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Forsook the labours of a servile state,
Stemm'd the rude storm, and triumph'd over fate:
And now no boor can seek his last abode,
6 Gifford, author of the Baviad and Mæviad, the first satires of the day, and translator of Juvenal.-[The opinion of Mr. Gifford had always great weight with Lord Byron. "Any suggestion of yours," he says in a letter written in 1813, "even were it conveyed in the less tender shape of the text of the Baviad, or a Monk Mason note in Massinger, would be obeyed." A few weeks before his death, on hearing from England of a report that he had written a satire on Mr. Gifford, he wrote instantly to Mr. Murray :-"Whoever asserts that I am the author or abettor of any thing of the kind, lies in his throat. It is not true that I ever did, will, would, could, or should write a satire against Gifford, or hair of his head. I always considered him as my literary father, and myself as his 'prodigal' son; and if I have allowed his fatted calf' to grow to an ox before he kills it on my return, it is only because I prefer beef to veal."]
Sotheby, translator of Wieland's Oberon and Virgil's Georgics, and author of "Saul," an epic poem. [Mr. Sotheby afterwards essentially raised his reputation by various original poems, and a translation of the Iliad. He died in 1834.]
8 Macneil, whose poems are deservedly popular, particularly "Scotland's Scaith," and the "Waes of War," of which
Restore Apollo to his vacant throne,
Assert thy country's honour and thine own. 5
Where her last hopes with pious Cowper sleep?
The race who rhyme from folly, or for food,
"Why slumbers Gifford ? " once was ask'd in vain ; 9 Why slumbers Gifford? let us ask again. Are there no follies for his pen to purge? 10
Are there no fools whose backs demand the scourge ?
Unhappy White 11 while life was in its spring, And thy young muse just waved her joyous wing,
ten thousand copies were sold in one month. - [Hector Macneil died in 1818.]
[Lord Byron here alludes to the masterly poem of " New Morality" (the joint production of Mr. Canning and Mr. Frere), in the Antijacobin, in which Gifford is thus apostrophised :
"Bethink thee, Gifford, when some future age
The hand which brush'd a swarm of fools away,
No pause no rest-till weltering on the ground
10 Mr. Gifford promised publicly that the Baviad and Mæviad should not be his last original works: let him remember, "Mox in reluctantes dracones."- - [Mr. Gifford became the editor of the Quarterly Review, which thenceforth occupied most of his time, a few months after the first appearance of this satire in 1809.]
11 Henry Kirke White died at Cambridge, in October, 1806 in consequence of too much exertion in the pursuit of studies that would have matured a mind which disease and poverty could not impair, and which death itself destroyed rather than subdued. His poems abound in such beauties as must impress the reader with the liveliest regret that so short a period was allotted to talents which would have dignified even the sacred functions he was destined to assume.[In a letter to Mr. Dallas, in 1811, Lord Byron says, "I am sorry you don't like Harry White; with a great deal of cant, which in him was sincere (indeed it killed him, as you killed Joe Blackett), certes there is poesy and genius. I don't say this on account of my simile and rhymes; but surely he was beyond all the Bloomfields and Blacketts, and their collateral cobblers, whom Lofft and Pratt have or may kidnap from their calling into the service of the trade. Setting aside bigotry, he surely ranks next to Chatterton. It is astonishing how little he was known; and at Cambridge no one thought or heard of such a man till his death rendered all notices useless. For my part, I should have been most proud of such an acquaintance: his very prejudices were respectable."]
The spoiler swept that soaring lyre away,
There be, who say, in these enlighten'd days, That splendid lies are all the poet's praise; That strain'd invention, ever on the wing, Alone impels the modern bard to sing: 'Tis true, that all who rhyme-nay, all who write, Shrink from that fatal word to genius-trite; Yet Truth sometimes will lend her noblest fires, And decorate the verse herself inspires: This fact in Virtue's name let Crabbe2 attest; Though nature's sternest painter, yet the best. 3
And here let Shee 4 and Genius find a place, Whose pen and pencil yield an equal grace; To guide whose hand the sister arts combine, And trace the poet's or the painter's line; Whose magic touch can bid the canvass glow, Or pour the easy rhyme's harmonious flow; While honours, doubly merited, attend The poet's rival, but the painter's friend.
