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the preparations for my journey, that you
Which, seen from far Colonna's height, must excuse it.”
Make glad the heart that hails the sight,
There shine the bright abodes ye seek,
Like dimples upon Ocean's cheek, its sources were once opened on any subject, So smiling round the waters lave The Giaour affords one of the most re
These Edens of the eastern wave. markable instances, — this poem having ac
Or if, at times, the transient breeze cumulated under his hand, both in printing
Break the smooth crystal of the seas,
Or brush one blossom from the trees, and through successive editions, till froin
How grateful is the gentle air four hundred lines, of which it consisted in
That wakes and wafts the fragrance there." his first copy, it at present amounts to nearly fourteen hundred. The plan, indeed, which Among the other passages added to this he had adopted, of a series of fragments ', edition (which was either the third or fourth, - a set of “ orient pearls at random strung,” and between which and the first there inter
left him free to introduce, without re- vened but about six weeks) was that most ference to more than the general complexion beautiful and melancholy illustration of the of his story, whatever sentiments or images lifeless aspect of Greece, beginning “ He who his fancy, in its excursions, could collect ; hath bent him o'er the dead,” — of which and how little fettered he was by any regard the most gifted critic of our days has justly to connection in these additions, appears pronounced, that “it contains an image from a note which accompanied his own more true, more mournful, and more exquicopy of the paragraph commencing“ Fair sitely finished, than any we can recollect in clime, where every season smiles,” — in the whole compass of poetry.”. To the which he says, “I have not yet fixed the same edition also were added, among other place of insertion for the following lines, but accessions of wealth”, those lines, “ The will, when I see you - - as I have no copy." cygnet proudly walks the water,” and the
Even into this new passage, rich as it was impassioned verses, “ My memory now is at first, his fancy afterwards poured a fresh but the tomb.” infusion, the whole of its most picturesque On my rejoining him in town this spring, portion, from the line “ For there, the Rose I found the enthusiasm about his writings o'er crag or vale," down to And turns to and himself, which I left so prevalent, both groans his roundelay,” having been sug- in the world of literature and in society, gested to him during revision. In order to grown, if any thing, still more general and show, however, that though so rapid in the intense. In the immediate circle, perhaps, first heat of composition, he formed no ex- around him, familiarity of intercourse might ception to that law which imposes labour as have begun to produce its usual disenchantthe price of perfection, I shall here extract a ing effocts. His own liveliness and unrefew verses from his original draft of this
a more intipate acquaintance, paragraph, by comparing which with the would not be long in dispelling that charm form they wear at present ?, we may learn of poetic sadness, which to the eyes of disto appreciate the value of these after-touches tant observers hung about him ; while the of the master,
romantic notions, connected by some of his * Fair clime! where ceaseless summer smiles
fair readers with those past and nameless Benignant o'er those blessed isles,
loves alluded to in his poems, ran some risk
(" It is a 'fragment,' it is true ; but it reads like one of those old woful tragic ballads, in which the hiatus seem caused by the falling away of all needless stanzas, and the stream of suffering leaps darkly and foamingly over each chasm in the rocks." - Wilson.)
2 The following are the lines in their present shape, and it will be seen that there is not a single alteration in which the music of the verse has not been improved as well as the thought :
" Fair clime! where every season smiles
Benignant o'er those blessed isles,
And if at times a trajsiente
That wakes and waits the odours there!"
* In Dallaway's Constantinople, a book which Lord Byron is not unlikely to have consulted, I find a passage quoted from Gillies's History of Greece, which contains, perhaps, the first seed of the thought thus expanded into full perfection by genius : -" The present state of Greece compared to the ancient is the silent obscurity of the grave contrasted with the vivid lustre of active life."
5 Among the recorded instances of such happy afterthoughts in poetry may be mentioned, as one of the most memorable, Denham's four lines, “ Oh could I flow like thee," &c., which were added in the second edition of his poem.
from Lord Oxford's library |
versified. You are removing to Albemarle had much better have pilfered his pastry, Street, I find, and I rejoice that we shall which I should imagine the more valuable be nearer neighbours. I am going to Lord ingredient at least for a puff. — Pray seOxford's, but letters here will be forwarded. cure me a copy of Woodfall's new Junius, and When at leisure, all communications from believe &c." you will be willingly received by the humblest of your scribes. Did Mr. Ward write the LETTER 117. TO MR, WILLIAM BANKES. review of Horne Tooke's Life in the Quar
“ December 26. terly?! It is excellent.”
