« PreviousContinue »
age of English poetry; no regard for others, the posterity of strangers should know that
Yours ever, very truly, as Plato would have done. He who can
BYRON. reconcile poetry with truth and wisdom, is Postscriptum.-Long as this letter has the only true “poet” in its real sense : "the grown, I find it necessary to append a maker," the creator" - why must this mean postscript, - if possible, a short one.
Mr. the “liar,” the “feigner,” “the tale-teller?" Bowles denies that he has accused Pope A man may make and create better things of “a sordid money-getting passion;" but than these.
he adds, “if I bad ever done so, I should I shall not presume to say that Pope is be glad to find any testimony that might as high a poet as Shakspeare and Milton, show he was not so.” This testimony he though his enemy, Warton, places him may find to his heart's content in Spence immediately under them. I would no more and elsewhere. First, there is Martha say this than I would assert in the mosque Blount, who, Mr. Bowles charitably says, (once Saint Sophia's), that Socrates was a "probably thought he did not save enough greater man than Mahomet. But if I say for her as legatee.” Whatever she thought that he is very near them, it is no more upon this point, her words are in Pope's than has been asserted of Burns, who is favour. Then there is Alderman Barber; supposed
see Spence's Anecdotes. There is Pope's “To rival all but Shakspeare's naine below."
cold answer to Flalifax when he proposed
a pension; his behaviour to Craggs and to I say nothing against this opinion. But Addison upon like occasions ; and his own of what “order,” according to the poetical two lines. aristocracy, are Burns's poems? There are And, thanks to Homer, since I live and his opus magnum, “Tam O'Shanter,” a tale;
thrive, the “Cotter's Saturday Night," a descriptive
Indebted to no prince or peer alive. sketch ; some others in the same style; the written when princes would have been rest are songs. So much for the rank of proud to pension, and peers to promote him, his productions; the rank of Burns is the and when the whole army of dunces were very first of his art. of Pope I have ex- in array against him, and would have been pressed my opinion elsewhere, as also of but too happy to deprive him of this boast the effect which the present attempts at of independence. But there is something poetry have bad upon our literature. If a little more serious in Mr. Bowles's deany great national or natural convulsion claration, that he would have spoken ” of could or should overwhelm your country, his “noble generosity to the outcast, Richin such sort as to sweep Great Britain from ard Savage,” and other instances of a the kingdoms of the earth, and leave only compassionate and generous heart, "had that, after all the most living of human they occurred to his recollection when he things, a dead language, to be studied, wrote.” What! is it come to this? Does and read, and initated by the wise of future Mr. Bowles sit down to write a minute and far generations upon foreign shores; and laboured life and edition of a great if your literature should become the learn- poet? Does he anatomize his character, ing of mankind, divested of party-cabals, moral and poetical? Does he present as temporary fashions, and national pride and with his faults and with his foibles? Does prejudice; an Englishman, anxious that he sneer at his feelings and doubt of his
sincerity? Does he unfold his vanity and as often as Mr. Bowles, and have had as duplicity and then omit the good qualities pleasant things said, and some as unpleasant, which might, in part, have covered this as could well be pronounced. In the review multitude of sins?" and then plead that of “The Fall of Jerusalem,” it is stated “they did not occur to his recollection?” Is that I have devoted "my powers, to the this the frame of mind and of memory with worst parts of Manicheism,” which, being • which the illustrious dead are to be ap- interpreted, means that I worship the devil. proached ? If Mr. Bowles, who must have Now, I have neither written a reply, nor had access to all the means of refreshing complained to Gifford. I believe that I his memory, did not recollect these facts, observed in a letter to you, that I thought he is unfit for his task ; but if he did re-that the critic might have praised Milman collect, and omit them, I know not what without finding it necessary to abuse me;" he is fit for, but I know what would be but did I not add at the same time, or soon fit for him. Is the plea of “not recollect after (apropos of the note in the book of ing” such prominent facts to be admitted? Travels), that I would not, if it were Mr. Bowles has been at a public school, even in my power, have a single line canand as I have been publicly educated also, celled on my account in that nor in any I can sympathize with his predilection. other publication ?