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How dull ! to hear the voice of those
Whom rank or chance, whom wealth or power, Have made, though neither friends nor foes,
Associates of the festive hour. Give me again a faithful few,
In years and feelings still the same, And I will fly the midnight crew,
Where Loist'rous joy is but a name.
And woman, lovely woman ! thou,
My hope, my comforter, my all! How cold must be my bosom now,
When e'en thy smiles begin to pall !
This busy scene of splendid woe,
Which virtue knows, or seems to know,
Fain would I fly the haunts of men —
I seck to shun, not hate mankind; My breast requires the sullen glen,
Whose gloom may suit a darken'd mind. Oh ! that to me the wings were given
Which bear the turtle to her nest! Then would I cleave the vauit of heaven,
To flee away, and be at rest."
Yet it could not be love, for I knew not the name,
What passion can dwell in the heart of a child ? But still I perceive an emotion the same
As I felt, when a boy, on the crag-cover'd wild : One image alone on my bosom impress'd,
I loved my bleak regions, nor panted for new; And few were my wants, for my wishes were bless'd ; And pure were my thoughts, for my soul was with
you. I arose with the dawn; with my dog as my guide,
From mountain to mountain I bounded along; I breasted the billows of Dee's 5 rushing tide,
And heard at a distance the Highlander's song: At eve, on my heath-cover'd couch of repose,
No dreams, save of Mary, were spread to my view; And warm to the skies my devotions arose,
For the first of my prayers was-a blessing on you. I left my bleak home, and my visions are gone ;
The mountains are vanish'd, my youth is no more; As the last of my race, I must wither alone,
And delight but in days I have witness'd before : Ah! splendour has raised, but embitter'd, my lot ;
More dear were the scenes which my infancy knew: Though my hopes may have fail'd, yet they are not
forgot ; Though cold is my heart, still it lingers with you. When I see some dark hill point its crest to the sky,
I think of the rocks that o'ershadow Colbleen ; 0 When I see the soft blue of a love-speaking eye,
I think of those eyes that endear'd the rude scene; When, haply, some light-waving locks I behold,
That faintly resemble my Mary's in hue, I think on the long flowing ringlets of gold,
The locks that were sacred to beauty, and you.
WHEN I ROVED A YOUNG HIGHLANDER. When I roved a young Highlander o'er the dark
heath, And climb'd thy steep summit, oh Morven of snow !? To gaze on the torrent that thunder'd beneath,
Or the mist of the tempest that gather'd below, 3 Untutor'd by science, a stranger to fear,
And rude as the rocks where my infancy grew, No feeling, save one, to my bosom was dear ;
Need I say, my sweet Mary 4, 't was center'd in you ?
Yet the day may arrive when the mountains once more
Shall rise to my sight in their mantles of snow:7
whose notice is attracted by a fragment of glass to which a sun-beam has given momentary splendour. He hastens to the spot with breathless impatience, and finds the object of his curiosity and expectation is equally vulgar and worthless. Such is the man of quick and exalted powers of imagination. llis fancy over-estimates the object of his wishes, and pleasure, fame, distinction, are alternately pursued, attained, and despised when in his power. Like the enchanted fruit in the palace of a sorcerer, the objects of his admiration lose their attraction and value as soon as they are grasped by the adrenturer's hand, and all that remains is regret for the time lost ia the chase, and astonishment at the hallucination under which it was undertaken. The disproportion between hope and possession, which is felt by all men, is thus doubled to those whom nature has endowed with the power of gilding a distant prospect by the rays of imagination. These reflections, though trite and obvious, are in a manner forced from us by the poetry of Lord Byron, - hy the sentiments of weariness of lise and enmity with the world which they so frequently express. ... and by the singular analo, which such sentiments hold with well-known incidents of his life.-SIR W. Scott.)
I" And I said, Oh! that I had winas like a dove ; for then would I is away, and be at rest." - Psalm lv. 6. This verse also constitutes a part of the most beautiful anthem in our language.
