1839 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Lord Byron

Chandos Leigh, "Byron at Harrow" Poems (1839) 350n.



The shout of "Here's Byron coming!" had much the same effect on the "clods:" a generic, and not very flattering term by which the young aristocracy at Harrow designated the lower orders there, with whom they had frequent rows, in which the noble poet shone pre-eminent.

When a row commenced, as Lord Byron was lame, he could not get to the scene of the action as soon as the other boys; but his fame went before him, and his name had almost as great effect as his personal prowess on the alarmed "clods."

The cockneys, too, had frequent engagements on a Sunday, (proh pudor!) with the Harrow boys, as they were often exposed to the insulting gibes of the young gentlemen. Some of these "cockneys" or "Sunday bucks," as they were generally called, often proved themselves to be good men in the pugilistic contests. To the delicate appearance they sometimes united the science of "Dick Curtis," that "pet of the Fancy."

Lord Byron was a good, but somewhat stormy actor, when at school, and loved to perform such parts as that of Osmond in the Castle Spectre.