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and fight in defence of the sky-gods. Again,“ others of a higher class mingle, like Voltaire, filth with blasphemy, impiety with lewdness, and pursue their object with such devoted perseverance, as if the devil had chosen them for his apostles.” A hit palpable against the Satanic school, a nickname which, however, will hardly last as long as our own Cockney or Leg-of-Mutton Schools of Poetry.
P.S.-I have a corner still left of this voluminous epistle--and I shall use it to enter an appeal in behalf of Jerry Bentham. Hang it, he is our preserve. He is lugged in in p. 502, text and note--in p. 551-and other places. This is poaching on you. Warn Murray's scribes off, and vindicate your right in cutting up that first-rate piece of gaine, him whom a friend of ours calls, in that droll song which he sung a fortnight ago for us, (and which you should print)
“ Sage Jeremy the bencher
'Or Lincoln's Inn-of Lincoln's Inn." Good night-it is almost two o'clock.
T. T. [I write to-morrow.]
I was just going to seal up, when tract twenty, distinguished by any your new packet came to hand. readable quality. Cant I never speak, Well, I have read the three new Can- and, with the blessing of God, never tos.
will speak-especially to you ; and acALAS! POOR BYRON !
cordingly, though I was thoroughly
disgusted with the scope and tendency Not ten times a-day, dear Christo- of the former cantos of the Don pher, but ten times a-page, as I wan- though there were passages in them dered over the intense and incredible which, in common with all other men stupidities of this duodecimo, was the of upright minds and true feelings, I departed spirit of the genius of Childe looked on with indignation-yet I, for Harold saluted with this exclamation. one, never permitted my moral or poAlas! that one so gifted—one whose litical antipathies so to master my crisoul gave such appearance of being tical judgment, as to make me whideeply imbued with the genuine spi- ningly decry the talent which they ofrit of poetry-one, to whom we all ten wickedly, sometimes properly, exlooked as an ornament of our litera. hibited. But here we are in a lower ture, and who indeed has contributed deep-we are wallowing in a sty of in no small degree towards spreading mere filth. Page after page presents a strain of higher mood over our poet- us with a monotonous unmusical drawl, ry—should descend to the composition decrying chastity, sneering at matriof heartless, heavy, dull, anti-British mony, cursing wives, abusing monargarbage, to be printed by the Cock, chy, deprecating lawful government, neys, and puffed in the Examiner.- lisping dull double-entendres, hymnAlas! alas ! that he should stoop to ing Jacobinism, in a style and manner the miserable degradation of being so little unrelieved by any indication extolled by Hunt!--that he, who we of poetic power, that I feel a moral hoped would be the Samson of our conviction that his lordship must have poetical day, should suffer himself to taken the Examiner, the Liberal, the be so enervated by the unworthy De- Rimini, the Round Table, as his molilahs which have enslaved his imagi- del, and endeavoured to write himself nation, as to be reduced to the foul down to the level of the capacities and office of displaying blind buffooneries the swinish tastes of those with whom before the Philistines of Cockaigne. he has the misfortune, originally, I
But so it is. Here we have three believe, from charitable motives, to cantos of some hundred verses, from associate. This is the most charitable which it would be impossible to ex- hypothesis which I can frame. Indeed
there are some verses which have all translation of the strong expression of the appearance of having been inter- the Stoic satirist) which floats on the polated by the King of the Cockneys. slaver of too many of these pages. I At least I hope so- I hope that there allude, for instance, to the attempt at is but one set capable of writing any- wit, where the poet (the poet !) is fathing so leering and impotent, as the cetious at the state of females during loinless drivelling (if I may venture a the sack of a town ;* the greatest part
* It is a pity to reprint such things, but a single specimen here may do good, by the disgust for the whole which it must create.
" In one thing ne'ertheless 'tis fit to praise
The Russian army upon this occasion,
And therefore worthy of commemoration :
Perhaps the season's chill, and their lone station
“Much did they slay, more plunder, and no less
Might here and there occur some violation
As when the French, that dissipated nation,
Except cold weather and commiseration ;
Which showed a want of lanterns, or of taste-
Their friends from foes, besides such things from haste
Of light to save the venerably chaste ;
old damsels, each of seventy years,
So that some disappointment there ensued
Of single blessedness,' and thought it good
To bear these crosses) for each waning prude
“Some voices of the buxom middle-aged.
