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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 3.djvu/77

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LINES TO A LADY WEEPING.

LINES TO A LADY WEEPING.[1][2]

Weep, daughter of a royal line,
A Sire's disgrace, a realm's decay;
Ah! happy if each tear of thine
Could wash a Father's fault away!


  1. Sympathetic Address to a Young Lady.—[Morning Chronicle, March 7, 1812.]
  2. [The scene which begat these memorable stanzas was enacted at a banquet at Carlton House, February 22, 1812. On March 6 the following quatrain, entitled, "Impromptu on a Recent Incident," appeared in the Morning Chronicle:

    "Blest omens of a happy reign,
    In swift succession hourly rise,
    Forsaken friends, vows made in vain—
    A daughter's tears, a nation's sighs."

    Byron's lines, headed, "Sympathetic Address to a Young Lady," were published anonymously in the Morning Chronicle of March 7, but it was not till March 10 that the Courier ventured to insert a report of "The Fracas at Carlton House on the 22nd ult.," which had already been communicated to the Caledonian Mercury.

    "The party consisted of the Princess Charlotte, the Duchess of York, the Dukes of York and Cambridge, Lords Moira, Erskine, Lauderdale, Messrs. Adams and Sheridan.

    "The Prince Regent expressed 'his surprise and mortification' at the conduct of Lords Grey and Grenville [who had replied unfavourably to a letter addressed by the P.R. to the Duke of York, suggesting an united administration]. Lord Lauderdale thereupon, with a freedom unusual in courts, asserted that the reply did not express the opinions of Lords Grey and Grenville only, but of every political friend of that way of thinking, and that he had been present at and assisted in the drawing-up, and that every sentence had his cordial assent. The Prince was suddenly and deeply affected by Lord Lauderdale's reply, so much so, that the Princess, observing his agitation, dropt her head and burst into tears—upon which the Prince turned round and begged the female part of the company to withdraw."

    In the following June, at a ball at Miss Johnson's, Byron was "presented by order to our gracious Regent, who honoured me with some conversation," and for a time he ignored and perhaps regretted his anonymous jeu d' esprit. But early in 1814, either out