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CIII. A thing of temperament and not of art,
Though seeming so, from its supposed facility; Meanwhile sweet Adeline deserved their praises, And false—though true; for surely they're sincerest
By an impartial indemnification
For all her past exertion and soft phrases,
In a most edifying conversation,
Which turn’d upon their late guests' miens and Heroes sometimes, though seldom-sages never;
And families, even to the last relation; [faces, But speakers, bards, diplomatists, and dancers, Their hideous wives, their horrid selves and dresses,
And truculent distortion of their tresses.
True, she said little—'t was the rest that broke Of late years, to dispense with Cocker's rigours,
Forth into universal epigram; And grow quite figurative with their figures.
But then 'twas to the purpose what she spoke: XCIX.
Like Addison's “faint praise,” (2) so wont to The poets of arithmetic are they
Her own but served to set off every joke, (damn, Who, though they prove not lwo and two to be As music chimes in with a melo-drame. Five, as they might do in a modest way,
How sweet the lask to shield an absent friend! Have plainly made it out that four are three, I ask but this of mine, to--not defend. Judging by what they take, and what they pay.
CY. The Sinking Fund's unfathomable sea,
There were but two exceptions to this keen That most unliquidating liquid, leaves
Skirmish of wits o'er the departed; one
Aurora, with her pure and placid mien;
And Juan, too, in general behind none While Adeline di ensed her airs and graces, In gay remark on what he had heard or seen,
The fair Fitz-Fulke seem'd very much at ease; Sate silent now, his usual spirits gone: Though too well bred to quiz men to their faces, In vain he heard the others rail or rally,
Her laughing blue eyes with a glance could seize He would not join them in a single sally.
'Tis true he saw Aurora look as though
She approved his silence; she perhaps mistook And this at present was her kind employment.
Its motive for that charity we owe
But seldom pay the absent, nor would look However, the day closed, as days must close;
Farther. It might or it might not be so: The evening also waned-and coffee came.
But Juan, sitting silent in his nook, Each carriage was announced, and ladies rose, Observing little in his reverie,
And curtsying off, as curtsies country dame, Yet saw this much, which he was glad to see. Retired: with most unfashionable bows
CVII. Their docile esquires also did the same, Delighted with their dinner and their host, The ghost at least had done him this much good, But with the Lady Adeline the most.
In making him as silent as a ghost,
If in the circumstances which ensued
He gain’d esteem where it was worth the most. Some praised her beauty: others her great grace;
And certainly Aurora had renew'd The warmth of her politeness, whose sincerity
In him some feelings he had lately lost Was obvious in each feature of her face,
Or harden'd; feelings which, perhaps ideal, Whose traits were radiant with the rays ofverity. Are so divine, that I must deem them real :Yes; she was truly worthy her high place!
The unbounded hope, and heavenly ignorance
The consciousness, indeed, of his own natural tendency to yield thus to every chance impression, and change with every passing impulse, was not only for ever present in his mind, but had the effect of keeping him in that general line of consistency, on certain great subjects, which be continued to preserve throughout life." Moore.-E.
(1) “Curiosa felicitas."-Petronius Arbiter.
Pope on Addison -E.
Of what is call’d the world, and the world's ways;
CXIV. The moments when we gather from a glance A noise like to wet fingers drawn on glass (2) More joy than from all future pride or praise, Which sets the teeth on edge; and a slight claller
Which kindle manhood, but can ne'er entrance Like showers which on the midnight gusts will pass, The heart in an existence of its own,
Sounding like very supernatural water,
Came over Juan's ear, which throbb’d, alas!
For immaterialism's a serious maller;
So that even those whose faith is the most great That hath a memory, or that had a heart?
In souls immortal, shun them tele-à-tête. Alas! her star must wane like that of Dian :
CXV. Ray fades on ray, as years on years depart.
Were his cyes open ?-Yes, and his mouth too. Anacreon only had the soul to tie an
Surprise has this effect-lo make one dumb, Unwithering; myrtle round the unblunted dart Yet leave the gate which eloquence slips through Of Eros: but though thou hast play'd us many As wide as if a long speech were lo come. tricks,
Nigh and more nigh the awful echoes drew, Still we respect thee, “Alma Venus Genelrix !" (1) Tremendous to a mortal tympanum: сх.
