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“ either to shoot or marry me again,- I did “ not care which. I was disgusted and tired “ with the life I led at Venice, and was glad “ to turn my back on it. The Austrian “ Government, too, partly contributed to “ drive me away. They intercepted my books “ and papers, opened my letters, and pro“ scribed my works. I was not sorry for this “last arbitrary act, as a very bad translation “ of Childe Harold' had just appeared, which “ I was not at all pleased with. I did not "like my old friend in his new loose dress; ". it was

a deshabille that did not at all “ become him,—those sciolti versi that they put him into."

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It is difficult to judge, from the contradictory nature of his writings, what the religious opinions of Lord Byron really were. Perhaps

the conversations I held with him may throw some light upon a subject that cannot fail to excite curiosity. On the whole, I am inclined to think that if he were occasionally sceptical, and thought it, as he says,

- "A pleasant voyage, perhaps, to float, Like Pyrrho, on a sea of speculation,"*

yet his wavering never amounted to a disbelief in the divine Founder of Christianity.

I always took great delight,” observed he,“ in the English Cathedral service. It “cannot fail to inspire every man, who feels “ at all, with devotion. Notwithstanding

which, Christianity is not the best source “ of inspiration for a poet. “ should be tied down to a direct profession

No poet

* Don Juan, Canto IX, Stanza 18.

66 of faith.

Metaphysics open a vast field; Nature, and anti-Mosaical speculations on “ the origin of the world, a wide range, and

of poetry that are shut out by Christianity.”

sources

I advanced Tasso and Milton.

“ Tasso and Milton," replied he," wrote

on Christian subjects, it is true ; but how “ did they treat them ? The Jerusalem De66 livered' deals little in Christian doctrines, " and the Paradise Lost' makes use of the “ heathen mythology, which is surely scarcely " allowable. Milton discarded papacy, and adopted no creed in its room;

he never " attended divine worship.

“ His great epics, that nobody reads, prove nothing. He took his text from the “Old and New Testaments. He shocks the “ severe apprehensions of the Catholics, as “ he did those of the divines of his day, by “ too great a familiarity with Heaven, and 6 the introduction of the Divinity himself ; “ and, more than all, by making the Devil “ his hero, and deifying the dæmons.

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“ He certainly excites compassion for Satan, and endeavours to make him out an injured personage-he gives him human passions too, makes him pity Adam and

Eve, and justify himself much as Prome" theus does. Yet Milton

was

never

“ blamed for all this. I should be very 66 curious to know what his real belief was.*

* A religious work of Milton's has since been discovered, and will throw light on this interesting subject.

66 The · Paradise Lost' and “ Regained' do “not satisfy me on this point. One might “ as well say that Moore is a fire-worshiper,

or a follower of Mokanna, because he chose " those subjects from the East; or that I am

a Cainist.”

Another time he said :

“ sand years.

“One mode of worship yields to another ; no religion has lasted more than two thou

Out of the eight hundred “ millions that the globe contains, only two " hundred millions are Christians. Query," What is to become of the six hundred mil. “ lions that do not believe, and of those in

" calculable millions that lived before Christ?

People at home are mad about Missionary Societies, and missions to the East.

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