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At first none deem'd it his; but when his name
As pictures, so shall poems be; some stand
Parnassian pilgrims! ye whom chance or choice
Quern bit torque bouum cum risu miror; et Idem
I t pictura, poesis: erlt quae, si propius stes,
> [Here, in the original MS., we find the following couplet and nute: —
"Though what' Gods, men, and columns' interdict,
"The Devil and Jeffrey are here placed antithetically to gods and men, such being their usual position, and their due one — according to the facetious saying, ' If God won't take you, the Devil must;' and I am sure no one durst object to his taking the poetry which, rejected by Horace, Is accepted by Jeffrey. That these gentlemen are in some cases kinder, — the one to countrymen, and the other from his odd propensity to prefer evil to good, — than the * gods, men, and columns' of Horace, may be seen by a reference to the review of Campbell's ' Gertrude of Wyoming;' and in No. 31. of the Edinburgh Review (given to me the other day by the captain of an English frigate off Salamis), there is a similar concession to the mediocrity of Jamie Graham's 'British Georgics.' It is fortunate for Campbell, that his fame neither depends on'hts last poem, nor the puff of the Edinburgh Review. The catalogues of our English are also less fastidious than the pillars of the Roman librarians—A word more with the author of' Gertrude of Wyoming.' At the end of a poem, and even of a couplet, we have generally 'that unmeaning thing we call a thought;' so Mr. Campbell concludes with a thought in such a manner as to fulfil the whole of Pope's prescription, and be as 1 unmeaning' as the best of his brethren: —
'Because I may not statn with grief
When I was In the fifth form, I carried to my master the translation of a chorus in Prometheus, wherein was a pestilent expression about' staining a voice,' which met with no quarter. Little did I think that Mr. Campbell would have adopted my fifth form ' sublime'—at least in so conspicuous a situation. * Sorrow' has been 'dry*- (in proverbs), and 'wet' (in sonnets), this many a day; and now it * stain*,' and stains a sound, of all feasible things I To be sure, deathsongs might have been stained with that same grief to very good purpose, if Outalissl had clapped down his stanzas on wholesome paper for the Edinburgh Evening Post, or any other given hyperborean gazette; or if the said Outalissl had been troubled with the slightest second sight of his own notes embodied on the last proof of an overcharged quarto: but as he is supposed to have been an improvisatore on this occasion, and probably to the last tune he ever chanted in this world, it would have done him no discredit to have made his exit with a mouthful of common sense. Talking of' staining' (as Caleb Quotem says) * puts me in mind' of a certain
Again, my Jeffrey ! — as that sound inspires,
If unprovoked thou once could bid me bleed,
0 major juvenum, quamvis et voce paterna
Sed tamen In pretio est: mediocribus esse poetls
couplet, which Mr. Campbell will find in a writer for wboca he, and his school, have no small contempt; —
1 E'en copious Dryden wanted, or forgot.
The last and greatest art — the art to Mot!' "]
a To the Eclectic or Christian Reviewers I hare to return thanks for the fervour of that charity which, in 1809, induced them to express a hope that a thing then published by Dm might lead to certain consequences, which, although natural enough, surely came but rashly from reverend lips. I resVr them to their own pages, where they co selves on the prospect of a tilt between Mr. from which some great good was to both were knocked on the head. Having survived two years and a half those " Elegies" which they were kindly preparing to review, I have no peculiar gusto to give then "so joyful a trouble," except, Indeed, " upon compulsioc, Hal;" but, If, as David says In the " Rivals, it should come to " bloody sword and gun fighting," we ** won't run, will we, Sir Lucius?" 1 do not know what I had done to these Eclectic gentlemen : my works are their lawful perquisite, to be hewn In pieces like Agag, if it seem meet unto them : be: why they should be in such a hurry to kill off their author. I am ignorant. "The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong:" and now, as these Christians hare "smote me on one cheek," I hold them up the other; and. in return for their good wishes, give them aa opportunity of repeating them. Had any other set of men expressed seek sentiments, I should have smiled, and left them to the ** recording angel;" but from the pharisees of Chrutfanirr decency might be expected. I can assure these brethren, that, publican and sinner aa I am, I would not have treated "mine enemy's dog thus." To show them the superiority of my brotherly love, if ever the Reverend Messrs. Sraseoc or Ramsden should be engaged in such a conflict as that hi which they requested me to fall, I hope they mav escape +i& being " winged " only, and that Heaviside may be at hind to
extract the ball [The following Is the charitable pas*a*7
in the Eclectic Review of which Lord Byron speaks:—** If the noble lord and the learned advocate have the course* requisite to sustain their mutual Insults, we shall prcbaSty soon hear the explosions of another kind of MDCJ>war, aftpr the fashion of the ever memorable duel which the latter is
Jeffrry and myself.