His eyes were open, and (as was before And full of sentiments, sublime as billows Stated) his mouth. What open'd next?—the door. Heaving between this world and worlds beyond,
CXVI. Don Juan, when the midnight hour of pillows
it open'd with a most infernal creak, Arrived, relired 10 his; but to despond
Like that of hell. “Lasciate ogni speranza Rather than rest. Instead of poppies, willows Voi che entrate!” The hinge seem'd to speak, Waved o'er his couch; he meditated, fond
Dreadful as Dante's rhima, or this stanza;
A single shade's sufficient to entrance a
Hero-for what is substar.ce to a spirit ?
Or how is 't mailer trembles to come near it? Saving his night-gown, which is an undress;
CXVII. Completely “sans culotte,” and without vest;
The door flew wide, not swiftly,—but, as fly
The sca-gulls, with a steady sober flight-
And then swung back; nor close-but stood awry,
Half letting in long shadows on the light, (By those who have not had such visitations),
Which still in Juan's candlesticks burn’d high, Espectant of the ghost's fresh operations.
For he had two, both tolerably bright,
And in the door-way, darkening darkness, stood
Don Juan shook, as erst he had been shaken So like a spiritual pil-a-pat,
The night before; but, being sick of shaking, Or tiptoe of an amatory miss,
He first inclined to think he had been mistaken, Gliding the first time to a rendezvous,
And then to be ashamed of such mistaking; And dreading the chaste echoes of her shoe. His own internal ghost began to awaken CXIII.
With him, and to quell his corporal quakingAgain—what is’t? The wind ? No, no,—this time Hinting that soul and body, on the whole, It is the sable friar as before,
Were odds against a disembodied soul. With awful footsteps regular as rhyme,
When deep sleep fell on men, and the world wore But Juan, eager now the truth to pierce,
At whatsoever risk of being defeated :
"genelrix hominum divOmque voluptas,
(2) See the account of the ghost of the uncle of Prince Charles of Saxony, raised by Schroepfer : " Karl-Karl-was wollst du mit mir?"-E.
The ghost stopp'd, menaced, then retired, until grace themselves by selling it, what can the critic say? His He reach'd the ancient wall, then stood slunc-still. praise or censure ought to found itself on examples produced
from the work itself. For praise, as far as regards the poetry, CXX.
many passages might be exhibited; for condemnation, as far as
regards the morality, all: but none for either purpose can be Juan put forth one arm-Eternal powers!
produced, without insult to the car of decency, and vexation to It touch'd no soul, nor body, but the wall,
the heart that feels for domestic or national happiness. This On which the moonbeams fell in silvery showers, poem is sold in the shops as the work of Lord Byron; but the Chequer'd with all the tracery of the hall;
name of neither author nor bookseller is on the title-page: we
are, therefore, at liberty to suppose it not to be Lord Byron's He shudder’d, as no doubt the bravest cowers
composition; and this scepticism has something to justify it, in When he can't tell what’t is that doth appal. the instance which has lately occurred of the name of that noble How odd, a single hobgoblin's non-entily
man having been borrowed for a tale of disgusting borror, pubShould cause more fear than a whole host's iden.- lished under the title of The Vampire.
“But the strongest argument against the supposition of its tity. (1)
being the performance of Lord Byron is this ;-that it can hardly CXXI.
be possible for an English nobleman, even in his mirth, to send But still the shade remain'd: the blue eyes glared, in the 2091h and 210th stanzas of the First Canto.
forth to the public the direct and palpable falsehood containes And rather variably for stony death:
• I fear some prudish readers should grow skittish, Yet one thing rather good the grave had spared, I've bribed my grand mother's review-ibe British. The ghost had a remarkably sweet breath.
• I sent it in a letter to the editor, A straggling curl show'd he had been fair-hair'd;
Who Thunk'd me duly by return of post
I'm for a bandsome article his creditor ; A red lip, with two rows of pearls beneath,
Yet, if my gentle Muse he please to roast,
and break a promise after having made it ber, Gleam'd forth, as through the casement's ivy shroud
Denying the receipt of wbat it cost,
All I can say is-ihat he had the money.'
