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WITH A MEMOIR
WILLIAM SPALDING, A.M.
CHARLES GRIFFIN AND COMPANY
STATIONERS HALL COURT
280. k. 198.
BYRON, GEORGE GORDON, Lord, was the descendant, and became the head of an ancient and noble family. Commodore Byron, the celebrated voyager, was his grandfather; and his father, Captain Byron, a profligate and extravagant man, married Miss Gordon, an Aberdeenshire lady of old descent. The poet was born in London, on the 22d of January, 1788. Two years afterwards, his father having fled from his creditors to the Continent, where he soon died, Mrs. Byron Gordon sought at Aberdeen a residence suited to her scanty resources, which seem to have been in no way aided by the then Lord Byron, her husband's uncle, a retired and despondent man. In the course of the eight years spent in Scotland, she, a violent and misjudging woman, acted as if it had been her aim to weaken all the good tendencies in her son's fine nature, and to aggravate all the bad ones. Capricious alternations of severity and indulgence cherished his hereditary hastiness of temper, and pampered his proud wilfulness into selfish defiance; a constant change of teachers, and of methods of teaching, cherished habits of desultoriness and inattention in the boy's studies. Byron was already a spoiled child, when, about the commencement of his eleventh year, his granduncle's death made him the possessor of the family title and property.
His mother, left by the guardians to take her own way, now spoiled him more than ever; while at the same time she subjected him to fruitless and tormenting operations, designed to remove the lameness which, caused at his birth, she had taunted him with from childhood in her fits of anger. Improvement, both in temper and in industry, began on his being placed in an excellent private school at Dulwich; but the promising prospect was destroyed by his mother's constant interferences; and he remained at this place for no more than two years, and these broken by frequent and long visits to home. He was next removed to Harrow, where, though somewhat rebellious, and a very careless student of the Classics, he was liked as a generous and spirited youth, and went through a good deal of miscellaneous reading. During his school days at Harrow, and before he had entered his eighteenth year, he formed an attachment which, though doubtless poetized and magnified in his own imagination afterwards, was probably more genuine
and ardent than any he felt in mature life. The lady was Miss Chaworth, two years older than himself, the heiress of estates in the neighbourhood of his