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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 1.djvu/430

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HINTS FROM HORACE.

mature genius. "As far," he said, "as versification goes, it is good; and on looking back at what I wrote about that period, I am astonished to see how little I have trained on. I wrote better then than now; but that comes of my having fallen into the atrocious bad taste of the times" [September 23, 1820]. The opinion of J. C. Hobhouse that the Hints would require "a good deal of slashing" to adapt them to the passing hour, and other considerations, again led Byron to suspend the publication. Authors are frequently bad judges of their own works, but of all the literary hallucinations upon record there are none which exceed the mistaken preferences of Lord Byron. Shortly after the appearance of The Corsair he fancied that English Bards was still his masterpiece; when all his greatest works had been produced, he contended that his translation from Pulci was his "grand performance,—the best thing he ever did in his life;" and throughout the whole of his literary career he regarded these Hints from Horace with a special and unchanging fondness.