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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 1.djvu/448

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Prayers are too tedious, Lectures too abstruse,
He flies from Tavell's frown to "Fordham's Mews;"
(Unlucky Tavell![1] doomed to daily cares[2]
By pugilistic pupils, and by bears,)230
Fines, Tutors, tasks, Conventions threat in vain,
Before hounds, himters, and Newmarket Plain.
Rough with his elders, with his equals rash,
Civil to sharpers, prodigal of cash;

Constant to nought—save hazard and a whore,[3]

    used to fling away Virgil in his ecstasy of admiration and say, "the book had a devil." Now such a character as I am copying would probably fling it away also, but rather wish that "the devil had the book;" not from dislike to the poet, but a well-founded horror of hexameters. Indeed, the public school penance of "Long and Short" is enough to beget an antipathy to poetry for the residue of a man's life, and, perhaps, so far may be an advantage.

  1. "Infandum, regina, jubes renovare dolorem." I dare say Mr. Tavell (to whom I mean no affront) will understand me; and it is no matter whether any one else does or no.—To the above events, "quæque ipse miserrima vidi, et quorum pars magna fui," all times and terms bear testimony. [The Rev. G. F. Tavell was a fellow and tutor of Trinity College, Cambridge, during Byron's residence, and owed this notice to the "zeal with which he protested against his juvenile vagaries." During a part of his residence at Trinity, Byron kept a tame bear in his rooms in Neville's Court. (See English Bards, l. 973, note, and postscript to the Second Edition, ante, p. 383. See also letter to Miss Pigot, October 26, 1807.)

    The following copy of a bill (no date) tells its own story:—

    The Honble. Lord Byron.

    To John Clarke.

    To Bread & Milk for the Bear delivd.
    to Haladay
    1 9 7
    Cambridge Reve.
    A Clarke.]
  2. Unlucky Tavell! damned to dally cares
    By pugilistic Freshmen, and by Bears.—[MS. M. erased.]

  3. Ready to quit whate'er he loved before,
    Constant to nought, save hazard and a whore.—[MS. L. (a).]