Byron Takes his Seat in the House of Lords
I saw Lord Byron daily. It was about this time that Lord Falkland1 was killed in a duel, which suggested some lines as the Satire was going through the press. Nature had endowed Lord Byron with very benevolent feelings, which I have had opportunities of discerning, and I have seen them at times render his fine countenance most beautiful. His features seemed formed in a peculiar manner for emanating the high conceptions of genius, and the working of the passions. I have often, and with no little admiration, witnessed these effects. I have seen them in the glow of poetical inspiration, and under the influence of strong emotion; on the one hand amounting to virulence, and on the other replete with all the expression and grace of the mild and amiable affections. When under the influence of resentment and anger, it was painful to observe the powerful sway of those passions over his features: when he was impressed with kindness, which was the natural state of his heart, it was a high treat to contemplate his countenance. I saw him the morning after Lord Falkland’s death. He had just come from seeing the lifeless body of the man with whom he had a very short time before spent a social day; he now and then said, as if it were to himself, but aloud, ‘Poor Falkland!’ He looked more than he spoke — ‘But his wife, it is she who is to be pitied.’
KeywordsDepression Chalk Plague
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- Byron’s interesting note on the allusion to Falkland is quoted in Lord Byron, The Complete Poetical Works, ed. Jerome J. McGann, I (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1980) p. 412.Google Scholar