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what I have said: the truth is, I have witnessed such gross egotism and want of feeling in Lady , that I cannot resist speaking my sentiments of her.'-I observed : – But are you not afraid she will hear what you say of her ?'—He answered :-Were she to hear it, she would act the amiable, as she always does to those who attack her; while to those who are attentive, and court her, she is insolent beyond bearing.
Having sat with us above two hours, and expressed his wishes that we might prolong our stay at Genoa, he promised to dine with us the following Thursday, and took his leave, laughingly apologising for the length of his visit, adding, that he was such a recluse, and had lived so long out of the world, that he had quite forgotten the usages of it.
He on all occasions prosesses a detestation of what he calls cant; says it will banish from England all that is pure and good; and that while people are looking after the shadow, they lose the substance of goodness; he says, that the best mode left for conquering it, is to expose it to ridicule, the only weapon, added he, that the English climate cannot rust. He appears to know everything that is going on in England ; takes a great interest in the London gossip; and while professing to read no new publications, betrays, in various ways, a perfect knowledge of every new work.
April 2nd, 1823. MY DEAR LORD, I send you to-day's (the latest) Galignani. My banker tells me, however, that his letters from Spain state, that two regiments have revolted, which is a great vex, as they say in Ireland. I shall be very glad to see your friend's journal. He seems to have all the qualities requisite to have figured in his brother-in-law's ancestor's Memoirs. I did not think him old enough to have served in Spain, and must have expressed myself badly. On the contrary, he has all the air of a Cupidon déchaîné, and promises to have it for some time to come. I beg to present my respects to Lady B , and ever am your obliged and faithful servant,
‘Noel Byron. When Lord Byron came to dine with us on Thursday, he arrived an hour before the usual time, and appeared in good spirits. He said that he found the passages and stairs filled with people, wlio stared at him very much ; but he did not seem vexed at this homage, for so it certainly was meant, as the Albergo della Ville, where we resided, being filled with English, all were curious to see their distinguished countryman. He was very gay at dinner, ate of most of the dishes, expressed pleasure at partaking of a plum pudding, á l'Anglaise, made by one of our English servants; was helped twice, and observed, that he hoped he should not shock us by eating so much: ‘But,' added he, 'the truth is, that for several months I have been follow
ing a most abstemious regime, living almost entirely on vegetables ; and now that I see a good dinner, I cannot resist temptation, though to-morrow I shall suffer for my gormandise, as I always do when I indulge in luxuries. He drank three glasses of champagne, saying, that as he considered it a jour de fåte, he would eat, drink, and be merry.
He talked of Mr. , who was then our Minister at Genoa. 'H- said he, is a thorough good-natured and hospitable man, keeps an excellent table, and is as fond of good things as I am, but has not my forbearance. I received, some time ago, a Paté de Perigord, and finding it excellent, I determined on sharing it with H— -; but here my natural selfishness suggested that it would be wiser for me, who had so few dainties, to keep this for myself, than to give it to H- , who had so many.' After half an hour's debate between selfishness and generosity, • which do you think' (turning to me) 'carried the point ?'-I answered, 'Generosity, of course.'--'No, by Jove !' said he, 'no such thing; selfishness in this case, as in most others, triumphed; I sent the paté to my friend H- , because I felt another dinner off it would play the deuce with me; and so you see, after all, he owed the paté more to selfishness than generosity.' Seeing us smile at this, he said :-'When you know me better, you will find that I am the most selfish person in the world ; I have, however, the merit, if it be'one, of not only being perfectly conscious of my faults, but of never denying them; and this surely is something, in this age of cant and hypocrisy.
The journal to which Lord Byron refers was written by one of our party, and Lord Byron having discovered its existence, and expressed a desire to peruse it, the writer confided it to him.*
April 14th, 1823. MY DEAR LORD, "I was not in the way when your note came. I have only time to thank you, and to send the Galignani's. My face is better in fact, but worse in appearance, with a very scurvy aspect; but I expect it to be well in a day or two. I will subscribe to the Improving Society.
Yours in haste, but ever,
April 22nd, 1823. MILOR, * I received your billet at dinner, which was a good one-with a sprinkling of female foreigners, who, I dare say, were very agreeable. As I have formed a sullen resolution about presentations, which I never break (above once a month), I begged - -to dispense me
* See Moore's Life, vol. ii. p. 686, 4to edition. Here also follow several letters in Moore's Byron.
from being introduced, and intrigued for myself a place as far remote as possible from his fair guests, and very near a bottle of the best wine to conform my misogyny. After coffee, I had accomplished my retreat as far as the hall, on full tilt towards your Thé, which I was very eager to partake of, when I was arrested by requesting that I would make my bow to the French Ambassadress, who it seems is a Dillon, Irish, but born or bred in America; has been pretty, and is a blue, and of course entitled to the homage of all persons who have been printed. I returned, and it was then too late to detain Miss P over the tea-urn. I beg you to accept my regrets, and present my regards to Miledi, and Miss P , and Comte Alfred, and believe me ever yours,
• Noel BYRON.'
April 23d, 1823. 'MY DEAR LORD, 'I thank you for quizzing me and my learned Thebans.' I assure you my notions on that score are limited to getting away with a whole skin, or sleeping quietly with a broken one, in some of my old Glens where I used to dream in my former excursions. I should prefer a grey Greek stone over me to Westminster Abbey; but I doubt if I shall have the luck to die so happily. A lease of my 'body's length 'is all the land which I should covet in that quarter.
