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53. Henceforth no one shall cause me to travail; witness"-witness IN ITALIC, an ominous cha for I bear on my body these felters,(1)
racter for a lestimony at present). 51. To obtain Christ; and I suffer with patience I shall not avail myself of a non mi ricordo." these afflictions, to become worthy of the resur even after so long a residence in Italy; -1 do "pprection of the dead.
member the circumstance,"—and have no reluc55. And do each of you, having received the law tance to relate it (since called upon so to do), as from the hands of the blessed Prophets and the correctly as the distance of time and the impression holy gospel,(2) firmly maintain it;
of intervening events will permit me. In the year 56. To the end that you may be rewardeil in the 1812, more than three years after the publication resurrection of the dead, and the possession of the of English Bards and Scotch Reviewers, I had life eternal.
the honour of meeling Mr. Bowles, in the house of 57. But if any of ye, not believing, shall tres- our venerable host of Human Life, etc. the last pass, he shall be judged with the misdoers, and Argonaut of classic English poetry, and the Nestor punished with those who have false belief. of our inferior race of living poets. Mr. Bowles
58. Because such are the generation of vipers, calls this “soon after” the publication; but to me and the children of dragons and basilisks.
three years appear a considerable segment of the 59. Drive far from amongst ye, and fly from such, immortality of a modern poem. I recollect nothing with the aid of our Lord Jesus Christ.
of “the rest of the company going into anolber 60. And the peace and grace of the beloved Son room,”-nor, though I well remember the loj-obe upon you.(3) Amen.
graphy of our hosi's elegant and classically-furDone into English by me, January, February, nished mansion, could I swear to the very room
Done into English by me, January, February; where the conversation occurrel, though the "lak1817, at the Convent of San Lazaro, with the aid and exposition of the Armenian Text by the Father ing down the poem” seems to fix it in the library. Paschal Aucher, Armenian Friar.
Had it been “laking up,” it would probably have BYRON.
been in the drawing-room. I presume also thalthe VENICE, April 10, 1817.
“remarkable circumstance” look place after din
ner; as I conceive that neither Mr. Bowles's polileI had also the Latin text, but it is in many places ness nor appetite would have allowed him to devery corrupt, and with great omissions.
tain “the rest of the company' standing round
their chairs in the “other room,” while we were LETTER TO JOHN MURRAY, ESQ. ON THE REV. discussing “the woods of Madeira," instead of cir
W. L. BOWLES'S STRICTURES ON THE LIFE culating its vintage. Of Mr. Bowles's “ good buAND WRITINGS OF POPE.
mour”I have a full and not ungrateful recollection; as also of his gentlemanly manners and agreeable
conversation. I speak of the whole, and not of “I'll play at Bowls with the sun and moon."-Old Song.
“My mitber's auld, Sir, and she has rather forgoltea hersel particulars; for whether he did or did not use the in speaking to my Leddy, that canna weel bide to be contradickit, precise words printed in the pamphlet, I cannot (as I ken nacbody likes il, if they could help themsels.)” say, nor could he with accuracy. Of “lhe tone of Tales of My Landlord; Old Morlalily, vol. ii. D. 163.
seriousness” I certainly recollect nothing: on the
contrary, I thought Mr. Bowles rather disposed to RAVENNA, February 7, 1821. treat the subject lightly; for he said (I have no ob DEAR SIR,
jection to be contradicted, if incorrect), that some In the different pamphlels which you have had of his good-natured friends had come lo him and the goodness to send me, on the Pope and Bowles's exclaimed, “Eh! Bowles ! how came you to make controversy, I perceive that my name is occasion-the woods of Madeira ?” etc. etc. and that he had ally introduced by both parties. Mr. Bowles refers been at some pains and pulling down of the poem more than once to what he is pleased to consider to convince them that he had never made " the "a remarkable circumstance," not only in his woods” do any thing of the kind. He was right, leller to Mr. Campbell, but in his reply to the and I was wrong, and have been wrong still up Quarterly. The Quarterly also, and Mr. Gil- to this acknowledgment; for lought to have looked christ, have conferred on me the dangerous honour twice before I wrote that which involved an inacof a quotation; and Mr. Bowles indirectly makes a curacy capable of giving pain. The fact was kind of appeal to me personally, by saying, “Lord that, although I bad certainly before read the Spe Byron, if he remembers the circumstance, will rit of Discovery, I took the quotation from the
(2) Some MSS. have, of the holy evangelist.