Were also heard to wonder in the din
• Wherefore the ravishing did not begin!'
There was small leisure for superfluous sin ;
In darkness—I can only hope they did.
“ Suwarrow now was conqueror-a match
For Timour or for Zinghis in his trade.
Blazed, and the cannon's roar was scarce allay'd,
And here exactly follows what he said.
of the seraglio scene; and other places rhymes to “ necessary” in a third ; to which I must decline making any and “had in her” to “ Wladimir” in farther reference.
a fourth. As for the flow of his verse, Alas! poor Lord Byron! His ori- read the following patches of dull ginality has been often questioned, and prose : he has of late been compelled to admit, that the scissors, or a mental ope
“ He died at fifty for a queen of forty ; ration almost as mechanical as scissors. I wish their years had been fifteen and work, have stood him in good stead. twenty, for then wealth, kingdoms, worlds, In this new book of his, he honestly are but a sport; I remember when, though confesses his obligation to a French I had no great plenty of worlds to lose, yet description of the siege of Ismail. So still, to pay my court, I gave what I had
a heart ;-as the world went I gave far so good. But he has not the cou
what was worth a world; for worlds could rage, or, if you will, the impudence, to never restore me those pure feelings, gone avow his obligation to another French for ever.” work, which has supplied his warm " I wonder (although Mars no doubt's colouring. I may as well name the a god I praise) if a man's name in a bulletbook at once-the Chevalier de Fau- in may make up for a bullet in his body ? blas. To such of your readers as know I hope this little question is no sin, bethe book, there is no need of making cause, though I am but a simple noddy, I any observation whatever on its con
think one Shakespeare puts the same mention that the meritorious Mr Ben- for wits by quoting.” tents—to those who do not, I may just thought in the mouth of some one in his
plays so doating, which many people pass bow has suffered an accident before the courts of Westminster for being so Stop here for a moment, Christoliberal as to republish it. Now, from pher, just to admire the style in which this filthy work, which I am really al one Shakespeare," and his “ doating most ashamed for having mentioned, plays,” are mentioned by this worshipare all the striking situations of Don per of Pope ; and then go on to the folJuan taken--for instance, the very in- lowing: cident in the seraglio, &c. &c. &c. It
“Perceiving then no more the commandis, however, fair to say, that Byron ant of his own corps, nor even the corps, adopts here and there the filthy inci- which had quite disappeared—the Gods dents, and, almost throughout, the know how ! (I can't account for everyfilthy tone, of Faublas, without, in any thing which may look bad in history ; but one passage, (I mean of these three we at least may grant it was not marvellous new cantos,) rivalling the sparkle of that a mere lad, in search of glory, should Louvet's wit-far less the elegance of look on before, nor care a pinch of snuff Louvet's language.
about his corps.”) Talking of language, it is indeed Read these morceaus, (they are luce clarius that Lord B.'s residence in three veritable stanzas of Don Juan,) Italy has been much too long pro- and doubt, if you can, that Byron has tracted. He has positively lost his ear, staid away rather too long, and that, not only for the harmony of English if he means to write more English, it verse, but for the very jingle of Eng- is high time he were back in England, lish rhymes. He makes will rhyme to to hear the language spoken.— It is very will in stanza 33 of Canto VI. “ Pa- good of him to give alms to any poor tience” is the rhyme to “ fresh ones”. Cockney he finds at sea abroad, within another place. “ John Murray” out a tester in his fob—but hence
6 Methinks these are the most tremendous words,
Heaven help me! I'm but little of a parson :
Severe, sublime; the Prophet wrote no farce on
forth he must actually guard against and“ STRAW," like the immortal allowing them to utter any of their LEIGH Rex himself ? Just imagine gibberish in his hearing. If he goes him already sunk to beginning a on in such culpable, however amiable, stanza, with such a line as "But Juan weaknesses, why, who shall swear was quite A BROTH OF A BOY !!!!” that he won't come in time to rhy of the wit of these Cantos, deign ming “ Morn,” and “ Fawn,” like to accept this one sample. The pasBarry Cornwall—" Dear” and “ Cy- sage occurs in the description of Sutherea,” like John Keats-or " warrow's host.
“ Then there were foreigners of much renown,
Of various nations, and all volunteers;
But wishing to be one day brigadiers ;
A pleasant thing to young men at their years.
