March 31 1815: Byron and Coleridge

The_Albatross_about_my_Neck_was_Hung_by_William_Strang

On March 31 1815, Lord Byron responds from a letter postmarked March 30 1815 from Samuel Taylor Coleridge requesting Byron’s help in finding a publisher for his unpublished works.  Byron writes:

Piccadilly, March 31. 1815.

Dear Sir,

It will give me great pleasure to comply with your request, though I hope there is still taste enough left amongst us to render it almost unnecessary, sordid and interested as, it must be admitted, many of’ the trade ‘ are, where circumstances give them an advantage. I trust you do not permit yourself to be depressed by the temporary partiality of what is called ‘the public’ for the favourites of the moment; all experience is against the permanency of such impressions. You must have lived to see many of these pass away, and will survive many more — I mean personally, for poetically, I would not insult you by a comparison.

If I may be permitted, I would suggest that there never was such an opening for tragedy. In Kean, there is an actor worthy of expressing the thoughts of the characters which you have every power of embodying; and I cannot but regret that the part of Ordonio was disposed of before his appearance at Drury Lane. We have had nothing to be mentioned in the same breath with ‘Remorse’ for very many years; and I should think that the reception of that play was sufficient to encourage the highest hopes of author and audience. It is to be hoped that you are proceeding in a career which could not but be successful. With my best respects to Mr. Bowles, I have the honour to be

Your obliged and very obedient servant,
Byron.

P. S. You mention my ‘Satire,’ lampoon, or whatever you or others please to call it. I can only say, that it was written when I was very young and very angry, and has been a thorn in my side ever since; more particularly as almost all the persons animadverted upon became subsequently my acquaintances, and some of them my friends, which is 4 heaping fire upon an enemy’s head,’ and forgiving me too readily to permit me to forgive myself. The part applied to you is pert, and petulant, and shallow enough; but, although I have long done every thing in my power to suppress the circulation of the whole thing, I shall always regret the wantonness or generality of many of its attempted attacks.”

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