Blest is the man who dares approach the bower Where dwelt the muses at their natal hour; Whose steps have press'd, whose eye has mark'd afar, The clime that nursed the sons of song and war, The scenes which glory still must hover o'er, Her place of birth, her own Achaian shore. But doubly blest is he whose heart expands With hallow'd feelings for those classic lands; Who rends the veil of ages long gone by, And views their remnants with a poet's eye! Wright! 't was thy happy lot at once to view Those shores of glory, and to sing them too;
1 [Mr. Southey's delightful Life of Kirke White is in every one's hands.]
2 [I consider Crabbe and Coleridge as the first of these times, in point of power and genius." B. 1816]
3 [This eminent poet and excellent man died at his rectory of Trowbridge, in February 1832, aged seventy-eight. With the exception of the late Lord Stowell, he was the last surviving celebrated man mentioned by Boswell in connection with Johnson, who revised his poem of the "Village." His other works are the "Library," the "Newspaper," the "Borough," a collection of "Poems," which Charles Fox read in manuscript on his death-bed; "Tales," and also "Tales of the Hall." He left various poetical pieces in MS., and a collective edition of his works was published in 1834, preceded by an interesting Memoir, written by his Son.]
4 Mr. Shee, author of " Rhymes on Art," and "Elements of Art."-[Now (1836) Sir Martin Shee, and President of the Royal Academy.]
5 Waller Rodwell Wright, late consul-general for the Seven Islands, is author of a very beautiful poem, just published: it is entitled" Horæ lonicæ," and is descriptive of the isles and the adjacent coast of Greece. [To the third edition, which came out in 1816, was added an excellent translation of the "Oreste" of Alfieri. After his return to England, Mr. Wright was chosen Recorder of Bury St. Edmunds.]
And sure no common muse inspired thy pen To hail the land of gods and godlike men.
And you, associate bards! who snatch'd to light Those gems too long withheld from modern sight; Whose mingling taste combined to cull the wreath Where Attic flowers Aonian odours breathe, And all their renovated fragrance flung, To grace the beauties of your native tongue; Now let those minds, that nobly could transfuse The glorious spirit of the Grecian muse, Though soft the echo, scorn a borrow'd tone: Resign Achaia's lyre, and strike your own.
Let these, or such as these, with just applause, Restore the muse's violated laws;
But not in flimsy Darwin's pompous chime,
Him let them shun, with him let tinsel die :
Yet let them not to vulgar Wordsworth stoop, The meanest object of the lowly group, Whose verse, of all but childish prattle void, Seems blessed harmony to Lambe and Lloyd : 8 Let them but hold, my muse, nor dare to teach A strain far, far beyond thy humble reach: The native genius with their being given Will point the path, and peal their notes to heaven.
And thou, too, Scott 9! resign to minstrels rude The wilder slogan of a border feud :
Let others spin their meagre lines for hire;
Let Southey sing, although his teeming muse,
Let simple Wordsworth 10 chime his childish verse,
Let Moore still sigh; let Strangford steal from Moore,
The translators of the Anthology, Bland and Merivale, have since published separate poems, which evince genius that only requires opportunity to attain eminence. - [The late Rev. Robert Bland published, in conjunction with Mr. Merivale," Collections from the Greek Anthology." He also wrote Édwy and Elgiva," the "Four Slaves of Cythera," &c. In 1814, Mr Merivale published "Orlando in Roncevalles ;" and in the following year, "An Ode on the Delivery of Europe." He is now one of the Commissioners of the new Bankruptcy Court.]
7 The neglect of the "Botanic Garden" is some proof of returning taste. The scenery is its sole recommendation.
8 Messrs. Lamb and Lloyd, he most ignoble followers of Southey and Co. [In 1798, Charles Lamb and Charles Lloyd published in conjunction a volume, entitled, "Poems in Blank Verse." Mr. Lamb was also the author of "John Woodville," "Tales from Shakspeare," the "Essays of Elia," &c. He died in 1835. Mr. Lloyd has since published "Edward Oliver," a novel, "Nugæ Canoræ," and a translation of Alfieri's Tragedies.]
9 By the bye, I hope that in Mr. Scott's next poem, his hero or heroine will be less addicted to "Gramarye," and more to grammar, than the Lady of the Lay and her bravo, William of Deloraine.
10 ["Unjust."—– Byron, 1816.]