“ The multitude of your recommendations
has already superseded my humble endeaTO MR. MURRAY.
vours to be of use to you ; and, indeed, most “ Cheltenham, November 22. 1812.
of my principal friends are returned. Leake “On my return here from Lord Oxford's; city of the Faithful
, and at Smyrna no letter
from Joannina, Canning and Adair from the I found your obliging note, and will thank is necessary, as the consuls are always willyou to retain the letters, and
any other sub
ing to do every thing for personages of resequent ones to the same address, till I arrive in town to claim them, which will probably Gibraltar, which, though of no great neces
spectability. I have sent you three ; one to be in a few days. I have in charge a curious sity, will, perhaps, put you on a more intiand very long MS. poem, written by Lord
mate footing with a very pleasant family Brooke (the friend of Sir Philip Sidney),
there. You will very soon find out that which I wish to submit to the inspection of
a man of any consequence has very little Mr. Gifford, with the following queries : first, whether it has ever been published, and bankers, and of them we have already plenty,
occasion for any letters but to ministers and secondly (if not), whether it is worth publi- I will be sworn. cation ? It
“ It is by no means improbable that I shall and must have escaped or been overlooked amongst the MSS. of the Harleian Mis- go in the spring ; and if you will fix any cellany. The writing is Lord Brooke's
, write or join you.
When in Albania, I except a different hand towards the close. wish you would inquire after Dervise Tahiri It is very long, and in the six-line stanza.
and Vascillie (or Bazil), and make my reIt is not for me to hazard an opinion upon spects to the viziers, both there and in the its merits ; but I would take the liberty, if not too troublesome, to submit it to Mr. leyman of Thebes, I think it will not hurt
Morea. If you mention my name to SuGifford's judgment, which, from his excellent
you ; if I had my dragoman, or wrote edition of Massinger, I should conceive to be as decisive on the writings of that age as
Turkish, I could have given you letters of
real service ; but to the English they are on those of our own. “Now for a less agreeable and important
hardly requisite, and the Greeks themselves topic. — How
can be of little advantage. Liston you know came Mr. Mac-Somebody, without consulting
you or me, to prefix the already, and I do not, as he was not then Address to his volume of . Dejected Ad- Troad, and let me hear from you when you
minister. Mind you visit Ephesus and the dresses?' Is not this somewhat larcenous ? I think the ceremony of leave might have please. I believe G. Forresti is now at
Yanina ; but if not, whoever is there will be been asked, though I have no objection to the thing itself ; and leave the hundred and about firmauns ; never allow yourself to be
too happy to assist you. Be particular eleven'to tire themselves with base com- bullied, for you are better protected in parisons. I should think the ingenious Turkey than any where ; trust not the public tolerably sick of the subject, and, ex
and take some knicknackeries for cept the Parodies, I have not interfered, nor shall ; indeed I did not know that Dr. Busby Beys and Pachas. If you find one Deme
presents — watches, pistols, &c. &c. to the had published his Apologetical Letter and trius, at Athens or elsewhere, I can recomPostscript, or I should have recalled them. mend him as a good dragoman. I hope to But, I confess, I looked upon his conduct in join you, however ; but you will find swarms a different light before its appearance,
of English now in the Levant. see some mountebank has taken Alderman
“ Believe me, &c." Birch's name to vituperate Dr. Busby ; he
[See Quart. Review, vol. vii. p. 313. The article alluded to was written by the Hon. J. W. Ward, afterwards Earl of Dudley.)
2“ The Genuine Rejected Addresses, presented to the
Committee of Management for Drury Lane Theatre : preceded by that written by Lord Byron and adopted by the Committee:"-published by B. M.Millan.
LETTER TO MR. ROGERS.
