Изображения страниц

Think'st thou to gain thy verse a higher place,
By dressing Camoëns 1 in a suit of lace ?
Mend, Strangtord ! mend thy morals and thy taste ;
Be warm, but pure; be amorous, but be chaste:
Cease to deceive ; thy pilfer'd harp restore,
Nor teach the Lusian bard to copy Moore.

Behold! – ye tarts! one moment spare the textHayley's last work, and worst- until his next; Whether he spin poor couplets into plays, Or damn the dealt with purgatorial praise, His style in youca or age is still the same, For ever feeble and for ever tame. Triumphant first see “ Temper's Triumphs" shine! At least I'm sure they triumph'd over mine. Of “ Music's Triumphs," all who read may swear, That luckless music never triumph'd there. ?

And art thou not their prince, harmonious Bowles i
Thou first, great oracle of tender souls ?
Whether thou sing'st with equal ease, and grief,
The fall of empires, or a yellow leaf ;
Whether thy muse most lamentably tells
What merry sounds proceed from Oxford bells, 5
Or, still in bells delighting, finds a friend
In every chime that jingled from Ostend;
Ah ! how much juster were thy muse's hap,
If to thy bells thou wouldst but add a cap !
Delightful Bowles! still blessing and still blest,
All love thy strain, but children like it best.
'Tis thine, with gentle Little's moral song,
To soothe the mania of the amorous throng!
With thee our nursery damsels shed their tears,
Ere miss as yet completes her infant years:
But in her teens thy whining powers are vain;
She quits poor Bowles for Little's purer strair. 6
Now to soft themes thou scornest to confine
The lofty numbers of a harp like thine;
“ Awake a louder and a loftier strain,”
Such as none heard before, or will again!
Where all Discoveries jumbled from the flood,
Since first the leaky art reposed in mud,
By more or less, are sung in every book,
From Captain Noah down to Captain Cook.
Nor this alone; but, pausing on the road,
The bard sighs forth a gentle episode ; 7
And gravely tells — attend, each beauteous miss ! -
When first Madeira trembled to a kiss.
Bowles ! in thy memory let this precept dwell.
Stick to thy sonnets, man !- at least they sell."

Moravians, rise! bestow some meet reward On dull devotion-Lo! the Sabbath bard, Sepulchral Grahame :), pours his notes sublime In mangled prose, nor e'en aspires to rhyme; Breaks into blank the Gospel of St. Luke, And boldly pilters from the Pentateuch; And, undisturb'd by conscientious qualms, Perverts the Prophets, and purloins the Psalms.

Hail, Sympathy! thy soft idea brings 4 A thousand visions of a thousand things, And shows, still whimpering through threcscore of

years, The maudlin prince of mournful sonneteers.

! It is also to be remarked, that the things giren to the public as poems of Canoëns are no more to be found in the original Portuguese, than in the Song of Solomon

: Hayley's two most notorious verse productions are Triumphs of Temper," and “ The Triumph of Music." He has also written much comedy in rhyme, epistles, &c. &c. As he is rather an elegant writer of notes and biography, let us recomrcend Pope's advice to Wycherley to Mr. He's consideration, viz. "to convert his poetry into prose," which may be easily done by taking away the final syllable of each couplet. - [The only performance for which Hayley is now remem. bereu is his Life of Cowper. His personal history has been sketched by Mr. Southey in the Quarterly Review, vol. xxxi. p. 263.)

3 Mr. Grahame has poured forth two volumes of cant, under the name of " Sabbath Walks," and " Biblical Pictures." (This very amiable man, and pleasing poet, published subsequently, “ The Birds of Scotland," and other pieces ; but his reputation rests on his " Sabbath." He began life as an advocate at the Edinburgh bar ; but he had little success there, and being of a melancholy and very devout temperament, entered into holy orders, and retired to a curacy near Durham, where he died in 1811.]