-Of course, I reserve When we were in the third form even, had to myself the privilege of response when we pleaded on the Monday morning, that necessary. Mr. Bowles seems in a whimwe had not brought up the Saturday's exer- sical state about the article on Spence. You cise because "we had forgotten it,” what know very well that I am not in your would have been the reply? And is an ex- confidence, nor in that of the conductor of cuse, which would not be pardoned to a the journal. The moment I saw that article, schoolboy, to pass current in a matter I was morally certain that I knew the anwhich so nearly concerns the fame of the thor “by his style.” You will tell me that first poet of his age, if not of his country? I do not know him: that is all as it should If Mr. Bowles so readily forgets the virtues be; keep the secret, so shall I, though no of others, why complain so grievously that one has ever intrusted it to me. He is not others have a better memory for his own the person whom Mr. Bowles denounces. faults? They are but the faults of an au- Mr. Bowles's extreme sensibility reminds thor; while the virtues he omitted from me of a circumstance which occurred on his catalogue are essential to the justice board of a frigate, in which I was a due to a man.
passenger and guest of the captain's for a Mr. Bowles appears, indeed, to be sus- considerable time. The surgeon on board, ceptible beyond the privilege of authorship. a very gentlemanly, young man, and reThere is a plaintive dedication to Mr. markably able in his profession, wore a Gifford, in which he is made responsible wig. Upon this ornament he was extremely for all the articles of the Quarterly. Mr. tenacious. As naval jests are sometimes a Southey, it seems, "the most able and elo- little rough, his brother-officers made ocquent writer in that Review," approves of casional allusions to this delicate appendage Mr. Bowles's publication. Now, it seems to the doctor's person. One day a young to me the more impartial, that, notwith- lieutenant, in the course of a facetious disstanding that the great writer of the Quar-cussion, said, “Suppose, now, doctor, I terly entertains opinions opposite to the should take off your hat.” “Sir,” replied able article on Spence, nevertheless that the doctor, “I shall talk no longer with essay was permitted to appear. Is a Review you ; you grow scurrilous." He would not to be devoted to the opinions of any one even admit so near an approach as to the man? Must it not vary according to cir- hat which protected it. In like manner, cumstances, and according to the subjects if any body approaches Mr. Bowles's laurels, to be criticised? I fear that writers must even in his outside capacity of an editor, take the sweets and bitters of the public “they grow scurrilous." You say that you journals as they occur, and an author of are about to prepare an edition of Pope; so long a standing as Mr. Bowles might you cannot do better for your own credit have become accustomed to sach incidents; as a publisher, nor for the redemption of he might be angry, but not astonished. 1 Pope from Mr. Bowles, and of the public have been reviewed in the Quarterly almost taste from rapid degeneracy.
NOTES TO CHILDE HAROLD'S PILGRIMAGE.
NOTES TO CANTO 1. tion, reconciled rival enperstitions, and baffled
an enemy who never retreated before his preYes! sigh'd o'er Delphi's long-deserted shrine.
(pag. 3. Stanza 1. The little village of Castri stands partly on Yet Mafra shall one moment claim delay. the site of Delphi. Along the path of the moun
[p. 6. SL 29. tain, from Chrysso, are the remains of sepul- The extent of Mafra is prodigious ; it contains chres hewn in and from the rock: “One," said a palace, convent, and most superb church. The the guide, "of a king who broke his neck hunt- six organs are the most beautiful I ever beheld ing." His Majesty had certainly chosen the in point of decoration; we did not hear them, fittest spot for such an achievement. A little but were told that their tones were correspondabove Castri is a cave, supposed the Pythian, ent to their splendour. Mafra is termed the of immense depth; the upper part of it is paved, Escurial of Portugal. and now a cow house. On the other side of Castri stands a Greek monastery; some way above Well doth the Spanish hind the difference know which is the cleft in the rock, with a range of 'Twixt him and Lusian slave, the lowest of the low. caverns difficult of ascent, and apparently lead
(p. 7. St. 33. ing to the interior of the mountain; probably to As I found the Portuguese, so I have characthe Corycian Cavern mentioned by Pausanias. terized them. That they are since improved, at From this part descend the fountain and the least in courage, is evident. “Dews of Castalie."
