George Gordon (Noel) Byron, 6th Baron Byron (January 22, 1788April 19, 1824) was an Anglo-Scottish poet and leading figure in Romanticism. Among his best-known works are the narrative poems Childe Harold's Pilgrimage and Don ...
Here lies interred in the eternity of the past, from whence there is no resurrection for the days -- whatever there may be for the dust -- the thirty-third year of an ill-spent life, which, after a lingering disease of many months sank into a lethargy, and expired, January 22d, 1821, A.D. leaving a successor inconsolable for the very loss which occasioned its existence.
It is singular how soon we lose the impression of what ceases to be constantly before us. A year impairs, a luster obliterates. There is little distinct left without an effort of memory, then indeed the lights are rekindled for a moment --but who can be sure that the Imagination is not the torch-bearer?
Pythagoras, Locke, Socrates -- but pages might be filled up, as vainly as before, with the sad usage of all sorts of sages, who in his life-time, each was deemed a bore! The loftiest minds outrun their tardy ages.
Whenever I meet with anything agreeable in this world it surprises me so much -- and pleases me so much (when my passions are not interested in one way or the other) that I go on wondering for a week to come.
As to Don Juan, confess that it is the sublime of that there sort of writing; it may be bawdy, but is it not good English? It may be profligate, but is it not life, is it not the thing? Could any man have written it who has not lived in the world? and tooled in a post-chaise? in a hackney coach? in a Gondola? against a wall? in a court carriage? in a vis a vis? on a table? and under it?
I have simplified my politics into an utter detestation of all existing governments; and, as it is the shortest and most agreeable and summary feeling imaginable, the first moment of an universal republic would convert me into an advocate for single and uncontradicted despotism. The fact is, riches are power, and poverty is slavery all over the earth, and one sort of establishment is no better, nor worse, for a people than another.
It is not one man nor a million, but the spirit of liberty that must be preserved. The waves which dash upon the shore are, one by one, broken, but the ocean conquers nevertheless. It overwhelms the Armada, it wears out the rock. In like manner, whatever the struggle of individuals, the great cause will gather strength.
Your letter of excuses has arrived. I receive the letter but do not admit the excuses except in courtesy, as when a man treads on your toes and begs your pardon -- the pardon is granted, but the joint aches, especially if there is a corn upon it.
I have seen a thousand graves opened, and always perceived that whatever was gone, the teeth and hair remained of those who had died with them. Is not this odd? They go the very first things in youth and yet last the longest in the dust.
I always looked to about thirty as the barrier of any real or fierce delight in the passions, and determined to work them out in the younger ore and better veins of the mine --and I flatter myself (perhaps) that I have pretty well done so --and now the dross is coming.
I am so convinced of the advantages of looking at mankind instead of reading about them, and of the bitter effects of staying at home with all the narrow prejudices of an Islander, that I think there should be a law amongst us to set our young men abroad for a term among the few allies our wars have left us.
I swims in the Tagus all across at once, and I rides on an ass or a mule, and swears Portuguese, and have got a diarrhea and bites from the mosquitoes. But what of that? Comfort must not be expected by folks that go a pleasuring.
But as to women, who can penetrate the real sufferings of their she condition? Man's very sympathy with their estate has much of selfishness and more suspicion. Their love, their virtue, beauty, education, but form good housekeepers, to breed a nation.
Are we aware of our obligations to a mob? It is the mob that labor in your fields and serve in your houses -- that man your navy, and recruit your army -- that have enabled you to defy the world, and can also defy you when neglect and calamity have driven them to despair. You may call the people a mob; but do not forget that a mob too often speaks the sentiments of the people.