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But the Edinburgh Reviewers, and the Lakers, and Ilunt disputed for the sites of the composition of the Divina and his school, and every body else with their school, and Commedia. Petrarch was crowned in the Capitol. Ariosto even Moore without a school, and dilettanti lecturers at in- was permitted to pass free by the public robber who had read stitutions, and elderly gentlemen who translate and imitate, the Orlando Furioso. I would not recommend Mr. Wordsand young ladies who listen and repeat, baronets who draw worth to try the same experiment with his Smugglers. indifferent frontispieces for bad poets, and noblemen who Tasso, notwithstanding the criticisms of the Cruscanti, let them dine with them in the country, the small body of the would have have been crowned in the Capitol, but for his wits and the great body of the blues, have latterly united in
death. a depreciation, of which their fathers would have been as It is easy to prove the immediate popularity of the chief much ashamed as their children will be. In the meantime, poets of the only modern nation in Europe that has a poetical what have we got instead? The Lake school, which began language, the Italian. In our own Shakspeare, Spenser, with an epic poem," written in six weeks,” (so Joan of Arc Jonson, Waller, Dryden, Congreve, Pope, Young, Shenstone, proclaimed herself,) and finished with a ballad composed in Thomson, Johnson, Goldsmith, Gray, were all as popular in twenty years, as “ Peter Bell's " creator takes care to inform their lives as since. Gray's Elegy pleased instantly, and the few who will inquire. What have we got instead ? A eternally. His Odes did not, nor yet do they, please like his deluge of Aimsy and unintelligible romances, imitated from Elegy. Milton's politics kept him down. But the Epigram Scott and myself, who have both made the best of our bad of Dryden', and the very sale of his work, in proportion to materials and erroneous system. What have we got instead ?
the less reading time of its publication, prove him to have Madoc, which is neither an epic nor any thing else ? Tha- been honoured by his cotemporaries. I will venture to assert, laba, Kehama, Gebir, and such gibberish, written in all
that the sale of the Paradise Lost was greater in the first metres and in no language. Hunt, who had powers to have four years after its publication, than that of " The Excur. made“ the Story of Rimini” as perfect as a sable of Dryden,
sion” in the same number, with the difference of nearly a has thought fit to sacrifice his genius and his taste to some
century and a half between them of time, and of thousands unintelligible notions of Wordsworth, which I defy him to
in point of general readers. Notwithstanding Mr. Wordsexplain. Moore has —- But why continue ? - All, with the
worth's having pressed Milton into his service as one of exception of Crabbe, Rogers, and Campbell, who may be
those not presently popular, to favour his own purpose of considered as having taken their station, will, by the blessing proving that our grandchildren will read him (the said of God, survive their own reputation, without attaining any first with our grandmothers. But he need not be alarıncd ;
William Wordsworth), I would recommend him to begin very extraordinary period of longevity. Of course there must be a still further exception in favour of those who, he may yet live to see all the envies pass away, as Darwin having never obtained any reputation at all, unless it be
and Seward, and Hoole, and Hole, and Hoyle 3 have passed among provincial literati, and their own families, have none
away ; but their declension will not be his ascension ; he is to lose ; and of Moore, who, as the Burns of Ireland, possesses essentially a bad writer, and all the failures of others can a fame which cannot be lost.
never strengthen him. He may have a sect, but he will The greater part of the poets mentioned, however, have
never have a public ; and his "audience" will always be been able to gather together a few followers. A paper of the
"few," without being “fit," - except for Bedlam. Connoisseur says, that “it is observed by the French, that
It may be asked, why, having this opinion of the present a cat, a priest, and an old woman, are sufficient to constitute
state of poetry in England, and having had it long, as my a religious sect in England." The same number of animals,
friends and others well knew - possessing, or having poswith some difference in kind, will suffice for a poetical one.
sessed too, as a writer, the ear of the public for the time If we take Sir George Beaumont instead of the priest, and
being – I have not adopted a different plan in my own comMr. Wordsworth for the old woman, we shall nearly complete positions, and endeavoured to correct rather than encourage
the taste of the day. To this I would answer, that it is the quota required; but I fear that Mr. Southey will but indifferently represent the cat, having shown himself but too
easier to perceive the wrong than to pursue the right, and distinctly to be of a species to which that noble creature is with Peter Bella, see its preface)
permanently a station in
that I have never contemplated the prospect“ of filling peculiarly hostile.