Hast thou no wrath, or wish to give it vent?
No wit for nobles, dunces by descent?
No jest on " minors," quibbles on a name,'
Nor one facetious paragraph of blame?
Is it for this on Ilion I have stood,
And thought of Homer less than Holy rood
On shore of Euxine or -Egcan sea
My hate, untravell'd, fondly turn'd to thee.
Ah! let me cease; in vain my bosom bums,
From Corydon unkind Alexis turns: 3
Thy rhymes are vain; thy Jeffrey then forego
Nor woo that anger which he will not show.
What then ?—Edina starves some lanker son,
To write an article thou canst not shun;
Some less fastidious Scotchman shall be found,
As bold in Billingsgate, though less renown'd.
As if at table some discordant dish Should shock our optics, such as frogs for fish; As oil in lieu of butter men decry, And poppies please not in a modern pie; If all such mixtures then be half a crime, We must have excellence to relish rhyme. Mere roast and hoi I'd no epicure invites; Thus poetry disgusts, or else delights.
Who shoot not flying rarely touch a gun: Will he who swims not to the river run?
TJt grata* inter mensas symphonia disenrs,
Et crassum unguentum, et Sardo cum melle papaver
Offendunt. poterat duel quia ccena sine istis;
Sic animls natum inventumque pocma juvandis,
Si paulum a summo deenasit, vergit ad imura.
Ludere qui nescit, campestribus abuinet armis, Indoctusque pilfe, discive, trochive, quiescit, N'e spUsae risum to 11 ant impune corona?: Qui nescit, versus tamen audet fingere ! — Quidni t Liber et ingenuus praesertlm census equestrem
[See the memorable critique of the Edinburgh Review on ** Hoars of Idleness," ante, p. 419.] 9 Invenies alium, si te hie fastidtt Alexin. s [Lord Byron's taste for boxing brought him acquainted, at an early period, with this distinguished, and, it is not too much to say, respected, professor of the art; for whom, throughout life, he continued to entertain a sincere regard, la a note to the eleventh canto of Don Juan, he rails him P his old friend, and corporeal pastor and master."]
