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Methinks he cometh late and tarries long.
In the corresponding passage of the Tales of the Genii, Ridley, the amiable author or compiler of the collection, expresses himself to the following purport, for we have not the book at hand to do justice to his precise words, Reader, the Genii are no more, and Horam, but the phantom of my mind, fiction himself and fiction all that he seemed to write, speaks not again. But lament not their loss, since if desirous to see virtue guarded by miracles, Religion can display before you scenes tremendous, wonderful, and great, more worthy of your sight than aught that human fancy can conceive the moral veil rent in twain and the Sun of Righteousness arising from the thick clouds of heathen darkness.' In the sincere spirit of admiration for Lord Byron's talents, and regard for his character which has dictated the rest of our criticism, we here close our analysis of Childe Harold.
Our task respecting Lord Byron's poetry is finished, when we have mentioned the subject, quoted passages of superior merit, or which their position renders most capable of being detached from the body of the poem. For the character of his style and versification once distinctly traced, (and we have had repeated occasion to consider it,) cannot again be dwelt on without repetition. The harmony of verse, and the power of numbers, nay, the selection and arrangement of expressions, are all so subordinate to the thought and sentiment, as to become comparatively light in the scale. His poetry is like the oratory which hurries the hearers along without permitting them to pause on its solecisms or singularities. Its general structure is bold, severe, and as it were Doric, admitting few ornaments but those immediately suggested by the glowing imagination of the author, rising and sinking with the tones of his enthusiasm, roughening into argument, or softening into the melody of feeling and sentiment, as if the language fit for either were alike at the command of the poet, and the numbers not only came uncalled, but arranged themselves with little care on his part into the varied modulation which the subject requires. Many of the stanzas, considered separately from the rest, might be objected to as involved, harsh, and overflowing into each other beyond the usual license of the Spenserian stanza. But considering the various matter of which the poet had to treat considering the monotony of a long-continued smoothness of sound, and accurate division of
the sense according to the stanzas-considering also that the effect of the general harmony is, as in music, improved by the judicious introduction of discords wherewith it is contrasted, we cannot join with those who state this occasional harshness as an objection to Lord Byron's poetry. If the line sometimes labours and the words move slow,' it is in passages where the sense is correspondent to these laborious movements. A highly finished strain of versification resembles a dressed pleasure ground, elegant-even beautiful-but tame and insipid compared to the majesty and interest of a woodland chase, where scenes of natural loveliness are rendered sweeter and more interesting by the contrast of irregularity and wildness.
We have done with the poem; we have, however, yet a few words to say before we finally close our strictures.
To this canto, as to the former, notes are added, illustrative of the contents; and these, we are informed, are written by Mr. Hobhouse, the author of that facetious account of Buonaparte's reign of an hundred days, which it was our office last year to review. They are distinct and classical illustrations of the text, but contain of course many political sentiments of a class which have ceased to excite anger, or any feeling stronger than pity, and a sense of the weakness of humanity which, in all ages, has inclined even men of talents and cultivation to disgrace themselves, by the adoption of sentiments of which it is impossible they can have examined either the grounds or the consequences-whence the doctrines come, or whither they are tending. The mob of a corrupt metropolis, who vindicate the freedom of election by knocking out the brains of the candidate of whom they disapprove, act upon obvious and tangible principles; so do the Spenceans, Spa-fieldians and Nottingham conspirators. That seven halfpenny loaves should be sold for a penny,'-that the three-hooped pot should have ten hoops,' and that the realm should be all in common,'-have been the watch-words of insurrection among the vulgar, from Jack Straw's time to the present, and, if neither honest nor praiseworthy, are at least sufficiently plain and intelligible. But the frenzy which makes individuals of birth and education hold a language as if they could be willing to risk the destruction of their native country, and all the horrors of a civil war, is not so easily accounted for, To believe that these persons would accelerate a desolation in which they themselves directly, or through their nearest and dearest connections, must widely share, merely to remove an obnoxious minister, would be to form a hasty and perhaps a false judgment of them. The truth seems to be, that the English, even those from whom better things might be expected, are born to be the dupes of jugglers and mountebanks in all professions. It is not only in physic
that the names of our nobility and gentry decorate occasionally the list of cures to which the empiric appeals as attesting the force of his remedy. Religion, in the last age, and politics in the present, have had their quacks, who substituted words for sense, and theoretical dogmata for the practice of every duty.-But whether in religion, or politics, or physic, one general mark distinguishes the empiric; the patient is to be cured without interruption of business, or pleasure-the proselyte to be saved without reformation of the future, or repentance of the past-the country to be made happy by an alteration in its political system; and all the vice and misery which luxury and poor's rates, a crouded population, and decayed morality can introduce into the community, to be removed by extending farther political rights to those who daily show that they require to be taught the purpose for which those they already enjoy were entrusted to them. That any one above the rank of an interested demagogue should teach this is wonderful-that any should believe it except the lowest of the vulgar is more so-but vanity makes as many dupes as folly.
If, however, these gentlemen will needs identify their own cause with that of their country's enemies, we can forgive them as losers, who have proverbial leave to pout. And when, in bitterness of spirit, they term the great, the glorious victory of Waterloo the carnage of Saint Jean,' we can forgive that too, since, trained in the school of revolutionary France, they must necessarily abhor those
whose art was of such power
It could controul their dam's God Setebos,
And make a vassal of him.
