The vulgarest tool that Tyranny could want,
With just enough of talent, and no more,
To lengthen fetters by another fixed,
And offer poison long already mixed.


An orator of such set trash of phrase
Ineffably--legitimately vile,
That even its grossest flatterers dare not praise,
Nor foes--all nations--condescend to smile,--
Nor even a sprightly blunder's spark can blaze
From that Ixion grindstone's ceaseless toil,
That turns and turns to give the world a notion
Of endless torments and perpetual motion.


A bungler even in its disgusting trade,
And botching, patching, leaving still behind
Something of which its masters are afraid--
States to be curbed, and thoughts to be confined,
Conspiracy or Congress to be made--
Cobbling at manacles for all mankind--
A tinkering slave-maker, who mends old chains,
With God and Man's abhorrence for its gains.


If we may judge of matter by the mind,
Emasculated to the marrow _It_
Hath but two objects, how to serve, and bind,
Deeming the chain it wears even men may fit,
Eutropius of its many masters,[9]--blind
To worth as freedom, wisdom as to wit,
Fearless--because _no_ feeling dwells in ice,
Its very courage stagnates to a vice.[10]


Where shall I turn me not to _view_ its bonds,
For I will never _feel_ them?--Italy!
Thy late reviving Roman soul desponds
Beneath the lie this State-thing breathed o'er thee[11]--
Thy clanking chain, and Erin's yet green wounds,
Have voices--tongues to cry aloud for me.
Europe has slaves--allies--kings--armies still--
And Southey lives to sing them very ill.


Meantime, Sir Laureate, I proceed to dedicate,
In honest simple verse, this song to you.
And, if in flattering strains I do not predicate,
'T is that I still retain my "buff and blue;"[12]
My politics as yet are all to educate:
Apostasy's so fashionable, too,
To keep _one_ creed's a task grown quite Herculean;
Is it not so, my Tory, ultra-Julian?[13]

Venice, Sept. 16, 1818.


{3}[1] ["As the Poem is to be published anonymously, _omit_ the
Dedication. I won't attack the dog in the dark. Such things are for
scoundrels and renegadoes like himself" [_Revise_]. See, too, letter to
Murray, May 6, 1819 (_Letters_, 1900, iv. 294); and Southey's letter to
Bedford, July 31, 1819 (_Selections from the Letters, etc._, 1856, in.
137, 138). According to the editor of the _Works of Lord Byron_, 1833
(xv. 101), the existence of the Dedication "became notorious" in
consequence of Hobhouse's article in the _Westminster Review_, 1824. He
adds, for Southey's consolation and encouragement, that "for several
years the verses have been selling in the streets as a broadside," and
that "it would serve no purpose to exclude them on the present
occasion." But Southey was not appeased. He tells Allan Cunningham (June
3, 1833) that "the new edition of Byron's works is ... one of the very
worst symptoms of these bad times" (_Life and Correspondence_, 1850, vi.

{4}[2] [In the "Critique on _Bertram_," which Coleridge contributed to
the _Courier_, in 1816, and republished in the _Biographia Literaria_,
in 1817 (chap, xxiii.), he gives a detailed analysis of "the old Spanish
play, entitled _Atheista Fulminato [vide ante_, the 'Introduction to
_Don Juan_'] ... which under various names (_Don Juan_, the _Libertine_,
etc.) has had its day of favour in every country throughout Europe ...
Rank, fortune, wit, talent, acquired knowledge, and liberal
accomplishments, with beauty of person, vigorous health, and
constitutional hardihood,--all these advantages, elevated by the habits
and sympathies of noble birth and national character, are supposed to
have combined in Don Juan, so as to give him the means of carrying into
all its practical consequences the doctrine of a godless nature, as the
sole ground and efficient cause not only of all things, events, and
appearances, but likewise of all our thoughts, sensations, impulses, and
actions. Obedience to nature is the only virtue." It is possible that
Byron traced his own lineaments in this too life-like portraiture, and
at the same time conceived the possibility of a new Don Juan, "made up"
after his own likeness. His extreme resentment at Coleridge's just,
though unwise and uncalled-for, attack on Maturin stands in need of some
explanation. See letter to Murray, September 17, 1817 (_Letters_, 1900,
iv. 172).]