* Mr. Souther has lately tied another canister to his tail in toe " Curse of tvehama," maugre the neglect of Madoc, Ac, and has in one instance had a wonderful effect. A literary friend of mine, walking out one lovely evening last summer, oo the eleventh bridge of the Paddington canal, was alarmed by the cry of *' one in jeopardy:" he rushed along, collected a body of Irish haymakers (supping on butter-milk in an adjacent paddock), procured three rakes, one eel-spear, and a landing-net, and at last (horresco referens) pulled out — his publisher. The unfortunate man was gone for ever, so was a large quarto wherewith he had taken the leap, proved, on inquiry, to have been Mr. Southey's last Its "alacrity of sinking" was so great, that it has since been heard of; though some maintain that it is moment concealed at Alderman Birch's pastry prcCornhill. Be this as it may, the coroner's inquest t in a verdict of" Felo de bibliopola " against a "quarto and circumstantial evidence being since strong the " Curse of Kehama" (of which the above words exact description), it will be tried by its peers next
in Grub-street Arthur. Alfred, Davideis, Kichard
Lion, Exodui, Exodio, Epigoniad, Calvary, Fall of Siege of Acre, Don Roderick, and Tom Thumb are the names of the twelve jurors. The judges towles, and the bellman of St. Sepulchre's. The advocates, pro and con, will be employed as arc now in Sir Francis Burdett's celebrated cause in the courts. The public anxiously await the result, and
all live publishers will be subpoenaed as witnesses But
Mr. Souther ha» published the " Curse of Kehama," — an f title to quibblers. By the bye, it is a good deal i Scott and Campbell, and not much above Sou they, * the booby BaUantyne to entitle them, in the Edin
Such things, we know, are neither rtch nor rare, But wonder how the devil he came there." The trio are well defined in the sixth proposition of Euclid: "Because, in the triangles D B C, A C B, D B is equid to A C, and B C common to both ; the two sides D B, B C, are equal to the two A C, C B, each to each, and the angle D B C is equal to the angle A C B: therefore, the base D C is equal to the base AB, and the triangle DBC (Mr. Southey) is equal to the triangle A C B, the less to the greater, which is absurd," &c—The editor of the Edinburgh Register will find the rest of the theorem hard by his stabling; he has only to cross the river; 'tis the first turnpike t'other side *' Pons Asinorum."*
* Voltaire's " Pucellc" isnot quite so immaculate as Mr. Southey's '* Joan of Arc," and yet I am afraid the Frenchman has both more truth and poetry too on his side —(thev rarely go together)—than our patriotic minstrel, whose firs't essay was in praise of a fanatical French strumpet, whose title of witch would be correct with the change of the first letter. B
« Like Sir Bland Burges's " Richard ; '* the tenth book of which I read at Malta, on a trunk of Eyre's, 19, Cockspurstreet. If this be doubted, I shall buy a portmanteau to quote
* This Latin has sorely puzzled the University of Edinburgh. BaUantyne said it meant the ** Bridge of Berwick," but Southey claimed it as half English; Scott swore it was the " Brig o' Stirling ;" he had just passed two King James's and a dozen Douglases over it. At last it was decided by Jeffrey, that it meant nothing more nor less than the " counter of Archy Constable's 6bop.
And men unpractised In exchanging knocks
Must to Jackson3 ere they dare to box.
Whate'er the weapon, cudgel, fist, or foil,
None reach expertness without years of toll;
But fifty dunces can, with perfect ease,
Tag twenty thousand couplets, when they please. | Why not ? —shall I, thus qualified to Bit , For rotten boroughs, never show my wit?
Shall I, whose fathers with the quorum ute|
And lived in freedom on a fair estate; \ Who left me heir, with stables, kennels, packs, j To all their income, and to — twice its tax;
Whose form and pedigree have scarce a fault,
Shall I, I say, suppress my attic salt?
Thus think " the mob of gentlemen ; " but you,
Burn all your last three works—and half the next.
Summam nummorum, vltioque rcmotus ab omni.
Tu nihil invita dices f.iclesve Minerva i
Id tlbl judicium est, ea mens; si quid tamen ollm
Scrlpseris, in Metii descendat judicis aurcs.
Ft patrls, et nostras, nouutnquc prcmatur In annum,
Membranis intus positls. Delere liccblt
(juod non edideris; nescit Tox missa revert!.
Sylvestres homines sneer intcrpretque deoruin
burgh Annual Register (of which, by the bye, Southey fs
Orpheus, we learn from Ovid and Lempriere,
Next rose the martial Homer, Epic's prince,
When oracles prcvail'd, in times of old,
The Muse, like mortal females, may be woo'd;
If verse be studied with some show of art,
Plctufi et Amphion, Thebaiue conditor arcis,
1 [.Lord Byron had originally written —
•' As lame as 1 am, but a better bard." The reader of Mr. Moore's Kotiees will appreciate the feeling which, no doubt, influenced Lord Byron B alteration of the manuscript line.]
