« AnteriorContinuar »
Cased like the centipede in saffron mail,
Look on the picture! deem it not o'ercharged-
Oh! wretch without a tear-without a thought,
May the strong curse of crush'd affections light
CARMINA BYRONIS IN C. ELGIN. ASPICE, quos Scoto Pallas concedit honores, Subter stat nomen, facta superque vide. Scote miser! quamvis nocuisti Palladis ædi, Infandum facinus vindicat ipsa Venus. Pygmalion statuam pro sponsa arsisse refertur; In statuam rapias, Scote, sed uxor abest.
LINES TO MR. MOORE.
he following lines were addressed extempore by Lord Byron to his friend Mr. Moore, on the latter's last visit to Italy.]
My boat is on the shore,
And my bark is on the sea; But, before I go, Tom MOORE, Here's a double health to thee.
Here's a sigh to those who love me, And a smile to those who hate; And, whatever sky 's above me, Here's a heart for every fate.
Though the ocean roar around me,
Wer't the last drop in the well,
'Tis to thee that I would drink.
In that water, as this wine,
The libation I would pour Should be-Peace to thine and mine, And a health to thee, Toм MOORE!
"ON THIS DAY I COMPLETE MY THIRTYSIXTH YEAR."
January 22, 1824, Missolong lu. "T IS time this heart should be unmoved, Since others it hath ceased to move; Yet though I cannot be beloved, Still let me love.
My days are in the yellow leaf;
The flowers and fiuits of love are gone;
The fire that on my bosom preys
Is lone as some volcanic isle;
The hope, the fear, the jealous care,
But 't is not thus, and 't is not here
Such thoughts should shake my soul; nor now Where glory decks the hero's bier,
Or binds his brow.
The sword, the banner, and the field, Glory and Greece around me see! The Spartan, borne upon his shield,
Was not more free.
Awake! (not Greece,-she is awake!) Awake, my spirit! think through whom Thy life-blood tracks its parent lake,
And then strike home!
Tread those reviving passions down,
If thou regrett'st thy youth, why live?
Is here-up to the field, and give
Seck out, less often sought than found,
THE REV. W. L. BOWLES'S STRICTURES
THE LIFE AND WRITINGS OF POPE.
I'll play at Bowls with the sun and moon.
My mither 's auld, sir, and she has rather forgotten hersell in speaking to my Leddy, that canna weel bide to be contradickit (as I ken nacbody likes it if they could help themsells).
TALES OF MY LANDLORD, Old Mortality, vol. ii
Ravenna, February 7th, 1821.
he with accuracy. Of "the tone of seriousness" I cer tainly recollect nothing: on the contrary, I thought Mr. Bowles rather disposed to treat the subject lightly; for he said (I have no objection to be contradicted if incorrect) that some of his good-natured friends had come to In the different pamphlets which you have had the him and exclaimed, "Eh! Bowles! how came you to goodness to send me, on the Pope and Bowles' contro- make the Woods of Madeira," etc. etc. and that he had versy, I perceive that my name is occasionally introduc- been at some pains and pulling down of the poem to ed by both parties. Mr. Bowles refers more than once to convince them that he had never made "the Woods" what he is pleased to consider "a remarkable circum- do any thing of the kind. He was right, and I was stance," not only in his letter to Mr. Campbell, but in wrong, and have been wrong still up to this acknow his reply to the Quarterly. The Quarterly also and Mr. ledgment; for I ought to have looked twice before I Gilchrist have conferred on me the dangerous honour of wrote that which involved an inaccuracy capable of giv a quotation; and Mr. Bowles indirectly makes a kind ing pain. The fact was, that although I had certainly of appeal to me personally, by saying, "Lord Byron, before read "the Spirit of Discovery," I took the quoif he remembers the circumstance, will witness-(wit-tation from the review. But the mistake was mine, and ness IN ITALIC, an ominous character for a testimony not the review's, which quoted the passage correctly at present.)