From the dismal denunciations which Lord Byron, acting more upon his feeling than his judgment, has made against our country, although
Were ne'er prophetic sounds so full of woe, we entertain no fears-none whatever.
At home, the noble author may hear of better things than a permanent army and a suspended Habeas Corpus'-he may hear of an improving revenue and increasing public prosperity. And while he continues abroad he may haply call to mind, that the Pilgrim, whom, eight years since, the universal domination of France compelled to wander into distant and barbarous countries, is now at liberty to travel where he pleases, certain that there is not a corner of the civilized world where his title of Englishman will not ensure him a favourable and respectful reception.
ART. X.-Memoirs relating to European and Asiatic Turkey. Edited from Manuscript Journals, by Robert Walpole, M. A. London. 1817. pp. xxii. 607.
THE peculiar circumstances in which the Turkish empire is
placed, both with regard to its geographical features, and the economy of its civil government, are such as present the most formidable obstacles to the inquisitive traveller. Some of its most interesting portions are rugged and mountainous, intersected with few high-ways, and those few of the worst description; affording scarcely any accommodations, whether of hospitality on the part of the inhabitants, or of facility in passing from one place to another. A more serious difficulty is the unhealthiness of certain spots, and indeed, at certain seasons, of the country in general; a scourge which, in the case of Greece, does not appear to be the natural and inevitable lot of the soil or atmosphere; but the result of that sloth and neglect, which suffer the juices of the earth to putrefy, and evaporate in pestilential exhalations. Add to these obstacles, the unsettled state of all the out-lying provinces of the Ottoman empire, the animosity which subsists between the enslaved descendants of the Doric and Ionic tribes and their barbarous masters, the facilities which are afforded to robbers by the natural features of the country, and the misgovernment of the Turks, and we shall be able to form some estimate of the difficulties to be encountered by him, who should undertake to give a complete account of any extensive portion of that great empire. The fact is, that, as long as the Ottoman government subsists, we must be content to receive our information about it in driblets, a little from one traveller and a little from another, as the relaxations of Turkish insolence and inhospitality, and the intervals of the mal-aria and the plague may allow them to glean it.
Under these circumstances, we are inclined to approve of the plan which Mr. Walpole has adopted, of collecting from various intelligent and learned travellers, who have visited of late years that interesting portion of the globe, such extracts from their journals and port-folios as were calculated to throw any light upon its present condition and ancient grandeur, its geography, antiquities, and natural history, to be laid before the public in the words of the respective authors. It is true that we do not, by this method, get a well-digested and uniform book of travels, whether we regard the subjects or the style. But as travels are written in these days, we believe that this is no loss. We obtain the actual observations of each traveller, made on the spot, not amplified and dressed up with the fruits of subsequent researches in other men's writings, but a literal and correct account of the state in which things were actually
found. And this is precisely what we want. As the trade of bookmaking now goes, we reckon that the contents of the present work might, with due management, have been expanded into six volumes quarto. It is true that all the papers in the compilation before us are not of the description above-mentioned. Some of them are on matters of pure speculation, and are perhaps rather out of place in the present collection. Nor do we exactly see what business a dissertation on the catacombs of Egypt, or the journal of an expedition into Nubia, can have in 'Memoirs on European and Asiatic Turkey.' However, valuable information we are glad to have in any shape or place; and therefore will not quarrel with Mr. Walpole for introducing us to good company, even though somewhat unexpectedly,
By far the greater part of the papers which compose the volume, relate, as might be expected, to Greece, both within and without the Corinthian isthmus, and the islands of the Egean. The principal contributors are the Earl of Aberdeen, Mr. Morritt, the late Dr. Sibthorp, Dr. Hunt, the late Professor Carlyle, Mr. Hawkins, Mr. Raikes, the late Colonel Squire, Mr. Wilkins, and the editor himself. Prefixed is a very confused and dingy-looking map of ancient Greece, on so small a scale as to be of very little service to the travelled or untravelled reader. In the preliminary discourse, Mr. Walpole discusses at length the various difficulties which oppose the researches of the traveller in Greece, the chief of which we have already briefly touched upon. It appears, from some remarks of that accurate and intelligent observer, Mr. Hawkins, that in consequence of the depopulated state of Greece and Syria, there is no considerable district which is not exposed to some degree of mal-aria. The spots in Greece, he observes, where it is most noxious, are salt-works and rice-grounds. At Milo, since the beginning of the last century, four-fifths of the population have been swept away in consequence of the establishment of a small saltwork. This may, perhaps, in great measure be accounted for by supposing, that in proportion as the salt-works are profitable, the cultivation of the neighbouring country is neglected. The same lamentable effects have resulted from the introduction of rice in the fertile low grounds of the north of Italy, where the mal-aria seems to be every year extending the sphere of its baneful influence. We may, perhaps, collect, from a little piece of local history preserved by the author of the Etymologicon Magnum v. Aarris, that the hornyia of Ephesus were productive of similar effects upon the health of the inhabitants. It would seem, however, from Dr. Hunt's account of the salt-springs at Tousla in the Troad, that no insalubrious influence is occasioned by the evaporation of the brine; for at one of the springs a bath has been built, the roof of which