Let Hayley hobble on, Montgomery rave,
Yet what avails the sanguine poet's hope,
Whose sons forget the poet and his song:
It may be asked why I have censured the Earl of Carlisle, my guardian and relative, to whom I dedicated a volume of puerile poems a few years ago?- The guardianship was nominal, at least as far as I have been able to discover; the relationship I cannot help, and am very sorry for it; but as his lordship seemed to forget it on a very essential occasion to me, I shall not hurden my memory with the recollection. I do not think that personal differences sanction the unjust condemnation of a brother scribbler; but I see no reason why they should act as a preventive, when the author, noble or ignoble, has, for a series of years, beguiled a "discerning public," (as the advertisements have it) with divers reams of most orthodox, imperial nonsense. Besides, I do not step aside to vituperate the earl: no-his works come fairly in review with those of other patrician literati. If, before I escaped from my teens, I said any thing in favour of his lordship's paper books, it was in the way of dutiful dedication, and more from the advice of others than my own judgment, and I seize the first opportunity of pronouncing my sincere recantation. I have heard that some persons conceive me to be under obligations to Lord Carlisle : if so, I shall be most particularly happy to learn what they are, and when conferred, that they may be duly appreciated and publicly acknowledged. What I have humbly advanced as an opinion on his printed things, I am prepared to support, if necessary, by quotations from elegies, eulogies, odes, episodes, and certain facetious and dainty tragedies bearing his name and mark :
"What can ennoble knaves, or fools, or cowards? Alas! not all the blood of all the Howards."
So says Pope. Amen!-["Much too savage, whatever the foundation might be."- B. 1816.]
"The devil take that phoenix! How came it there?"B. 1916.]
3 [The Rev. Charles James Hoare published, in 1808, the "Shipwreck of St. Paul," a Seatonian prize poem.]
[The Rev. Charles IIoyle, author of " Exodus," an epic in thirteen books, and several other Seatonian prize poems.]
Shall hoary Granta call her sable sons, Expert in science, more expert at puns? Shall these approach the muse? ah, no! she flies, Even from the tempting ore of Seaton's prize; Though printers condescend the press to soil With rhyme by Hoare 3, and epic blank by Hoyle: + Not him whose page, if still upheld by whist, Requires no sacred theme to bid us list. 5 Ye! who in Granta's honours would surpass, Must mount her Pegasus, a full-grown ass; A foal well worthy of her ancient dam, Whose Helicon is duller than her Cam.
There Clarke, still striving piteously "to please,"
A monthly scribbler of some low lampoon, 6
Oh! dark asylum of a Vandal race! 8 At once the boast of learning, and disgrace! So lost to Phœbus, that nor Hodgson's 9 verse Can make thee better, nor poor Hewson's 10 worse. 11 But where fair Isis rolls her purer wave,
The partial muse delighted loves to lave;
For me, who, thus unask'd, have dared to tell My country, what her sons should know too well, Zeal for her honour bade me here engage The host of idiots that infest her age;
No just applause her honour'd name shall lose, As first in freedom, dearest to the muse.
5 The "Games of Hoyle," well known to the votaries of whist, chess, &c., are not to be superseded by the vagaries of his poetical namesake, whose poem comprised, as expressly stated in the advertisement, all the "plagues of Egypt."
6 [" Right enough: this was well deserved, and well laid on."-B. 1816.]
7 This person, who has lately betrayed the most rabid symptoms of confirmed authorship, is writer of a poem denominated the " Art of Pleasing," as "lucus a non lucendo," conmonthly stipendiary and collector of calumnies for the "Sataining little pleasantry and less poetry. He also acts as tirist." If this unfortunate young man would exchange the magazines for the mathematics, and endeavour to take a decent degree in his university, it might eventually prove more serviceable than his present salary. [Mr. Hewson Clarke was also the author of "The Saunterer," and a "History of the Campaign in Russia."]
Oh! would thy bards but emulate thy fame,
1 With this verse the satire originally ended.
2 A friend of mine being asked, why his Grace of Portland was likened to an old woman? replied, "he supposed it was His Grace is now gathered to because he was past bearing." his grandmothers, where he sleeps as sound as ever; but even his sleep was better than his colleagues' waking. 1811. • Mount Caucasus. 3 Georgia. 5 These four lines originally stood, "But should I back return, no letter'd sage Shall drag my common-place book on the stage; Let vain Valentia rival luckless Carr,t
And equal him whose work he sought to mar."