enough, I believe. I blundered-God knows how-into
I shall not avail myself of a "non mi ricordo" even after so long a residence in Italy;-I do "remember the circumstance"-and have no reluctance to relate it (since called upon so to do) as correctly as the distance of time and the impression of intervening events will permit me. In the year 1812, more than three years after the publication of "English Bards and Scotch Reviewers," I had the honour of meeting Mr. Bowles They (the lovers) trembled, even as if the power, etc. in the house of our venerable host of" Human Life, etc." And if I had been aware that this declaration would the last Argonaut of Classic English poetry, and the have been in the smallest degree satisfactory to Mr. Nestor of our inferior race of living poets. Mr. Bowles Bowles, I should not have waited nine years to make it, calls this "soon after" the publication; but to me three notwithstanding that "English Bards and Scotch Reyears appear a considerable segment of the immortality viewers" had been suppressed some time previously to of a modern poem. I recollect nothing of "the rest of my meeting him at Mr. Rogers's. Our worthy host the company going into another room"-nor, though I might indeed have told him as much, as it was at his well remember the topography of our host's elegant and representation that I suppressed it. A new edition of classically-furnished mansion, could I swear to the very that lampoon was preparing for the press, when Mr. room where the conversation occurred, though the Rogers represented to me, that "I was now acquainted "taking down the poem" seems to fix it in the library. with many of the persons mentioned in it, and with Had it been "taken up," it would probably have been some on terms of intimacy;" and that he knew "one in the drawing-room. I presume also that the "re- family in particular to whom its suppression would markable circumstance" took place after dinner, as I give pleasure." I did not hesitate one moment; it was conceive that neither Mr. Bowles's politeness nor appe-cancelled instantly; and it is no fault of mine that a tite would have allowed him to detain "the rest of the has ever been republished. When I left England, in company" standing round their chairs in the "other April, 1816, with no very violent intentions of troubling room" while we were discussing "the Woods of Ma- that country again, and amidst scenes of various kinds deira" instead of circulating its vintage. Of Mr. Bowles's to distract my attention-almost my last act, I believe, good-humour" I have a full and not ungrateful recol- was to sign a power of attorney, to yourself, to prevent lection; as also of his gentlemanly manners and agree- or suppress any attempts (of which several had been able conversation. I speak of the whole, and not of par-made in Ireland) at a republication. It is proper that I Ficulars; for whether he did or did not use the precise should state, that the persons with whom I was subse words printed in the pamphlet, I cannot say, nor could quently acquainted, whose names had occurred in that
publication, were made my acquaintances at their own day in the week: but of "his character" I know nothdesire, or through the unsought intervention of others.ing personally; I can only speak of his manners, and I never, to the best of my knowledge, sought a personal these have my warmest approbation. But I never judge introduction to any. Some of them to this day I know from manners, for I once had my pocket picked by the only by correspondence; and with one of those it was civilest gentleman I ever met with; and one of the mildbegun by myself, in consequence, however, of a polite est persons I ever saw was Ali Pacha. Of Mr. Bowles's verbal communication from a third person. "character" I will not do him the injustice to judge from the edition of Pope, if he prepared it heedlessly; nor the justice, should it be otherwise, because I would neither become a literary executioner, nor a personal one. Mr. Bowles the individual, and Mr. Bowles the editor, appear the two most opposite things imaginable. "And he himself one- antithesis."