(1) Others finished here thus, Henceforth no one can Irouble me further, for I bear in my body the sufferings of Christ. The grace our of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, my brethren. Amen.
review. But the mistake was mine, and not the of “noble mind," and "generous magnanimity;" review's, which quoted the passage correctly and all this because “the circumstance would have enough, I believe. I blundered—God knows how been explained had not the book been suppressed.” -into attributing the tremors of the lovers 10 “the I see no “nobility of mind” in an act of simple juswoods of Madeira," by which they were sur- tice; and I hate the word “.
'magnanimity,” berounded. And I hereby do fully and freely de- cause I have sometimes seen it applied to the grossclare and asseverate, that the woods did not trem-est of impostors by the greatest of fools; but I ble lo a kiss, and that the lovers did. I quote from would have “explained the circumstance,” notmemory
withstanding “the suppression of the book," if
Mr. Bowles had expressed any desire that I should. Stole on the listening silence, etc. etc.
As the“ gallant Galbraith" says to“ Baillie Jarvie,” They (the lovers) trembled, even as if the power," elc.
"Well, the devil take the mistake, and all that And if I had been aware that this declaration would occasioned it.” I have had as great and greater have been in the smallest degree satisfactory lo Mr. mistakes made about me personally and poetically, Bowles, I should not have waited nine years to once a month for these last ten years, and never make it, notwithstanding that English Bards and cared very much about correcting one or the other, Scotch Reviewers had been suppressed some time at least after the first eight-and-forty hours had previously to my meeting him at Mr. Rogers's. gone over them. Our worthy host might indeed have told him as I must now, however, say a word or two about much, as it was at his representation that I sup- Pope, of whom you have my opinion more at large pressed it. A new edition of that lampoon was in the unpublished letter on or to (for I forget which) preparing for the press, when Mr. Rogers repre- the editor of Black wood's Edinburgh Magazine; senied to me, that“I was not acquainted with -and here I doubt that Mr. Bowles will not apmany of the persons mentioned in it, and with prove of my sentiments. some on terms of intimacy;" and that he knew Although I regret having published English “one family in particular to whom its suppression Bards and Scotch Reviewers, the part which I would give pleasure.” I did not hesitate one mo- regret the least is that which regards Mr. Bowles ment, it was cancelled instantly; and it is no fault with reference to Pope. Whilst I was writing of mine that it has ever been republished. When that publication, in 1807 and 1808, Mr. Hobhouse I left England, in April, 1816, with no very violent was desirous that I should express our mutual opiintentions of troubling that country again, and nion of Pope, and of Mr. Bowles's edition of his amidst scenes of various kinds to distract my at- works. As i had completed my outline, and felt tention,-almost my last act, I believe, was to sign lazy, I requested that he would do so. He did it. a power of attorney, to yourself, to prevent or sup- His fourteen lines on Bowles's Pope are in the first press any attempts (of which several had been edition of English Bards and Scotch Reviewers, inade in Ireland) at a republication. It is proper and are quite as severe and much more poetical that I should state, that the persons with whom 1 than my own in the second. On reprinting the was subsequently acquainted, whose names had work, as I put my name to it, I omitted Mr. Hoboccurred in that publication, were made my ac- house's lines, and replaced them with my own, by quaintances at their own desire, or through the which the work gained less than Mr. Bowles. i unsought intervention of others. I never, 1o the have stated this in the preface to the second edition. best of my knowledge, sought a personal introduc- It is many years since I have read that poenı; but lion to any. Some of them to this day I know only the Quarterly Reviewo, Mr. Octavius Gilchrist, and by correspondence; and with one of those it was Mr. Bowles himself, have been so obliging as to liegun by myself, in consequence, however, of a refresh my memory, and that of the public. I am polile verbal communication from a third person. grieved to say, that in reading over those lines, I