What the Honourable Dug* and his Committee may decide, I do not know, and still less what I may decide (for I am not famous for decision) for myself ; but if I could do any good in any way, I should be happy to contribute thereto, and without eclat. I have seen enough of that in my time, to rate it at its value. I wish you were upon that Committee, for I think you would set them going one way or the other ; at present they seem a little dormant. I dare not venture to dine with you to-morrow, nor indeed any day this week ; for three days of dinners during the last seven days, have made me so head-achy and sulky, that it will take me a whole Lent to subside again in anything like independence of sensation from the pressure of materialism. *
* But I shall take my chance of finding you the first fair morning for a visit. Ever yours,
May 7th, 1823. MY DEAR LORD, I return the poesy, which will form a new light, to lighten the Irish, and will, I hope, be duly appreciated by the public. I have not returned Miledi's verses, because I am not aware of the error she mentions, and see no reason for the alteration ; however, if she insists, I must be conformable. I write in haste, having a visitor.
•Ever yours, very truly,
'Noel Byron.' * His abridgment for Douglas Kinnaird.
May 14th, 1823. MY DEAR LORD, 'I arize you that the Reading Association have received numbers of English publications, which you may like to see, and as you are a Member should avail yourself of early. I have just returned my share before its time, having kept the books one day instead of five, which latter is the utmost allowance. The rules obliged me to forward it to a Monsieur G- , as next in rotation. If you have anything for England, a gentleman with some law papers of mine returns there to-inorrow (Thursday), and would be happy to convey anything for you. Ever yours, and truly,
Noel BYRON. 'P. S. “I request you to present my compliments to Lady B----, Miss P and C- D
We have great pleasure in having it in our power to present our readers with an abstract of the very interesting historical notice on this subject which formed a part of the Lectures lately read by the elder Mr. Landseer at the Mechanics' Institution.
Strange as it will appear to those who are more accustomed to active life than to silent speculation, Assyria, (says Mr. Landseer,) with her immense hosts, and her spacious and magnificent cities, had no moneyEgypt, opulent, populous, mysterious, and abundant Egypt, had no moncy-Ancient Persia, before the age of the first Darius, had no moneythe early Hebrews, even during the most prosperous period of the age of Solomon and down to the time of Judas Maccabæus, were without money-Etruria, from first to last, was without money-Rome was without money to the time of Servius Jullius—and the Greeks of the heroic ages were equally destitute of money.
Among all those natioas, gold and silver, when used in barter was weighed out by the scales; as when Abraham purchased the cave of Machpelah, he weighed to Ephron the silver which he had named in the audience of the sons of Heth ; 'moreover, there was anciently no money in Arabia, or the riches of the Patriarch Job would not have been estimated by his camels, oxen, and she asses : and there was none in Greece down to the time of Homer, who no where mentions or alludes to it, but, on the contrary, by informing us, that the armor of Diomede cost only nine oxen, while that which Glaucus generously gave in exchange for it, cost one hundred, shows that cattle, in their larger purchases, were made the current measure of value. It is from this circumstance too, of oxen and asses being at the time the ordinary and known signs of property, and current measure of value, that we find them specifically inentioned in the tenth commandment ; and the virtuous prohibition of covetousness derives local intelligibility from the notoriety of the
The invention of coining was not only a very curious adaptation of en
graving to the purposes of Society, but an important event in the History of the world. It is not, however, known when or in what country money first became the substitute for cattle and unstamped bullion, as the general representative of property and the measure of value. Mr. Landseer is of opinion that the Darics, issued by the first Darius, are the oldest Persian coins that were ever minted in that empire.
There is, however, reason to believe, that Darics were not the very first coins which the world had beheld. Montesquieu is of opinion, that the Lydians first found out the art of coining money. By others, the invention is attributed to Phidon of Argos. But the arts of dye engraving, and of the mintage of money, were, no doubt, like most other arts, progressive. That ingots of bullion were in commercial use that stamps were applied to them in order to save time, and the constant reference to the scales, and that barter was thus facilitated in Western Asia for ages prior to that of Lycurgus, are not only facts very supposable and credible in themselves, but may be authenticated from the circumstance of' stamped ingots' being alluded to in the Hebrew and Arabic versions of the book of Job. Thus it may be seen how possible it is for very numerous and extensive communities to arrive at national and commercial prosperity, and to attain popular happiness or comfort without money, without even the knowledge of that which to modern habitudes and to some modern philosophers appears to be so indispensable to every purpose of life, and almost even to existence itself. India, Persia, Assyria, Judæa, Egypt, Greece, Etruria, Rome, the nations of Asia Minor, including Tyre and its dependencies, all arrived at civilization and confort without the current use of cash, and carried on their extensive mercantile and manufactory transactions, merely by bartering commodities in kind-bullion being reckoned amongst those commodities. These nations were populous, almost beyond credibility, and transported their produce, manufactories, and other merchandises in ships of Tyre and Tarsbish from Ophir, and the utmost Indian Isle (which is believed to have been Ceylon), to Gaul and our own Cassiterides. We regret that it is not in our power to accompany the lecturer further in his important and interesting inquiry, but must conclude with a brief historical notice of money in England.
Coined golden money appears to have existed here as early as the reign of Cunobelin, the father of Caractacus, but there is reason to believe its use reached not far beyond the payment of British tributes to Rome, where larger and more ponderous articles of property could not easily have been transniitted ; since Adam Smith informs us, that the Saxon Kings of England, for several ages after Cunobelin, record their revenues not in money, but in kind, that is to say, in cattle, corn, and the more endurable species of provisions. William the Conqueror introduced the custom of paying the royal revenues in cash : the money, however, was for a long time received at the Exchequer by weight, and not by tale.