the literature of the country." Those who know me best Nevertheless, I will not go so far as Wordsworth in his postscript, who pretends that no great poet ever had imme- know this, and that I have been considerably astonished at the diate fame; which being interpreted, means that William temporary success of my works, having Aattered no person Wordsworth is not quite so much read by his cotemporaries the general reader. Could I have anticipated the degree of
and no party, and expressed opinions which are not those of as might be desirable. This assertion is as false as it is foolish. Homer's glory depended upon his present popu
attention which has been accorded me, assuredly I would have
studied more to deserve it. But I have lived in far countries larity: he recited, - and without the strongest impression of
abroad, or in the agitating world at home, which was not the moment, who would have gotten the Iliad by heart, and
favourable to study or reflection ; so that almost all I have given it to tradition ? Ennius, Terence, Plautus, Lucretius, Horace, Virgil, Eschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Sappho kinds, but always passion : for in me (if it be not an Irishism
written has been mere passion,-passion, it is true, of different Anacreon, Theocritus, all the great poets of antiquity, were
to say so) my indifference was a kind of passion, the result of the delight of their cotemporaries. The very existence of a
experience, and not the philosophy of pature. Writing grows a poet, previous to the invention of printing, depended upon
habit, like a woman's gallantry ; there are women who have his present popularity; and how often has it impaired his
had no intrigue, but few who have had but one only; so there future fame? Hardly ever. History informs us, that the
are millions of men who have never written a book, but few best have come down to us. The reason is evident; the
who have written only one. And thus, having written once, most popular found the greatest number of transcribers for their MSS.; and that the taste of their cotemporaries was
I wrote on ; encouraged no doubt by the success of the
moment, yet by no means anticipating its duration, and, I will corrupt can hardly be avouched by the moderns, the mightiest of whom have but barely approached them. Dante, Petrarch,
venture to say, scarcely even wishing it. But then I did
other things besides write, which by no means contributed Ariosto, and Tasso, were all the darlings of the cotemporary
either to improve my writings or my prosperity. reader. Dante's poem was celebrated long before his death;
I have thus expressed publicly upon the poetry of the day and, not long after it, States negotiated for his ashes, and
the opinion I have long entertained and expressed of it to all i [The well-known lines under Milton's picture,
3 (Charles Hoyle, of Trinity College, Cambridge, author of "Exodus," "Three poets, in three distant ages born," &c.]
an epic in thirteen books.
4 (Peter Bell first saw the light in 1798. During this long interval, 2 I The Rer. Richard Hole. He published in early life a versification paina have been taken at differen times to make the production less of Fingal, and in 1789, “Arthur, & Poctical Homiuice."
un worthy of a favourable reception; or rather, to At it for filling per. 1503.1
put rently a station, however humble, in the literature of my country. WORDSWORTH, 1819.)
He died in
who have asked it, and to some who would rather not have educated genii, found it easier to distort themselves to the heard it: as I told Moore not rery long ago, " we are all new models than to toil after the symmetry of him who had wrong except Rogers, Crabbe, and Campbell."! Without enchanted their fathers. They were besides smitten by being being old in years, I am old in days, and do not feel the told that the new school were to revive the language of adequate spirit within me to attempt a work which should Queen Elizabeth, the true English ; as erery body in the show what I think right in poetry, and must content myself reign of Queen Anne wrote no better than French, by a with having denounced what is wrong. There are, I trust, species of literary treason. younger spirits rising up in England, who, escaping the con. Blank verse, which, unless in the drama, no one except tagion which has swept away poetry from our literature, will
Milton ever wrote who could rhyme, became the order of the recall it to their country, such as it once was and may still
day, - or else such rhyme as looked still blanker than the be.
verse without it I am aware that Johnson has said, after In the mcantime, the best sign of amendment will be re- some hesitation, that he could not “prevail upon himself to pentance, and now and frequent editions of Pope and wish that Milton had been a rhymer.” The opinions of that Dryden.
