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is with you. I am sure that you will, upon second thoughts, and appeared to be carrying the amusement of those persons, be really obliged to me for the intention of this letter, how. who think my name can be of any use to them, a little too far. ever far short my expressions may have fallen of the sincere I should hardly, therefore, if I did not take the trouble to good will, admiration, and thorough esteem, with which I am disavow these things published in my name, and yet not mine, ever, my dear Roberts,

go out of my way to deny an anonymous work ; which might Most truly yours,

appear an act of supererogation. With regard to Don Juan,

WORTLEY CLUTTERBUCK. I neither deny nor admit it to be mine - every body may Sept. Ith, 1819.

form their own opinion ; but, if there be any who now, or in Little Pdlington.

the progress of that poem, if it is to be continued, feel, or P.S. My letter is too long to revise, and the post is going.

should feel themselves so aggrieved as to require a more I forget whether or not I asked you the meaning of your last explicit answer, privately and personally, they shall bare it. words, “ the forgery of a groundless fiction." Now, as all I have never shrunk from the responsibility of what I have forgery is fiction, and all fiction a kind of forgery, is not this written, and have more than once incurred obloquy by netautological ? The sentence would have ended more strongly glecting to disavow what was attributed to my pen without with “forgery;" only, it hath an awful Bank of England foundation. sound, and would have ended like an indictment, besides The greater part, however, of the “ Remarks on Don sparing you several words, and conferring some meaning upon Juan" contain but little on the work itself, which receives an the remainder. But this is mere verbal criticism. Good-bye extraordinary portion of praise as a composition. With the - once more, yours truly,

W.C. cxception of some quotations, and a few incidental remarks,

the rest of the article is neither more nor less than a personal P.S. 20. - Is it true that the Saints make up the loss of the

attack upon the imputed author. It is not the first in the Review ?- It is very handsome in them to be at so great an

same publication: for I recollect to have read, some time ago. expense. Twice more, yours,

W.C.

similar remarks upon “ Beppo" (said to have been written by a celebrated northern preacher); in which the conclusion drawn was, that “ Childe Harold, Byron, and the Count in Beppo, were one and the same person;" thereby making me

turn out to be, as Mrs. Malaprop' says, “ like Cerberus, three Note (B.) – Some OBSERVATIONS UPON AN ARTICLE gentlemen at once." That article was signed " Presbyter IN BLACKwood's MAGAZINE, No. XXIX., AUGUST,

Anglicanus ;” which, I presume, being interpreted, means 1819.

Scotch Presbyterian.? I must here observe,- and it is at

once ludicrous and vexatious to be compelled so frequently “Why, how now, Hecate? you look angrily." - Macbeth.

to repeat the same thing.- that my case, as an author, is

peculiarly hard, in being everlastingly taken, or mistaken, for (See“ Testimonies of Authors,” No. XVII. an!ė, p. 581.] my own protagonist. It is unjust and particular. I never

heard that my friend Moore was set down for a fire-wor. shipper on account of his Guebre ; that Scott was identified

TO

with Roderick Dhu, or with Balfour of Burley; or thal, not J. D'ISRAELI, ESQ.

withstanding all the magicians in Thalaba, any body has ever THE AMIABLE AND INGENIOUS AUTHOR OF

taken Mr. Southey for a conjuror ; whereas I bare had some “THE Calamities" AND " QUARRELS OP AUTHORS ;"

difficulty in extricating me even from Manfred, who, as Ms.

Southey slily observes in one of his articles in the Quarterly, THIS ADDITIONAL QUARREL AND CALAMITY

“met the devil on the Jungfrau, and bullied him ';" and I IS INSCRIBED BY

answer Mr. Southey, who has apparently, in his poetical life, ONE OF THE NUMBER.

not been so successful against the great enemy, that, in this, Manfred exactly followed the sacred precept, -" Resist the

devil, and he will flee from you."-I shall have more to say Ravenna, March 15. 1820.

on the subject of this person – not the devil, but his most " The life of a writer" has been said, by Pope, I believe, to humble servant Mr. Southey — before I conclude ; but, for be“ a warfare upon earth." As far as my own experience the present, I must return to the article in the Edinburgh has gone, I have nothing to say against the proposition; and, Magazine. like the rest, having once plunged into this state of hostility, In the course of this article, amidst some extraordinary must, however reluctantly, carry it on. An article has ap observations, there occur the following words :- " It appears. peared in a periodical work, entitled “ Remarks on Don in short, as if this miserable man, having exbausted carry Juan," which has been so full of this spirit, on the part of the species of sensual gratification, - having drained the cup of writer, as to require some observations on mine.

