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Invitation to first Byron Society Dinner


"The best of life is but intoxication" — ‘Don Juan’, canto ii, st. 179.

May 22, 1985

Dear Byronist,

The society extends to you a cordial invitation to indulge in a celebration of the Byronic spirit. The first event of Trinity term will consist of a dinner to be held in Trinity College on Friday of sixth week, the cost of which should be approximately seventeen pounds. There will be an optional punting party beforehand (those you are interested should so indicate on their reply to the formal invitation, which will follow shortly), and ladies and gentlemen of the society are requested to prepare samples of Byronic verse for recital afterwards.

What, you may ask, is the Byronic spirit? Consider Byron the man first and his poetry second. Macauley described him thus: "A man proud, moody, cynical, with defiance on his brow, and misery in his heart, a scorner of his kind, implacable in revenge, yet capable of deep and strong affections." For those unfamiliar with his poetry, the society strongly urges the perusal of the first and second cantos of Don Juan, Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, and the lyric "She walks in Beauty." The following passages should serve as inspirational exemplars for imitators of the Byronic style in verse:

"Fools are my theme, let satire be my song" — Eng. Bards & Scotch Reviewers.

"But who, alas! can love, and then be wise?
Not that remorse did not oppose temptation;
A little she strove, and much repented,
And whispering ‘I will ne’er consent’—consented." — Don Juan.

"But—Oh! ye lords of ladies intellectual,
Inform us truly, have they not hen-peck’d you all?" — Don Juan.

Yours Byronically,

Mad Jack Schulze & Don Juan Henrey