truly great man, whom it is also the present fashion to decry, There will be found as comfortable metaphysics, and ten will ever be received by me with that deference which time times more poetry, in the “ Essay on Man," than in the will restore to him from all; but, with all humility, I am not " Excursion." If you search for passion, where is it to be persuaded that the Paradise Lost would not hare been mors found stronger than in the epistle from Eloisa to Abelard, or
nobly conveyed to posterity, not perhaps in heroic couplets, in Palamon and Arcite? Do you wish for invention, imagin- although even they could sustain the subject if well balanced, ation, sublimity, character ? seek them in the Rape of the but in the stanza of Spenser or of Tasso, or in the terza Lock, the Fables of Dryden, the Ode of Saint Cecilia's Day, riina of Dante, which the powers of Milton could easily bare and Absalom and Achitophel: you will discover in these two grafted on our language. The Seasons of Thomson Fould poets only, all for which you must ransack innumerable have been better in rhyme, although still interior to his metres, and God only knows how many writers of the day, Castle of Indolence; and Mr. Southey's Joan of Are no without finding a cittle of the same qualities, - with the worse, although it might have taken up six months instead addition, too, of wit, of which the latter have none. I have of weeks in the composition. I recommend also to the lorers not, however, forgotten Thomas Brown the Younger, nor of lyrics thc perusal of the present laurcale's Odes by the the Fudge Family?, nor Whistlecraft; but that is not wit - side of Dryden's on Saint Cecilia, but let hun be sure to read it is humour. I will say nothing of the harmony of Pope and first those of Mr. Southey. Dryden in comparison, for there is not a living poet (except To the heaven-born genii and inspired young scriveners of Rogers, Gifford, Campbell, and Crabbe,) who can write an the day much of this will appear parador : it will appear so heroic couplet. The fact is, that the exquisite beauty of even to the higher order of our critics ; but it was a truisen their versification has withdrawn the public attention from twenty years ago, and it will be a re-acknowledged truth in their other excellences, as the rulgar eye wiil rest more upon
ten more. In the meantime, I will conclude with two quothe splendour of the uniform than the quality of the troops. tations, both intended for some of my old classical friends It is this very harmony, particularly in Pope, which has who have still enough of Cambridge about them to this raised the vulgar and atrocious cant against him:- because themselves honoured by having had John Dryden as a prehis versification is perfect, it is assumed that it is his only decessor in their college, and to recollect that their earliest perfection ; because his truths are so clear, it is asserted that English poetical pleasures were drawn from the “ little he has no invention ; and because he is always intelligible, it nightingale" of Twickenham. The first is from the notes lo is taken for granted that he has no genius. We are sneer. the Poem of the “ Friends." + ingly told that he is the “ Poet of Reason," as if this was a " It is only within the last twenty or thirty years that those reason for his being no poet. Taking passage for passage, I
notable discoveries in criticism have been made which have will undertake to cite mure lines teeming with imagination taught our recent versifiers to undervalue this energetic, from Pope than from any two living poets, be they who they melodious, and moral poet. The consequences of this wat may. To take an instance at random from a species of com
of due esteem for a writer whom the good sense of our predeposition not very favourable to imagination - Satire: set
cessors had raised to his proper station bave been sonEROUS down the character of Sporus", with all the wonderful play of AND DEG RADING ENOUGH. This is not the place to enter tuto fancy which is scaltered over it, and place by its side an equal
the subject, even as far as it affects our poetical numbers number of verses, from any two existing poets, of the same
alone, and there is matter of more importance that requires power and the same variety – where will you find them ? present reflection." I merely mention one instance of many, in reply to the in
The second is from the volume of a young person learning justice done to the memory of him who harmonised our to write poetry, and beginning by teaching the art. Hear
him : 5 poetical language. The attorneys' clerks, and other self
Or at the ear of Eve, familiar toad, 1 (I certainly ventured to diner from the judgment of mr noble friend,
Half fruth, haif venom, spits unself abroad, no less in his attempts to depreciate that peculiar walk of the art in which he himselt so erandly trou, than in the inconsistency or which I thought
In puns, or politics, or tale, or lies,
Or spite, or smui, or rhynes, or blasphernies, him guilty, in condemning all those who stood up for particular" schools"
His wit au see-saw, between that and this, of poetry, and yet, at the same time, maintaining so exclusive a theory of
Now high, now on, now master up, now miss, the art himself. How little, however, he attended to either the grounds or
And he himself one rile antithesis. degrees of my dissent from him will appear by the following wholesale
Arnphibious thing! that actins either part, report of my opinion ia “Detached Thoughts:"-" One of my notions
The tritling head, or the corrupted heart, diferent froin those of ins contemporaries, is, that the present is not a high ace of English poetry. There are mure poets soi-disant) than erer
Fop at the toilet, tlatterer at the wurd,
Now trips a lady, and now struts a lord. there were, and proportionally less poetry. This thesis I have maintained
Eve's tempter thus the Rabbins have expressid, for some years, but, strange to 1, it meoteth not with favour from my
A cherub's face, 3 repule all the rest, brethren of the shell. Esen Moore shakes his head, and tirnly believes
Beauty that shocks you, parts that none will trust, that it is the grand are of British poesv.* - MOOR)
Wis that can creep, and pride that licks the dust." 2 (in 1312, Vr. Moore publishe 1 "The Two penny Post-bag: by
Po to Sat.1 Thoinas Brown the younger ;" aad in 1918, " The Fudge Family in
4 (Written by Lord Byron's early friend, the Rev. Francis Halima.) Paris.")