sin even to its bitterest dregs, were resolved to show us that In the first place, I am not aware by what right the writer he is no longer a human being even in his frailties, – but a assumes this work, which is anonymous, to be my production. cool, unconcerned fiend, laughing with a detestabie glee orer He will answer, that there is internal evidence ; that is to say, the whole of the better and worse elements of which human that there are passages which appear to be written in my life is composed." In another place there appears, " the name, or in my manner. But might not this have been done lurking-place of his selfish and polluted exile" — * Dy my on purpose by another ? He will say, why not tben deny it ? troth, these be bitter words !”- With regard to the first To this I could answer, that of all the things attributed to sentence, I shall content myself with observing, that it me within the last five years, - Pilgrimages to Jerusalem, appears to have been composed for Sardanapalus, Tiberius, Deaths upon Pale Horses, Odes to the Land of the Gaul, the Regent Duke of Orleans, or Louis XV.; and that I have Adieus to England, Songs to Madame La Valette, Odes to copied it with as much indifference as I would a passage St. Helena, Vampires, and what not,- of which, God knows from Suetonius, or from any of the private memoirs of the I never composed nor read a syllable beyond their iitles in regency, conceiving it to be amply refuted by the terms ta advertisements,- I never thought it worth while to disavow which it is expressed, and to be utterly inapplicable to any any, except one which came linked with an account of my private individual. On the words,“ lurking-plarr," and

residence in the Isle of Mitylene," where I never resided, selfish and polluted exile," I have something more to say,

1 (In Sheridan's comedy of “The Rivals.") 2 (See Blackwood, vol. iii. p. 329. Lord B., as it appear from one of his letters, ascribed (though unjusuy) this paper to the ler.Dr.Chalmers !)

3 (" As the passage was curtailert in the press, I take this opportunity of restoring it. In the Quarterly Review (vol. Iti. p. 366.), speaking inci.

dentally of the Jungfrau, I said, 'It was the scene tere Land De Manfred met the devil, and lullied him - though the desires won his cause before any tribunal in this world, or the past, the not pleaded more fee hly for himself than his aivocare, in .. canonisation, ever pleaded for him.'" - SouTuur.)

► of an

How far the capital city of a government, which survived the full.- But, to return to this man's charge : he accuses Lord B. vicissitudes of thirteen hundred years, and might still have of "an elaborate satire on the character and manners of his existed but for the treachery of Buonaparte, and the iniquity wife." From what parts of Don Juan the writer has inferred of his imitators, - a city, which was the emporium of Europe this he himself best knows. As far as I recollect of the female when London and Edinburgh were dens of barbarians, – characters in that production, there is but one who is depicted may be termed a " lurking-place," I leave to those who have in ridiculous colours, or that could be interpreted as a satire seen or heard of Venice to decide. How far my exile may upon any body. But here my poetical sins are again rehave been “ poiluted," it is not for me to say, because the visited upon me, supposing that the poem be mine. III word is a wide one, and, with some of its branches, may depict a corsair, a misanthrope, a libertine, a chief of insurchance to overshadow the actions of most men ; but that it gents, or an infidel, he is sct down to the author ; and if, in has been “sclish" I deny. If, to the extent of my means a poem by no means ascertained to be tny production, there and my power, and my information of their calamities, to appears a disagreeable, casuistical, and by no means respecthare assisted many miserable beings, reduced by the decay able female pedant, it is set down for my wife. Is there any of the place of their birth, and their consequent loss of sub- resemblance? If there be, it is in those who make it : I can stance - if to have never rejected an application which see none. In my writings I have rarely described any chaappeared founded on truth - if to have expended in this racter under a fictitious name: those of whom I have spoken manner sums far out of proportion to my fortune, there and have had their own - in many cases a stronger satire in itself elsewhere, be selfish, then have I been selfish. To have than any which could be appended to it. But of real done such things I do not deem much ; but it is hard indeed circumstances I have availed myself plentifully, both in the to be compelled to recapitulate them in my own defence, by serious and thc ludicrous - they are to poetry what landsuch accusations as that before me, like a panel before a jury scapes are to the painter ; but my figures are not portraits. calling testimonies to his character, or a soldier recording It may even have happened, that I have seized on some his services to obtain his discharge. If the person who has events that have occurred under my own observation, or in made the charge of " selfishness" wishes to inform himself my own family, as I would paint a view from my grounds, further on the subject, he may acquire, not what he would did it harmonise with my picture ; but I never would introwish to find, but what will silence and shame him, by apply. duce the likenesses of its living members, unless their features ing to the Consul-General of our nation, resident in the could be made as favourable to themselves as to the effect; place, who will be in the case either to contirm or deny what which, in the above instance, would be extremely difficult. I have asserted. I