I have dwelt for an instant on these circum- repent of their having so far fallen short of what I stances, because it has sometimes been made a meant to express upon the subject of Bowles's edisubject of bilter reproach to me to have endea- tion of Pope's Works. Mr. Bowles says, that voured to suppress that satire. I never slirunk, “Lord Byron knows he does not deserve this chaas those who know me know, from any personal racter.” I know no such thing. I have met Mr. consequences which could be attached to its pub- Bowles occasionally, in the best society in London; lication. Of its subsequent suppression, as I pos he appeared to me an amiable, well-informed, and sessed the copyright, I was the best judge and the extremely able man. I desire nothing better than sole master. The circumstances which occasioned to dine in company with such a mannered man every The suppression I have now stated; of the mo- day in the week: but of his character” I know lives, each must judge according to his candour or nothing personally; I can only speak to his manmalignity. Mr. Bowles does me the honour to talk ners, and these bave my warmest approbatior.
But I never judge from manners, for I once had my provided that they exist? Is Mr. Bowles aware to pocket picked by the civilest gentleman I ever met what such rummaging among "lelters" and "stowith; and one of the mildest persons I ever saw ries” might lead? I have myself seen a collection was Ali Pacha. Of Mr. Bowles's “character" 1 of letters of another eminent, nay, pre-eminent, will not do him the injustice to judge from the deceased poet, so abominably gross, and elaboedition of Pope, if he prepared it heedlessly; nor rately coarse, that I do not believe that they could be the justice, should it be otherwise, because I would paralleled in our language. What is more strange neither become a literary executioner nora personal is, that some of these are couched as postcripts 10 one. Mr. Bowles the individual, and Mr. Bowles his serious and sentimental letters, to which are the editor, appear the two most opposite things tacked either a piece of prose, or some verses, of imaginable.
the most hyperbolical indecency. He himself says,
that if “obscenity (using a much coarser word) be: "And be kimsell once -antithesis.”
the sin against the Holy Ghost, he most certainly I won't say " vile,” because it is harsh ; nor “mis
cannot be saved." These letters are in existence, taken," because it has two syllables too many: but
and have been seen by many besides myself; but every one must fill up the blank as he pleases.
would his editor have been “ candid” in even alWhat I saw of Mr. Bowles increased my surprise luding to them ? Nothing would have even proand regret that he should ever have lent his talents voked me, an indifferent spectator, to allude to to such a task. If he had been a fool, there would
them, but this further attempt at the depreciation have been some excuse for him; if he had been a
of Pope. needy or a bad man, his conduct would have been intelligible: but he is the opposite of all these; and who cited the following passage from Walpole's
What should we say to an editor of Addison, thinking and feeling as I do of Pope, to me the letters to George Montagu? “Dr. Young has whole thing is unaccountable. However, I must call things by their right names.
I cannot call bis published a new book, etc. Mr. Addison sent for edition of Pope a " candid” work; and I still think the young Earlof Warwick, as he was dying, lo show that there is an affectation of that quality not only kily he died of brandy : nothing makes a Christian
him in what peace a Christian could die; unlucin those volumes, but in the pamphlets lately pub- die in peace like being maudling! but don't say lished.
this in Gath where you are.” Suppose the editor “Why, yet ho doth deny his prisoners!"