3 [The red hand of Ulster, introduced generally in a canton, marks the shield of a baronet of the United Kingdom.]
s [" Pollio." — In the original MS. " Rogers."]
4 " Turn quoque marmorea caput a cervice revulsuro,
Gurgite cum medio portans (Eagrius Hebrus,
Oeorgtc. iv. 523.
* 1 beg Nathaniel's pardon: he is not a cobbler; if is a tailor, but begged Capel Lofft to sink the profession in his
preface to two pair of panta psha I — of cantos, which he
wished the public to try on ; but the sieve of a patron let it out, and so far saved the expense of an advertisement to his
Though without genius, and a native vein
The youth who trains to ride, or run a race,
Sit tibi Musa 1 > i .v solent, et cantor Apollo.
Natura fieret laudabiie cabmen, an arte,
some education, and no profession; but these Arcadscas (" Arcades ambo " — bumpkins botil) send out their native nonsense without the smallest alloy, and leave all the shoes and smallclothes in tho parish unrepaired, to patch up Elegies on Enclosures and Paeans to Gunpowder. Sitting on a shopboard, they describe fields of battle, when the only blood they ever saw was shed from the finger ; and an" Essay oa War " is produced by the ninth part of a " poet."
"And own that nine such poets made a Tate."
Did Nathan ever read that line of Pope? and if he did, wby not take it as his motto ?— [See ante, p. 432. note.]
* This well meaning gentleman has spoiled s shoemakers, and been accessory to the | many of the industrious poor. Nathan his brother Bobby have set all Somersetshire i has the malady confined itself to one county, (who once was wiser) has caught the contagion of p and decoyed a poor fellow named Blackest into poetry; he died during the operation, leaving one child and two lumes of *' Remains utterly destitute. The girl. If don't take a poetical twist, and come forth as a shoe-nukjrt^: Sappho, may do well; but the M tragedies" are as rlctecry as it they had been the offspring of an Earl or a Seatosaiacx
There lives one druid, who prepares in time, '*Gain3t future feuds his poor revenge of rhyme j
Raeki his dull memory, and his duller muse,
■ ■ - - ■ SI cumins coniles,
prize poet. The patrons of this poor lad are certainly answerable for his end; and it ought to be an indictable offence. But this is the least they have done: for, by a refinement of barbarity, they hare made the (late) man posthumously ridiculous, by printing what he would have had sense enough J Deter to print himself. Certes these rakers of " Remains" come under the statute against " resurrection men." What does it signify whether a poor dear dead dunce is to be stuck m> m Surgeons' or in Stationers' Hail? Is it so bad to unearth his bones as his blunders? Is it not better to gibbet his body oo a heath, than his soul in an octavo ?" We know what we Are, but we know not what we may be ;" and it is to be hoped we never shall know, If a man who has passed through life I with a sort of eclat, is to find himself a mountebank on the j other side of Styx, and made, like poor Joe Blackett, the , laughing-stock of purgatory. The plea of publication is to provide for the child; now, might not some of this " Sutor ultra Crepidam's " friends and seducers have done a decent action without inveigling Pratt into biography? And then bis inscription split into so many modicums I — " To the Duchess of Somuch, the Right Hon. So-and-So, and Mrs. and Miss Somebody, these volumes are, &c. &c." — why, this is doling out the " soft milk of dedication " in gills,— there Is but a quart, and he divides it among a dozen. Why, Pratt, hadst thou not a puff left? Dost thou think six families of distinction can share this in quiet? There is a child, a book, and a dedication: send the girl to her grace, the volumes to the grocer, and the dedication to the devil [See
ante, p. 432.]