My learned brother proceeds to observe, that " it is in vain I neither make, nor have ever made, pretensions to sanctity for Lord B. to attempt in any way to justify his own behaof demeanour, nor regularity of conduct ; but my means have viour in that affair ; and now that he has so openly and been expended principally on my own gratification, neither audaciously invited inquiry and reproach, we do not see any now nor heretofore, neither in England nor out of it; and it good reason why he should not be plainly told so by the wants but a word from me, if I thought that word decent or voice of his countrymen." How far the “openness necessary, to call forth the most willing witnesses, and at

anonymous poem, and the “ audacity” of an imaginary cha. once witnesses and proofs, in England itself, to show that racter, which the writer supposes to be meant for Lady B., there are those who have derived not the mere temporary may be deemed to merit this formidable denunciation irom relief of a wretched boon, but the means which led them to their “ most sweet voices," I neither know nor care ; but immediate happiness and ultimate independence, by my want when he tells me that I cannot " in any way justify my own of that very " selfishness," as grossly as falsely now imputed behaviour in that affair," I acquiesce, because no man can to my conduct.

justify " himself until he kuows of what he is accused; and Had I been a selfish man – had I been a grasping man - I have never had — and, God knows, my whole desire has had I been, in the worldly sense of the word, even a prudent ever been to obtain it - any specific charge, in a tangible man, - I should not be where I now am ; I should not have shape, submitted to me by the adversary, nor by others, taken the step which was the first that led to the events unless the atrocities of public rumour and the mysterious which have sunk and swoln a gulf between me and mine ; silence of the lady's legal advisers may be deemed such. But but in this respect the truth will one day be made known: is not the writer content with what has been already said in the meantime, as Durandearte says, in the Cave of Mon- and done? Has not “ the general voice of his countrymen tesinos, “ Patience, and shuffle the cards."

long ago pronounced upon the subject --- sentence without I bitterly feel the ostentation of this statement, the first of trial, and condemnation without a charge ? Have I not been the kind I have ever made : I feel the degradation of being exiled by ostracism, except that the shells which procompelled to make it ; but I also feel its truth, and I trust to scribed me were anonymous ? Is the writer ignorant of the feel it on my death-bed, should it be my lot to die there. I public opinion and the public conduct upon that occasion ? am not less sensible of the egotism of all this ; but, alas ! who If he is, I am not: the public will forget both, long before I have made me thus egotistical in my own defence, if not shall cease to remember either. they, who, by perversely persisting in referring fiction to The man who is exiled by a faction has the consolation of truth, and tracing poetry to life, and regarding characters of thinking that he is a martyr; he is upheld by hope and the imagination as creatures of existence, have made me person- dignity of his cause, real or imaginary: he who withdraws ally responsible for almost every poetical delineation which from the pressure of debt may indulge in the thought that fancy, and a particular bias of thought, may have tended to time and prudence will retrieve his circumstances : he who produce ?

is condemned by the law has a term to his banishment, or a The writer continues : -" Those who are acquainted, as dream of its abbreviation; or, it may be, the knowledge or who is not with the main incidents of the private life of Lord the belief of some injustice of the law, or of its adminis. B." &c. Assuredly, whoerer may he acquainted with these tration in his own particular ; but he who is outlawed " main incidents," the writer of the “Remarks on Don by general opinion, without the intervention of hostile Juan" is not, or he would use a very different language. politics, illegal judgment, or einbarrassed circumstances, That which I believe he alludes to as a " main incident," hap- whether he be innocent or guilty, must undergo all the pened to be a very subordinate one, and the natural and bitterness of exile, without hope, without pride, without almost inevitable consequence of events and circumstances alleviation. This case was mine. Upon what grounds the long prior to the period at which it occurred. It is the last public founded their opinion, I am not aware ; but it was drop which makes the cup run over, and mine was already general, and it was decisive. of me or of mine they knew

