Open main menu

Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 7.djvu/63

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
31
THE DEVIL'S DRIVE.

With the falsest of tongues, the sincerest of men—
His veracity were but deceit—180
And Nature must first have unmade him again,
Ere his breast or his face, or his tongue, or his pen,
Conceived—uttered—looked—or wrote down letters ten,
Which Truth would acknowledge complete.


22.

Satan next took the army list in hand,
Where he found a new "Field Marshal;"
And when he saw this high command
Conferred on his Highness of Cumberland,[1]
"Oh! were I prone to cavil—or were I not the Devil,
I should say this was somewhat partial;190
Since the only wounds that this Warrior gat,
Were from God knows whom—and the Devil knows what!"


23.

He then popped his head in a royal Ball,

And saw all the Haram so hoary;
  1. [Ernest Augustus (1771-1851), Duke of Cumberland and King of Hanover, fifth son of George III., was gazetted as Field-Marshal November 27, 1813. His "wounds," which, according to the Duke's sworn testimony, were seventeen in number, were inflicted during an encounter with his valet, Joseph Sellis (? Sélis), a Piedmontese, who had attempted to assassinate the Prince (June 1, 1810), and, shortly afterwards, was found with his throat cut. A jury of Westminster tradesmen brought in a verdict of felo de se against Sellis. The event itself and the trial before the coroner provoked controversy and the grossest scandal. The question is discussed and the Duke exonerated of the charges brought against him, by J. H. Jesse, Memoirs, etc., of George III., 1864, iii. 545, 546, and by George Rose, Diaries, etc., i860, ii. 437-446. The scandal was revived in 1832 by the publication of a work entitled The Authentic Memoirs of the Court of England for the last Seventy Years. The printer and publisher of the work was found guilty. (See The Trial of Josiah Phillips for a Libel on the Duke of Cumberland, 1833.)]