+ [Immediately before this line, we find in the original manuscript, the following, which Lord Byron good natureuly consented to omit, at the request of Mr. Dallas, who was, no doubt, a friend of the scribbler they refer to:“ In verse most stale, unprofitable, fat

Come, let us change the scene, and glean' with Pratt;
In him an author's luckless lot behold,
Condeipn'd to make the books which once he sold:
Degraded man ! again resume thy trade-
The votaries of the Muse are ill repaid,
Though daily pulls once more invite to buy

A now edition of thy. Sympathy.'" To which this note was appended :-“ Mr. Pratt, once a Bath bookseller, now a London author, has written as much, to as little purpose, as any of his scribbling cotemporarins. Mr. P.'s

Sympathy' is in rhyme ; but his prose productions are the most voluminous." The more popular of these last were entitled “ Gleanings.")

$ See Cowles's “ Sonnet to Oxford," and " Stanzas on hear. ing the Beils of Ostend."

6 " Awake a louder," &c. is the first line in Bowles's

'Spirit of Discovery;" a very spirited and pretty dwars-epic. Among other exquisite lines we have the following:

& A kiss
Stole on the list'ning silence, never yet

Here heard ; they trembled even as if the power," &c. &c. That is, the woods of Madeira trembled to a kiss ; very much astonished, as well they might be, at such a phenomenon. (" Misquoted and misunderstood by me; but not intentionally, It was not the woods,', but the people in them who trembled — why, Heaven only knows — unless they were over. heard making the prodigious smack."Byron, 1816.)

? The episode above alluded to is the story of “ Robert a Machin" and " Anna d'Artet," a pair of constant lovers, who performed the kiss above mentioned, that startled the woods of Madeira.

& cu Although," says Lord Byron, in 1821," I regret having published • English Bards and Scotch Reviewers,' the part which I regret the least is that which regards Mr. Bowles, with reference to Pope. Whilst I was writing that public. ation, in 1807 and 1808, Mr. Hobhouse was desirous that I should express our mutual opinion of Pope, and of Mr. Bowles's edition of his works. As I had completed my out: line, and felt lazy, I requested that he would do so. He did it. His fourteen lines on Bowles's Pope are in the first edition of English Bards, and are quite as severe, and much more poetical, than my own in the second. On reprinting the work, as I put my name to it, lomitted Mr. Hobhouse's lines, by which the work gained less than Mr. Bowles." - The following are the lines written by Mr. Hobhouse:

" Stick to thy sonnets, man ! - at least they sell.

Or take the only path that open lies
For modern worthies who would hope to rise :
Fix on some well-known name, and, bit by bit,
Pare off the merits of his worth and wit ;
On each alike employ the critic's knife,
And when a comment fails, prefix a life;
Hint certain failings, faults before unknown,
Review forgotten lies, and add your own;
Let no liscase, let no misfortune 'scape,
And print, if luckily deformid, his shape:
Thus shall the world, quite undeccived at last,
Cleave to their present wits, and quit their past;
Bards once revered no more with favour view,
But give their modern sonneteers their due ;
Thus with the dead may living merit cope,
Thus Bowles may triumph o'er the shade of Pope.']

[ocr errors]

But if some new-born whim, or larger bribe,
Prompt thy crude brain, and claim thee for a scribe;
If chance some bard, though once by dunces fear'd,
Now, prone in dust, can only be revered ;
If Pope, whose fame and genius, from the first,
Have fuild the best of critics, needs the worst,
Do thou essay : each fault, each failing scan;
The first of poets was, alas! but man.
Rake from cach ancient dunghill ev'ry pearl,
Consult Lord Fanny, and confide in Curll;
Let all the scandals of a former age
Perch on thy pen, and flutter o'er thy page;
Affect a candour which thou canst not feel,
Clothe envy in the garb of honest zcal ;
Write, as if St. John's soul could still inspire,
And do from hate what Mallet ? did for hire.
Oh! Wadst thou lived in that congenial time,
To rave with Dennis, and with Ralph to rhyme; 3
Throng'd with the rest around his living head,
Not raised thy hoor against the lion dead ; *
A meet reward had crown'd thy glorious gains,
And link'd thee to the Dunciad for thy pains. 5

