chapter  43
11 Pages

Hazlitt on Byron

1825

Lord Byron and Sir Walter Scott are among writers now living the two, who would carry away a majority of suffrages as the greatest geniuses of the age. The former would, perhaps, obtain the preference with the fine gentlemen and ladies—the latter with the critics and the vulgar. Intensity is the great and prominent distinction of Lord Byron's writings. His only object seems to be to stimulate himself and his readers for the moment—to keep both alive, to drive away ennui, to substitute a feverish and irritable state of excitement for listless indolence or even calm enjoyment. Lord Byron seems to cast himself indignantly from 'this bank and shoal of time,' or the frail tottering bark that bears up modern reputation, into the huge sea of ancient renown, and to revel there with untired, outspread plume. Lord Byron is the spoiled child of fame as well as fortune.