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of William, fourth Lord Byron) by his second wife, Catharine Gordon (lineally descended from the Earl of Huntley and the princess Jane daughter of James 2nd, of Scotland) and was born Jan. 22nd, 1788, about thirty miles from Aberdeen. His father died at Va. lenciennes, soon after his birth, leaving his widow with a very reduced income. Her conduct, however, was most exemplary, and if his Lordship intended to depict his mother as Donna Inez, in his “Don Juan,” as it has been said, it appears to us that he has dealt with undue severity with his parent. In Aberdeen his mother lived in almost perfect seclusion, on
he seduced, and on her divorce from her husband was induced, by the powerful exertions of her parents, Lord and Lady Holdernesse, to marry. His brutality however towards her, during two years of uninterrupted misery (in which time she had borne him a daughter) caused her death of a broken heart. His second wife, Miss Gordon, whom he married in 1785, soon experienced the fate of every one who came in contact with him-for he dissipated the whole of her property, and soon after the birth of Lord Byron (the subject of the present memoir) he totally abandoned her and went to live at Valenciennes, where death put an end to his powers of doing mischief, in 1791.
account of the great deterioration of her property by the extravagance of her deceased husband; for her high spirit would not suffer her to apply to his family for the east allowance, although her own was scanty indeed. She kept no company, but was regarded and esteemed by all who knew her, and her amiable disposition and manner were particularly shown towards all those whom she thought fit to associate in reading or in sports with her son. He was, indeed, her darling child, for when he only went out for an ordinary walk, she would entreat him, with the tear glistening in her eye, to take care of himself, as “she had nothing on earth but him to live for;" a circumstance not at all pleasing to his adventurous spirit; the more especially as some of his companions, who witnessed the affectionate scene, would, at school, or at their sports, make light of it, and ridicule him about it.
George Byron Gordon was the appellation by which he was known to his schoolfellows in Aberdeen, and if any of them by accident or design reversed the latter words, he was very indignant at it, on account of the neglect with which his father's family had all along treated his mother,
At the age of seven years his Lordship, whose previous instruction in the English language had been his mother's sole task, was sent to the Grammar School at Aberdeen, where he continued till his removal to Harrow, with the exception of intervals of absence which were deemed necessary for the establishment of his health, by a temporary removal to the Highlands of Aberdeenshire, his constitution being always ( while a boy) uncommonly delicate, his mind painfully sensitive, but his heart transcendantly warm and kind. Here it was he delighted in “the mountain and the flood," and here it was that he imbibed that spirit of freedom, nd that love for “ the land of his Scottish sires,” which nothing could tear from his heart. Here it was that he felt himself without restraint, even in dress; and on his return to school, which, by the bye, he always did with the utmost willingness, it was with much difficulty that his mother could induce him to quit the kilt and the plaid, in compliance with the manners of the town; but the bonnet he would never leave off, until it could be nu longer worn.
At school his progress never was so distinguished above that of the general run of his class-fellows, as after occasional intervals of absence, when he would, in a few days, run through (and well too) exercises, which, according to school routine, had taken weeks to accomplish. But when he had overtaken the rest of the class, he contented himself with being considered a tolerable scholar without making any violent exertion lo be placed at the head of the first form. It was out of school that he aspired to be the leader of every thing. In all the boyish sports and amusements he would be first, if possible. For this he was eminently calculated. Candid, sincere; a lover of stern and inflexible truth; quick, enterpri. sing, and daring, his mind was capable of overcoming those impediments which Nature had thrown in his | way, by making his constitution and body weak, and
by a malformation of one of his feet. Nevertheless, no boy could outstrip him in the race, or in swimming. Even at that early period (from eight to ten years of age) all his sports were of a manly character; fishing, shooting, swimming, and managing a horse, or steering and trimming the sails of a boat, constituted his chief delights; and to the superficial observer seemed his sole occupation.
The death of his great uncle, William, fourth Lord Byron, May 19th, 1798, altogether changed his prospects. His right to the family honours was immediately acknowledged; and he being then only ten years of age, the Earl of Carlisle undertook the office of his guardian ; who sent him to HarrowSchool, to receive an education more suitable to his rank and fortune than could be procured at the humble Grammar School of Aberdeen. In his progress through this justly famous seininary he seems to have
differed little from ordinary boys; and perhaps, 10deed, at this period, he was but an ordinary boy. The restraint was, of course, hateful to him, because it was repugnant to his temper, and totally opposite to the habits in which he had, up to this time of his life, indulged. The nature of the studies to which he was compelled do not seem to have been very congenial with his feelings or his temper; and, alt-ough he had every disposition to be a student, he had no affection for being a scholar. He has said
In my repugnant youth with pleasure to record It was for this reason, probably, that he neither dis. tinguished himself much at Harrow, nor at Trinity College, Cambridge, whither he went on leaving the former school. His impatience of every kind of domi nation exposed him to frequent squabbles with the persons having authority in college; and he quitted without having excited in the minds of those persons any suspicion that he possessed either talents, or a disposition to cultivate them, beyond those of the “ mob of gentlemen" who fill that university. A thousand absurd stories are told of his extravagances at college, in which, like those of gentle Master Shal. low, "
every third word is a lie, more religiously paid than the Turk's tribute,” and which, if they were