Robert Charles Dallas


The poet Lord Byron excerpt of a letter to Robert Charles Dallas of 7 September 1811:

M[atthews] was indeed an extraordinary man; it has not entered into the heart of a stranger to conceive such a man: there was the stamp of immortality in all he said or did; and now what is he? When we see such men pass away and be no more - men who seem created to display what the Creator could make his creatures gathered into corruption, before the maturity of minds that might have been the pride of posterity, what are we to conclude? For my own part I am bewildered. To me he was much, to Hobhouse every thing - My poor Hobhouse doted on M. For me, I did not love quite so much as I honoured him; I was indeed so sensible of his infinite superiority, that though I did not envy, I stood in awe of it. He, Hobhouse, D[avies], and myself, formed a coterie of our own at Cambridge and elsewhere. D is a wit and man of the world, and feels as much as such a character can do; but not as Hobhouse has been affected. D, who is not a scribbler, has always beaten us all in the war of words, and by his colloquial powers at once delighted and kept us in order. H and myself always had the worst of it with the other two; and even M yielded to the dashing vivacity of D. But I am talking to you of men, or boys, as if you cared about such things.

Dallas acted as a go between for Byron with his publishers for a while between 1808 and 1811. He tried to insinuate some of his own poetry into Byron's, but the poet resisted this very diplomatically, telling him that the good would be attributed to him (Dallas) and the bad to Byron himself.



The poet biographies, criticism, translations, and textual notes on this site are the copyright of Paul Scott