I ("Lord Byron was erot ready to assist the distressed, and he was most uncantations in his charities; for, besides considerable surrs which he gare away to applicants at his own house, he contributed largely,

weekly and monthly allowances, to persons whom he had never seen, and who, as the money reached them by other hands, did not even know who was their benefactor." - HOPPNER.

little, except that I had written what is called poetry, was a precisely that importance which a Whig vote possesses in these nobleman, had married, became a father, and was involved Tory days, and with such personal acquaintance with the in differences with my wife and her relatires, no one knew leaders in both houses as the society in which I lired sanc. why, because the persons complaining refused to state their tioned, but without claim or expectation of any thing like grievances. The fashionable world was divided into parties, friendship from any one, except a few young men of my own mine consisting of a very small minority: the reasonable age and standing, and a few others more advanced in life, world was naturally on the stronger side, which happened to which last it had been my fortune to serve in circumstances be the lady's, as was most proper and polite. The press was of difficulty. This was, in fact, to stand alone : and I recol. active and scurrilous; and such was the rage of the day, lect, some time after, Madame de Stael said to me in Switzer. that the unfortunate publication of two copies of verses, land, “ You should not have warred with the world - it will rather complimentary than otherwise to the subjects of both, not do - it is too strong always for any individual: I myself was tortured into a species of crime, or constructive petty once tried it in early life, but it will not do." | perfeculy trcason. I was accused of every monstrous vice by public acquiesce in the truth of this remark; but the world had rumour and private rancour: my name, which had been a done me the honour to begin the war; and assuredly, if knightly or a noble one since my fathers helped to conquer peace is only to be obtained by courting and paying tribute to the kingdom for William the Norman, was tainted. I felt it, I am not qualified to obtain its countenance. I thought, that, if what was whispered, and muttered, and mur. in the words of Campbell, mured was true, I was unfit for England ; if false, England was unfit for me. I withdrew: but this was not enough. In

“ Then wed thee to an exiled lot,

And is the world hath lored thee not, other countries, in Switzerland, in the shadow of the Alps,

Its absence may be borne." and by the blue depth of the lakes, I was pursued and brcathed upon by the same blight. I crossed the mountains, I recollect, howerer, that, having been much hurt by but it was the same ; so I went a little farther, and settled Romilly's conduct, (he, having a general retainer for me, had myself by the waves of the Adriatic, like the stag at bay, acted as adviser to the adversary, alleging, on being rewho betakes him to the waters.

minded of his retainer, that he had forgotten it, as his clerš Ir I may judge by the statements of the few friends who

had so many,) I observed that some of those who were nos gathered round me, the outcry of the period to which I allude

eagerly laying the axe to my roor-tree, might see their own was beyond all precedent, all parallel, even in those cases

shaken, and feel a portion of what they had inflicted. — His where political motives hare sharpened slander and doubled

fell, and crushed him. enmity. I was advised not to go to the theatres, lest I should

I have heard of, and believe, that there are human beings be hissed, nor to my duty in parliament, lest I should be

so constituted as to be insensible to injuries; but I believe insulted by the way; even on the day of my departure, my that the best mode to avoid taking rengeance is to get out of most intimate friend told me afterwards, that he was under

the way of temptation. I hope that I may nerer hare the apprehensions of violence from the people who might be

opportunity, for I am not quite sure that I could resist it, assembled at the door of the carriage. However, I was not

having derived from my mother something of the “ perjer. deterred by these counsels from secing Kean in his best cha

vidum ingenium Scotorum." hare not sought, and shall racters, nor from voting according to my principles ; and with

not seek it, and perhaps it may never come in my path. I do regard to the third and last apprehensions of my friends, I

not in this allude to the party, who might be right or wrong: could not share in them, not being made acquainted with

but to many who made her cause the pretext of their own their extent till some time after I had crossed the Channel.

bitterness. She, indeed, must have long avenged me in her Even if I had been so, I am not of a nature to be much

own feelings ; for whatever her reasons may have been (and affccted by men's anger, though I may feel hurt by their

she never adduced them to me at least), she probably Deitber aversion. Against all individual outrage, I could protect or contemplated nor conceived to what she became the means redress myself; and against that of a crowd, I should pro- of conducting the father of her child, and the husband of ber bably have been enabled to defend myself, with the assistance

choice. of others, as has been done on similar occasions.

