Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 3.djvu/352

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320
LARA.


and happier solution of the difficulty, a coalescing with Rogers, and, if possible, Moore {Life, 1892, p. 257, note 2), "into a joint invasion of the public" (Letter to Moore, July 8, 1814, Letters, 1899, iii. 102). But Rogers hesitated, and Moore refused to embark on so doubtful a venture, with the result that, as late as the 3rd of August, Byron thought fit to remonstrate with Murray for " advertising Lara and Jacqueline, and confessed to Moore that he was "still demurring and delaying and in a fuss" (Letters, 1899, iii. 115, 119). Murray knew his man, and, though he waited for Byron's formal and ostensibly reluctant word of command, "Out with Lara, since it must be" (August 5, 1814, Letters, 1899, iii. 122), he admitted (August 6, Memoir of John Murray, 1891, i. 230) that he had "anticipated his consent," and " had done everything but actually deliver the copies of Lara," "The moment," he adds, " I received your letter, for for it I waited, I cut the last cord of my aerial work, and at this instant 6000 copies are sold." Lara, a Tale; Jacqueline, a Tale, was published on Saturday, August 6, 1814.

Jacqueline is a somewhat insipid pastoral, betraying the influence of the Lake School, more especially Coleridge, on a belated and irresponsive disciple, and wholly out of place as contrast or foil to the melodramatic Lara.

No sooner had the "lady," as Byron was pleased to call her, played her part as decoy, than she was discharged as emerita. A week after publication (August 12, 18 14, Letters, iii. 125) Byron told Moore that "Murray talks of divorcing Larry and Jacky—a bad sign for the authors, who will, I suppose, be divorced too. . . . Seriously, I don't care a cigar about it." The divorce was soon pronounced, and, contrary to Byron's advice (September 2, 18 14, Letters, iii. 131), at least four separate editions of Lara were published during the autumn of 1814.

The "advertisement" to Lara and Jacqueline contains the plain statement that "the reader . . . may probably regard it [Lara] as a sequel to the Corsair"—an admission on the author’s part which forestalls and renders nugatory any prolonged discussion on the subject. It is evident that Lara is Conrad, and that Kaled, the "darkly delicate" and