No misdemeanour-nol even that of sending into the world obAnd Juan, puzzled, but still curious, thrust scene and blasphemous poetry, the product of studious levd. His other arm forth-Wonder upon wonder! ness and laboured impiety-appears to us in so delestable a light
ds the accep
ince of a pr by an editor of a review, as the It press’d upon a hard but glowing bust,
condition of praising an author; and yet the miserable man Which beat as if there was a warm heart under.
(for miserable he is, as having a soul of which he cannot get rid), He found, as people on most trials must,
who has given birth to this pestilent poem, has not scrupled to lay That he had made at first a silly blunder,
this to the charge of The British Review; and that not by insi
nuation, but has actually stated himself to have sent money in And that in his confusion he had caught
a letter to the Editor of this journal, who acknowledged the Only the wall, instead of what he sought.
receipt of the same by a leller in return, with thanks. No peer CXXIII.
of the British realm can surely be capable of so calumnious a
falsehood, refuled, we trust, by the very character and spirit of The ghost, if a ghost it were, seem'd a sweet soul the journal so defamed. We are compelled, therefore, to conAs ever lurk'd beneath a holy hood:
clude that this poem cannot be Lord Byron's production; and A dimpled chin, a neck of ivory,
we, of course, expect that Lord Byron will, with all gentlemanly stole
haste, disclaim a work imputed to him, containing a calumny Forih into something much like flesh and blood; / so wholly the product of malignant invention. Back fell the sable frock and dreary cowl,
"If somebody personating the Editor of the British Review And they reveal'd-alas! that e'er they should !
has received money from Lord Byron, or from any other person,
by way of bribe to praise his compositions, the fraud might be In full, voluptuous, but not o'ergrown bulk,
traced by the production of the letter which the author states The phantom of her frolic Grace-Fitz-Fulke! himself to bave received in relurn. Surely then, if the author
of this poem bas any such leller, he will produce it for this purpose. But lest it should be said that we have not in positive
lerms denied the charge, we do ulterly deny that there is one APPENDIX TO DON JUAN.
word of truth, or the semblance of truth, as far as regards this Review, or its Editor, in the assertions made in the stanzas
above referred to. We really feel a sense of degradation, as the Mr. Roberts, the editor of the, since defunct, idea of this odious imputation passes through our minds.
“We have heard, that the author of the poem under consBritish Revielo, fancying himself aggrieved by a
sideration designed what he has said in the 35th stanza as a joke of Lord Byron's, in the first canto of Don Juan, sketch of his own character:retorted by the following famous article, which ap- • Yet Jose was an honourable man; peared in No. XVIII of the “Brilish," published in That I must say, who knew him very well.' 1819.
If, then, be is lbis honourable man, we shall not call in vain
for an act of justice at his bands, in declaring that he did not “Of a poem so flagitious, that no bookseller has been willing mean his word to be taken, when, for the sake of a jest four 10 lake upon himself the publication, though most of them dis- readers will judge how far such a mode of jesling is desensible)
lie stated, with the particularity which belongs to fact, the for-------"Shadows lo night
gery of a groundless fiction.” Have struck more terror to the soul of Richard, Than could the substance of ten thousand soldiers,” elc.
The above vindication of Mr. Roberts called Richard NI.
forth from Lord Byron the following
LETTER TO THE EDITOR OF
is to become of the reviews? And, if the reviews
fail, what is to become of the editors? It is com“YY GRANDMOTHER'S REVIEW, The British (1)".
mon cause, and you have done well to sound the
alarm. I myself, in my humble sphere, will be MY DEAR ROBERTS,
one of your echoes. In the words of the tragedian As a believer in the Church of England—to say mined to make one.