5 (Ip a manuscript note on this passage of the painphiut, dated.lor, 12. ["let Sporus tremble 4. What? that thing of silk
1921, Lord Byron says," Mr. Beats died at Rome about a year after this Sorus, that mere white curd of ass's milk?
was written, of a decline produced by hu having burst a houd vesse on Suure or sense, alas! can Sporus feel?
reading the artic.e on his Endyinion' in the Quarterly Review. I have Who breaks a butterfly upon a wheel?
read the arucie before and since; and although it is bitter, I do not think P. Yet let ne flap this bug with gilded wings,
that a man should permat hinseif to be killed by it. But a young inaa This painted chud of dirt, that seinks and sings;
little dreams what he must inevitably encounter in the course of a kife Ihove buzz the witty and the fair annoys,
ambitious of public notice. My indignation at Mr. Keals's depreciating Yet wit ne'er tastes, and beauty ne'er enjoys;
of Pope has hardly permitted me to do justice to his own genius, shich, So well-bred spaniets civilly delight
malgre all the fantasuc fuppenes of his style, was undou uredly of great In mumbling of the game iney dare not bite.
proinise. His frazinent of 11yperion' seni actually inspired by the Eternal miles his empuness letray,
Titus, and is as sublime .Echylus. He is a loss to our literature and In shallow freins run dimplins al the way.
the more so, as he himself, Icfure his death, ts said to have te penseaded Whether in flond inro:ence he speaks.
that he had not taken the right lige, and was re-torining his style upon the And, as th. proin,ter breathes, the papel quello:
more classical models of the language.)
" But yo were dead
The name of one Boileau !"
" A scism, ?
Made great Apollo blush for this his land."3 I thought " foppery" was a consequence of refinement ! but n'importe.
The abore will suffice to show the notions entertained by the new performers on the English lyre of him who made it most cuncable, and the great improvements of their own * variazioni."
The writer of this is a tadpole of the Lakes, a young disciple of the six or seren new schools, in which he has learnt to write such lines and such sentiments as the above. He says " easy was the lask" of imitating P'ope, or it may be or equalling him, I presume. I recommend him to try before he is so positive on the subject, and then compare what he will have then written and what he has now written with the humblest aud earllest compositions of Pope, produced in years still more youthful than those of Mr. Keats when he invented his new " Essay on Criticism," entitled “ Sleep and Poetry" (an ominous title), from whence the above canons are taken. Pope's was written at nineteen, and published at twenty-two.
Such are the triumphs of the new schools, and such their scholars. The disciples of Pope were Johnson, Goldsmith, Rogers, Campbell, Crabbe, Gifford, Matthias“, Hayley, and the author of the Paradise of Coquettes 5; to whom may be added Richards, Heber, Wrangham, Bland, Hodgson, Merivale, and others who have not had their full fame, because " the race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong," and because there is a fortune in same as in all other things. Now, of all the new schools – I say all, fur,“ like Legion, they are many".
