The Late Lord Byron: Posthumous Dramas

By Doris Langley Moore | Go to book overview

APPENDIX 2
Extract from 'The Times' obituary notice

. . . We know not how many of our countrymen may share the feelings with which the news has afflicted us. There were individuals more to be approved for moral qualities than Lord Byron -- to be more safely followed, or more tenderly beloved; but there lives no man on earth whose sudden departure from it, under the circumstances in which that nobleman was cut off, appears to us more calculated to impress the mind with profound and unmingled mourning.

Lord Byron was doomed to pay the price which Nature sometimes charges for stupendous intellect, in the gloom of his imagination, and the intractable energy of his passions. Amazing power, variously directed, was the mark by which he was distinguished far above all his cotemporaries. His dominion was the sublime -- it was his native home; at intervals he plunged into the lower atmosphere for amusement, but his stay was brief.

It was his proper nature to ascend: but on the summit of his elevation, his leading passion was to evince his superiority by launching his melancholy scorn at mankind.

That noblest of enterprises, the deliverance of Greece, employed the whole of Lord Byron's latter days -- of his pecuniary resources, and of his masculine spirit. It was a cause worthy of a poet and a hero. . . .

15 May 1824

By contrast John Bull wrote:

He has . . . quitted the world at the most unfortunate period of his career, and in the most unsatisfactory manner -- in voluntary exile, when his mind, debased by evil associations, and the malignant brooding over imaginary ills, has been devoted to the construction of elaborate lampoons.

16 May.

-54-

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