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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 1.djvu/335

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INTRODUCTION TO ENGLISH BARDS, AND SCOTCH REVIEWERS.

The article upon Hours of Idleness "which Lord Brougham ... after denying it for thirty years, confessed that he had written" (Notes from a Diary, by Sir M. E. Grant Duff, 1897, ii. 189), was published in the Edinburgh Review of January, 1808. English Bards, and Scotch Reviewers did not appear till March, 1809. The article gave the opportunity for the publication of the satire, but only in part provoked its composition. Years later, Byron had not forgotten its effect on his mind. On April 26, 1821, he wrote to Shelley: "I recollect the effect on me of the Edinburgh on my first poem: it was rage and resistance and redress: but not despondency nor despair." And on the same date to Murray: "I know by experience that a savage review is hemlock to a sucking author; and the one on me (which produced the English Bards, etc.) knocked me down, but I got up again," etc. It must, however, be remembered that Byron had his weapons ready for an attack before he used them in defence. In a letter to Miss Pigot, dated October 26, 1807, he says that "he has written one poem of 380 lines to be published in a few weeks with notes. The poem...is a Satire." It was entitled British Bards, and finally numbered 520 lines. With a view to publication, or for his own convenience, it was put up in type and printed in quarto sheets. A single copy, which he kept for corrections and additions, was preserved by Dallas, and is now in the British Museum. After the review appeared, he enlarged and recast the British Bards, and in