- has there appeared a single
scholar who has not made his master ashamed of him? unless it be Sotheby, who has imitated every body, and occasionally surpassed his models. Scott found peculiar favour and imitation among the fair sex: there was Miss Holford , and Miss Mitford', and Miss Francis 8; but, with the greatest respect be it spoken, none of his imitators did much honour to the original, except Hogs, the Ettrick shepherd, until the appearance of " The Bridal of Triermain," and " Harold the
Dauntless," which in the opinion of some equalled if not surpassed him; and lo! after three or four years they turned out to be the Master's own compositions. Have Southey, or Coleridge, or 't other fellow, made a follower of renown? Wilson never did well till he set up for himself in the “ City of the Plague." Has Moore, or any other living writer of reputation, had a tolerable imitator, or rather disciple ? Now, it is remarkable, that almost all the followers of Pope, whom I have named, have produced beautiful and standard works ; and it was not the number of his imitators who finally hurt his fame, but the despair of imitation, and the ease of nct imi tating him sufficiently. This, and the same reason which induced the Athenían burgher to vote for the banishment of Aristides, “because he was tired of always hearing him called the Just," have produced the temporary exile of Pope from the State of Literature. But the term of his ostracism will expire, and the sooner the better, not for him, but for those who banished him, and for the coming generation, who
“ Will blush to find their fathers were his foes."
I will now return to the writer of the article which has drawn forth these remarks, whom I honestly take to be John Wilson, a man of great powers and acquirements, well known to the public as the author of the “ City of the Plague," “ Isle of Palms," and other productions. I take the liberty of naming him, by the same species of courtesy which has induced him to designate me as the author of Don Juan. Upon the score of the Lake Poets, he may perhaps recall to mind that I merely express an opinion long ago entertained and specified in a letter to Mr. James Hogg ', which he the said James Hogg, somewhat contrary to the law of pens, showed to Mr. John Wilson, in the year 1814, as he himself informed me in his answer, telling me by way of apology that “he'd be d-d if he could help it;" and I am not conscious of anything like “ envy or " exacerbation” at this moment which induces me to think better or worse of Southcy, Wordsworth, and Coleridge as poets than I do now,
I It was at least a grammar "school." 2 So spelt hy the author.
3 As a balance to these lines, and to the sense and sentiment of the new school, I will put down a passage or two from Pope's earlicat poems, taken at random:
" Envy her own snakes shall feel,
And gasping Furies thirst for blood in vain."
His purple crest, and scarlet-circled eyes;
O'er heaps of ruin slalk'd the stately hind;
And savage bowling till the sacred quires."
Immortal heirs of universal pratse!
T'admire superior sense, and doubt their own!
Sunkes, and behuld a sudden Thebes aspire
dad baif the mountain rolls into a wall."
Rise white in air, and glitter u'er the coast;
Thus, when we view some well-proportion'd dome,
The whole at once is bold and regular." A thousand similar passages crowd upon me, all composed by Pope before his tro-and-twentieth ear and yet it is contended that he is no poet, and we are told so in such lines as I beg the reader to compare with these youthful verses of the “no poet." Must we repeat the question of Johnson,
If Pope is not a poet, where is poetry to be found !" Even in descriptive poetry, the lowest department of the art, he will be found, on a fair esa. mination, to surpass any living writer.
4 (Thomas James Matthias, Esq., the well-known author of the Pur. suits of Literature, Imperial Epistle to Kien Long, &c. In 1814, Mr.M. edited an edition of Gray's Works, which the University of Cambridge published at its own expense. Lord Byron did not admire this venerable poet the less for such crucism as the following :-“ After we have paid our primal homage to the dards of Greece and of ancient Latium, we are invited to contemplate the literary and poetical dignity of modern Italy. If the intluence of their persuasion and of their example should prevail, a strong and steady light may be relumined and diffused amongst us, a light which may once again conduct the powers of our rising poets from wild whirling words, from crude, rapid, und uncorrected pro-luctions, from an overweening presumption, and fron, the delusise conceit of a pre-establisher reputation, to the labour of thought, to patient and repeated revision of what they write, to a reference for themselves and for an enlightened public, and to the fired unbending principles of legitimate composition." - Preface to Gray,
5 (Dr. Thoinas Brown, professor of moral philosophy in the University of Edinburgh, who died in 1820.)
6 (Author of "Wallace, or the Fight of Falkit," " Margaret of Anjou." and other poems.)
7 Miss Mary Russel Mutford, author of "Christina, or the Maid of the South Seas," " Wallington Hall," "Our Village," &c. &c.]