introduced it with this preface: “One circumMr. Bowles says, that “he has seen passages in his stance is mentioned by Horace Walpole, which, if letters to Martha Blount which were never published true, was indeed flagitious. Walpole informs by me, and I hope never will be by others; which Montagu that Addison sent for the young Earl of are so gross as to imply the grossest licentious. Warwick, when dying, to show him in what peace
Is this fair play? It may, or it may not, a Christian could die; but unluckily he died be that such passages exist; and that Pope, who drunk,” etc. etc. Now, although there might ocwas not a monk, although a Catholic, may have cur on the subsequent, or on the same page, a faint occasionally sinned in word and deed with woman show of disbelief, seasoned with the expression of in his youth: but is this a sufficient ground for the "same candour"(the same exactly as throughsuch a sweeping denunciation ? Where is the un- out the book), I should say that this editor was married Englishman of a certain rank of life, who either foolish or false lo his trust; such a story (provided he has not taken orders) has not to re-ought not to have been admitted, except for one proach himself between the ages of sixteen and brief mark of crushing indignation, unless it were Thirly with far more licentiousness than has ever completely proved. Why the words “if true ?" yet been traced to Pope? Pope lived in the public that “if” is not a peace-maker. Why talk of eye from his youth upwards : "he bad all the dunces “Cibber's testimony" 10 his licentiousness? to of his own time for his enemies, and, I am sorry to what does this amount? that Pope when very young say, some, who have not the apology of dulness for was once decoyed, by some noblemen and the detraction, since his death; and yet to what do all player, to a house of carnal recreation. Mr. Bowles their accumulated hints and charges amount ?—to was not always a clergyman; and when he was a an equivocal liaison with Martha Blount, which very young man, was he never seduced into as might arise as much from his infirmities as from much ? If I were in the humour for story-telling. his passions; to a hopeless flirtation with Lady Mary and relating little anecdotes, I could tell a much W. Montagu; to a story of Cibber's; and lo two or better story of Mr. Bowles than Cibber's, upon three coarse passages in his works. Who could much better authority, viz. that of Mr. Bowles come forth clearer from an invidious inquest on himself. It was not related by him in my prea life of fifty-six years? Why are we to be offi- sence, but in that of a third person, wbom Mr. ciously reminded of such passages in his letters, Bowles names oftener than once in the course of
his replies. This gentleman related it to me as a ciples of poetry.” These Mr. Bowles and some of humorous and witty anecdote; and so it was, what his correspondents pronounce “unanswerable;" ever its other characteristics might be. But should and they are “unanswered," at least by Campbell, I, for a youthful frolic, brand Mr. Bowles with a who seems to have been astounded by the vile. "libertine sort of love," or with “licentiousness? The sultan of the time being offered to ally himself Is he the less now a pious or a good man, for not to a king of France because "he hated the word having always been a priest ? No such thing; I am league;" which proves that the Padishah underwilling to believe him a good man, almost as good stood French. Mr. Campbell has no need of my a man as Pope, but no better.
alliance, nor shall presume to offer it; but I do The truth is, that in these days the grand “pri- hale that word “invariable,” What is there of mum mobile” of England is cant; cant political, human, be it poetry, philosophy, wit, wisdom, cant poetical, cant religious, cant moral; but al-science, power, glory, mind, matter, life, or death, ways cant, multiplied through all the varieties of which is “invariable?" Of course I put things life. It is the fashion, and while it lasts will be too divine out of the question. Of all arrogant bappowerful for those who can only exist by taking the tisms of a book, this title to a pamphlet appears the lone of the time. I say cant, because it is a thing most complacently conceited. It is Mr. Campof words, without the smallest influence upon hu- bell's part to answer the contents of this performan actions; the English being no wiser, no better, mance, and especially to vindicate his own "ship,” and much poorer, and more divided amongst which Mr. Bowles most triumphantly proclaims to themselves, as well as far less moral, than they have struck to his very first fire : were before the prevalence of this verbal decorum.