I have dwelt for an instant on these circumstances, because it has sometimes been made a subject of bitter reproach to me to have endeavoured to suppress that satire. I never shrunk, as those who know me know, from any personal consequences which could be attached to its publication. Of its subsequent suppression, as I possessed the copyright, I was the best judge and the sole master. The circumstances which occasioned the suppression I have now stated; of the motives, each must judge according to his candour or malignity. Mr. Bowles does me the honour to talk of "noble mind," and "generous magnanimity;" and all this because "the circumstance would have been explained had not the book been suppressed." I see no "nobility of mind" in an act of simple justice; and I hate the word “magnanimity,” because I have sometimes seen it ap- I plied to the grossest of impostors by the greatest of fools; but I would have "explained the circumstance," notwithstanding "the suppression of the book," if Mr. Bowles had expressed any desire that I should. As the "gallant Galbraith" says to "Baillie Jarvie," "Well, the devil take the mistake and all that occasioned it." I have had as great and greater mistakes made about me personally and poetically, once a month for these last ten years, and never cared very much about correcting one or the other, at least after the first eight-and-forty hours had gone over them.
I won't say "vile," because it is harsh; nor "mis-
"Why yet he doth deny his prisoners."
Mr. Bowles says, that "he has seen passages in his letters to Martha Blount, which were never published by me, and I hope never will be by others; which are so gross as to imply the grossest licentiousness." Is this fair I must now, however, say a word or two about Pope, play? It may, or it may not be, that such passages exist; of whom you have my opinion more at large in the un- and that Pope, who was not a monk, although a catholic, published letter on or to (for I forget which) the editor of may have occasionally sinned in word and in deed with "Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine;"--and here I doubt woman in his youth; but is this a sufficient ground for that Mr. Bowles will not approve of my sentiments. such a sweeping denunciation? Where is the unmar* Although I regret having published "English Bards ried Englishman of a certain rank of life, who (proand Scotch Reviewers," the part which I regret the least vided he has not taken orders) has not to reproach is that which regards Mr. Bowles with reference to Pope. himself between the ages of sixteen and thirty with far Whilst I was writing that publication, in 1807 and 1808, more licentiousness than has ever yet been traced to Mr. Hobhouse was desirous that I should express our Pope? Pope lived in the public eye from his youth upmutual opinion of Pope, and of Mr. Bowles's edition of wards; he had all the dunces of his own time for his his works. As I had completed my outline, and felt enemies, and, I am sorry to say, some, who have not lazy, I requested that he would do so. He did it. His the apology of dulness for detraction, since his death; fourteen lines on Bowles's Pope are in the first edition and yet to what do all their accumulated hints and of "English Bards and Scotch Reviewers;" and are quite charges amount ;-to an equivocal liaison with Martha as severe and much more poetical than my own in the Blount, which might arise as much from his infirmities second. On reprinting the work, as I put my name to as from his passions; to a hopeless flirtation with Lady it, I omitted Mr. Hobhouse's lines, and replaced them Mary W. Montagu; to a story of Cibber's; and to two with my own, by which the work gained less than Mr. or three coarse passages in his works. Who could come Bowles. I have stated this in the preface to the second forth clearer from an invidious inquest on a life of fiftyedition. It is many years since I have read that poem; six years? Why are we to be officiously reminded of but the Quarterly Review, Mr. Octavius Gilchrist, and such passages in his letters, provided that they exist? Is Mr. Bowles himself, have been so obliging as to refresh Mr. Bowles aware to what such rummaging among my memory, and that of the public. I am grieved to "letters" and "stories" might lead? I have myself scen say, that in reading over those lines, I repent of their a collection of letters of another eminent, nay, prehaving so far falien short of what I meant to express eminent, deceased poet, so abominably gross, and elabupon the subject of Bowles's edition of Pope's Works. orately coarse, that I do not believe that they could be Mr. Bowles says that "Lord Byron knows he does not paralleled in our language. What is more strange, is, Geserve this character." I know no such thing. I have that some of these are couched as postscripts to his met Mr. Bowles occasionally, in the best society in Lon- serious and sentimental letters, to which are tacked don; he appeared to me an amiable, well-informed, either a piece of prose, or some verses, of the most and extremely able man. I desire nothing better than hyperbolical indecency. He himself says, that if "ob to dine in company with such a mannered man every scenity (using a much coarser word) be the sin agains
the Holy Ghost, he most certainly cannot be saved." to them in their youth, must laugh at such a ludicrous These letters are in existence, and have been seen by foundation of the charge of a "libertine sort of love;" many besides myself; but would his editor have been while the more serious will look upon those who bring "candid" in even alluding to them? Nothing would forward such charges upon an insulated fact, as fanatics have even provoked me, an indifferent spectator, to or hypocrites, perhaps both. The two are sometimes allude to them, but this further attempt at the deprecia- compounded in a happy mixture. tion of Pope.