Oh, Amos Cottle ! for a moment think
What meagre profits spring from pen and ink!
When thus devoted to poetic dreams,
Who will peruse thy prostituted reams ?
Oh pen perverted ! paper misapplied !
Had Cottle 7 still adorn'd the counter's side,
Bent o'er the desk, or, born to useful toils,
Leen taught to make the paper which he soils,
Plough’d, delved, or plied the oar with lusty limb,
He had not sung of Wales, nor I of bim. 8

As Sisyphus against the infernal steep
Rolls the huge rock whose motions ne'er may sleep,
So up thy hill, ambrosial Richmond, heaves
Dull Maurice 9 all his granite weight of leaves :
Smooth, solid monuments of mental pain !
The petrifactions of a plodding brain, (again.
That ere they reach the top, fall lumbering back

With broken lyre, and cheek serenely pale, Lo! sad Alcæus wanders down the vale ; Though fair they rose, and might have bloom'd at last, His hopes have perish'd by the northern blast : Nipp'd in the bud by Caledonian gales, His blossoms wither as the blast prevails ! O'er his lost works let classic Sheffield wecp; May no rude hand disturb their early sleep ! 10

Yet say! why should the bard at once resign His claim to favour from the sacred Nine ? For ever startled by the mingled howl Of northern wolves, that still in darkness prowl ; A coward brood, which mangle as they prey, By hellish instinct, all that cross their way; Aged or young, the living or the dead, No mercy find - these harpies 11 must be fed. Why do the injured unresisting yield The calm possession of their native field ? Why tamely thus before their fangs retreat, Nor hunt the bloodhounds back to Arthur's Seat ? 19

Another epic! Who inflicts again More books of blank upon the sons of men ? Baotian Cottle, rich Bristowa's boast, Imports old stories from the Cambrian coast, And sends his goods to market - all alive! Lines forty thousand, can tou twenty-five ! Fresh fish from Helicon 6! who'll buy? who'll buy ? The precious bargain 's cheap - in faith, not I. Your turtle-feeder's verse must needs be flat, Though Bristol bloat him with the verdant fat; If Commerce fills the purse, she clogs the brain, And Amos Cottle strikes the lyre in vain. In him an author's luckless lot behold, Condemn'd to make the books which once he sold. Oh, Amos Cottle ! – Phæbus ! what a name, To fill the speaking trump of future fame!

1 Curll is one of the heroes of the Dunciad, and was a book. seller. Lord Fanny is the poetical name of Lord Hervey, author of " Lines to the Imitator of Horace."

2 Lord Bolingbroke hired Mallet to traduce Pope after his decease, because the poet had retained some copies of a work by Lord Bolingbroke-“ the Patriot King," — which that splendid but malignant genius had ordered to be destroyed. $: Bolingbroke's thirst of vengeance," says Dr. Johnson, a incited him to blast the memory of the man over whom he had wept in his last struggles, and he employed Mallet, another friend of Pope, to tell the tale to the public, with ali its aggravations."] 3 Dennis the critic, and Ralph the rhymester. " Silence, ye wolves ! while Ralph to Cynthia howls, Making night hideous : answer him, ye owls!"

Dunciad. * See Bowles's late edition of Pope's Works, for which he received three hundred pounds. Thus Mr. B. has expe. rienced how much easier it is to profit by the reputation of another than to elevate his own.

[Lord Byron's MS. note of 1816 on this passage is, – " Too savage all this on Bowles:" and well might he say so. That venerable person is still living; and in spite of all the criticisrns to which his injudicious edition of Pope exposed him afterwards, there can be no doubt that Lord B., in his calmer moments, did justice to that exquisite poetical genius which, by their own confession, originally inspired both Wordsworth and Coleridge.]

6 (“Fresh fish from Helicon!"_" Helicon” is a mountain, and not a fish-pond. It should have been “ Hippocrene." Byron, 1616.)