8 Miss Eliza Francis published, in 1815," Sir Willibert de Waverley; or, the Bridal Eve.")
("Oh! I have had the most amusing letter from Horg, the Ettrick minstrel and shepherd. He wants me to recommend him to lurray; and, speaking of his present bookseller, whose bills are nerer litted,' he adds, toridin rerbin, Ciod dahin, and then both. I laughed. und so would you too, at the way in which this execration is introduced. The said lle's is a strange teing, but of great, though uncouth, powers. I think very bichly of him as a poet; but he and hur of these Scotch and Lake trou. b.dours are post by living in little circles and petty societies." - Byrun Latters.)
although I do know one or two things more which have
158, added to my contempt for them as individuals.
Antigonus, when it was told him This was not said by And, in return for Mr. Wilson's invective!, I shall content that the enemy had such volleys of Antigonus, but by a myself with asking one question ; Did he never compose,
arrows that they did hide the sun, Spartan, previously to recite, or sing any parody or parodies upon the Psalms (of said, That falls out well, for it is hot the battle of Thermowhat nature this deponent saith not), in certain jovial meet
weather, and so we shall fight in the pylæ. ings of the youth of Edinburgh ?? It is not that I think any
162. great harm if he did ; because it seems to me that all depends upon the intention of such a parody. If it be meant to throw
There was a philosopher that dis- This happened under ridicule on the sacred original, it is a sin ; if it be intended to
puted with Adrian the Emperor, Augustus Cæsar, and burlesque the profane subject, or to inculcate a moral truth,
and did it but weakly. One of his not during the reign of it is none. Ir it were, the Unbelievers' Creed, the many
friends that stood by afterwards Adrian. political parodies of various parts of the Scriptures and
said unto him, Methinks you were liturgy, particularly a celebrated one of the Lord's Prayer,
not like yourself last day, in argu. and the beautiful moral parable in favour of toleration by
ment with the Emperor : I could Franklin, which has often been taken for a real extract from
hare answered better myself. Why, Genesis, would all be sins of a damning nature. But I wish
said the philosopher, would you to know if Mr. Wilson ever has done this, and if he has, why
hare me contend with him that he sh uld be so very angry with similar portions of Don
commands thirty legions ?
164. Juan: – Did no “ parody profane" appear in any of the earlier numbers of Blackwood's Magazine ?
There was one that found a great This happened to the I will now conclude this long answer to a short article,
mass of moneydigging under ground father of Herodes Attirepenting of having said so much in my own defence, and so
in his grandfather's house and being cus, and the answer was little on the “crying, left-hand fallings off and national de.
somewhat doubtful of the case, sige made by the Emperor fections " of the poetry of the present day. Having said this,
nified it to the emperor that he had Merda, who deserved I can hardly be expected to defend Don Juan, or any other
sound such treasure. The emperor that his name should "liring" poetry, and shall not make the attempt. And
made a rescript thus: L’se it. He have been stated by the although I do not think that Mr. John Wilson has in this
writ back again, that the sum was greatest – wisest instance treated me with candour or consideration, I trust
greater than his state or condition meanest of mankind." that the tone I have used in speaking of him personally rescript thus : Abuse it.
could use. The emperor writ a new will prove that I bear him as little malice as I really beliere at the bottom of his heart he bears towards me; but the duties
178. of an editor, like those of a tax-gatherer, are paramount and
One of the seven was wont to say, This was said by Ana. peremptory. I have done.
that laws were like cobwebs : where charsis the Scythian, BYRON. the small fies were caught, and the and not by a Greek. great break through.
209. An orator of Athens said to De. This was not said by mosthenes, The Athenians will kill Demosthenes, but to
you if they wax mad. Demosthenes Demosthenes by PhoNote (C]. — LORD Bacon's Apophtheg jis. Sce
replied, And they will kill you, if cion. p. 665.3
they be in good sense.
There was a philosopher about This was not said of BACON'S APOPHTHEGMS.
Tiberius that, looking into the Caius (Caligula, I pre91.
nature of Caius, said of him, Thatsume, is intended by Michael Angelo, the famous This was not the poro
he was mire mingled with blood. Caius), but of Tiberius painter, painting in the pope's cha- trait of a cardinal, but of
himself. pel the portraiture of hell and the pope's master of the
97. damned souls, made one of the ceremonies.
