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Byron & politics: ‘born for opposition’
Home|Special Collections Exhibitions|Byron & politics: ‘born for opposition’|Introduction|1. Manuscript of Byron’s ‘Detached Thoughts’, number 84 

1. Manuscript of Byron’s ‘Detached Thoughts’, number 84

NLS Ms.43352, ff.58v-59r

Byron’s journal of ‘Detached Thoughts’ (1821-2) recorded his opinions on a wide range of subjects, including many political issues, such as slavery and the overthrow of tyranny.

But there is no freedom – even for Masters – in the midst of slaves. – – it makes my blood boil to see the thing. – I sometimes wish that I was the Owner of Africa – to do at once – what Wilberforce will do in time – viz – sweep Slavery from her desarts – and look on upon the first dance of their Freedom. – – – As to political slavery – so general – it is men’s own fault – if they will be slaves, let them! – – Yet it is but “a word and a blow” – see how England formerly – France – Spain – Portugal – America – Switzerland – freed themselves! – – there is no one instance of a long contest, in which men did not triumph over Systems. – If Tyranny misses her first spring she is cowardly as the tiger, and retires to be hunted.

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