? Mr. Cottle, Amos, Joseph, I don't know which, but one or both, once sellers of books they did not write, and now writers of books they do not sell, have published a pair of epics. " Alfred," - (poor Alfredi ! Pye has been at him too!) “ Alfred," and the “ Fall of Cambria:”

[Here Lord B. notes in 1816: _“All righ:. I saw some

letters of this fellow (Joseph Cottle) to an unfortunate poetess, whose productions, which the poor woman by no means thought vainly of, he attacked so roughly and bitterly, that I could hardly resist assailing him, even were it unjust, which it is not — for verily he is an ass.” – B. 1816. - The same person has had the honour to be recorded in the Antijacobin, probably by Canning :

" And Cottle, not he who that Alfred made famous,

But Joseph, of Bristol, the brother of Amos."] 9 Mr. Maurice hath manufactured the component parts of a ponderous quarto, upon the beauties of " Richmond Hill," and the like: - it also takes in a charming view of Turnham Green, Hammersmith, Brentford, Old and New, and the parts adjacent.-(The Rev. Thomas Maurice also wrote * Westminster Abbey," and other poems, the “ History of Ancient and Modern Hindostan," &c., and his own “Memoirs; comprehending Anecdotes of Literary Characters, during a period of thirty years ;"- a very amusing piece of autobiography. He died in 1824, at his apartments in the British Museum ; where he had been for some years assistant keeper of MSS.)

10 Poor Montgomery, though praised by every English Review, has been bitterly reviled by the Edinburgh. After all, the bard of Sheifield is a man of considerable genius. His “ Wanderer of Switzerland" is worth a thousand “ Lyrical Ballads," and at least fifty " degraded epics."

11 [In a MS. critique on this satire, by the late Reverend William Crowe, public orator at Oxford, the incongruity of these metaphors is thus noticed : -" Within the space of three or four couplets he transforms a man into as many different animals : allow hun but the coinpass of three lines, and he will metamorphose him from a wolf into a harpy, and in three more he will make him a biood-hound." Ou seeing Mr. Crowe's remarks, Lord Byron desired Mr. Murray to substitute, in the copy in his possession, for "hellish Instinct," “brutal instinct," for " harpies " fclons," and for bloud. hounds, hell-hounds."]

12 Arthur's Scit; the hill which orcrhangs Edinburgh.

Health to immortal Jeffrey ?! once, in name, England could boast a judge almost the same; In soul so like, so merciful, yet just, Some think that Satan has resign'd his trust, And given the spirit to the world again, To sentence letters, as he sentenced men. With hand less mighty, but with heart as black, With voice as willing to decree the rack: Bred in the courts betimes, though all that law As yet bath taught him is to find a flaw; Since well instructed in the patriot school To rail at party, though a party tool, Who knows, if chance his patrons should restore Back to the sway they forfeited before, His scribbling toils some recompense may meet, And raise this Daniel to the judgment-seat ? ? Let Jeffries' shade indulge the pious hope, And greeting thus, present him with a rope : “ Heir to my virtues ! man of equal mind ! Skill'd to condemn as traduce mankind, This cord receive, for thee reserved with care, To wield in judgment, and at length to wear.'

The Tolbooth felt - for marble sometimes can,
On such occasions, feel as much as man -
The Tolbooth felt defrauded of his charms,
If Jeffrey died, except within her arms: 0
Nay last, not least, on that portentous morn,
The sixteenth story, where himself was born,
His patrimonial garret, fell to ground,
And pale Edina shudder'd at the sound :
Strew'd were the streets around with milk-white

Flow'd all the Canongate with inky streams;
This of his candour seem'd the sable dew,
That of his valour show'd the bloodless hue;
And all with justice deem'd the two combined
The mingled emblems of his mighty mind.
But Caledonia's goddess hover'd o'er
The field, and saved him from the wrath of Moore;
From either pistol snatch'd the vengeful lead,
And straight restored it to her favourite's head;
That head, with greater than magnetic pow'r,
Caught it, as Danaë caught the golden show'r,
And, though the thickening dross will scarce refine,
Augments its ore, and is itself a mine.
“ My son," she cried, “ ne'er thirst for gore again,
Resign the pistol, and resume the pen ;
O'er politics and poesy preside,
Boast of thy country, and Britannia's guide!
For long as Albion's heedless sons submit,
Or Scottish taste decides on English wit,
So long shall last thine unmolested reign,
Nor any dare to take thy name in vain.
Behold, a chosen band shall aid thy plan,
And own thee chieftain of the critic clan.
First in the oat-fed phalanx shall be seen
The traveli'd thane, Athenian Aberdeen.7
Herbert shall wield Thor's hammer 8, and sometimes,
In gratitude, thou'lt praise his rugged rhymes,
Smug Sydney' too thy bitter page shall seek,
And classic Hallam 10, much renown'd for Greek ;