2 Morven, a lofty mountain in Aberdeenshire. " Gormal of snow," is an expression frequently to be found in Ossian,
3 This will not appear extraordinary to those who hare been accustomed to the mountains. It is by no means un. common, on attaining the top of Ben-e-vis, Ben-y-bourd, &c. to perceire, between the summit and the valley, clouds pour. ing down rain, and occasionally accompanied by lightning, while the spectator literally looks down upon the storm, perfectly secure from its effects.
+ [In Lord Byron's Diary for 1813, he sare. -"I hare been thinking latels a good deal of Mary Dull. How very odd that I should hare been so utterly, devotedly fond of that girl, at
an age when I could neither feel passion, por know the meaning of the word. And the effect! My mother used always to rally me about this childish amour ; and, at last, many years after, when I was sixteen, she told me one day; Oh, Byron, I have had a letter from Edinburgh, from Miss Abercromby, and your old sweetheart, Mary Duff, is married to a Mr. Cockburn.' (Robert Cockburn, Esq. of Edinburgh.) And what was my answer? I cannot explain or account for my feelings at that moment ; but they nearly threw me into convulsions - to the horror of my mother, and the astonishment of every body. And it is a phenomenon in my existence (for I was not eight years old), which has puzzled, and will puzzle me to the latest hour of it.” – Again, in January, 1815, a few days after his marriage, in a letter to his friend Captain Hay, the poet thus speaks of his childish attachment:- Pray tell me more - or as much as you like, of your cousin Mary. I believe I told you our story some years ago. I was twentyseven a few days ago, and I have never seen her since we were children, and young children too; but I never forget her, nor ever can. You will oblige me with presenting her with my best respects, and all good wishes. It may seem ridicu. lous – but it is at any rate, I hope, not offensive to her por hers — in me to pretend to recollect anything about her, at so early a period of both our lives, almost, if not quite, in our nurseries ;- but it was a pleasant dream, which she must pardon me for remembering. Is she pretty still? I have the most perfect idea of her person, as a child; but Time, I suppose, has played the devil with us both."]
5 " Breasting the lofty surge.” – SHAKSPEARE. The Dee is a beautiful river, which rises near Mar Lodge, and falls into the sea at New Aberdeen.
6 Colbleen is a mountain near the verge of the Highlands, not far from the ruins of Dee Castle.
? (In the spring of 1807, on recovering from a severe illness, Lord Byron had projected a visit to Scotland. The plan was not put into execution ; but he thus adverts to it, in a letter dated in August, and addressed to his fair correspondent of
TO THE EARL OF CLARE.
“ Tu semper amoris Sis memor, et cari comitis ne abscedat imago." VAL. FLAC.
FRIEND of my youth ! when young we roved,
With friendship’s purest glow,
On mortals here below.
The recollection seems alone
When distant far from you : Though pain, 't is still a pleasing pain, To trace those days and hours again,
And sigh again, adieu !
My pensive memory lingers o'er Those scenes to be enjoy'd no more,
Those scenes regretted ever ; The measure of our youth is full, Life's evening dream is dark and dull,
And we may meet - ah! never !
As when one parent spring supplies
Together join'd in vain ;
Till mingled in the main !
Our vital streams of weal or woe,
Nor mingle as before :
And both shall quit the shore.
Our souls, my friend ! which once supplied One wish, nor brcathed a thought beside,
Now flow in different channels : Disdaining humbler rural sports, 'T is yours to mix in polish'd courts,
And shine in fashion's annals;
'Tis mine to waste on love my time, Or vent my reveries in rhyme,
Without the aid of reason ; For sense and reason (critics know it) Have quitted every amorous poet,
Nor left a thought to seize on,
Poor LITTLE! sweet, melodious bard ! Of late esteem'd it monstrous hard
That he, who sang before all, He who the lore of love expanded, By dire reviewers should be branded,
As void of wit and moral. ?
But while these soar above me, unchanged as before,
Will Mary be there to receive me ? - ah, no! Adieu, then, ye hills, where my childhood was bred !
