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among the horses, which, unaccustomed to the sea, and badly accommodated, caused serious inconvenience. He did not feel himself unwell till towards morning, on entering the port. When able to rise, he said to Count Gamba, « You have lost one of the most magnificent sights I ever beheld. For a short time we were in serious danger; but the captain and his crew did wonders. I was the whole time on deck. The sight is not new to me, but I have always looked upon a storm as one of the sublimest spectacles in nature.» He appeared thoughtful, and remarked, that he considered a bad beginning a favourable omen.
The whole day was spent in repairing damages. His lordship, wishing to visit his palace at Albaro, which he had left in the care of his banker, went there, accompanied by Count Gamba. His conversation was somewhat melancholy on their way thither; he spoke much of his past life, and of the uncertainty of the future. a Where,» said he, «shall we be in a year?» On the same day of the same month, in the next year, he was carried to the tomb of his ancestors!
In the evening they again set sail, and a passage of five days carried them to Leghorn. Passing over the minor details of the voyage, which besides offer nothing of particular interest, it is sufficient to state that, on the morning of the 3d of August, the Hercules, with her noble freight, cast anchor in Argostoli, the principal port of Cephalonia.
Previous to any step, Lord Byron judged it prudent to despatch two messengers, one to Corfu, another to Missolonghi, to collect every possible information in the Morea.
Whilst waiting for anjwers, his lordshipand his friends took a journey across the island of Cephalonia to Ithaca, at which latter place the first opportunity occurred of displaying his benevolent feelings towards the victims of Turkish barbarism and tyranny in the present glorious struggle. Many poor families had fled there from Scio, Patras, and other parts of Greece. Lord Byron gave three thousand piastres to the commandant, for their relief; and he induced a family, once rich in Patras, but now reduced to the greatest misery, to pass over to Cephalonia, where he provided them with a house, and assigned them a monthly allowance.
It was on the 5th of January, 1824, that Lord Byron landed at Missolonghi, where he was received by Col. Stanhope, Prince Mavrocordato, with a long train of European and Greek officers, with the utmost joy and delight. During his voyage he had narrowly escaped being taken by a Turkish frigate, and had been in great
danger of shipwreck. It would be impossible here to enter into the details of what occurred from his landing at Missolonghi to the time of his fatal illness : it is enough to observe, that his noble, politic, and generous conduct acquired for him the enthusiastic admiration of all; and that to his presence, and the timely and most liberal supplies he furnished to the Greeks, much of their subsequent success has been owing.
The health of Lord Byron was daily impaired, not only by the insalubrity of Missolonghi, which is a flat, marshy, and pestilential place, but also by the obstinate, riotous, and mercenary conduct of the Suliotes whom he had taken into his pay, and the frequent recurrence of serious affrays between them and the citizens. The repeated delays and disappointments which ensued, in consequence, preyed upon his spirits, and produced a degree of irritability, which, if it was not the sole cause, contributed greatly to a severe fit of epilepsy, with which he was attacked on the 15th of February. In the course of the month the attack was repeated four times; the violence of the disorder at length yielded to the remedies prescribed by his physicians, such as bleeding, cold bathing, perfect relaxation of mind, etc., and he gradually recovered. But at last came that fatal illness which deprived Greece of her best friend,
England of her first poet, and the world of a man of whom it may be truly said
«We ne'er shall look upon his like again.»
The following detailed report of Lord Byron's last illness was collected from the mouth of Mr Fletcher, who had been for more than twenty years his faithful and confidential attendant.
My master,» says Mr Fletcher, a continued his usual custom of riding daily when the weather would permit, until the gth of April. But on that ill-fated day he got very wet; and, on his return home, his lordship changed the whole of his dress; but he had been too long in his wet clothes, and the cold, of which he had complained more or less ever since we left Cephalonia, made this attack be more severely felt. Though rather feverish during the night, his lordship slept pretty well, but complained in the morning of a pain in his bones and a head-ache: this did not, however, prevent him from taking a ride in the afternoon, which, I grieve to say, was his last. On his return, my master said that the saddle was not perfectly dry, from being so wet the day before, and observed that he thought it had made him worse.
His lordship was again visited by the same slow fever, and I was sorry to perceive, on the next morning, that his illness appeared to be increasing. He was very low, and complained of not having had any sleep during the night. His lordship's appetite was also quite gone. I prepared a little arrow-root, of which he took three or four spoonsful, saying it was very good, but could take no more. It was not till the third day, the 12th, that I began to be alarmed for my
In all his former colds he always slept well, and was never affected by this slow fever. I therefore went to Dr Bruno and Mr Millingen, the two medical attendants, and inquired minutely into every circumstance connected with my master's present illness: both replied that there was no danger, and I might make myself perfectly easy on the subject, for all would be well in a few days.—This was on the 13th. On the following day I found my master in such a state, that I could not feel happy without supplicating that he would send to Zante for Dr Thomas. After expressing my fears lest his lordship should get worse, he desired me to consult the doctors; which I did, and was told there was no occasion for calling in any person, as they hoped all would be well in a few days. Here I should remark, that his lordship repeatedly said, in the course of the day, he was sure the doctors did not understand his disease; to which I answered, “Then, my lord, have other advice by all means.'—“They tell me,' said his lordship, that it is only a common cold, which, you