When Cava's traitor-sire first call'd the band And rest ye at our · Lady's house of woe." That dyed thy mountain-streams with Gothic gorel (p. 5. St. 20.
(p. 7. St. 35. The Convent of “Our Lady of Punishment," Count Julian's daughter, the Helen of Spain. Nossa Sennora de Pena *), on the summit of the Pelagius preserved his independence in the fastrock. Below, at some distance, is the Cork Con- nesses of the Asturias, and the descendants of vent, where St. Honorius dug his den, over his followers, after some centuries, completed which is his epitaph. From the hills, the sea their struggle by the conquest of Grenada. adds to the beauty of the view.
No! as he speeds, he chaunts: “Viva el Rey!" Throughout this purple land, where law secures
[p. 8. St. 48. not life. [p. 5. St. 21.
“Viva el Rey Fernando!"-Long live King It is a well known fact, that, in the year 1809, Ferdinand! is the chorus of most of the Spanish the assassinations in the streets of Lisbon and patriotic songs: they are chiefly in dispraise of its vicinity were not confined by the Portuguese the old king Charles, the Queen, and the Prince to their countrymen; but that Englishmen were of Peace. I have heard many of them; some of daily butchered : and so far from redress being the airs are beautiful. Godoy, the Principe de obtained, we were requested not to interfere if la Paz, was born at Badajoz, on the frontiers we perceived any compatriot defending himself of Portugal, and was originally in the ranks of against his allies. I was once stopped in the the Spanish Guards, till his person attracted way to the theatre at eight o'clock in the eve- the queen's eyes, and raised him to the dukening, when the streets were not more empty dom of Alcudia. It is to this man that the than they generally are at that hour, oppo Spaniards universally impute the ruin of their to an open shop, and in a carriage with a friend; country. had we not fortunately been armed, I have not the least doubt that we should have adorned a Beats in his cap the badge of crimson hue, tale instead of telling one. The crime of. as- Which tells you whom to shun and whom to greel. Bassination is not confined to Portugal: in Sicily
[p. 8. St. 50. and Malta we are knocked on the head at a The red cockade with "Fernando Septimo" in handsome average nightly, and not a Sicilian the centre. or Maltese is ever punished !
The ball-piled pyramid, the ever-blazing match. Behold the hall where chiefs were late convened!
[p. 8. St. 51. (p. 6. St. 24.
All who have seen a battery will recollect The Convention of Cintra was signed in the the pyramidal form in which shot and shells are palace of the Marchese Marialva. 'T'he late ex- piled. The Sierra Morena was fortified in every ploits of Lord Wellington have effaced the fol- defile through which I passed in my way to lies of Cintra. He has, indeed, done wonders : Seville. he has perhaps changed the character of a na
Foil'd by a woman's hand, before a batter'd wall ?