TO MR, MURRAY.
in possession of a lawyer, a churchman, or a
“ February 20. 1813. woman, during that period,) to liquidate this * In · Horace in London'! I perceive some
and similar demands; and the payment of stanzas on Lord Elgin in which (waving the
the purchase is still withheld, and may be, kind compliment to myself ?) I heartily con
perhaps, for years. If, therefore, I am under cur. I wish I had the pleasure of Mr. Smith's for their money, (which, considering the
the necessity of making those persons wait acquaintance, as I could communicate the curious anecdote you read in Mr. T.'s letter. terms, they can afford to suffer,) it is my
misfortune. If he would like it, he can have the substance for his second edition ; if not, I shall add it
" When I arrived at majority in 1809, I to our next, though I think we already have offered my own security on legal interest
and it was refused. Now, I will not accede enough of Lord Elgin. * What I have read of this work seems
to this. This man I may have seen, but I admirably done. My praise, however, is have no recollection of the names of any not much worth the author's having; but parties but the agents and the securities. you may thank him in my name for his.
The moment I can it is assuredly my intenThe idea is new - we have excellent imitation to pay my debts. This person's case tions of the Satires, &c. by Pope ; but I may be a hard one ; but, under all circumremember but one 'imitative ode 'in his stances, what is mine? I could not foresee works, and none anywhere else.
that the purchaser of my estate was to dehardly suppose that they have lost any fame
mur in paying for it. by the fate of the Farce; but even should
“ I am glad it happens to be in my power this be the case, the present publication will wish I could do as much for the rest of the
so far to accommodate my Israelite, and only again place them on their pinnacle.
Twelve Tribes. “ Yours," &c.
“ Ever yours, dear R., “Bn." It has already been stated that the pecuniary supplies, which he found it necessary having it in contemplation to publish an
At the beginning of this year, Mr. Murray to raise on arriving at majority, were pro- edition of the two cantos of Childe Harold cured for him on ruinously usurious terms.3 To some transactions connected with this with much zeal into his plan ; and, in a note
with engravings, the noble author entered subject, the following characteristic letter
on the subject to Mr. Murray, says, refers :
“ Westall has, I believe, agreed to illustrate
your book, and I fancy one of the engravings LETTER IIS.
will be from the pretty little girl you saw
the other day“, though without her name, “I enclose you a draft for the usurious and merely as a model for some sketch coninterest due to Lord **'s protégé ; - I also nected with the subject. I would also have could wish you would state thus much for the portrait (which you saw to-day) of the me to his Lordship. Though the transaction friend who is mentioned in the text at the speaks plainly in itself for the borrower's close of Canto Ist, and in the notes, folly and the lender's usury, it never was my which are subjects sufficient to authorise intention to quash the demand, as I legally that addition.” might, nor to withhold payment of principal, Early in the spring he brought out, anoor, perhaps, even unlawful interest. You nymously his poem on Waltzing, which, know what my situation has been, and what though full of very lively satire, fell so far it is. I have parted with an estate (which short of what was now expected from him has been in my family for nearly three hun by the public, that the disavowal of it, dred years, and was never disgraced by being which, as we see by the following letter,
TO MR. ROGERS.
“ March 25. 1813.
(By the Authors of " Rejected Addresses.”]
In the Ode entitled “ The Parthenon," Minerva thus speaks:
* All who behold my mutilated pile
Shall brand its ravager with classic rage;
Horace in London.
3 “ 'Tis said that persons living on annuities
Are longer lived than others, - God knows why, Unless to plague the grantors, – yet so true it is,
That some, I really think, do never die.