So much for “the general voice of his countrymen :" I I retired froin the country, perceiving that I was the

will now speak of some in particular. object of general obloquy; I did not indeed imagine, like

In the beginning of the year 1817, an article appeared in Jean Jacques Rousseau, that all mankind was in a conspi. the Quarterly Review, written, I believe, by Walter Scott, racy against me, though I had perhaps as good grounds for

doing great honour to bim, and no disgrace to me, though such a chimera as ever he had: but I perceived that I had to both poetically and personally more than sufficiently favour. a great extent become personally obnoxious in England,

able to the work and the author of whom it created. It was perhaps through my own fault, but the fact was Indisputable : written at a time when a selfish man would not, and a tiroid the public in general would hardly have been so much one dared not, have said a word in favour of either; it was excited against a more popular character, without at least an written by one to whom tenporary public opinion bad accusation or a charge of some kind actually expressed or elevated me to the rank of a rival – a proud distinction, and substantiated, for I can hardly conceive that the common and unmerited ; but which has not prevented me from feeling as every-day occurrence of a separation between man and wise a friend, nor him from more than corresponding to that could in itself produce so great a ferment. I shall say nothing sentiment. The article in question was written upon the of the usual complaints of “ being prejudged," “ condemned Third Canto of Childe Harold ; and after many observations, unheard,” “unfairness," “ partiality," and so forth, the which it would as ill become me to repeat as to forget, conusual changes rung by parties who have had, or are to have, cluded with “ a hope that I might yet return to England.” a trial ; but I was a little surprised to find myself condeinued How this expression was received in England itself I am not without being favoured with the act of accusation, and to acquainted, but it gave great offence at Rome to the respectperceive in the absence of this portentous charge or charges, able ten or twenty thousand English travellers then and whatever it or they were to be, that every possible or impos- there assembled. I did not visit Rome till some time after, sible crime was rumoured to supply its place, and taken for so that I had no opportunity of knowing the fact : but I was granted. This could only occur in the case of a person very informed, long afterwards, that the greatest indignation had much disliked ; and I knew no remedy, having already used been manifested in the enlightened Anglo-circle of that year, to their extent whatever little powers I might possess of which happened to comprise within it - amidst a considerable pleasing in society. I had no party in fashion, though I was leaven of Welbeck Street and Devonshire Place, broken afterwards told that there was one - but it was not of my loose upon their travels - several really well-born and wellformation, nor did I then know of its existence - none in literature ; and in politics I had voted with the Whigs, with

1 (See Quarterly Review, vol. Iti. p. 172.1

bred families, who did not the less participate in the feeling of the hour. “ Why should he return to England ?" was the general exclamation - I answer why? It is a question I have occasionally asked myself, and I never yet could give it a satisfactory reply. I had then no thoughts of returning, and if I have any now, they are of business, and not or pleasure. Amidst the ties that have been dashed to pieces, there are links yet entire, though the chain itself be broken. There are duties, and connections, which may one day require my presence and I am a father. I have still some friends whom I wish to meet again, and, it may be, an enemy. These things, and thosc minuter details of business, which time accumulates during absence, in every man's affairs and property, may, and probably will, recall me to England; but I shall return with the same feclings with which I left it, in respect to itself, though altered with regard to individuals, as I have been more or less informed of their conduct since my departure ; for it was only a considerable time after it that I was made acquainted with the real facts and full extent of some of their proccedings and language. My friends, like other friends, from conciliatory motives, withheld from me much that they could, and some things which they should have unfolded ; howerer, that which is deferred is not lost - but it has becn no fault of mine that it has been deferred at all.

I have alluded to what is said to have passed at Rome merely to show that the sentiment which I have described was not confined to the English in England, and as forming part of my answer to the reproach cast upon what has been called my “selfish exile," and my “ voluntary exile." “ Voluntary" it has been ; for who would dwell among a people entertaining strong hostility against him ? How far it has been " selfish" has been already explained.

