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LXXXVII. Ye, who would more of Spain and Spaniards know, Go, read whate'er is writ of bloodiest strife : Whate'er keen Vengeance urged on foreign foe Can act, is acting there against man's life: From flashing scimitar to secret knife, War mouldeth there each weapon to his need So may he guard the sister and the wife,
So may he make each curst oppressor bleed – So may such foes deserve the most remorseless deed! 1
at the siege of Saragoza. [In his proclamations, also, he stated, that, should the French commit any robberies, devastations, and murders, no quarter should be given them. The dogs by whom he was beset, he said, scarcely left him time to clean his sword from their blood, but they still found their grave at Saragoza. All his addresses were in the same spirit. “ His language," says Mr. Southey, “ had the high tone, and something of the inflation of Spanish romance, suiting the character of those to whom it was directed.” See History of the Peninsular War, vol. iii. p. 152]
| The Canto, in the original MS., closes with the following stanzas:
Ye, who would more of Spain and Spaniards know,
All these are coop'd within one Quarto's brink,
There may you read, with spectacles on eyes,
* Porphyry said, that the prophecies of Daniel were written after their completion, and such may be my fate here; but it requires no second sight to foretel a tome: the first glimpse of the knight was enough. [In a letter written from Gibraltar, August 6. 1809, to his friend Hodson, Lord Byron says, “I have seen Sir John Carr at Seville and Cadiz; and, like Swift's barber, have been down on my knees to beg he would not put me into black and white."]
LXXXVIII. Flows there a tear of pity for the dead ? Look o'er the rayage of the reeking plain; Look on the hands with female slaughter red; Then to the dogs resign the unburied slain, Then to the vulture let each corse remain; Albeit unworthy of the prey-bird's maw, Let their bleach'd bones, and blood's unbleaching stain,
Long mark the battle-field with hideous awe: Thus only may our sons conceive the scenes we saw !
That ne'er beheld the said return again :
How many relics each cathedral grace,
There may you read (Oh, Phoebus, save Sir John !
But cease, my Muse, thy speed some respite craves,
Yet here of mention may be made,
True to her second husband and her first :
* [The “ Needy Knife-grinder,” in the Anti-jacobin, was a joint production of Messrs. Frere and Canning.]
Repairs the wrongs that Quito's sons sustain'd, While o'er the parent clime prowls Murder unrestrain'd.
XC. Not all the blood at Talavera shed, Not all the marvels of Barossa's fight, Not Albuera lavish of the dead, Have won for Spain her well asserted right. When shall her Olive-Branch be free from blight ? When shall she breathe her from the blushing toil ? How many a doubtful day shall sink in night,
Ere the Frank robber turn him from his spoil, And Freedom's stranger-tree grow native of the soil!
And thou, my friend ! i— since unavailing woe Bursts from my heart, and mingles with the strainHad the sword laid thee with the mighty low, Pride might forbid e'en Friendship to complain : But thus unlaurel'd to descend in vain,
| The Honourable John Wingfield, of the Guards, who died of a fever at Coimbra (May 14. 1811). I had known him ten years, the better half of his life, and the happiest part of mine. In the short space of one month, 1 have lost her who gave me being, and most of those who had made that being tolerable. To me the lines of Young are no fiction :
“ Insatiate archer ! could not one suffice ?
Thy shaft flew thrice, and thrice my peace was slain,
By all forgotten, save the lonely breast,
While Glory crowns so many a meaner crest!
I should have ventured a verse to the memory of the late Charles Skinner Matthews, Fellow of Downing College, Cambridge, were he not too much above all praise of mine. His powers of mind, shown in the attainment of greater honours, against the ablest candidates, than those of any graduate on record at Cambridge, have sufficiently established his fame on the spot where it was acquired ; while his softer qualities live in the recollection of friends who loved him too well to envy his superiority. - [This and the following stanza were added in August, 1811. In one of his school-boy poems, entitled “Childish Recollections,” Lord Byron has thus drawn the portrait of young Wingfield :
Alonzo! best and dearest of my friends,
All, all that brothers should be, but the name.” Matthews, the idol of Lord Byron at college, was drowned, while bathing in the Cam, on the 2d of August. The following passage of a letter from Newstead to his friend Scrope Davies, written immediately after the event, bears
the impress of strong and even agonised feelings :-“ My dearest Davies, Some curse hangs over me and mine. My mother lies a corpse in the house ; one of my best friends is drowned in a ditch ; what can I say, or think, or do? I received a letter from him the day before yesterday. My dear Scrope, if you can spare a moment, do come down to me - I want a friend. Matthews's last letter was written on Friday, -on Saturday, he was not. In ability, who was like Matthews ? How did we all shrink before him. You do me but justice in saying I would have risked my paltry existence to have preserved his. This very evening did I mean to write, inviting him, as I invite you,
Oh, known the earliest, and esteem'd the most ! 1
Till my frail frame return to whence it rose,
Here is one fytte of Harold's pilgrimage:
Lands that contain the monuments of Eld,
my very dear friend, to visit me. What will our poor Hobhouse feel? His letters breathe but of Matthews. Come to me, Scrope, I am almost desolate-left almost alone in the world !” Matthews was the son of John Matthews, Esq. (the representative of Here. fordshire, in the parliament of 1802–6), and brother of the author of “ The Diary of an Invalid,” also untimely snatched away.]
i [“ Beloved the most.” — MS.] ? [“ Dec. 30th, 1809.” – MS.]