And that's their mode of furnishing supply ;
Don Juan, Canto II. 4 Lady Charlotte Harley, to whom, under the name of Ianthe, the introductory lines to Childe Harold were afterwards addressed. [This lady was married in 1820 to Brigadier-General Bacon.)
of abatement from too near an acquaintance many just and striking views, we find, in the with the supposed objects of his fancy and professed portrait drawn of him, such feafondness at present. A poet's mistress tures as the following :-“ Lord Byron had should remain, if possible, as imaginary a a stern, direct, severe mind : a sarcastic, disbeing to others, as, in most of the attributes dainful, gloomy temper. He had no light he clothes her with, she has been to himself; sympathy with heartless cheerfulness—upun
the reality, however fair, being always the surface was sourness, discontent, dissure to fall short of the picture which a too pleasure, ill-will. Beneath all this weight lavish fancy has drawn of it. Could we of cloud and darkness !" &c. &c. call up in array before us all the beauties Of the sort of double aspect which he thus whom the love of poets has immortalised, presented, as viewed by the world and by from the high-born dame to the plebeian his friends, he was himself fully aware ; and damsel, from the Lauras and Sacharissas it not only amused him, but, as a proof of down to the Cloes and Jeannies, the versatility of his powers, flattered his should, it is to be feared, sadly unpeople our pride. He was, indeed, as I have already imaginations of many a bright tenant that remarked, by no means insensible or inatpoesy has lodged there, and find, in more tentive to the effect he produced personally than one instance, our admiration of the on society ; and though the brilliant station faith and fancy of the worshipper increased he had attained, since the commencement by our discovery of the worthlessness of the of my acquaintance with him, made not the idol.
slightest alteration in the unaffectedness of But, whatever of its first romantic im- his private intercourse, I could perceive, I pression the personal character of the poet thought, with reference to the external may, from such causes, have lost in the cir- world, some slight changes in his conduct, cle he most frequented, this disappointment which seemed indicative of the effects of his of the imagination was far more than com- celebrity upon him. Among other circumpensated by the frank, social, and engaging stances, I observed that, whether from shyqualities, both of disposition and manner, ness of the general gaze, or from a notion, which, on a nearer intercourse, he disclosed, like Livy's, that men of eminence should as well as by that entire absence of any lite- not too much familiarise the public to their rary assumption or pedantry, which entitled persons”, he avoided showing himself in him fully to the praise bestowed by Sprat the mornings, and in crowded places, much upon Cowley, that few could “ ever discover more than was his custom when we first he was a great poet by his discourse.” While became acquainted. The preceding year, thus, by his intimates, and those who had before his name had grown “so rife and celegot, as it were, behind the scenes of his brated,” we had gone together to the exhifame, he was seen in his true colours, as well bition at Somerset House, and other such of weakness as of trulableness, on strangers, | places ?, and the true reason, no doubt, of and such as were out of this immediate his present reserve, in abstaining from all circle, the spell of his poetical character still such miscellaneous haunts, was the sensicontinued to operate ; and the fierce gloom tiveness, so often referred to, on the subject and steroness of his imaginary personages of his lameness, - a feeling which the curiwere, by the greater number of them, sup-osity of the public eye, now attracted to this posed to belong, not only as regarded mind, infirmity by his fame, could not fail, he knew, but manners, to himself. So prevalent and to put rather painfully to the proof. + persevering has been this notion, that, in Among the many gay hours we passed some disquisitions and character published together this spring, I remember particularly since his death, and containing otherwise the wild flow of his spirits one evening,
I Letters on the Character and Poetical Genius of Lord Byron, by Sir Egerton Brydges, Bart.
2 " Continuus aspectus minus verendos magos homines facit."
3 The only peculiarity that struck me on those occa. sions was the uneasy restlessness which he seemed to feel in wearing a hat, - an article of dress which, from his constant use of a carriage while in England, he was almost wholly unaccustomed to, and which, after that year, I do not remember to have ever seen upon him again. Abroad, he always wore a kind of foraging cap.