Liston, “I love a row," and you seem justly deternothing of the State-I have been an occasional reader and great admirer of, though not a sub- the writer might have been in jest ; but this only
It is barely possible, certainly improbable, that scriber to, your Review, which is rather expensive. But I do not know that any part ofits contents aggravates his crime. A joke, the proverb says, ever gave me much surprise till the eleventh article" breaks no bonès;” but it may break a bookseller, of your twenty-seventh number made its appear. The jest is but a bad one at the best for the author,
or, it may be the cause of bones being broken. ance. You have there most vigorously refuted a
and might have been a still worse one for you, if calumnious accusation of bribery and corruption, the credence of which in the public mind might your copious contradiction did not certify to all not only have damaged your reputation as a cler- whom it may concern your own indignant innocyman (2) and an editor, but, what would have been cence, and the immaculate purity of the British still worse, have injured the circulation of your
Review. I do not doubt your word, my dear journal; which, I regret to hear, is not so extensive Roberts, yet I cannot help wishing that, in a case as the “purity” (as you well observe) “ of its," etc.
of such vital importance, it had assumed the more etc. and the present taste for propriety, would in- sabstantial shape of an affidavit sworn before the
Lord Mayor Atkins, who readily receives any deduce us to expect. The charge itself is of a solemn nature, and, although in verse, is couched in terms in some way as evidence of the designs of the Re
position; and doubtless would have brought it of such circumstantial gravity, as to induce a belief little short of that generally accorded to the thirty- formers to set fire to London, at the same time that
he himself meditates the same good office towards nine articles, to which you so frankly subscribed
the river Thames. on taking your degrees. It is a charge the most revolting to the heart of man, from its frequent
I am sure, my dear Roberts, that you will take occurrence; to the mind of a statesman, from its these observations of mine in good part; they are occasional truth; and to the soul of an editor, from written in a spirit of friendship not less pure than its moral impossibility. You are charged then in your own editorial integrity. I have always adthe last line of one octave stanza, and the whole mired you; and, not knowing any shape which eight lines of the next, viz. 209th and 210th of the friendship and admiration can assume more agreefirst canto of that “pestilent poem,” Don Juan,
able and useful than that of good advice, I shall with receiving and still more foolishly acknow- continue my lucubrations, mixed with here and ledging the receipt of certain moneys, io eulogise there a monitory hint as to what I conceive to be the unknown author, who by this account must be
the line you should pursue, in case you should known to you, if to nobody else. An impeach
ever again be assailed with bribes, or accused of ment of this nature, so seriously made, there is but taking them. By the way, you don't say much one way of refuting; and it is my firm persuasion, about the poem, except that it is “flagitious.” This that whether you did or did noi(and I believe that is a pity-you should have cut it up; because, 10 you did not) receive the said moneys, of which I say the truth, in not doing so, you somewhat assist wish that he had specified the sum, you are quite any notions which the malignant might entertain right in denying all knowledge of the transaction. on the score of the anonymous asseveration which If charges of this nefarious description are to go
has made you so angry. forth, sanctioned by all the solemnity of circum
You say no bookseller "was willing to take upon stance, and guaranteed by the veracity of verse (as himself the publication, though most of them Counsellor Philips (3) would say), what is to become disgrace themselves by selling it.” Now, my dear of readers, hitherto implicitly confident in the not friend, though we all know that those fellows will less veracious prose of our criticaljournals ? What do any thing for money, methinks the disgrace is
(1) “Bologna, Aug. 23, 1819. I send you a letter lo Roberts, a clergyman, but a barrister-at-law. In 1792, he established a signed 'Wortley Clutterbuck,' which you may publish in what paper called The Looker-on, which has since been admilled into form you please, in answer to his article. I have had many the collection of British Essayists; and he is known, in his proofs of men's absurdily, but be beats all in folly. Why, the profession, for a treatise on the Law of Frauduloni Bankwoll in sheep's clothing has tumbled into the very trap!" ruplcy.-E. Lord B. to Mr. Murray.-E.