Jack Thomson and Bill Thomson ;- all the rest
Had been called “ Jemmy,' after the great bard;
But such a godfather's as good a card.
Amongst them all, hard blows to inflict or ward,
The rest were Jacks and Gills, and Wills and Bills;
But when I've added that the elder Jack Smith
And that his father was an honest blacksmith,
Three lines of the despatch in taking · Schmacksmith,'
“ A habit rather blameable, which is
That of despising those we combat with,
The cause of killing Tchitchitzkoff and Smith;
Out of those nineteen who late rhymed to pith ;'
And then to crown the whole, take the stanza that immediately follows this about “ Tchitchitzkoff and Smith.”
“ The Russian batteries were incomplete,
Because they were constructed in a hurry;
And throws a cloud o’er Longman and John Murray,
As they who print them think is necessary,
Sometimes calls ' murder,' and at others . glory.” These are the mumblings of a man, I am almost ashamed to think of mywhose impressions of Joseph Miller self tacking the mention of such conhave been weakened by long absence! temptible trash to a notice, however Never was such poor, poor stuff--and hasty and imperfect, of such a work VOL. XIV.
as the Quarterly Review. Southey, plete as the recent fall of Lord Byron's Gifford, &c. have their faults-above literary name. I don't mean to inall, they have their affectations—but, sinuate that people of taste think less Heaven preserve us ! what a plunge it highly now, than they did five, six, is from their worst to the best that seven, or eight years ago, of the geeven Lord Byron seems capable of nius of Byron, in his true works of giving us since his conjunction with genius. But what I mean to say is these deluded drivellers of Cockaigne! this, that his name can no more sell There we have at least strong English a book now, than Jeremy Bentham's. prejudices delivered in the strong clear Christian, for instance, did not sell a language of England! Here, what bit better than any new poem of Mr have we got? Stupid French books Milman's, or Mrs Hemans's, would do translated, not into stupid English, -and this continuation of Don Juan butinto stupid Cockneyeze-wit, that is obliged to be sold for a shilling, won't make the Duke of Sussex him- and is very moderately taken off even self chuckle - verse, that Charles at that rate, although, of course, it has Young himself could not read, so as all the advantage of being believed to to produce anything like the effect of be a licentious thing. Never, to be musical cadence-jests, that even the sure, was a more egregious tumble. Laureate will not feel-in short, to If it were only to check the joy which say all that can be said—a book which, must prevail in a certain quarter, though written by Lord Byron, is (which I need not name,) if this goes published by, without elevating the on-Lord Byron ought really to pull brotherhood of, the Hunts !
up, and make at least one more exerI do not mean to say that there are tion worthy of himself, and of the orinot some half-dozen or two of stanzas ginal expectations of a reading public, not quite unworthy of the better days that has unwillingly deserted, and of Lord Byron. There are. But I that would most gladly return to him, have already occupied far too many of even after all that has happened. your columns with a production which, I do not believe Lord Byron to be with fewer exceptions than anything a bad man—I mean a deliberately, rethat has been published this year, (save solvedly wicked man. I know him to only perhaps the Liber Amoris,) by be a man of great original power and any man of the least pretension and genius, and, from report, I know him talent of any kind, appears deserving to be a kind friend where his friendof sovereign and universal neglect- ship is wanted. I cannot consent to “CHRISTIAN, OR THE ISLAND,” con- despair of Lord Byron—but as to his tained two pages, and just two of By- late publications, he may depend upronian Poetry-all the rest was mere on it, they are received by the people translation, and generally feeble trans- of Britain“ with as much coldness and lation. This contains no passage equal indifference,” (to use an expression to the two I allude to in Christian- in one of Cobbett's late Registers,) none whatever. It contains nothing “as if they were as many ballads from that the moment it is read makes Grub Street, or plays from Lord John everybody 'exclaim,“ Well, say what Russel.”-He must adopt an entire you please of the book-but here is a change of system, or give the thing stanza which no living man but Lord up altogether. So thinks sincerely, Byron could have written." There is and in the spirit of kindness and of nothing of this class here there was regret, much more than in any other in the worst of the preceding cantos; spirit, and, in one word, Don Juan appears,
Yours ever, like Lord Byron himself, to be getting
Dear Christopher, into his dotage before his time.
T. T. I don't remember anything so com