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sympathy with mankind, neither does
own minds, not frame-works for hu-
It is mournful to see that so much of energy and real feeling should have been perverted to the formation of these exaggerated beings, alternately so virtuous and so vicious, now so overflowing with tenderness, and so bright with purity, and again so hard, and vile, and atrocious. These qualities, to be sure, are all found in man; but the combination, where, in earth or moon, shall we look to find it? The principles of human nature are not mere toys, like phosphorus and paint, wherewith to eke out goblins: and he who pretends to exalt the mind by representing it as superior, not only to its meaner necessities, but to its best affections, in truth, degrades it to the basest of uses, by exhibiting it, not as a thing to be reverenced, and loved, and studied with conscientious and scrutinizing reflection, but as a dead and worthless material, which he may pound and
As the Lord Byron of "Childe compound-evaporate into a cloud, Harold" and "Don Juan" had no or analyse into a caput mortuum,
and subject to all the metamorphoses which are worked by the lath wand of a conjuror. It is only by attributing the favourite thoughts and deeds of his writings to personages whom we feel throughout, though we may not realise the consciousness, to be essentially different from our selves, that he could, for a moment, beguile us into conceiving libertinism sublime, and malignity amiable; and, if mankind were so educated as to know the constitution of their own souls, if they had learned to reflect more and to remember less, they would never be deluded into sympathy with phantoms as unsubstantial and inconsistent as the Minotaur, the Scylla, the Harpies, and the Cy clops of fable, the Anthropophagi, and men whose heads
"Do grow beneath their shoulders." We entirely omit the question of the direct irreligion and indecency of his writings. As to these matters, those who feel religiously will blame him, without our assistance, and those who approve of infidelity, or gloat over obscurity, will applaud, in spite of us. At present, we neither seek to heighten the reprobation, nor to diminish aught from the approval. For ourselves, we lament the Anti-Christian and impure tendencies of his mind, not so much for any positive evil they can do,-this, we suspect, being much over-rated, -as because they are evidences of the degradation of a powerful mind, and of the pollution of much and strong good feeling. We certainly differ considerably from the greater number of those who have attacked him, as to the particular parts of his writings, which merit the severest condemnation. The story of Haidee seems to us much less mischievous than that of Donna Julia, and this far more endurable than the amour with Catherine. "Childe Harold" will do more harm than "Cal," and either of them more than the parody of "The Vision of Judgment." Of this, also, we are sure, that, had he never openly outraged public opinion by direct blas
phemies and grossness, the world would have been well enough content to receive his falsifications of human nature for genuine ; and all his forced contortions, and elaborate agonies, would have passed current as natural manifestations of a rea sonable and pretty despair. But, when he once did violence to those names which are the idols of the age, while the spirit of religion is wanting, he became a mark for the condemnation of those who live by the service of Bel and Dagon. He might exhibit man as a wretched and contemptible, an utterly hopeless and irrecoverably erring creature,— he might represent selfishness and vanity as the true glories of our na ture, he might leave us no home but solitude, and no stay but sensuality, and deny not only God, but good-and yet be the favourite of pi ous Reviewers, the drawing-room 24tocrat, the boudoir deity. But when he once dared to doubt, in so many words, of the wisdom of Providence, and, instead of hinting adultery, to name fornication, the morality of a righteous generation rose up in arms against him; and those who ought long before to have wept over the prostitution of such a mind, affected a new-born horror at the event, though they had been delighting for years in the reality of the pollution,
We wish not to deny that Lord Byron was a poet, and a great one. There are moods of the mind which he has delineated with remarkable fidelity. But, as Shakspeare would not have been what he is, had he exhibited only the fantastic waywardness of Hamlet, or the passionate love of Romeo, so Byron is less than a first-rate poet for the uni formity with which he has displayed that intense self-consciousness, and desperate indifference, which he has undoubtedly embodied more completely than any other English writ er. The sceptre of his power is, indeed, girt with the wings of an angel, but it is also wreathed with earth-born serpents; and, while we admire we must sigh, and shudder while we bow.
To meet again!-till then a sad adieu !—
With thee all joy and comfort disappears,
Farewell! While wandering through this vale of tears,
This one dear hope my spirit shall sustain,
That we may meet again-may meet again!
THE CONDITION OF THE IRISH POOR.
A LETTER TO A MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT FROM A FRIEND IN IRELAND.
THIS HIS is St. Patrick's day, a festival here on which the lighthearted and much-enduring Irish drown their shamrocks and their cares in whiskey. Extremes, we are told, meet; thus, as the fine ladies and gentlemen in London take laudanum and Curaçoa, so do the wretched Irish, whiskey. But these fine ladies and gentlemen upbraid the Irish for their dirt and their drunkenness; and even those who are of a better order seem to consider the Irish as more prone than other races of men to the peculiar vices that misery engenders on the half civilized. I am ready to admit that they are the best natures, when perverted, become the worst. This unfortunate country may present an unexampled picture of discord, of recklessness-even of crime; but it undoubtedly does present one of unexampled misery. For myself, however, I am apt to think, paradoxical as it may appear after admitting what I have done, that it also presents more virtue than any other country ever exhibited under circumstances equally deplorable. Other portions of the globe might, perhaps, be pointed out where there exists equal or even greater poverty, with all its attendant sufferings; but none, I think, where the people are equally civilized and equally destitute-and this adds the barb to the sting of misery. Pray observe, I mean only to express that the Irish, however low in the scale of civilization, are exposed to greater misery and poverty than any other people at the same degree of social advance
B, 17th March, 1828. and that, suffering more, whatever be the terrible outrages that take place, and the continued disturbed condition of the country, they still endure with a degree of patience and virtue that you in England can form little idea of. The character of the people has been the produce of centuries of discord and injustice. The English found Ireland at war within herself, torn by internal faction; and they have kept her so. I do not intend to blame either party, far less to take the usual course of attributing all the existing evil to one side : my only desire is to draw your attention to the real sufferings of Ireland. Its political evils may partly cause them; but I am sure there are measures which both parties might unite in promoting, that, even without touching upon Emancipation, would lead to some arrangement under which the population might obtain employment and food. The Scotch and English are beginning to exclaim that their labouring population will be degraded in their habits, and reduced to a level with the Irish, by the immense numbers that flock over from this country, and undersell their industry. This ought to give some notion of what must be the state of Ireland. Mr. Wilmot Horton proposes emigration; and justly says, that even tranquillity would not, in any great degree, bring over to Ireland sufficient English capital to occupy the superabundant multitude of living souls. Machinery is a cheaper workman than even the Irishman can prove ;-and the collieries present the natural site for the iron and hardware works, which give employment to such a multitude of hands in England. But whatever may be the difficulties of the case, it is one that imperatively demands to be investigated. Politicians, and political economists are, I fear, too
It is not my intention to demand why this is the case, nor to enter into any political argument upon the subject; but I am sure that it is sufficient to justify my opinion that they suffer more than any other nation;