(3) Charles Philips, barrister, was in those days celebrated for (D) Mr. Roberts is aol, as Lord Byron seems to have supposed, allra-Irish eloquence.-E.
inore with the purchasers; and some such, doubl-"with all gentlemanly haste," etc. etc. I
I am told less, there are, for there can be no very extensive that Lord B. is in a foreign country, some thousand selling (as you will perceive by that of the British miles off it may be; so that it will be difficult for Review) without buying. You then add, “What him to hurry to your wishes. In the mean time, can the critic say?" I am sure I don't know; at perhaps you yourself have set an example of more present he says very little, and that not much 10 haste ihan gentilily; but“ the more baste the worse the purpose. Then comes, “for praise, as far as speed.” regards the poetry, many passages might be ex Let us now look at the charge itself, my dear hibited : for condemnation, as far as regards the Roberts, which appears to me to be in some degree morality, all.” Now, my dear good Mr. Roberts, not quite explicitly worded :I feel for you, and for your reputation : my heart bleeds for both; and I do ask you, whether or not “I bribed my Grandmother's Review, the British." such language does not come positively under the description of the puff collusive," for which see I recollect hearing, soon after the publication, Sheridan's farce of The Critic (by the way, a little this subject discussed at the tea-table of Mr. So more facetious than your own farce under the same theby the poet, who expressed himself, I remember, litle), lowards the close of scene second, act the a good deal surprised that you had never reviewed first ?
his epic poem of Saul, nor any of his six tragedies; The poem is, it seems, sold as the work of Lord of which, in one instance, the bad taste of the pit, Byron ; but you feel yourself " at liberty to suppose and, in all the rest, the barbarous repugnance of it not Lord B.'s composition.” Why did you ever the principal actors, prevented the performance. suppose that it was ? I approve of your indigna- Mrs. and the Misses S. being in a corner of the tion-I applaud it-I feel as angry as you can; but room, perusing the proof-sheels of Mr. S.'s poems perhaps your virtuous wrath carries you a little in Italy, or on Italy, as he says (I wish, by the by, loo far, when you say that “no misdemeanour, Mrs. S. would make the tea a little stronger), the not even that of sending into the world obs ne male part of the conversazione were at liberty to and blasphemous poetry, ihe product of studious make a few observations on the poem and passage lewdness and laboured impiety, appears to you in in question; and there was a difference of opinion. so detestable a light as the acceptance of a present Some thought the allusion was to the British by the editor of a review, as the condition of Critic;(1) others, that by the expression, “My praising an author.” The devil it does n't!-Grandmotber's Review,"it was intimated that “my Think a little. This is being critical overmuch. grandmother” was not the reader of the review, but In point of Gentile benevolence or Christian cha- actually the writer; thereby insinuating, my dear rity, it were surely less criminal to praise for a bribe, Roberts, that you were an old woman; because, as than to abuse a fellow-creature for nothing; and people often say, “Jeffrey's Review,”“Gifford's Reas to the assertion of the comparative innocence of view,"in lieu of Bdinburgh and Quarterly;s0“My blasphemy and obscenity, confronted with an Grandmother's Review"and Roberts's might be also editor's“ acceptance of a present,” I shall merely synonymous. Now, whatever colour this insinua-' observe, that as an Editor you say very well, but, as lion might derive from the circumstance of your a Christian divine, I would not recommend you to wearing a gown, as well as from your time of life, transpose this sentence into a sermon.
your general style, and various passages of your And yet you say, "the miserable man (for miser-writings,– I will take upon myself to exculpate able he is, as having a soul of which he cannot get you from all suspicion of the kind, and assert, rid)”—But here I must pause again, and inquire without calling Mrs. Roberts in testimony, that if what is the meaning of this parenthesis? We have ever you should be chosen pope, you will pass heard of people of “little soul,” or of “no soul through all the previous ceremonies with as much at all,” but never till now of “the misery of having credit as any pontiff since the parturition of Joan. a soul of which we cannot get rid;" a misery under It is very unfair to judge of sex from writings, which you are possibly no great sufferer, having particularly from those of the British Rerieu. got rid apparently of some of the intellectual part We are all liable to be deceived, and it is an inof your own when you penned this pretty piece of disputable fact, that many of the best articles in eloquence.
your journal, which were altributed to a veteran But to continue. You call upon Lord Byron, female, were actually written by you yourself and always supposing him not the author, to disclaim yet to this day there are people who could never
(1) “Whether it be the British Critic or the Brilish Review, a serious reply. As we are not so seriously inclined, we shall against which the noble lord presers so gravo a charge, or rather leave our sbare of ibis accusation to its sale. - British Critic so facelious an accusation, we are al a loss to determine. The --E. latter has thought it worth its while, in a public paper, lo mako