INTRODUCTION TO BEPPO.
Beppo was written in the antrnnn (September 6^0ctober 12, Letters^ 1900, iv. 173) of 1817, whilst Byron was still eng^ed on the additional stanzas of the Fourth Canto of CktUi Harold, His new poem, as he admitted from the first, was " after the excellent manner * of John Hookham Frere's jeu tPesprit^ known as WhistUcraft (Prospectus and Spedmen of an intended National Wor% by Wdliam and Robert Wnistlecraft, London, 1818^), which must have I. [*' Fve often wish'd that I ooold writo a book, Sudi as all English people might peruse ; I never shall regret the pains it took, That's just the sort of fiune that I shoald choose : To sail about the world like Captain Cook, I'd sUng a oot up for my faTourite Muse, And we'd take verses out to Demerara, . To New Sooth Wales, and up to Niagara. '* Poets consume ezciseable commodities, They raise the nation's spirit when victoriooi, Th^ drive an export trade in whims and oddities, KuJdng our commerce and revenue glorious ; As an industrious and pains-taldng body 'tis That Poets shoukl be reckoned meritorious : And therefore I submissively propose To erect one Board for Verse and one for Prose. '* Princes protecting Sciences and Art I've often seen m copper-plate and print ; I never saw them dsewnere, for my part, And therefore I condude there's nothing hi't : But every body knows the Regent's heart ; I trust he won't rc^ a well-meant hint ; Eaeh Board to have twdve members, with a seat . To bring them in per ann. five hundred neat >-
- Fhn[i Prinoes I descend to the Nobility :
In former times all persons of high stations, Lords, Baronets, and Persons of gentility, Paid twenty guineas for the de&ations ; Digitized by VjOOQ IC