I have now arrived at a passage describing me as having vented my " spleen against the lofty-minded and virtuous men," men “whose virtues few indeed can equal ;" meaning, I humbly presume, the notorious triumvirate known by the name of “ Lake Poets" in their aggregate capacity, and by Southey, Wordsworth, and Coleridge, when taken singly. I wish to say a word or two upon the virtues of one of those persons, public and private, for reasons which will soon appear.

When I left England in April, 1816, ill in mind, in body, and in circumstances, I took up my residence at Coligny, by the lake of Geneva. The sole companion of my journey was a young physician', who had to make his way in the world, and having seen very little of it, was naturally and laudably desirous of sceing more society than suited my present habits or my past experience. I therefore presented him to those gentlemen of Geneva for whom I had letters of introduction ; and haring thus seen him in a situation to make his own way, retired for my own part entirely from society, with the exception of one English family, living at about a quarter of a mile's distance from Diodati, and with the further exception of some occasional intercourse with Coppet at the wish of Madame de Staël. The English family to which I allude consisted of two ladies, a gentleman and his son, a boy of a

second marriage of their respective parents, a widower with a widow, both being the offspring of former marriages; neither of thein were, in 1816, nineteen years old. " Promiscuous intercourse" could hardly have disgusted the great patron of pantisocracy, (does Mr. Southey remember such a scheme ?) but there was none.

How far this man, who, as author of Wat Tyler, has been proclaimed by the Lord Chancellor guilty of a treasonable and blasphemous libel, and denounced in the House of Commons, by the upright and able member for Norwich, as a "rancorous renegado,” be fit for sitting as a judge upon others, let others judge. He has said that for this expression "he brands William Smith on the forehead as a calumniator," and that “the mark will outlast his epitaph." How long William Smith's epitaph will last, and in what words it will be written, I know not, but William Smith's words form the epitaph itself of Robert Southey. He has written Wat Tyler, and taken the office of poet laureate — he has, in the Life of Henry Kirke White, denominated reviewing “the ungentle craft," and has become a reviewer - he was one of the projectors of a scheme, called “pantisocracy," for having all things, including women, in common, (query, common women ?) and he sets up as a moralist - he denounced the battle of Blenheim, and he praised the battle of Waterloo he loved Mary Wollstoncrast, and he tried to blast the character of her daughter (one of the young females mentioned) - he wrote treason, and serves the king - he was the butt of the Antijacobin, and he is the prop of the Quarterly Review ; licking the hands that smote him, eating the bread of his enemies, and internally writhing beneath his own contempt, - he would fain conceal, under anonymous bluster, and a vain endeavour to obtain the esteem of others, after having for ever lost his own, his leprous sense of his own degradation. What is there in such a man to " envy

?" Who ever envied the envious ? Is it his birth, his name, his fame, or his virtues, that I am to “ envy ?" I was born of the aristocracy, which he abhorred; and am sprung, by my mother, from the kings who preceded those whom he has hired himself to sing. It cannot, then, be his birth. As a poet, I have, for the past eight years, had nothing to apprehend from a competition ; and for the future, “ that life to come in every poet's creed," it is open to all. I will only remind Mr. Southey, in the words of a critic, who, it still living, would hare annihilated Southey's literary existence now and hereafter, as the sworn soe of charlatans and impostors, from Macpherson downwards, that "those dreams were Settle's once and Ogilby's;" and, for my own part, I assure him, that whenever he and his sect are remembered, I shall be proud to be “ forgot." That he is not content with his success as a poet may reasonably be believed - he has been the nine-pin of reviews ; the Edinburgh knocked him down, and the Quarterly set him up; the government found him useful in the periodical line, and made a point of recommending his works to purchasers, so that he is occasionally bought, (I mean his books, as well as the author,) and may be found on the same shelf, if not upon the table, of most of the gentlemen employed in the different offices. With regard to his private virtues, I know nothing - of his principles, I have heard enough. As far as having been, to the best of my power, benevolent to others, I do not fear the comparison ; and for the errors of the passions, was Mr. Southey always so tranquil and stainless ? Did he never covet his neighbour's wife? Did he never calumniate his neighbour's wife's daughter, the offspring of her he coveted ? So much for the apostle of pantisocracy.