Mr. Octavius Gilchrist speaks rather irreverently of a "second tumbler of hot white-wine negus." What does he mean? Is there any harm in negus? or is it the worse for being hot? or does Mr. Bowles drink negus? I had a better opinion of him. I hoped that whatever wine he drank was neat ; or at least that, like the ordinary in Jonathan Wild, "he preferred punch,
bottle of port before him. Addison's conversation was
What should we say to an editor of Addison, who cited the following passage from Walpole's letters to George Montagu? "Dr. Young has published a new book, etc. Mr. Addison sent for the young Earl of Warwick, as he was dying, to show him in what peace a Christian could die; unluckily he died of brandy: nothing makes a Christian die in peace like being maudlin! but don't the rather as there was nothing against it in scripture." say this in Gath where you are." Suppose the editor I should be sorry to believe that Mr. Bowles was fond introduced it with this preface: "One circumstance is of negus; it is such a "candid" liquor, so like a wishymentioned by Horace Walpole, which, if true, was indeed washy compromise between the passion for wine and flagitious. Walpole informs Montagu that Addison sent the propriety of water. But different writers have for the young Earl of Warwick, when dying, to show divers tastes. Judge Blackstone composed his "Comhini in what peace a Christian could die; but unluckily mentaries" (he was a poet too in his youth), with a he died drunk, etc., etc." Now, although there might occur on the subsequent, or on the same page, a faint show of disbelief, seasoned with the expression of "the same candour" (the same exactly as throughout the book), I should say that this editor was either foolish or false to his trust; such a story ought not to have been admitted, except for one brief mark of crushing indignation, unless it were completely proved. Why the words "if true?" That "if" is not a peace-maker. Why talk of "Cibber's testimony" to his licentiousness? To what does this amount? that Pope, when very young, was once decoyed by some noblemen and the player to a house of carnal recreation. Mr. Bowles was not always a clergyman; and when he was a very young man, was he never seduced into as much? If I were in the humour" he hated the word league:" which proves that the for story-telling, and relating little anecdotes, I could tell a much better story of Mr. Bowles than Cibber's, upon much better authority, viz. that of Mr. Bowles himself. It was not related by him in my presence, but in that of a third person, whom Mr. Bowles names oftener than once in the course of his replies. This gentleman" invariable?" related it to me as a humorous and witty anecdote; the question. Of all arrogant baptisms of a book, this and so it was, whatever its other characteristics might be. title to a pamphlet appears the most complacently conBut should I, from a youthful frolic, brand Mr. Bowles ceited. It is Mr. Campbell's part to answer the contents with a "libertine sort of love," or with "licentious-of this performance, and especially to vindicate his own ness?" is he the less now a pious or a good man for "Ship," which Mr. Bowles most triumphantly proclaims not having always been a priest? No such thing; I am to have struck to his very first fire. willing to believe him a good man, almost as good a man as Pope, but no better.