Thou sweet flowing Dee, to thy waters adieu ! No home in the forest shall shelter my head, – Ah ! Mary, what home could be mine but with
TO GEORGE, EARL DELAWARR, 1
OH! yes, I will own we were dear to each other ; The friendships of childhood, though fleeting, are
true ; The love which you felt was the love of a brother,
Nor less the affection I cherish'd for you.
But Friendship can vary her gentle dominion ;
The attachment of years in a moment expires : Like Love, too, she moves on a swift-waving pinion,
But glows not, like Love, with unquenchable fires.
Full oft have we wander'd through Ida together,
And blest were the scenes of our youth, I allow : In the spring of our life, how serene is the weather !
But winter's rude tempests are gathering now.
No more with affection shall memory blending,
The wonted delights of our childhood retrace: When pride steels the bosom, the heart is unbending,
And what would be justice appears a disgrace.
However, dear George, for I still must esteem you—
The few whom I love I can never upbraid The chance which has lost may in future redeem
you, Repentance will cancel the vow you have made.
I will not complain, and though chill'd is affection,
With me no corroding resentment shall live : My bosom is calm'd by the simple reflection, That both may be wrong, and that both should
You knew that my soul, that my heart, my existence,
If danger demanded, were wholly your own ; You knew me unalter'd by years or by distance,
Devoted to love and to friendship alone.
You knew, - but away with the vain retrospection !
The bond of affection no longer endures ;
And sigh for the friend who was formerly yours.
For the present, we part, - I will hope not for ever;
For time and regret will restore you at last : To forget our dissension we both should endeavour,
I ask no atonement, but days like the past.
Southwell –“ On Sunday I set off for the Highlands. A friend of mine accompanies me in my carriage to Edinburgh. There we shall leave it, and proceed in a tandem through the western parts to Inverary, where we shall purchase shelties, to enable us to view places inaccessible to vehicular conveyances. On the coast we shall hire a vessel, and visit the most remarkable of the Hebrides, und, if we have time and favourable weather, inean to sail as far as Iceland, only three hundred miles from the northern extremity of Caledonia, to peep at llecla. I mean to collect all the Erse traditions, poeins, &c.
&c., and translate, or expand the subject to fill a volume, which may appear next spring, under the denomination of · The Highland Harp,' or some title equally picturesque. What would you say to some stanzas on Mount Hecla ? They would be written at least with fire."']
1 [See antè, p. 408.]
2 These stanzas were written soon after the appearance of a severe critique, in a northern review, on a new publication of the British Anacreon- (See Edinburgh Revicw, July, 1807,
And yet, while Beauty's praise is thine,
Repine not at thy lot.
And critics are forgot.
And though some trifling share of praise,
To me were doubly dear;
To prove a prophet here.
Still I must yield those worthies merit,
Bad rhymes, and those who write them;
I really will not fight them. I
Perhaps they would do quite as well
Of such a young beginner.
A very harden'd sinner.
LINES WRITTEN BENEATH AN ELM IN THE
CHURCHYARD OF HARROW. 3 Srot of my youth! whose hoary branches sigh, Swept by the breeze that fans thy cloudless sky; Where now alone I muse, who oft have trod, With those I loved, thy soft and verdant sod; With those who, scatter'd far, perchance deplore, Like me, the happy scenes they knew before : Oh! as I trace again thy winding hill, Mine eyes admire, my heart adores thec still, Thou drooping Elm! beneath whose boughs I lay, And frequent mused the twilight hours away ; Where, as they once were wont, my limbs recline, But, ah! without the thoughts which then were
mine : How do thy branches, moaning to the blast, Invite the bosom to recall the past, And seem to whisper, as they gently swell, “ Take, while thou canst, a lingering, last farewell !"
Now, Clare, I must return to you;
Accept, then, my concession.
My muse admires digression.
I think I said 't would be your fate' To add one star to royal state;
May regal smiles attend you ! And should a noble monarch reign, You will not seek his smiles in vain,
If worth can recommend you.
