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[67] his character, he told me a great deal of the history of his early feelings and habits; of the impressions of extreme discontent under which he wrote ‘Childe Harold,’ which he began at Joannina and finished at Smyrna; and of the extravagant intention he had formed of settling in Greece, which, but for the state of his affairs, that required his presence in England, he should have fulfilled. The ‘English Bards and Scotch Reviewers,’ he told me, he wrote at his paternal estate in the country, the winter before he set forth on his travels, while a heavy fall of snow was on the ground, and he kept house for a month, during which time he never saw the light of day, rising in the evening after dark, and going to bed in the morning before dawn. ‘The Corsair,’ he told me, he wrote in eleven days, and copied on the twelfth, and added, that whenever he undertook anything, he found it necessary to devote all his thoughts to it until he had finished it. This is the reason why he can never finish his ‘Childe Harold.’ It is so long since he laid it aside, that he said it would now be entirely impossible for him to resume it. From some of his remarks, I think it not unlikely that he may next turn his thoughts to the stage, though it would be impossible, in a mind constituted like his, to predict the future from the present.

After all, it is difficult for me to leave him, thinking either of his early follies or his present eccentricities; for his manners are so gentle, and his whole character so natural and unaffected, that I have come from him with nothing but an indistinct, though lively impression of the goodness and vivacity of his disposition.

June 27.—This evening I went to Drury Lane, to see Kean in the part of Leon. Lord Byron, who is interested in this theatre, and one of its managing committee, had offered me a seat in his private box. . . . . There was nobody there, this evening, but Lord and Lady Byron, and her father and mother. It was indeed only a very pleasant party, who thought much more of conversation than of the performance; though Kean certainly played the part well, much better than Cooper does. In the next box to us sat M. G. Lewis; a very decent looking man compared with the form my imagination had given to the author of the ‘Monk,’ and the ‘Castle Spectre.’

Lord Byron was pleasant, and Lady Byron more interesting than I have yet seen her. Lord Byron told me one fact that surprised me very much,—that he knew the Prince Regent to be very well read in English literature, and a pretty good scholar in Latin and Greek, the last of which he had known him to quote in conversation. Fas est et ab hoste doceri.

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