[3] ["Have you heard that _Don Juan_ came over with a dedication to me,
in which Lord Castlereagh and I (being hand in glove intimates) were
coupled together for abuse as 'the two Roberts'? A fear of persecution
(_sic_) from the _one_ Robert is supposed to be the reason why it has
been suppressed" (Southey to Rev. H. Hill, August 13, 1819, _Selections
from the Letters, etc._, 1856, iii. 142). For "Quarrel between Byron and
Southey," see Introduction to _The Vision of Judgment_, _Poetical
Works_, 1901, iv. 475-480; and _Letters_, 1901, vi. 377-399 (Appendix

[4] [The reference must be to the detailed enumeration of "the powers
requisite for the production of poetry," and the subsequent antithesis
of Imagination and Fancy contained in the Preface to the collected
_Poems of William Wordsworth_, published in 1815. In the Preface to the
_Excursion_ (1814) it is expressly stated that "it is not the author's
intention formally to announce a system."]

{5}[5] Wordsworth's place may be in the Customs--it is, I think, in that
or the Excise--besides another at Lord Lonsdale's table, where this
poetical charlatan and political parasite licks up the crumbs with a
hardened alacrity; the converted Jacobin having long subsided into the
clownish sycophant [_despised retainer_,--_MS. erased_] of the worst
prejudices of the aristocracy.

[Wordsworth obtained his appointment as Distributor of Stamps for the
county of Westmoreland in March, 1813, through Lord Lonsdale's
"patronage" (see his letter, March 6, 1813). _The Excursion_ was
dedicated to Lord Lonsdale in a sonnet dated July 29, 1814--

"Oft through thy fair domains, illustrious Peer,
In youth I roamed ...
Now, by thy care befriended, I appear
Before thee, Lonsdale, and this Work present."

{6}[6] [_Paradise Lost_, vii. 25, 26.]

{7}[7] "Pale, but not cadaverous:"--Milton's two elder daughters are
said to have robbed him of his books, besides cheating and plaguing him
in the economy of his house, etc., etc. His feelings on such an outrage,
both as a parent and a scholar, must have been singularly painful.
Hayley compares him to Lear. See part third, _Life of Milton_, by W.
Hayley (or Hailey, as spelt in the edition before me).

[_The Life of Milton_, by William Hailey (_sic_), Esq., Basil, 1799, p. 186.]

[8] Or--

"Would _he_ subside into a hackney Laureate--
A scribbling, self-sold, soul-hired, scorned Iscariot?"

I doubt if "Laureate" and "Iscariot" be good rhymes, but must say, as
Ben Jonson did to Sylvester, who challenged him to rhyme with--

"I, John Sylvester,
Lay with your sister."

Jonson answered--"I, Ben Jonson, lay with your wife." Sylvester
answered,--"That is not rhyme."--"No," said Ben Jonson; "but it is

[For Robert Stewart, Viscount Castlereagh, see _The Age of Bronze_, line
538, _Poetical Works_, 1901, v. 568, note 2; and _Letters_, 1900, iv.
108, note 1.]

{8}[9] For the character of Eutropius, the eunuch and minister at the
court of Arcadius, see Gibbon, [_Decline and Fall_, 1825, ii. 307, 308].

[10] ["Mr. John Murray,--As publisher to the Admiralty and of various
Government works, if the five stanzas concerning Castlereagh should risk
your ears or the Navy List, you may omit them in the publication--in
that case the two last lines of stanza 10 [_i.e_. 11] must end with the
couplet (lines 7, 8) inscribed in the margin. The stanzas on Castlerighi
(as the Italians call him) are 11, 12, 13, 14, 15."--_MS. M_.]

[11] [Commenting on a "pathetic sentiment" of Leoni, the author of the
Italian translation of _Childe Harold_ ("Sciagurata condizione di questa
mia patria!"), Byron affirms that the Italians execrated Castlereagh "as
the cause, by the conduct of the English at Genoa." "Surely," he
exclaims, "that man will not die in his bed: there is no spot of the
earth where his name is not a hissing and a curse. Imagine what must be
the man's talent for Odium, who has contrived to spread his infamy like
a pestilence from Ireland to Italy, and to make his name an execration
in all languages."--Letter to Murray, May 8, 1820, _Letters_, 1901, v.
22, note 1.]

{9}[12] [Charles James Fox and the Whig Club of his time adopted a
uniform of blue and buff. Hence the livery of the _Edinburgh Review_.]

[13] I allude not to our friend Landor's hero, the traitor Count Julian,
but to Gibbon's hero, vulgarly yclept "The Apostate."

Lord George Gordon Byron