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“ and fashion was far my superior. She had “ been sacrificed, almost before she was a
woman, to one whose mind and body were “ equally contemptible in the scale of crea- tion; and on whom she bestowed a numerous family, to which the law
him “ the right to be called father. Strange as “ it may seem, she gained (as all women do)
an influence over me so strong, that I had
great difficulty in breaking with her, even 6 when I knew she had been inconstant to
and once was on the point of going “ abroad with her,--and narrowly escaped “ this folly. I was at this time a mere Bond
street lounger-a great man at lobbies, “coffee and gambling-houses: my after“ noons were passed in visits, luncheons,
lounging and boxing—110t to mention drinking! If I had known you in early
would not have been alive now,
“I remember Scrope Davies, H-, and
myself, clubbing 191., all we had in our
pockets, and losing it at a hell in St. “ James's-street, at chicken-hazard, which
may be called fowl ; and afterwards get
ting drunk together till H. and S. D. “ quarrelled. Scrope afterwards wrote to “ me for my pistols to shoot himself; but “ I declined lending them, on the plea that “ they would be forfeited as a deodand. “I knew my answer would have more “ effect than four sides of prosing.
“ Don't suppose, however, that I took any pleasure in all these excesses, or that parson A. K. or W— were associates to
my taste. The miserable consequences of “ such a life are detailed at length in my “ Memoirs. My own master at an age when “ I most required a guide, and left to the
“ dominion of my passions when they were “ the strongest, with a fortune anticipated “i before I came into possession of it, and a “ constitution impaired by early excesses, I “ commenced my travels in 1809, with a “joyless indifference to a world that was all 66 before me*.
“ Well might you say, speaking feelingly,” said I :
*" I wish they knew the life of a young noble ;
They're young, but know not youth ; it is
to a Jew."
“ There is no sterner moralist than pleasure *.".
I asked him about Venice:
« Venice !” said he, “I detest every re“ collection of the place, the people, and my
pursuits. I there mixed again in society, “ trod again the old round of eonversaziones, “ balls, and concerts, was every night at the
opera, a constant frequenter of the Ridotto
during the Carnival, and, in short, entered “ into all the dissipation of that luxurious
place. Every thing in a Venetian life, “ its gondolas, its effeminating indolence, its
Siroccos, tend to enervate the mind and body. My rides were a resource and a
* He used to say there were three great men ruined in one year, Brummell, himself, and Napoleon!
“ stimulus; but the deep sands of Lido “ broke my horses down, and I got tired of 6 that monotonous sea-shore ;---to be sure, I “ passed the Villaggiatura on the Brenta *.
* To give the reader an idea of the stories circulated and believed about Lord Byron, I will state one as a specimen of the rest, which I heard the other day:
“ Lord Byron, who is an execrably bad horseman, was riding one evening in the Brenta, spouting 'Metastasio.' A Venetian, passing in a close carriage at the time, laughed at his bad Italian ; upon which his Lordship horsewhipped him, and threw a card in at the window. The nobleman
took no notice of the insult." --ANSWER: Lord
Byron was an excellent horseman, never read a line of Metastasio,' and pronounced Italian like