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Byron & politics: ‘born for opposition’
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2. Manuscript copy of Byron’s ‘Detached Thoughts’, annotated by Sir Walter Scott, 1825

NLS Ms.43358

Sir Walter Scott annotated a copy of Byron’s ‘Detached Thoughts’, number 112, which reads: ‘There is nothing left for Mankind but a Republic – and I think that there are hopes of Such – the two Americas (South and North) have it – Spain and Portugal approach it – all thirst for it – Oh Washington!’

Scott wrote:

How does this accord with the violent aspirations after a Republic? Scattered over this very book & all over all Lord B’s later poems. I think I observed Lord Byrons feelings were strongly aristocratic He could talk of a republic as a general undefined theory but if you proposed to him that the people who passed under the window should share in the cares of government he repelled the idea with scorn.

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