There was a king of Hungary This reply was not damned souls so like a cardinal
took a bishop in battle, and kept made by a king of H3233that was his enemy, as everybody
him prisoner: whereupon the pope gary, but sent by Ri. at first sight knew it: whereupon
writ a monitory to him, for that he chard the First, Cour de the cardinal complained to Pope
had broken the privilege of holy Lion, of England to the Clement, humbly praying it might
church and taken his son : the king Pope, with the breast. be defaced. The pope said to him,
sent an embassage to him, and sent plate of the bishop of Why, you know very well I have
withal the armour wherein the Beauvais. power to deliver a soul out of pur.
bishop was taken, and this only in gatory, but not out of hell.
writing - Vide num hæc sit restis 155.
filii tui? Know now whether this Alexander, after the battle of It was after the battle be thy son's coat ? Granicum, had very great offers of Issus and during the
267. made him by Darius. Consulting siege of Tyre, and not Demetrius, king of Macedon, had This did not happen with his captains concerning them, immediately after the
a petition offered him divers times to Demetrius, but to Parmenio said, Sure, I would accept passage of the Granicus, by an old woman, and answered he Philip King of Macedon. of these offers, if I were as Alex. that this is said to have had no leisure ; whereupon the ander. Alexander answered, So occurred.
woman said aloud, Why then give would I, if I were as Parmenio.
over to be king.
I (This is one of the many mistakes into which his distance froni the Kene of literary operations led him. The gentleman, to whom the hostile article in the Magazine is here attributed, has nevit, either then or since, written upon the sutject of the noble poet's character or genius, without giving vent to a feeling of admiration as enthusiastic as it is always elo. quently and powerfully expressed. - MOORE.
2 The allusion here is to sone now forgotten calumnies which had been circulated by the radical pross, at the tiine when Mr. Wilson was a candidate for the Chair of Moral Philosophy in the University of Ein. burgh.)
3 " Ordered Fletcher (at four o'clock this afternoon) to copy out seven or eight apophthegms of Bxron in which I have detected such blunders as a schoolboy might detect, rather than commit. Such are the sages! That must they be, when such as I can stumble on their mistakes or mis sattmnents? I will go to bed, for I find that I grow cynical." - Dyrum Duery, Jan. 5. 1821.
(" If parts allure thee, thint hos Bacon shined,
The wisest, brightest, meanest of mankind." - Pore !
The Calvinist meant Voltaire, and the church of Ferney, with its inscription “ Deo erexit Voltaire."
Thirdly, in the life of Burns, Mr. Campbell quotes Shakspeare thus:
" To gild refined gold, to paint the rose,
Or add fresh persunie to the violet." This version by no means improves the original, which is as follows:" To gild refined gold, to paint the lily,
To throw a perfume on the violet," &c.-King John. A great poet quoting another should be correct : he should also be accurate, when he accuses a Parnassian brother of that dangerous charge borrowing:" a poet had better borrow any thing (excepting money) than the thoughts of another - they are always sure to be reclaimed; but it is very hard, having been the lender, to be denounced as the debtor, as is the case of Anstey versus Sinollett.
As there is “honour ainongst thieves," let there be some amongst poets, and give each his due, - none can afford to give it more than Mr. Campbell himself, who, with a high reputation for originality, and a fame which cannot be shaken, is the only poet of the times (except Rogers) who ca be reproached (aud in him it is indeed a reproach) with having written too little.
Rarenna, Jan. 5. 1821.
ConverSATIONS OF LORD BYRON, AS RELATED
VOLTAIRE. Ilaring stated that Bacon was frequently incorrect in his citations from history, I have thought it necessary in what regards so great a name (however trifling), to support the assertion by such facts as niore immediately occur to me. They are but trides, and get for such trifles a schoolboy would be whipped (if still in the fourth form); and Voltaire for half a dozen similar errors has been treated as a superfi. cial writer, not withstanding the testimony of the learned Warton :-“ Voltaire, a writer of nuck deeper research than is imagined, and the first who has displayed the literature and customs of the dark ages with any degree of penetration and comprehension."! For another distinguished testimony to Voltaire's mcrits in literary research, sec also Lord Ilolland's excellent Account of the Life and Writings of Lope de Vega, vol. i. r. 215. edition of 1817. ?