Yet since in danger courts abound,
From snares may saints preserve you; And grant your love or friendship ne'er From any claim a kindred care,
But those who best deserve you !
When fate shall chill, at length, this fever'd breast And calm its cares and passions into rest, Oft have I thought, 't would soothe my dying hour,If aught may soothe when life resigns her power, To know some humbler grave, some narrow cell, Would hide my bosom where it loved to dwell ; With this fond dream, methinks, 't were sweet to
die And here it linger'd, here my heart might lie; Here might I sleep where all my hopes arose, Scene of my youth, and couch of my repose ; For ever stretch'd beneath this mantling shade, Press'd by the turf where once my childhood play'd; Wrapt by the soil that veils the spot I loved, Mix'd with the earth o'er which my footsteps moved ; Blest by the tongues that charm’d my youthful ear, Mourn'd by the few my soul acknowledged here; Deplored by those in early days allied, And unremember'd by the world beside.
September 2. 1807.
Not for a moment may you stray From truth's secure, unerring way!
May no delights decoy! O'er roses may your footsteps move, Your smiles be ever smiles of love,
Your tears be tears of joy !
Oh! if you wish that happiness
And virtues crown your brow;
Be still as you are now. ?
[The “ Lines written beneath an Elm at Harrow," were the last in the little volume printed at Newark in 1807. The reader is referred to Mr. Moore's Notices, for various interesting particulars respecting the impression produced on Lord Byron's mind by the celebrated Critique of his juvenile
article on “ Epistles, Odes, and other Poems, by Thomas Little, Esq.")
1 A bard (horresco referens) defied his reviewer to mortal combat. If this example becomes preralent, our periodical censors must be dipped in the river Styx: for what else can secure them from the numerous host of their enraged assailants ?
: [or all I have ever known, Clare has always been the leasi altered in erery thing from the excellent qualities and kind atfections which attached me to hiin so strongly at school. I should hardly have thought it possible for society (or the world, as it is called) to leave a being with so little of
the leaven of bad passions. I do not speak from personal experience only, but from all I have ever heard of him from others, during absence and distance." - Byron Diary, 1821.)
3 [On losing his natural daughter, Allegra, in April, 1822, Lord Byron sent her remains to be buried at Harrow, “where," he says, in a letter to Mr. Murray, " I once hoped to have laid my own." " There is," he adds, "a spot in the church-yard, near the footpath, on the brow of the hill looking towards Windsor, and a tomb under a large tree (bearing the name of Peachie, or Peachey), where I used to sit for hours and hours when a boy. This was my favourite spot ; but as I wish to erect a tablet to her memory, the body had better be deposited in the church;” - and it was so accordingly.]
performances, put forth in the Edinburgh Review,-a jour. “That fame, and that memory, still will he cherish; nal which, at that time, possessed nearly undivided influence
He vows that he ne'er will disgrace your renown; and authority. The Poet's diaries and letters afford evidence
Like you will he live, or like you will he perish;
When decay'd, may he mingle his dust with your own." that, in his latter days, he considered this piece as the work of Mr. (now Lord) Brougham ; but on what grounds he had Now, we positively do assert, that there is nothing better come to that conclusion he no where mentions. Il forms, than these stanzas in the whole compass of the noble minor's
volume. however, from whatever pen it may have proceeded, so im
Lord Byron should also have a care of attempting what the portant a link in Lord Byron's literary history, that we
greatest poets have done before him, for comparisons (as he insert it at length.]
must have had occasion to see at his writing-master's) are odious. Gray's Ode on Eton College should really have kept
out the ten hobbling stanzas "On a distant View of the vil. ARTICLE FROM THE EDINBURGII REVIEW,
lage and School of (larrow.' FOR JANUARY, 1803.
“Where fancy yet joys to retrace the resemblance Hours of Idleness ; Series of Poems, original and trans
Of comrades, in friendship and mischief allied, lated. By George Gordon, Lord Byron, a Minor. 8vo. How welcome to me your ne'er-fading remembrance, pp. 205. Newark, 1807.
