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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 1.djvu/541

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497
THE WALTZ.

New white-sticks—gold-sticks—broom-sticks—all new sticks!
With vests or ribands—decked alike in hue,
New troopers strut, new turncoats blush in blue:
So saith the Muse: my ——,[1] what say you?

Such was the time when Waltz might best maintain

    why then make sport at me; then let me be your jest; I deserve it. How now? whither bear you this?

    "Mrs. Ford. What have you to do whither they bear it?—You were best meddle with buck-washing." [Act iii. sc. 3.]

  1. The gentle, or ferocious, reader may fill up the blank as he pleases—there are several dissyllabic names at his service (being already in the Regent's): it would not be fair to back any peculiar initial against the alphabet, as every month will add to the list now entered for the sweep-stakes;—a distinguished consonant is said to be the favourite, much against the wishes of the knowing ones.—[Revise.] [In the Revise the line, which is not in the MS., ran, "So saith the Muse; my M—— what say you?" The name intended to be supplied is "Moira."

    On Perceval's death (May 11, 1812), Lord Liverpool became Prime Minister, but was unable to carry on the government. Accordingly the Prince Regent desired the Marquis Wellesley and Canning to approach Lords Grey and Grenville with regard to the formation of a coalition ministry. They were unsuccessful, and as a next step Lord Moira (Francis Rawdon, first Marquis of Hastings, 1754-1826) was empowered to make overtures in the same quarter. The Whig Lords stipulated that the regulation of the Household should rest with ministers, and to this Moira would not consent, possibly because the Prince's favourite, Lord Yarmouth, was Vice-Chamberlain. Negotiations were again broken off, and on June 9 Liverpool began his long term of office as Prime Minister. "I sate," writes Byron, "in the debate or rather discussion in the House of Lords on that question (the second negotiation) immediately behind Moira, who, while Grey was speaking, turned round to me repeatedly, and asked me whether I agreed with him. It was an awkward question to me, who had not heard both sides. Moira kept repeating to me, 'It is not so; it is so and so,'" etc. (Letter to W. Bankes (undated), Life, p. 162). Hence the question, "My Moira, what say you.?"]