"Quoth he, there was a ship; This hysterical horror of poor Pope's not very well
Now.let me go, thou grey-hair'd loon, ascertained and never fully proved amours (for even
Or my staff shall make thee skip." Cibber owns that he prevented the somewhat peri- It is no affair of mine, but having once begun (cerlous adventure in which Pope was embarking) tainly not by my own wish, but called upon by the sounds very virtuous in a controversial pamphlet; frequent recurrence to my name in the pamphlets), but all men of the world who know what life is, I am like an Irishman in a “row," "any body's or at least what it was to :hem in their youth, must customer.” I shall therefore say a word or two on laugh at such a ludicrous foundation of the charges the "ship.” of “a libertine sort of love;" while the more serious Mr. Bowles asserts that Campbell's “ship of the will look upon those who bring forward such charge line” derives all its poetry, not from “ art,” but upon an insulated fact as fanatics or hypocrites, from “nature.” “Take away the waves, the winds, perhaps both. The two are sometimes com- the sun, etc. etc. one will become a stripe of blue pounded in a happy mixture.
bunting; and the other a piece of coarse canvass Mr. Octavius Gilchrist speaks rather irreverently on three tall poles.” Very true; take away the of a “second tumbler of hot white-wine negus.” “waves,” “ the winds,” and there will be no ship What does he mean? Is there any harm in negus? at all, not only for poetical, but for any other puror is it the worse for being hot? or does Mr. Bowles pose; and take away “the sun,”and we must read drink negus? I had a better opinion of him. I Mr. Bowles's pamphlet by candle-light. But the hoped that whatever wine he drank was neat; or, at "poetry" of the “ship” does not depenil on “the least, that, like the ordinary in Jonathan Wild, waves,” etc.; on the contrary, the “ship of the “he preferr'd punch, the rather as there was no- line” confers its own poetry upon the waters, and thing against it in Scripture.” I should be sorry to heightens theirs. I do not deny, that the“ believe that Mr. Bowles was fond of negus; it is such and winds,” and above all “the sun,” are highly a “candid” liquor, so like a wishy-washy compro- poetical; we know it to our cost, by the many desmise between the passion for wine and the propriety criptions of them in verse: but if the waves bore of water. But different writers have divers tastes. only the foam upon their bosoms, if the winds Judge Blackstone composed his Commentaries wafted only the sea-weed to the shore, if the sun (he was a poet too in his youth) with a bottle of port shone neither upon pyramids, nor fleets, nor forbefore him. Addison's conversation was not good tresses, would its beams be equally poetical? I for much till he had taken a similar dose. Per-think not: the poetry is at least reciprocal. Take haps the prescription of these two great men was away “the ship of the line" "swinging round" the not inferior to the very different one of a soi-di-“calm water,” and the calm water becomes a somesant poet of this day, who, afterwandering amongst what monotonous thing to look at, particularly if the hills, returns, goes to bed, and dictates his not transparently clear; witness the thousands verses, being fed by a by-stander with bread and who pass by without looking on it at all. What butter during the operation.
was it attracted the thousands to the launch ? they I now come to Mr. Bowles's “invariable prin- might have seen the poetical “calm water” at Wap
ping, or in the “London Dock, or in the Pad- obliged to "cut and run” before the wind, from dington Canal, or in a horse-pond, or in a slop- their unsafe anchorage, some for Tenedos, some basin, or in any other vase. They might have heard for other isles, some for the main, and some, it the poetical winds howling through the chinks of might be, for eternity. The sight of these little a pigsty, or the garret window; they might have scudding vessels, darling over the foam in the twiseen the sun shining on a footman's livery, or on a light, now appearing and now disappearing between brass warming-pan; but could the “calm water," the waves in the cloud of night, with their pecu. or the “wind," or the "sun,” make all, or any of liarly white sails, (the Levant sails not being of these “poetical?” I think not. Mr. Bowles ad-“coarse canvass,” but of white cotton), skimmits “the ship” to be poetical, but only from those ming along as quickly, but less safely, than the seaaccessaries: now if they confer poetry so as to mews which · hovered over them; their evident make one thing poetical, they would make other distress, their reduction to fluttering specks in the things poetical; the more so, as Mr. Bowles calls a distance, their crowded succession, their litlleness, “ship of the line” without them,-that is to say, as contending with the giant element, which made ils masts and sails and streamers,'
,”—“blue bunl- our stout forty-four's teak timbers (she was built ing," and “coarse canvass,” and “tall poles." So in India) creak again; their aspect and their mothey are; porcelain is clay, and man is dust, and tion, all struck me as something far more "poeflesh is grass, and yet the two latter at least are the lical” than the mere broad, brawling, shipless sea, subjects of much poesy.