Which rests in the bosom, though hope is denied.” The poesy of this young lord belongs to the class which nei. In like manner, the exquisite lines of Mr. Rogers, “ Cna ther gods nor men are said to permit. Indeed, we do not Tear," might have warned the noble author off those prerecollect to have seen a quantity of verse with so few devi. mises, and spared us a whole dozen such stanzas as the fol. ations in either direction from that exact standard. His effu. lowing:sions are spread over a dead Aat, and can no more get above or below the level, than if they were so much stagnant water.
“ Mild Charity's glow, to us mortals below, As an extenuation of this offence, the noble author is pecu
Shows the soul from barbarity clear ; liariş forward in pleading minority. We have it in the title- Compassion will meit where this virtue is selt, page, and on the very back of the volume; it follows his name
And its dew is diffused in a Tear. like a favourite part of his style. Much stress is laid upon it in the preface; and the poems are connected with this general
“The man doom'd to sail with the blast of the gale, statement of his case, by particular dates, substantiating the
Through billows Atlantic to steer,
As he bends o'er the wave, which may soon be his grave, age at which each was written. Now, the law upon the point of minority we hold to be perfectly clear. It is a plea avail
The green sparkles bright with a Tear." able only to the defendant; no plaintiff can offer it as a
And so of instances in which former poets have failed. Thus supplementary ground of action. Thus, if any suit could be brought against Lord Byron, for the purpose of compelling
we do not think Lord Byron was made for translating, during him to put into court à certain quantity of poetry, and if
his nonage, " Adrian's Address to his Soul,” when Pope sucjudgment were given against him, it is highly probable that
ceeded so indifferently in the attempt. If our readers, howan exception would be taken, were he to deliver for poetry
cver, are of another opinion, they may look at it. the contents of this volume. To this he might plead minority;
“Ah! gentle, Aeeting, wavering sprite, but, as he now makes voluntary tender of the article, he hath
Friend and associate of this clay! no right to sue, on that ground, for the price in good current
To what unknown region borne praise, should the goods be unmarketable. This is our view
Wilt thou now wing thy distant flight ? of the law on the point ; and, we dare to say, so will it be
No more with wonted humour gay, ruled. Perhaps, however, in reality, all that he tells us about
But pallid, cheerless, and forlorn." his youth is rather with a view to increase our wonder than to soften our censures. He possibly means to say, " See how However, be this as it may, we fear his translations and a minor can write ! This poem was actually composed by a imitations are great favourites with Lord Byron. We have young man of eighteen, and this by one of only sixteen!” them of all kinds, from Anacreon to Ossian ; and, viewing But, alas! we all remember the poetry of Cowley at ten, them as school exercises, they may pass. Only, why print and Pope at twelve ; and so far from hearing, with any degree them after they have had their day and served their turn ? of surprise, that very poor verses were written by a youth And why call the thing in p.79. (see p. 380.) a translation, where from his leaving school to his leaving college, inclusive, we two words (3w.caryuv) of the original are expanded into four really believe this to be the most common of all occurrences ; lines, and the other thing in p. 81. (see ibid.) where utovuXTIRIS that it happens in the life of nine men in ten who are edu
Toll ngaus is rendered by means of six hobbling verses ? As cated in England ; and that the tenth man writes better verse to his 'Ossianic poesy, we are not very good judges, being in than Lord Byron.
truth, so moderately skilled in that species of composition, His other plea of privilege our author rather brings for. that we should, in all probability, be criticising some bit of ward in order to waive it. He certainly, however, does allude the genuine Macpherson itself, were we to express our frequently to his family and ancestors - sometimes in poetry, opinion of Lord Byron's rhapsodies. If, then, the following sometimes in notes ; and, while giving up his claim on the
beginning of a " Song of Bards" is by his lordship, we venture score of rank, he takes care to remember us of Dr. Johnson's
to object to it, as far as we can comprehend it. " What form saying, that when a nobleman appears as an author, his merit rises on the roar of clouds ? whose dark ghost gleams on the should be handsomely acknowledged. In truth, it is this red stream of tempests ? His voice rolls on the thunder ; consideration only that induces us to give Lord Byrun's poems 't is Orla, the brown chief of Oithona. He was," &c. After a place in our review, beside our desire to counsel him, that detaining this “brown chief" some time, the hards conclude he do forth with abandon poetry, and turn his talents, which
by giving him their advice to "raise his fair locks;" then to are considerable, and his opportunities, which are great, to
" spread them on the arch of the rainbow;" and "to smile better account.