Voltaire has even been termed "a shallow fellow," by some of the same school who called Dryden's Ode “ a drunken song;"-a school (as it is called, I presume, from their education being still incomplete) the whole of whose filthy trash of Epics, Excursions, &c. &c. &c. is not worth the two words in Zaire, " l'ous plcure:3," or a single speech of Tancred:-a school, the apostate lives of whose renegadoes, with their tea-drinking neutrality of morals, and their convenient treachery in politics – in the record of their accumulated pretences to virtue can produce no actions (were all their good deeds drawn up in array) to equal or approach the sole delence of the family of Calas, by that great and unequalled genius - the universal Voltaire.
I hava ventured to remark on these little inaccuracies of " the greatest genius that England, or perhaps any other country, ever produced," merely to show our national in. justice in condemning generally the greatest genius of France for such inadvertencies as these, of which the highest of England has been no less guilty. Query, was Bacon a greater intellect than Newton ?
THOMAS MEDWIN, Esq., COMPARED WITH A Por-
The inadvertencies to which I allude are,
Firstly, in speaking of Ansley, whom he accuses of having taken “ his leading characters from Smollett." Anstey's Bath Guide was published in 1766. Smollett's Humphry Clinker (the only work of Smollett's from which Tabitha, &c. &c. could have been taken) was written during Smollett's last residence at Leghorn in 1770_" Argal," if there has been any borrowing, Anstey must be the creditor, are not the debtor.
I refer Mr. Campbell to his own data in his lives of Smollett and Anstey.
Secondly, Mr. Campbell says in the life of Cowper (note to page 358. vol. vii.) that he knows not to whom Cowper alludes in these lines :. Nor he who, for the bane of thousands born,
Built God a church, and laugh'd his word to scorn."
Tule volume of “ Lord Byron's Conversations" with Mr. Medwin contain several statements relative to Mr. Murray, his lordship's publisher, against which, however exceptionable they might be, he was willing to trust his defence to the private testimony of persons acquainted with the real particulars, and to his general character, rather than resort to any kind of public appeal, to which he has ever been exceedingly averse. But friends, to whose judgment Mr. Murray is bound to deser, having decided that such an appeal upon the occasion is become positive duty on his part, he hopes that he shall not be thought too obtrusive in opposing to those personal allegations extracts from Lord Byron's own letters, with the addition of a few brief notes of necessary explanation.
Capt. MEDWIN, p. 167. Murray offered me, of his own accord, ICOOL a canto for Don Juan, and afterwards reduced it to 5001. on the plea of piracy, and complained of my dividing one canto into two, because I happened to say something at the end of the third canto of having done so."
LORD BYRON'S LETTER.
Ravenna, February 7. 1820. “ Dear Murray,
“I have copied and cut the third canto of Don Juan INTO TWO, because it was too long, and I tell you this before.
1 Dissertation I.
2 (Till Voltaire appeared, there was no nation more ignorant of its neighbours' literature than the French. He first exposed, and then cop. rected, this neglect in his countrsmen. There is no writer to whom the Authors of other nations, especially of England, are so indebted for the ertension of their fame in France, and, through France, in Europe. There is no chic who has employed more time, wit, ingenuity, and diligence in promoting the literary intercourse between country and country, and in celebrating in one language the triumphs of another. Yet, by a strange fatality, he is constantly represented as the eremy of all literature but his own and spaniards, Englishnien, and Italians vie with eich other in in. rejching againne bi o Casional exaugetition is faulty passages; the authors of which, till he pointed out their treutes, tre hardly known berond the count in which their language was spoken. Those who feel such indig. nition at his misrepresentations anil oversights, would find it dificult to produce a critic in ins inoerr langzace, who, in reaking of foretun liter. ature, is better informou or inote candid than Voltaise; and they certainly
never would be able to discover one who to those qualities unites so much
“Il est trop vrai que l'honneur me l'ordonne,
Zutre, acte iv. sc. ii. 4 Pope, in Spence's Anecdotes, p. 158. Malone's edition.
3 ["Read Canpbell's Poets. Corrected Tom's slips of the pen. A gond work, though style attectal -- but his detince of Poe is glurious. Tule sure, it is his orn cause 100,- but no matter, it is very good, aw does lim great credit." - Uyrun Drury, Jan. 10. 1821.1