al as it was contrary to all the received rules of literature. It was inspired by hatred and vengeance, adopted by an idle and frivolous public, and the result has proved to be something entirely opposed to the truth.
As long as such a whimsical creation was harmless, it amused Byron himself and his friends; but the day came when it ceased to be harmless without ceasing to be eccentric, and became to Byron a true robe of Nessus.
At his death the truth was demanded of his biographers; but the puppet which had been erected stood there, and amazed the good, while it served the malice of the wicked. His genius was analyzed, but no conscientious study of his character was made, and Byron, as man, remained an unknown personage.
Yet among his biographers there were men of upright and enlightened minds: they did not all seek to raise themselves at the cost of depreciating him, nor to gain popularity by sparing individuals at the expense of Lord Byron.
If among them many proved to be black
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