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The Life of Lord Byron by John Galt
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THE LIFE OF LORD BYRON




AUTHOR'S INTRODUCTION



My present task is one of considerable difficulty; but I have long
had a notion that some time or another it would fall to my lot to
perform it. I approach it, therefore, without apprehension, entirely
in consequence of having determined, to my own satisfaction, the
manner in which the biography of so singular and so richly endowed a
character as that of the late Lord Byron should be treated, but still
with no small degree of diffidence; for there is a wide difference
between determining a rule for one's self, and producing, according
to that rule, a work which shall please the public.

It has happened, both with regard to the man and the poet, that from
the first time his name came before the public, there has been a
vehement and continual controversy concerning him; and the chief
difficulties of the task arise out of the heat with which the adverse
parties have maintained their respective opinions. The circumstances
in which he was placed, until his accession to the title and estates
of his ancestors, were not such as to prepare a boy that would be
father to a prudent or judicious man. Nor, according to the history
of his family, was his blood without a taint of sullenness, which
disqualified him from conciliating the good opinion of those whom his
innate superiority must have often prompted him to desire for