6 [In a letter written from Gibraltar to his friend Hodgson, Lord Byron says, "I have seen Sir John Carr at Seville and Cadiz, and, like Swift's barber, have been down on my kuces to beg he would not put me into black and white."]
Lord Elgin would fain persuade us that all the figures, with and without noses, in his stoneshop, are the work of Phidias!" Credat Judæus !"
[The original epithet was "classic." Lord Byron altered it in the fifth edition, and added this note:-" Rapid," indeed! He topographised and typographised King Priam's dominions in three days! I called him 'classic' before I saw the Troad,
Lord Valentia (whose tremendous travels are forthcoming, with due decorations, graphical, topographical, typographical) deposed, on Sir John Carr's unlucky suit, that Mr. Dubois's satire prevented his purchase of the "Stranger in Ireland."Oh, fie, my lord! has your lordship no more feeling for a fellow-tourist? - but two of a trade," they say, &c. [From the many tours he made, Sir John was called A wicked wit having severely lashed "The Jaunting Car. him in a publication, called "My Pocket Book; or Hints for a Ryght Merrie and Conceited Tour," he brought an action of damages against the publisher; but as the work contained only what the court deemed legitimate criticism, the knight was nonsuited. Edward Dubois, Esq., the author of this pleasant satire, has also published" The Wreath," consisting of translations from Sappho, Bion and Moschus, "Old Nick," satirical story, and an edition of the Decameron of Boccaccio.]
Thus far I've held my undisturb'd career,
The meanest thing that crawl'd beneath my eyes:
but since have learned better than to tack to his name what don't belong to it."]
9 Mr. Gell's Topography of Troy and Ithaca cannot fail to ensure the approbation of every man possessed of classical taste, as well for the information Mr. Geil conveys to the mind of the reader, as for the ability and research the respec. tive works display. -["Since seeing the plain of Troy, my opinions are somewhat changed as to the above note. Gell's survey was hasty and superficial." B. 1816.]
[Shortly after his return from Greece, in 1811, Lord Byron wrote a review of Mr. (now Sir William) Gell's works for the Monthly Review. In his Diary of 1821, there is this pas sage "In reading, I have just chanced upon an expression of Tom Campbell's; - speaking of Collins, he says that no reader cares any more about the characteristic manners of his eclogues than about the authenticity of the tale of Troy.' 'Tis false we do care about the authenticity of the tale of Troy. I have stood upon that plain, daily, for more than a month, in 1810; and if any thing diminished my pleasure, it was that the blackguard Bryant had impugned its veracity. It is true I read Homer Travestied, because Hobhouse and others bored me with their learned localities, and I love quizzing. But I still venerated the grand original as the truth of history (in the material facts) and of place. Otherwise it would have given me no delight. Who will persuade me, when I reclined upon a mighty tomb, that it did not contain a hero?- its very magnitude proved this. Men do not labour over the ignoble and petty dead:-and why should not the dead be Homer's dead?"]
10 [Lord Byron set out on his travels with the determination to keep no journal. In a letter to his friend Henry Drury, when on the point of sailing, he pleasantly says,-"Hobhouse has made woundy preparations for a book on his return:one hundred pens, two gallons of japan ink, and several volumes of best blank, is no bad provision for a discerning public. I have laid down my pen, but have promised to contribute a chapter on the state of morals, &c. &c."]
11 ["Singular enough, and din enough, God knows."-B. 1816.]
12 [In this passage, hastily thrown off as it is. "we find," says Moore, "the strongest trace of that wounded feeling which bleeds, as it were, through all his subsequent writings."
Nay more, though all my rival rhymesters frown,
And, arm'd in proof, the gauntlet cast at once
POSTSCRIPT TO THE SECOND EDITION.
I HAVE been informed, since the present edition went to the press, that my trusty and well-beloved cousins, the Edinburgh Reviewers, are preparing a most vehement critique on my poor, gentle, unresisting Muse, whom they have already so be-deviled with their ungodly ribaldry:
"Tantæne animis cœlestibus iræ!"
