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When all is done, upon the tomb is seen,
Newstead Abbey, November 30, 1808.
Thomas Moore remarks: “ The monument raised by him to this dog,—the most remarkable tribute of the kind since the Dog's Grave of old, at Salamis—is still a conspicuous ornament of the gardens of Newstead.”
It is not clear what is intended by the words “ is still a conspicuous ornament.” Colonel Wildman, the then possessor of the estate, was one of the last men not to jealously protect every memorial of Byron. Perchance the same feeling dictated the sentiment, which caused the tender bard to regale with Duchesses on recherché viands, whilst he left his neglected, but “dearest Bessy,” alone, to dine on mutton chops in dismal lodgings: his fair hostesses dissolving the while to “ The last rose of summer left blooming alone,” sung by Tommy to the air of “ Groves of Blarney.”
Byron's fondness for dogs accompanied him throughout life. Of his favourite Boatswain, traits are told indicative not only of intelligence, but of a generosity of spirit which might well win for him the affections of such a master as Byron."
“Mrs. Byron had a fox-terrier, called Gilpin, with whom her son's dog, Boatswain, was perpetually at war, taking every opportunity of attacking and worrying him so violently, that it was very much apprehended he would kill the animal. Mrs. Byron therefore sent off her terrier to a tenant at Newstead; and on the departure of Lord Byron for Cambridge, his friend' Boatswain, with two other dogs, was intrusted to the care of a servant till his return. One morning the servant was much alarmed by the disappearance of Boatswain, and throughout the whole of the day he could hear no tidings of him. At last, towards evening, the stray dog arrived, accompanied by Gilpin, whom he led immediately to the kitchen fire, licking him and lavishing upon him every possible demonstration of joy. The fact was, he had been all the way to Newstead to fetch him; and having now established his former foe under the roof once more, agreed so perfectly well with him ever after, that he even protected him against the insults of other dogs (a task which the quarrelsomeness of the little terrier rendered no sinecure), and, if he but heard Gilpin's voice in distress, would fly instantly to his recue.
1 Moore's Life of Byron.
Pratt. The poem by this author, called “the Lower World,' merits more fame than it possesses, and redouuds much to his honour. “ Blessed are the merciful!”
Pratt was one of those labourers whose harvest waves its golden ears beyond our sun.
“Stand forth thou champion of a ruffian band,
through the pressing throng, See how yon terrier gently leads along The feeble beggar, to his custom'd stand, With piteous tale to woo the bounteous band; In willing bonds, but master of the way, Ne'er leads that trusted friend his charge astray: With slow, soft step, as conscious of his care, As if his own deep sorrows form’d the prayer