[p. 9. St. 56. *) Since the publication of this Poem, I have Such were the exploits of the Maid of Sarabeen informed of the misapprehension of the goza. When the author was at Seville she walkterm Nossa Senora de Pena. It was owing ed daily on the Prado, decorated with modals to the want of the tilde, or mark over the n, and orders, by command of the Junta. which alters the signification of the word! with it, Pena signifies a rock; without it, The seal Love's dimpling finger hath impresa'd Pena has the sense I adopted. I do not think Denotes how soft that chin which bears his touck. it necessary to alter the passage, as though
(p. 9. St. 58. the common acceptation affixed to it is our “Sigilla in mento impressa Amoris digitulo Lady of the Rock," I may well assume the “Vortigio demonstraut mollitudinem." othot scnsc from the severitics praotised there. I
Oh, thou Parnassus! [p. 9. St. 60. country, appear more conspicuous than in the These stanzas were written in Castri (Delphos), record of what Athens was, and the certainty at the foot of Parnassus, now called Alaxvea of what she now is. This theatre of contentioa Liakura.
between mighty factions, of the struggles of
orators, the exaltation and deposition of tyrants, Fair is proud Seville ; let her country boast
the triumph and punishment of generals, is now Her strength, her wealth, her site of ancient days. become a scene of petty intrigue and perpetual
(p. 10. St. 65. disturbance between the bickering agents of Seville was the H18Palis of the Romans. :
certain British nobility and gentry. “The wild
foxes, the owls and serpents in the ruins of BaAsk ye, Bæotian shades ! the reason why?
bylon," were surely less degrading than such
(p. 10. Št. 70. inhabitants. The Turks have the plea of conThis was written at Thebes, and consequently quest for their tyranny, and the Greeks have in the best situation for asking and answering only suffered the fortune of war, incidental ta such a question; not as the birth-place of Pin- the bravest; but how are the mighty fallen, dar, bui as the capital of Bæotia, where the when two painters contest the privilege of plus first riddle was propounded and solved.
dering the Parthenon, and triumph in turn, ae
cording to the tenor of each succeeding firman! some bitter oʻer the flowers its bubbling venom Syllacould' but punish, Philip subdue, and flinge.
(p. 12. St. 82. Xerxes burn Athens ; but it remained for the "Medio de fonto leporum
paltry antiquarian, and his despicable agents, "Sargit amari aliquid quod in ipsis floribus angat." to render her contemptible as himself and his
The Parthenon, before its destruction in part, A traitor only sell beneath the feud.
by fire during the Venetian siege, had been a
(p. 12. St. 85. temple, a church, and a mosque. In each pojat Alluding to the conduct and death of Solano, of view it is an object of regard: it changed its the Governor of Cadiz.
worshippers ; but still it was a place of worship
thrice sacred to devotion: its violation is a “War even to the knife!"
triple sacrilege. But
(p. 12. St. 86. “Man, vain man, “War to the knife." Palafox's answer to the Drest in a little brief authority, French General at the siege of Saragoza.
Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven
As inake the angels weep."
[p. 13. St. 91. Far on the solitary shore he sleeps. The Honourable I'. W... of the Guards, who
[p. 14. St. 5. died of a fever at Coimbra. I had known him
It was not always the custom of the Greeks ten years, the better half of his life, and the to burn their dead; the greater Ajax in partihappiest part of mine.
cular was interred entire. Almost all the chiefs In the short space of one month I have lost became gods after their decease, and be was her who gave ine being, and most of those who indeed neglected, who had not annual games had made that being tolerable. To me the lines near his tomb, or festivals in honour of his meof Young are no fiction :
mory by his countrymen, as Achilles, Brasidas, Insatiate archer! could not one suffice ?
and at last even Antinois, whose death was as Thy shaft flew thrice, and thrice my peace heroic as his life was infamous.
was slain, And thrice ere thrice yon moon had filled Here, son of Saturn! was thy fav'rite throne. her horn.
[p. 14. St. 10. I should have ventured a verse to the memory The temple of Jupiter Olympius, of which sixof the late Charles Skinner Matthews, Fellow teen columns, entirely of inarble, yet survive: of Downing College, Cambridge, were he not originally there were 150. These columns, howtoo much above all praise of mine. His powers ever, are by many supposed to have belonged of mind, shown in the attainment of greater to the Pantheon. honours, against the ablest candidates, than those of any graduate on record at Cambridge, have | And bear these altars o'er the long-reluctant brine. sufficiently established his fame on the spot
[p. 14. St. 11. where it was acquired, while his softer qualities
The ship was wrecked in the Archipelago. live in the recollection of friends, who loved to give what Goth, and Turk, and Time, hath him too well to envy his superiority.