through the tears of the storm.” Or this kind of thing there With this view, we must beg leave seriously to assure him,
are no less than nine pages ; and we can so far venture an that the mere rhyrning of the final syllable, even when ac- opinion in their favour, that they look very like Macpherson ; companied by the presence of a certain number of feet, - nay,
and we are positive they are pretty nearly as stupid and tirealthough (which does not always happen) those feet should
some. scan regularly, and have been all counted accurately upon the
It is a sort of privilege of poets to be egotists; but they fingers, - is not the whole art of poetry. We would entreat should " use it as not abusing it;" and particularly one who him to believe, that a certain portion of liveliness, somewhat piques himself (though indeed at the ripe age of nineteen) on of fancy, is necessary to constitute a poem, and that a poem being " an infant bard," -(" The 'artless Helicon I boast is in the present day, to be read, must contain at least one youth") - should either not know, or should seem not to thoughi, either in a little degree different from the ideas of know, so much about his own ancestry. Besides a poem above former writers, or differently expressed. We put it to his cited, on the family seat of the Byrons, we have another of candour, whether there is any thing so deserving the name eleven pages, on the self-same subject, introduced with an of poetry in verses like the following, written in 1806; and
apology; "he certainly had no intention of inserting it," but whether, if a youth of eighteen could say any thing so un
really " the particular request of some friends," &c. &c. It interesting to his ancestors, a youth of ninetcen should pub- concludes with five stanzas on himself, “ the last and youngest lish it:
of a noble line." There is a good deal also about his mater. “ Shades of herocs, farewell ! your descendant, departing nal ancestors, in a poem on Lachin y Gair, a mountain where From the seat of his ancestors, bids you adieu !
he spent part of his youth, and might have learnt that pibroch Abroad or at home, your remembrance imparting
is not a bagpipe, any more than duet means a fiddle. New courage, he'll think upon glory and you.
As the author has dedicated so large a part of his volume to
immortalise his employments at school and college, we can"Though a tear dim his eye at this sad separation,
not possibly dismiss it without presenting the reader with a 'Tis nature, not fear, that excites his regret:
specimen of these ingenious ethisions. In an ode with a Greek Far distant he goes, with the same emulation;
motto, called Granta, we have the following magnificent The fame of his fathers he ne'er can forget.
“There, in apartments small and damp,
poets ; and “though he once roved a careless mountaineer The candidate for college prizes
in the Highlands of Scotland," he has not of late enjoyed this Sits poring by the midnight lamp,
advantage. Moreover, he expects no profit from his publicGoes late to bed, yet early rises.
ation ; and, whether it succeeds or not, “it is highly impro“Who reads false quantities in Sele,
bable, from his situation and pursuits hereafter, that he Or puzzles o'er the deep triangle,
should again condescend to become an author. Therefore,
let us take what we get, and be thankful. What right have Deprired of many a wholesome meal,
we poor devils to be nice? We are well off to have got so In barbarous Latin doond to wrangle:
much from a man of this lord's station, who does not live in “Renouncing erery pleasing page,
a garret, but “has the sway" of Newstead Ables. Again, we From authors of historic use,
say, let us be thankful; and, with honest Sancho, bid God Preferring to the letter'd sage,
bless the giver, nor look the gift horse in the mouth. .