I now come to Mr. Bowles's "invariable principles of poetry." These Mr. Bowles and some of his correspondents pronounce "unanswerable;" and they are "unanswered," at least by Campbell, who seems to have been astounded by the title. The sultan of the time being, offered to ally himself to the king of France, because
Padishan understood French. Mr. Campbell has no need of my alliance, nor shall I presume to offer it; but I do hate that word "invariable." What is there of human, be it poetry, philosophy, wit, wisdom, science, power, glory, mind, matter, life or death, which is
Of course I put things divine out of
"Quoth he, there was a Ship;
The truth is, that in these days the grand "primum mobile" of England is cant; cant political, cant poetical, It is no affair of mine, but having once begun (certainly cant religious, cant moral; but always cant, multiplied not by my own wish, but called upon by the frequent through all the varieties of life. It is the fashion, and recurrence to my name in the pamphlets), I am like an while it lasts will be too powerful for those who can Irishman in a "row," "any body's customer.” I shail only exist by taking the tone of the time. I say cant, therefore say a word or two on the "Ship." because it is a thing of words, without the smallest in- Mr. Bowles asserts that Campbell's "Ship of the Line" fluence upon human actions; the English being no derives all its poetry not from "art" but from “nature." wiser, no better, and much poorer, and more divided "Take away the waves, the winds, the sun, etc., etc. one amongst themselves, as well as far less moral, than they will become a stripe of blue bunting; and the other a were before the prevalence of this verbal decorum. piece of coarse canvas on three tall poles." Very true; This hysterica! horror of poor Pope's not very well take away "the waves," "the winds," and there will ascertained, and never fully proved amours (for even be no ship at all, not only for poetical, but for any Cibber owns that he prevented the somewhat perilous other purpose; and take away "the sun," and we must adventure in which Pope was embarking) sounds very read Mr. Bowles's pamphlet by candle-light. But the virtuous in a controversial pamphlet; but all men of "poetry" of the "Ship" does not depend on "the waves," the world who know what life is, or at least what it was etc.; on the contrary, the "Ship of the Line" confers
upon one of them-I felt all the "poetry" of the situation, as I repeated the first lines of Medea; but would not that "poetry" have been heightened by the Argo? It was so even by the appearance of any merchant vessel arriving from Odessa. But Mr. Bowles says,
ris own poetry upon the waters, and heightens theirs. I and Turkish craft, which were obliged to "cut and run do not deny, that the "waves and winds," and above before the wind, from their unsafe anchorage, some for all "the sun," are highly poetical; we know it to our Tenedos, some for other isles, some for the main, and cost, by the many descriptions of them in verse: but some it might be for eternity. The sight of these little if the waves bore only the foam upon their bosoms, if scudding vessels, darting over the foam in the twilight, the winds wafted only the sea-weed to the shore, if the now appearing and now disappearing between the waves sun shone neither upon pyramids, nor fleets, nor for- in the cloud of night, with their peculiarly white sails tresses, would its beams be equally poetical? I think (the Levant sails not being of "coarse canvas," but of not: the poetry is at least reciprocal. Take away "the white cotton), skimming along as quickly, but less safely ship of the line" "swinging round" the "calm water," than the sea-mews which hovered over them; their eviand the calm water becomes a somewhat monotonous dent distress, their reduction to fluttering specks in the thing to look at, particu arly if not transparently clear; distance, their crowded succession, their littleness, as witness the thousands who pass by without looking on contending with the giant element, which made our it at all. What was it attracted the thousands to the stout forty-four's teak timbers (she was built in India) launch? they might have seen the poetical "calm water," creak again; their aspect and their motion, all struck at Wapping, or in the "London Dock," or in the Pad-me as something far more "poetical" than the mere dington Canal, or in a horse-pond, or in a slop-basin, or broad, brawling, shipless sea, and the sullen winds, in any other vase. They might have heard the poetical could possibly have been without them. winds howling through the chinks of a pig-sty, or the The Euxine is a noble sea to look upon, and the