I t [In the original MS
i ** Some rhyming peer—Carlisle or Carysfort."
i J To which is subjoined this note:—" Of 'John Joshua, Karl of
II Carysfort' 1 know nothing at present, but from an advertisement in an old newspaper of certain Poems and Tragedies by
I his Lordship, which I taw by accident in the Morea. Being a rhymer himself, he will forgive the liberty I take with his
i l name, seeing, as he must, how very commodious it is at the
II close of that couplet; and as for what follows and goes before, let him place it to the account of the other Thane;
I, since I cannot, under these circumstances, augur pro or con
Give light to passages too much in shade,
Nor let a doubt obscure one verse you *ve made;
Your friend's " a Johnson," not to leave one word,
However trifling, which may seem absurd;
Such erring trifles lead to serious ills,
And furnish food for criticsI, or their quills.
As the Scotch flddle, with its touching tune,
Ornamenta; parum claris lucem dare coget;
I t mala quern scabies aut.morbus regius urguct,
1 "A crust for the critics."—Baycs, in the " Rehearsal."
s And tho "waiters" are the only fortunate people who can " fly" from them; all the rest, viz. the sad subscribers to the "Literary Fund," being compelled, by courtesy, to sit out the recitation without a hope of exclaiming, " Sic" (that Is, by choking Fiti with bad wine, or worse poetry) " me servavit Apollo I"
3 [" Fitz scribble," originally "Fitzgerald." See ante* p. 421.]
4 On his table were found these words . "What Cato didi and Addison approved, cannot be wrong." But Addison did not" approve; and if he had, it would not have mended the matter. He had invited his daughter on the same waterparty; but Miss Budgell, by some accident, escaped this last paternal attention.' Thus fell the sycophant of " Atticus," and the enemy of Pope !—[Eustace Budgell, a friend and relative of Addison's, " leapt into the Thames " to escape a
firosccution, on account of forging the will of Dr. Tindal; n which Eustace had provided himself with a legacy of two thousand pounds. To this Pope alludes —
"Let Budgell charge low Grub-street on my quill.
9 [" We talked (says Boswell) ofa man's drowning himself. — Johnson. * I should never think it time to make away with myself.' I put the case of Eustace Budgell, who was accused of forging a will, and sunk himself in the Thames, before the trial of its authenticity came on. 4 Suppose, Sir,' said I, 'that a man is absolutely sure that, if he lives a few days longer, he shall be detected in a fraud, the consequence of which will be utter disgrace, and oxpulsion from society.'
Budgell, a rogue and rhymester, for no good,
And, sooth to say, mad poets must not lose
Nor is it certain that some sorts of verse
Serrari nollt? Dlcam: SIcullque poets
Johnson. 'Then, Sir, let him go abroad to a distant country; let him go to some place where he is not known. Don't fat him go to the devil, where he i,> known.* "—Se* voL It. p. 50. ed. 1836.]
6 If "dosed with," &c. be censured as low, I bet refer to the original for somethiug still lower; and If any reader will translate "Minxerit in patrios cioeres," &e. into a decent couplet, I will Insert said couplet in lieu of the present.
? [In tracing the fortunes of men, It Is not a little-curious to observe, how often the course of a whole life has depended on one single step. Had Lord Byron persisted in his original purpose of giving this poem to the press. Instead of Chflde Harold, It is more than probable that he would have been lost, as a great poet, to the world. Inferior as this Paraphrase is, in every respect, to his former Satire, and, in some places, erea descending below the level of under-graduate versifiers, its failure, there can be little doubt, would have and signal;—his former assailants would have r advantage over him, and either, in the bitterness of his mortification, he would have flung Childe Harold Into the fire . or, had he summoned up sufficient confidence to publish that poem, its reception, even if sufficient to retrieve him in the eyes of the public and his own, could never have, at all, resembled that explosion of success, — that instantaneous and universal acclaim of admiration, into which, coming, as it were, fresh from the land of song, he surprised the world, and in the midst of which he was borne, buoyant and selfassured, along, through a succession of new triumphs, each more splendid than the last. Happily, the better judgment of his friends averted such a risk. — Moore.]