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little better. He may affect the principles of equality, but he resumes his privilege of peerage, upon occasion. His Lordship has made great offers of service to the Greeks--money and horses. He is at present in Cephalonia, waiting the event !
We had written thus far when news came of the death of Lord Byron, and put an end at once to a strain of somewhat peevish invective, which was intended to meet his eye, not to insult his memory. Had we known that we were writing his epitaph, we must have done it with a different feeling. As it is, we think it better and more like himself, toʻlet what we had written stand, than to take up our leaden shafts, and try to melt them into s tears of sensibility," or mould them into dull praise, and an affected shew of candour. We were not silent during the author's life-time, either for his reproof or encouragement (such as we could give, and he did not disdain to accept) nor can we now turn undertakers' men to fix the glittering plate upon his coffin, or fall into the procession of popular woe.Death cancels everything but truth; and strips a man of every thing but genius and
virtue. It is a sort of natural canonization, It makes the meanest of us sacredit installs the poet in his immortality, and lifts him to the skies. Death is the great assayer of the sterling ore of talent. At his touch the drossy particles fall off, the irritable, the personal, the gross, and mingle with the dust—the finer and more ethereal part mounts with the winged spirit to watch over our latest memory and protect our bones from insult. We consign the least worthy qualities to oblivion, and cherish the nobler and imperishable nature with double pride and fondness. Nothing could shew the real superiority of genius in a more striking point of view than the idle contests and the public indifference about the place of Lord Byron's interment, whether in WestminsterAbbey or his own family-vault. A king must have a coronation—a nobleman a funeral-procession.—The man is nothing without the pageant. The poet's cemetery is the human mind, in which he sows the seeds of neverending thought-his monument is to be found in his works:
Nothing can cover his high fame but Heaven ;
Lord Byron is dead: he also died a martyr to his zeal in the cause of freedom, for the last, best hopes of man.
Let that be his excuse and his epitaph !