port garret-window; they might have seen the sun shining of Constantinople the most beautiful of harbours, and on a footman's livery, or on a brass warming-pan; but yet I cannot but think that the twenty sail of the line, could the "calm water," or the "wind," or the "sun," some of one hundred and forty guns, rendered it more make all, or any of these, "poetical?" I think not. "poetical" by day in the sun, and by night perhaps still Mr. Bowles admits "the ship" to be poetical, but only more, for the Turks illuminate their vessels of war in a from those accessories: now if they confer poetry so as manner the most picturesque-and yet all this is artifito make one thing poetical, they would make other c. As for the Euxine, I stood upon the Symplegades things poetical; the more so, as Mr. Bowles calls a "ship—I s. od by the broken altar still exposed to the winds of the line" without them, that is to say, its "masts and sails and streamers," "blue bunting," and "coarse canvas," and "tall poles." So they are; and porcelain is clay, and man is dust, and flesh is grass, and yet the two latter at least are the subjects of much poesy. Did Mr. Bowles ever gaze upon the sea? I presume" why bring your ship off the stocks?" for no reason that he has, at least upon a sea-piece. Did any painter that I know, except that ships are built to be launched. ever paint the sea only, without the addition of a ship, The water, etc., undoubtedly HEIGHTENS the poetical boat, wreck, or some such adjunct? Is the sea itself a associations, but it does not make them; and the ship more attractive, a more moral, a more poetical object amply repays the obligation: they aid each other; the with or without a vessel, breaking its vast but fatiguing water is more poetical with the ship-the ship less so monotony? Is a storm more poetical without a ship? without the water. But even a ship, laid up in dock, is or, in the poem of the Shipwreck, is it the storm or the a grand and poetical sight. Even an old boat, keel upship which most interests ? both much, undoubtedly; but wards, wrecked upon the barren sand, is a "poetical" without the vessel, what should we care for the tempest? object (and Wordsworth, who made a poem about a It would sink into mere descriptive poetry, which in washing-tub and a blind boy, may tell you so as well itself was never esteemed a high order of that art. as 1); whilst a long extent of sand and unbroken water I look upon myself as entitled to talk of naval mat-without the boat, would be as like dull prose as any ters, at least to poets:—with the exception of Walter pamphlet lately published. Scott, Moore, and Southey, perhaps (who have been voyagers), I have swum more miles than all the rest of them together now living ever sailed, and have lived for months and months on ship-board; and during the whole period of my life abroad, have scarcely ever passed a month out of sight of the ocean: besides being brought up from two years till ten on the brink of it. I recol-place. lect, when anchored off Cape Sigum, in 1810, in an English frigate, a violent squall coming on at sunset, so violent as to make us imagine that the ship would part cable, or drive from her anchorage. Mr. Hobhouse and myself, and some officers, had been up the Dardanelles to Abydos, and were just returned in time. The aspect of a storm in the Archipelago is as poetical as need be, the sea being particularly short, dashing, and dangerous, and the navigation intricate and broken by the isles and currents. Cape Sigeum, the tumuli of the Troad, Lemnos, Tenedos, all added to the associations of the time. But what seemed the most "poetical" of all at the moment, were the numbers (about two hundred) of Greek
What makes the poetry in the image of the "marole waste of Tadmor," or Grainger's "Ode to Solitude," so much admired by Johnson? Is it the "marble," or the "waste," the artificial or the natural object? The "waste" is like all other wastes; but the "marble" of Palmyra makes the poetry of the passage as of the
The beautiful but barren Hymettus, the whole coast of Attica, her hills and mountains, Pentelicus, Anchesmus, Philopappus, etc., etc., are in themselves poetical, and would be so if the name of Athens, of Athenians, and her very ruins, were swept from the earth. But am I to be told that the "nature" of Attica would be more poetical without the "art" of the Acropolis? of the Temple of Theseus? and of the still all Greek and glorious monuments of her exquisitely artificial genius? Ask the traveller what strikes him as most poetical, the Parthenon, or the rock on which it stands? The COLUMNS of Cape Colonna, or the Cape itself? The rocks, at the foot of it, or the recollection that Falconer's