[p. 14. St. 12. At this moment (January 3, 1809), besides
what has been already deposited in London, an NOTES TO CANTO II.
Hydriot vessel is in the Piræus to receive every
portable relic. Thus, as I heard a young Greek Despite of war and tasting fire.
observe in common with many of his country
(p. 13. St. 1. men-for, lost as they are, they yet feel on this PART of the Acropolis was destroyed by the occasion—thus may Lord Elgin boast of having explosion of a magazine during the Venetian ruined Athens. An Italian painter of the first siege.
eminence, named Lusieri, is the agent of devast
ation; and like the Greek finder of Verres in But worse than steel and flame, and ages slow, Sicily, who followed the saine profession, he has la the dread sceptre and dominion dire
proved the able instrument of plunder. Between Of men who never felt the sacred glow
this artist and the French Consul Fauvel, who That thoughts of thee and thine on polish'd wishes to rescue the remains for his own govern
breasts bestow. (p. 13. St. 1. ment, there is now a violent dispute concerning We can all feel, or imagine, the regret with a car employed in their conveyance, the wheel which the ruins of cities, once the capitals of of which-1 'wish they were both broken apon empires, are beheld; the reflectiony suggested it-has been locked up by the Consul, and Laby ench objects are too tritc to require recapi- sjeri has laid his complaint before the Waytulation. But never did the littleness of man, wode. Lord Elgin has been extremely happy in and the vanity of his very best virtues, of pa- his choice of Signor Lusieri. During a residence triotism to exalt, and of valour to defend his of ten years in Athens be never had the curio
sity to proceed as far as Şanium *), till he ac- countermining, they have done nothing at all. companied us in our second excursion. However, We had such ink-shed, and wine-shed, which his worke, as far as they go, are most beautiful; almost ended in bloodshed! Lord E's "prig,"but they are almost all unfinished. While he see Jonathan Wylde for the definition of "prigand his patrons confine themselves to tasting gism,"-quarrelled with another, Gropius ) by medals, appreciating cameos, sketching columns, name (a very good name too for his business), and cheapening gems, their little absurdities are and mutiered something about satisfaction, in a as harmless as insect- or fox-hanting, maiden- verbal answer to a notc of the poor Prussian : speechifying, barouche-driving, or any such pas- this was stated at table to Gropius, who laughed, time: but wben they carry away three or four but could eat no dinner afterwards. The rivals shiploads of the mosi valuable and massy relics were not reconciled when I left Greece. I have that time and barbarism hare left to the most reason to remember their squabble, for they injured and most celebrated of cities; when wanted to make me their arbitrator. they destroy, in a vain attempt to tear down, those works which have been the admiration of Her sons too weak the sacred shrine to guard, ages, I know no motive which can excuse, no Yet felt some portion of their mother's pains. name which can designate, the perpetrators of
(p. 14. St. 12. this dastardly devastation. It was not the least I cannot resist availing myself of the permisof the crimes laid to the charge of Verres, that sion of my friend Dr. Clarke, whose name rehe had plundered Sicily, in the manner since quires no comment with the public, but whose imitated at Athens. The most unblushing im- sanction will add tenfold weight to my testimony, pudence could hardly go farther than to affix to insert the following extract from a very The name of its plunderer to the walls of the obliging letter of his to me, as a note to the Acropolis; while the wanton and useless deface-above lines : ment of the whole range of the bassorelievos, “When the last of the Metopes was taken in 'one compartment of the temple will never from the Parthenon, and, in moving of it, great permit that name to be pronounced by an observ- part of the superstructure with one of the tri. er without execration.
glyphs was thrown down by the workmen whoin On this occasion I speak impartially: I am Lord Elgin employed, the Disdar, who beheld not a collector or adınirer of collections, conse- the mischief done to the bailding, took his pipo quently no rival; but I have some early prepos- from his mouth, dropped a tear, and, in a supsession in favour of Greece, and do not think plicating tone of voice, said to Lasieri: Téios! the honour of England advanced by plunder, I was present. whether of India or Attica.