of the " lofty-minded, virtuous" Wordsworth, one anec. dote will suflice to speak his sincerity. In a conversation with Mr. upon poetry, he concluded with, “ After all, I would not give five shillings for all that Southey has ever written." Perhaps this calculation might rather show his esteem for five shillings than his low estimate of Dr. Southey; but considering that when he was in his need, and Southey had a shilling, Wordsworth is said to have had generally

year old. 2

One of " these lofty-minded and virtuous men," in the words of the Edinburgh Magazine, made, I understand, about this time, or soon after, a tour in Switzerland. On his return to England, he circulated — and, for any thing I know, invented—a report, that the gentleman to whom I have alluded and myself were living in promiscuous intercourse with two sisters, “ having formed a league of incest" (I quote the words as they were stated to me), and indulged himself on the natural comments upon such a conjunction, which are said to have been repeated publicly, with great complacency, by another of that poetical fraternity, of whom I shall say only, that even had the story been true, he should not have repeated it, as far as it regarded myself, except in sorrow. The tale itself requires but a word in answer the ladies were not sisters, nor in any degree connected, except by the

1 (Dr. Pulidori – author of the “ Vampire." I

2 (Mr. and Mrs. Shelley, Visa Clermont, and Master Shelley.)

sixpence out of it, it has an awkward sound in the way of rallation. This anecdote was told me by persons who, if quoted by name, would prove that its genealogy is poetical as well as true. I can give my authority for this; and am ready to adduce it also for Mr. Southey's circulation of the faisehood before mentioned. or Coleridge, I shall say nothing - why, he may divine. !

have said more of these people than I intended in this place, being somewhat stirred by the remarks which induced me to commence upon the topic. I see nothing in these men, as poets, or as individuals -- little in their talents, and less in their characters, to prevent honest men from expressing for them considerable contempt, in prose or rhyme, as it may happen. Mr. Southey has the Quarterly for his field of rejoinder, and Mr. Wordsworth his postscripts to “ Lyrical Ballads," where the two great instances of the sublime are taken from himself and Milton. “ Over her own sweet voice the stockdove broods;" that is to say, she has the pleasure of listening to herself, in common with Mr. Wordsworth upon most of his public appearanccs. “What divinity doth hedge" these persons, that we should respect them? Is it Apollo ? Are they not of those who called Dryden's Ole“ a drunken song ?" who have discovered that Gray's Elegy is full of faults, (see Coleridge's Life, vol. i. note, for Wordsworth's kindness in pointing this out to him,) and have published what is allowed to be the rery worst prose that ever was written to prore that Pope was no poet, and that William Wordsworth is ?

In other points, are they respectable, or respected ? Is it on the open arowal of apostasy, on the patronage of government, that their claim is founded ? Who is there who esteems those parricides of their own principles ? They are, in fact, well aware that the reward of their change has been any thing but honour. The times have preserved a respect for political consistency, and, eren though changeable, honour the unchanged. Look at Moore: it will be long ere Southey meets with such a triumph in London as Moore met with in Dublin, even if the government subscribe for it, and set the money down to secret service. It was not less to the man than to the poet, to the tempted but unshaken patriot, to the not opulent but incorruptible fellow-citizen, that the warm. hearted Irish paid the proudest of tributes. Mr. Southey may applaud himself to the world, but he has his own heartiest contempt; and the fury with which he foams against all who stand in the phalanx which he forsook, is, as William Smith described it, “ the rancour of the renegado,” the bad language of the prostitute who stands at the corner of the street, and showers her slang upon all, except those who may have bestowed upon her her " little shilling."

Hence his quarterly overflowings, political and literary, in what he has himself termed "the ungentle craft," and his especial wrath against Mr. Leigh Hunt, notwithstanding that Hunt has done more for Wordsworth's reputation, as a poet (such as it is), than all the Lakers could in their interchange of self-praises for the last twenty-five years.