(The Monthly Reviewers, in those days the next in cir. Compared with other recreations,
culation to the Edinburgh, gave a much more farourable Which bring together the imprudent."
notice of the - Hours or Idleness." " These compositions, We are sorry to hear so bad an account of the college with an occasional mixture of satire: and they display both
(said they) are generally of a plaintive or an anatory cast, psalmody as is contained in the following Attic stanzas : ease and strength - both pathos and fire. It will be expected “Our choir would scarcely be excused
that marks of juvenility and of haste should be discovered in Even as a band ot raw beginners ;
these productions; and we seriously advise our young band to All mercy now must be refused
fulfil with submissive perseverance the duties of revision and To such a set of croaking sinners.
correction. We discern, in Lord Byron, a degree of mental
power, and a turn of mental disposition, which render us " If David, when his toils were ended,
solicitous that both should be well cultivated and wisely diHad heard these blockheads sing before him, rected, in his career of life. He has received talents, and is To us his psalıns had ne'er descended :
accountable for the use of them. We trust that he will reader In furious mood he would have tore 'em!" them beneticial to man, and a source of real gratification to
himself in declining age. Then may he properly exclaim with But, whatever judgment may be passed on the poems of the Roman orator, non lubet mihi deplorare vitam, quod this noble minor, it seems we must take them as we find them, multi, et ii docti, sæpe fecerunt ; neque me vixisse pænitet : and be content ; for they are the last we shall crer have from quoniam ita vixi, ut non frustra me natur existimem'". him. He is, at best, he says, but an intruder into the groves Lord Byron repaid the Edinburgh Critique with a satireof Parnassus : he never lived in a garret, like thorough-bred and became himself a Monthly Reviewer.)"
English Bards and Scotch Reviewers :
“ I had rather be a kitten, and cry mew!
Than one of these same metre ballad-mongers." - SHAKSPEARE. " Such shameless bards we have ; and yet 't is true,
There are as mad, abandon'd critics too." — Pope.
PREFACE. All my friends, learned and unlearned, have urged me not to publish this Satire with my name.
If I were to be “ turned from the career of my humour by quibbles quick, and paper bullets of the brain," I should have complied with their counsel. But I am not to be terrified by abuse, or bullied by reviewers, with or without arms. I can safely say that I have attacked none personally, who did not commence on the offensive. An author's works are public property: he who purchases may judge, and publish his opinion if he pleases; and the authors I have endeavoured to commemorate may do by me
"[The first edition of this satire, which then begin with what is now the ninety-seventh line (" Time was, cre yet," &c.!, appeared in March, 1809. A second, to which the author prefixed his name, followed in October of that year ; and a third and fourth were called for during his first pilgrimage, in 1810 and 1811. On his return to England, a fifth edition was prepared for the press by himself, with considerable care, but suppressed, and, except one copy, destroyed, when on the eve of publication. The text is now printed from the copy that escaped ; on casually meeting with which, in 1816, he re. perused the whole, and wrote on the margin some annotations, which also we shall preserve, - distinguishing them, hy the insertion of their date, from those artixed to the prior editions.
as I have done by them. I dare say they will suc. ceed better in condemning my scribblings, than in mending their own. But my object is not to prove that I can write well, but, if possible, to make others write better.
As the poem has met with far more success than I expected, I have endeavoured in this edition to make some additions and alterations, to render it more worthy of public perusal.
In the first edition of this satire, published anonymously, fourteen lines on the subject of Bowles's Pope were written by, and inserted at the request of, an ingenious friend of mines, who has now in the press a volume of poetry. In the present edition
The first of these MS. notes of 1816 appears on the fly-leaf, and runs thus:-“ The binding of this volume is considerably too valuable for the contents ; and nothing but the consider. ation of its being the property of another, prevents me from consigning this miserable record of misplaced anger and indiscriminate acrimony to the flames."]
? This preface was written for the second edition, and printed with it. The noble author had left this country previous to the publication of that edition, and is not yet returned. — Note to the fourth edition, 1811. -[“ He is, and gone again." -- Lord B. 1816.]
3 [Mr. Hobhouse. See post, p. 426, note.]