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Whig and the Sunday News, which favoured the "opposition," printed both poems, with prefatory notices more or less favourable to the writer; whereas the Tory Antigallican Monitor, which also printed both poems, added the significant remark that "if everything said of Lord Byron be true, it would appear that the Whigs were not altogether so immaculate as they themselves would wish the world to suppose."
The testimony of the press is instructive from two points of view. In the first place, it tends to show that the controversy was conducted on party lines; and, secondly, that the editor of the Champion was in some degree responsible for the wide diffusion and lasting publicity of the scandal. The separation of Lord and Lady Byron must, in any case, have been more than a nine days' wonder, but if the circulation of the "pamphlet" had been strictly confined to the "initiated," the excitement and interest of the general public would have smouldered and died out for lack of material.
In his second letter on Bowles, dated March 25, 1821 (Observations upon Observations, Life, 1892, p. 705), Byron alludes to the publication of these poems in the Champion, and comments on the behaviour of the editor, who had recently (February 16, 1821) been killed in a duel. He does not minimize the wrong, but he pays a fine and generous tribute to the courage and worth of his assailant. Poor Scott is now no more . . . he died like a brave man, and he lived an able one," etc. It may be added that Byron was an anonymous subscriber to a fund raised by Sir James Mackintosh, Murray, and others, for "the helpless family of a man of virtue and ability” (London Magazine, April, 1821, vol. iii. p. 359).
For chronological reasons, and in accordance with the precedent of the edition of 1832, a third poem, Stanzas to Augusta, has been included in this group.
POEMS OF THE SEPARATION.
FARE THEE WELL.1
"Alas! they had been friends in youth;
But never either found another
But neither heat, nor frost, nor thunder,
The marks of that which once hath been."
FARE thee well! and if for ever,
i. The motto was prefixed in Poems, 1816.
1. ["Ile there (Byron, in his Memoranda) described, and in a manner whose sincerity there was no doubting, the swell of tender recollections, under the influence of which, as he sat one night musing in the study, these stanzas were produced, -the tears, as he said, falling fast over the paper as he wrote them."—Life, p. 302.
It must have been a fair and complete copy that Moore saw (see Life, p. 302, note 3). There are no tear-marks on this (the first draft, sold at Sotheby's, April 11, 1885) draft, which must be the
Would that breast were bared before thee
'Twas not well to spurn it so.
Though the world for this commend thee-1
Even its praises must offend thee,
Though my many faults defaced me,
Than the one which once embraced me,
Love may sink by slow decay,
i. Thou my breast laid bare before thee.-[MS. erased.]
Examiner: "Than the soft one which embraced me."
first, for it is incomplete, and every line (almost) tortured with alterations.
"Fare Thee Well!" was printed in Leigh Hunt's Examiner, April 21, 1816, at the end of an article (by L. H.) entitled "Distressing Circumstances in High Life." The text there has two readings different from that of the pamphlet, viz.—
-MS. Notes taken by the late J. Dykes Campbell at Sotheby's, April 18, 1890, and re-transcribed for Mr. Murray, June 15, 1894.
A final proof, dated April 7, 1816, was endorsed by Murray, "Correct 50 copies as early as you can to-morrow."]
1. [Lines 13-20 do not appear in an early copy dated March 18, 1816. They were added on the margin of a proof dated April 4,
Still thine own its life retaineth
Still must mine, though bleeding, beat;
Think of him whose prayer shall bless thee-
Those thou never more may'st see, Then thy heart will softly tremble▾
With a pulse yet true to me.
All my faults perchance thou knowest-
Pride-which not a world could bow-.
Bows to thee-by thee forsaken,viii.
Even my soul forsakes me now.
i. Net result of many alterations.
ii. And the lasting thought -.-[MS. erased.]
v. Still thy heart -[MS. erased.] vi. All my follies -[MS. erased.] vii. which not the world could bow.—[MS.] viii. Falls at once -. -[MS. erased.]