And here I wish to say a few words on the present state of English poetry. That this is the age of the decline of English poetry will be doubted by few who have calmly considered the subject. That there are men of genius among the present poets makes little against the fact, because it has been well said, that " next to him who forms the taste of his country, the greatest genius is he who corrupts it.” No one has ever denied genius to Marino 3, who corrupted not merely the taste of Italy, but that of all Europe for nearly a century. The great cause of the present deplorable state of English poetry is to be attributed to that absurd and system.

atic depreciation of Pope, in which, for the last few years, there has been a kind of epidemical concurrence. Men of the most opposite opinions have united upon this topic. Warton and Churchill began it, having borrowed the hist probably from the heroes of the Dunciad, and their own internal convictiou that their proper reputation can be as nothing till the most perfect and harmonious of poets - be who, having no fault, has had REASON made his reproach was reduced to what they conceived to be his level : but even they dared not degrade him below Dryden. Goldsmith, and Rogers, and Campbell, his most successful disciples; and Hayley, who, howerer feeble, has left one poem “ that will not be willingly let die " (the Triumphs of Temper), kept up the reputation of that pure and perfect style; and Crabbe, the first of living poets, has almost equalled the master. Then came Darwin, who was put down by a single poem in the Antijacobin 3 ; and the Cruscans, from Merry to Jerningham, who were annihilated (if Nothing can be said to be annihilated) by Gifford, the last of the wholesome sati. rists.

At the same time Mr. Southey was favouring the public with Wat Tyler and Joan of Arc, to the great glory of the Drama and Epos. I beg pardon, Wat Tyler, with Peter Bell, was still in MS. ; and it was not till after Mir. Southey had received his Malmsey butt, and Mr. Wordsworth • became qualified to gauge it, that the great revolutionary tragedy came before the public and the Court of Chancery. Wordsworth was peddling his lyrical ballads, and brooding a preface, to be succeeded in due course by a postscript ; both couched ia such prose as must give peculiar delight to those who have read the prefaces of Pope and Dryden; scarcely less celebrated for the beauty of their prose, than for the charms of their verse. Wordsworth is the reverse of Molière's gentleman who had been " talking prose all his life, without knowing it ;" for he thinks that he has been all bis life writing both prose and verse, and neither of what be conceives to be such can be properly said to be either one or the other. Mr. Coleridge, the future vates, poct and seer of the Morning Post, (an honour also claimed by Mr. Fitz. gerald, of the “ Rejected Addresses 5,") who ultimately prophesied the downfall of Buonaparte, to which he himself mainly contributed, by giving him the nickname of the Corsican," was then employed in predicating the damnation of Mr. Pitt, and the desolation of England, in the two tery best copies of verses he ever wrote: to wit, the infernal eclogue of “ Fire, Famine, and Slaughter," and the “ Ode to the departing Year."

These three personages, Southey, Wordsworth, and Coleridge, had all of them a very natural antipathy to Pope ; and I respect them for it, as the only original feeling or principie which they have contrived to preserve. But they have been joined in it by those who have joined them in nothing else : by the Edinburgh Reviewers, by the whole heterogeneous mass of living English poets, excepting Crabbe, Rogers, Gifford, and Campbell, who, both by precept and practice, have proved their adherence ; and by me, who have shame. fully deviated in practice, but have ever lored and honoured Pope's poetry with my whole soul, and hope to do so till my dying day. I would rather see all I have ever written lining the same trunk in which I actually read the eleventh book of a modern epic poem at Malta, in 1811, (I opened it to take out a change after the paroxysm of a tertian, in the absence of my servant, and found it lined with the name of the maker, Eyre, Cockspur Street, and with the epic poetry alluded to.) than sacrifice what I firmly believe in as the Christianity of English poetry, the poetry of Pope.

I See Yotices of Lord Byron's Life.]

2 (Tassoni was almost the only Italian poet of the era in which he flourished, who withstood the general corruption of taste introduced by Marino and his followers, and by the " imitated imitators of Lope de Vegu; and he opened a new path, in which a crowd of pretenders have vainly endeavoured to follow him. - Foscolo.)

3 ("The Lores of the Triangles," the joint production of Messrs. Can. ning and Frere.)

4 Goldsmith has anticipated the definition of the Lake poetry, as far as such thing can be detined. "Gentlemen, the present piece is not of your

common epic poems, which come from the press lite paper tites in summer:
there are none of your Turnuses of Dilo in it; it is an historical derrig
of nature. I onlyles you'll endeavour to make your souls in unisor **
mine, and hear with the same enthusiasm mith which I have to
Would not this hase made a proper proem to the Excursion, and the perce
and his perller? It would have answerel perfectly for that purpose, had
it not unfortunately been written in good English.

5 (See ante, p. 421.)
6 (Sir James Bland Burgess's “ Richard I." See ante, p. 449.)

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