The Disdar alluded to was the father of the Another noble Lord has done better, because he has done less : but some others, more or less
present Disdar. noble, yet "all honourable men," have done best, Where was thine Ægis, Pallas ! that appalld because, after a deal of excavation and execra; Stern Alaric and Havoc on their way? tion, bribery to the Waywode, mining and
[p. 14. St. 14.
According to Zozimus, Minerva and Achilles *) Now Cape Colonna. In all Attica, if we frightened Alaric from the Acropolis ; but others except Athens itself and Marathon, there is relate that the Gothic king was nearly as migDo scene more interesting than Cape Colonna. chievous as the Scottish peer.-See CHANDLER. To the antiquary and artist, sixteen columns are an inexhaustible source of observation and
- The netted canopy.
[p. 15. St. 18. design; to the philosopher, the supposed scene
The netting to prevent blocks or splinters from of some of Plato's conversations will not be falling on deck during action. unwelcome; and the traveller will be struck with the beauty of the prospect over “Isles
But not in silence pass Calypso's isles. that crown the Ægean deep :" but for an
[p. 16. St. 29. Englishman, Colonna has yet an additional in
Goza is said to have been the island of Calypso. terest, as the actual spot of Falconer's Shipwreck. Pallas and Plato are forgotten in the
Land of Albania ! let me bend mine eyes recollection of Falconer and Campbell:
On thee, thou rugged nurse of savage men! Here in the dead of night by Lonna's steep,
(p. 17. St. 38. The seaman's cry was heard along the deep.
Albania comprises part of Macedonia, Illyria,
Chaonia, and Epiros. Iskander is the Turkish This temple of Minerva may be seen at sea word for Alexander; and the celebrated Scanfrom a great distance. In two journeys, which derbeg (Lord Alexander) is alluded to in the I made, and one voyage to Cape Colonna, the view from either side, by land, was less striking than the approach from the isles. In our *) This Sr. Gropius was employed by a noble second land-excursion we had a narrow escape
Lord for the sole purpose of sketching, in from a party of Mainnotes, concealed in the
which he excels; but I am sorry to say, that caverns beneath. We were told afterwards,
he has, through the abused sanction of that by one of their prisoners subsequently ransom
most respectable name, been treading at humed, that they were deterred from attacking
ble distance in the steps of Sr. Lusieri. A us by the appearance of my two Albanians : shipful of his trophies was detained, and I conjectoring very sagaciously, but falsely, that believe confiscated, at Constantinople in 1810. we had a complete guard of these Arnauts at
I am most happy to be now enabled to state, hand, they remained stationary, and thus saved
that “this was not in his bond;" that he was our party, which was too small to have oppo
employed solely as a painter, and that his sed any effectual resistance. Colonna is no noble patron disavows all connexion with him, less a resort of painters than of pirates; there except as an artist. If the error in the first
and second edition of this poem has given the The hireling artist plants his paltry desk,
noble Lord a moment's pain, I am very sorry And makes degraded Nature picturesque. for it; Sr. Gropius has assuured for years the But there Nature, with the aid of Art, has name of his agent; and though I cannot much done that for herself. I was fortunate enough condemn myself for sharing in the mistake of to engage a very superior German artist ; and 80 many, I am happy in being one of the first hope to renew my acquaintance with this and to be undeceived. Indeed, I have as much many other Levantine scenes by the arrival pleasure in contradicting this as I felt regret of his performances.
in stating it.