and the sullen winds, could possibly have been Did Mr. Bowles ever gaze upon the sea ? I pre- without them. sume that he has, at least upon a sea-piece, Did The Euxine is a noble sea to look upon, and the any painter ever paint the sea only, without the port of Constantinople the most beautiful of haraddition of a ship, boat, wreck, or some such ad-bours, and yet I cannot but think that the twenty junct? Is the sea itself a more attractive, a more sail of the line, some of one hundred and forty moral, a more poetical object, with or without a guns, rendered it more “poetical” by day in the vessel, breaking its vast but fatiguing monolony ? sun, and by night perhaps still more, for the Turks Is a storm more poetical without a ship? or, in the illuminate their vessels of war in a manner the poern of the shipwreck, is it the storm or the ship most picturesque: and yet all this is artificial. which most interests ? both much undoubtedly; As for the Euxine, I stood upon the Symplegades but without the vessel, what should we care for the -I stood by the broken altar still exposed to the tempest ? It would sink into mere descriptive winds upon one of them-I felt all the “poetry": poetry, which in itself was never esteemed a high of the situation, as I repeated the first lines of order of that art.
Medea; but would not that "poetry” have been I look upon myself as entitled to talk of naval heightened by the Argo? It was so even by the mallers, at least to poets :-with the exception of appearance of any merchant-vessel arriving from Walter Scott, Moore, and Southey, perhaps, who Odessa. But Mr. Bowles says, “Why bring your have been voyagers, I have swam more miles than ship off the stocks?” For no reason that I know exall the rest of them together now living ever sailed, cept that ships are built to be launched. The water, and have lived for months and months on ship- etc. undoubtedly HEIGHTENS the poetical associaboard; and, during the whole period of my life tions, but it does not make them; and the ship abroad, have scarcely ever passed a month out of amply repays the obligation; they aid each other; sight of the ocean : besides being brought up from the water is more poetical with the ship—the ship two years till ten on the brink of it. I recollect, less so without the water. But even a ship laid up when anchored off Cape Sigæum in 1810, in an in dock is a grand anil poetical sight. Even an old English frigate, a violent squall coming on at sun- boat, keel upwards, wrecked upon the barren sand, set, so violent as to make us imagine that the ship is a “poetical"object (and Wordsworth, who made would part cable, or drive from her anchorage. a poem about a washing-tub and a blind boy, may Mr. Hobhouse and myself, and some officers, had tell you so as well as I), whilst a long extent of sand been up the Dardanelles to Abydos, and were just and unbroken water, without the boat, would be relurned in time. The aspect of a storm in the Ar- as like dull prose as any pamphlet lately published. chipelago is as poetical as need be, the sea being What makes the poetry in the image of the particularly short, dashing, and dangerous, and the "marble waste of Tadmor," or Grainger's Ode to navigation intricate and broken by the isles and Solitude, so much admired by Johnson? Is it lhe currents. Cape Sigæum, the tumuli of the Troad,“ marble” or the “waste,” the artificial or the Lemnos, Tenedos, all added to the associations of natural object? The “waste” is like all other the time. But what seemed the most “poeticaľ wastes ; but the "marble" of Palmyra makes the of all at the moment, were the numbers (about two poetry of the passage as of the place. hundred) of Greek and Turkish craft, which were The beautiful but barren Hymeltus, the whole