* [** Such painting as this bespeaks the hand of a master; every touch brings out character; and we feel assured that the portrait is true to nature. There is
vindication in such free and fearless friendship which is irresistible, and we love the biographer who, by simple and undisguised truth, puts down falsehood till its tongue drops its idle venom in the dust. Strong sense and fine sentiment here glow in every line; love for the poor inhabitant below' engenders no hatred towards the malignity that would sain stir and disturb his very shroud; but his culogist is serene, in the conscious pride of being privileged to confess the frailties of him whose character, in spite of them all, was still noble — nor by any exaggeration of his virtues, any more than of his vices, would seck to wrong Byron any where, and
least of all, Here standing by his grave.'"- Wilson.]
when we had accompanied Mr. Rogers home been of the party, I question much whether from some early assembly, and when Lord he could have resisted the infection. Byron, who, according to his frequent cus- A day or two after, Lord Byron sent me
tom, had not dined for the last two days, the following: į found his hunger no longer governable, and
called aloud for “something to eat.” Our “My dear Moore, repast, - of his own choosing, — was simple When Rogers ' must not see the in
bread and cheese ; and seldom have I par- closed, which I send for your perusal. I s taken of so joyous a supper. It happened am ready to fix any day you like for our
that our host had just received a present- visit. Was not Sheridan good upon the ation copy of a volume of poems ', written whole? The · Poulterer' was the first and
professedly in imitation of the old English best. % i writers, and containing, like many of these
“ Ever yours, &c." models, a good deal that was striking and beautiful, mixed up with much that was trifling, fantastic, and absurd. In our mood, " When Thurlow this damn'd nonsense sent, at the moment, it was only with these latter (I hope I am not violent), qualities that either Lord Byron or I felt
Nor men nor gods knew what he meant, disposed to indulge ourselves; and, in turning over the pages, we found, it must be
“ And since not ev'n our Rogers' praise owned, abundant matter for mirth. In vain
To common sense his thoughts could raise
Why would they let him print his lays ? did Mr. Rogers, in justice to the author, endeavour to direct our attention to some of
the beauties of the work :- it suited better | our purpose (as is too often the case with
more deliberate critics) to pounce only on such passages as ministered to the laughing humour that possessed us.
In this sort of hunt through the volume, we at length lighted “ To me, divine Apollo, grant-0! on the discovery that our host, in addition Hermilda's first and second canto, to his sincere approbation of some of its
I'm fitting up a new portmanteau ; contents, had also the motive of gratitude for standing by its author, as one of the " And thus to furnish decent lining.
My owu and others' bays I'm twining poems was a warm, and, I need not add,
We well-deserved panegyric on himself.
So, gentle Thurlow, throw me thine in." were, however, too far gone in nonsense for
On the same day I received from him the even this eulogy, in which we both so heartily agreed, to stop us. The opening line of
following additional scraps,
The lines in the poem was, as well as I can recollect, italics are from the eulogy that provoked his " When Rogers o'er this labour bent ;” and
waggish comments. Lord Byron undertook to read it aloud but he found it impossible to get beyond the
“ TO LORD THURLOW. first two words. Our laughter had now increased to such a pitch that nothing could restrain it. Two or three times he began ;
I lay my branch of laurel down.' but no sooner had the words “ When Ro- " Thou“ lay thy branch of laurel down !'
Why, what thou'st stole is not enow ; gers" passed his lips, than our fit burst forth
And, were it lawfully thine own, afresh, — till even Mr. Rogers himself, with
Does Rogers want it most, or thou? all his feeling of our injustice, found it im- Keep to thyself thy wither'd bough, possible not to join us; and we were, at Or send it back to Dr. Donne last, all three, in such a state of inextinguish- Were justice done to both, I trow,
He'd have but little, and thou - none. able laughter, that, had the author himself
1 [ Poems on several Occasions, by Edward Lord Thurlow."]
. He here alludes to a dinner at Mr. Rogers's, of which I have elsewhere given the following account:- “ The company consisted but of Mr. Rogers himself, Lord Byron, Mr. Sheridan, and the writer of this Memoir. Sheridan knew the admiration his audience felt for him : the presence of the young poet, in particular, seemed to bring back his own youth and wit; 1 the details he gave of his early he were noi
mating to himself than delightful to us. It was in the course of this evening that, describing to us the poem which Mr. Whitbread had written, and sent in, among the other addresses for the opening of Drury Lane theatre, and which, like the rest, turned chiefly on allusions to the Phænix, he said _' But Whitbread made more of this bird than any of them :-- he entered into particulars, and described its wings, beak, tail, &c.;--- in short, it was a poulterer's description of a Phænix." Life of Sheridan.