I suppose I must say of Jeffrey as Sir Andrew Aguecheek saith, “An I had known he was so cunning of fence, I had seen him damned ere I had fought him." What a pity it is that I shall be beyond the Bosphorus before the next number has passed the Tweed! But I yet hope to light my pipe with it in Persia
My northern friends have accused me, with justice, of personality towards their great literary anthropophagus, Jeffrey; but what else was to be done with him and his dirty pack, who feed by lying and slandering," and slake their thirst by "evil speaking?" I have adduced facts already well known, and of Jeffrey's mind I have stated my free opinion, nor has he thence sustained any injury;-what scavenger was ever soiled by being pelted with mud? It may be said that I quit England because I have censured there "persons of honour and wit about town;" but I am coming back again, and their
Hints from Horace:
BEING AN ALLUSION IN ENGLISH VERSE TO THE EPISTLE "AD PISONES, DE ARTE POETICA," AND INTENDED AS A SEQUEL TO "ENGLISH BARDS AND SCOTCH REVIEWERS." 2
"Ergo fungar vice cotis, acutum
Athens. Capuchin Convent, March 12. 1811.
Humano capiti cervicem pictor equinam
vengeance will keep hot till my return. Those who know me can testify that my motives for leaving England are very ditferent from fears, literary or personal: those who do not, may one day be convinced. Since the publication of this thing, my name has not been concealed; I have been mostly in London, ready to answer for my transgressions, and in daily expectation of sundry cartels; but, alas I "the age of chivalry is over,' or, in the vulgar tongue, there is no spirit now-a-days.
There is a youth ycleped Hewson Clarke (subaudi esquire), a sizer of Emanuel College, and, I believe, a denizen of Berwick-upon-Tweed, whom I have introduced in these pages to much better company than he has been accustomed to meet; he is, notwithstanding, a very sad dog, and for no reason that I can discover, except a personal quarrel with a bear, kept by me at Cambridge to sit for fellowship, and whom the jealousy of his Trinity contemporaries prevented from success, has been abusing me, and, what is worse, the defenceless innocent above mentioned, in the " Satirist," for one year and some months. I am utterly unconscious of having given him any provocation; indeed, I am guiltless of having heard his name till coupled with the "Satirist." He has therefore no giary, he is rather pleased than otherwise. reason to complain, and I dare say that, like Sir Fretful PlaI have now mentioned all who have done me the honour to notice me and mine, that is, my bear and my book, except the editor of the "Satirist," who, it seems, is a gentleman God wot! I wish he could impart a little of his gentility to his subordinate scrib. blers. I hear that Mr. Jerningham is about to take up the cudgels for his Mæcenas, Lord Carlisle. I hope not: he was him, treated me with kindness when a boy; and whatever one of the few, who, in the very short intercourse I had with he may say or do," pour on, I will endure." I have nothing further to add, save a general note of thanksgiving to readers, purchasers, and publishers; and, in the words of Scott, I wish
["The greater part of this satire I most sincerely wish had never been written not only on account of the injustice of much of the critical, and some of the personal part of it but the tone and temper are such as I cannot approve." — BYRON. July 14. 1816. Diodati, Geneva.]
"To all and each a fair good night,
And rosy dreams and slumbers light."
2 [Authors are apt, it is said, to estimate their performances more according to the trouble they have cost themselves, than the pleasure they afford to the public; and it is only in this way that we can pretend to account for the extraordinary value which Lord Byron attached, even many long years after they were written, to these "Ilints from Horace." The business of translating Horace has hitherto been a hopeless one; -and notwithstanding the brilliant cleverness of some passages, in both Pope's and Swift's Imitations of him, there had been, on the whole, very little to encourage any one to meddle seriously even with that less difficult department. It is, comparatively, an easy affair to transfer the effect, or some
Or, should some limner join, for show or sale,
Or low Dubost -as once the world has seen -
Undique collatis membris, ut turpiter atrum
thing like the effect, of the majestic declamations of Juvenal; but the Horatian satire is cast in a mould of such exquisite delicacy uniting perfect ease with perfect elegance throughout as has hitherto defied all the skill of the moderns. Lord Byron, however, having composed this piece at Athens, in 1811, and brought it home in the same desk with the two first cantos of "Childe Harold," appears to have, on his arrival in London, contemplated its publication as far more likely to increase his reputation than that of his original poem. Perhaps Milton's preference of the "Paradise Regained" over the " Paradise Lost" is not a more decisive example of the extent to which a great author may inistake the source of his greatness.
Lord Byron was prevented from publishing these lines, by a feeling, which, considering his high notion of their merit, does him honour. By accident, or nearly so, the "Harold came out before the "Hints ;" and the reception of the