Health to great Jeffrey ! Heaven preserve his life To flourish on the fertile shores of Fife, And guard it sacred in its future wars, Since authors sometimes seek the field of Mars ! Can none remember that eventful day, 3 That ever glorious, almost fatal fray, When Little's leadless pistol met his eye, And Bow-street myrmidons stood laughing by ? 4 Oh, day disastrous ! On her firm-set rock, Dunedin's castle felt a secret shock; Dark rollid the sympathetic waves of Forth, Low groand the startled whirlwinds of the north ; Tweed ruffled half his waves to form a tear, The other half pursued its calm career; Arthur's steep summit nodded to its base, The surly Tolbooth scarcely kept her place.



[ocr errors]

[Mr. Jeffrey, who, after the first Number or two, suc. ceeded the Rev. Sydney Smith in the editorship of the Edinburgh Review, retired from his critical post some little time before he was appointed Lord Advocate for Scotland: he is now (1836) a Lord of Session. « I have often, since my return to England," says Lord Byron, (Diary, 1814,) " heard Jeffrey most highly commended by those who knew him, for things independent of his talents. I admire him for this not because he has praised me, but because he is, perhaps, the only man who, under the relations in which he and I stand, or stood, with regard to each other, would have had the liberality to act thus : none but a great soul dared hazard it - a little scribbler would have gone on cavilling to the end of the chapter.")

[“ Too ferocious - this is mere insanity." — B. 1816.] 3 [" All this is bad, because personal." - B. 1816) • In 1806, Messrs. Jeffrey and Moore met at Chalk-Farm. The duel was presented by the interference of the magistracy; and, on examination, the balls of the pistols were found to hare evaporated. This incident gave occasion to much wag. gery in the daily prints. [The above note was struck out of the fifth edition, and the following, after being subinitted to Mr. Moore, substituted in its place : -“ I am informed that Mr. Moore published at the time a disavowal of the state. ments in the newspapers, as far as regarded himself; and, in justice to him, I mention this circumstance. As I never heard of it before, I cannot state the particulars, and was only made acquainted with the fact very lately.--November 4. 1811.)

3 The Tweed here behaved with proper decorum ; it would have been highly reprehensible in the English hall of the river to have shown the smallest symptom of apprehension.

6 This display of sympathy on the part of the Tolbooth (the principal prison in Edinburyh), which truly seems to have been inost afected on this occasion, is much to be commended. It was to be apprehended, that the many unhappy

criminals executed in the front might have rendered the edifice more callous. She is said to te of the softer sex, be. cause her delicacy of feeling on this day was truly feminine, though, like most feminine impulses, perhaps a little selfish.

? His lordship has been much abroad, is a member of the Athenian Society, and reviewer of " Gell's Topographs of Troy."-(George Hamilton Gordon, fourth Earl of Aber. deen, K.T., F.R.S., and P.S.A. In 1822, his lordship published an “

into the Principles of Beauty in Grecian Architecture.

8 Mr. Herbert is a translator of Icelandic and other poetry. One of the principal pieces is a “ Song on the Recovery of Thor's Hammer:" the translation is a pleasant chant in the vulgar tongue, and endeth thus:

* Instead of money and rings, I wot,

The hammer's bruises were her lot,

Thus Odin's son his hammer got." [The Hon. William Herbert, brother to the Earl of Carnar. von. He also published, in 1811, “ Helga," a poem in seren cantos.]

9 The Rev. Sydney Smith, the reputed author of Peter Plymley's Letters, and sundry criticisms. - (Now (1836) one of the Canons Residentiary of St. Pauls, &c. “ Dyson's .Ada dress to his Constituents on the Reform Bill," and many other pieces published anonymously or pseudonomously, are generally ascribed to this eminently witty person, who has put forth nothing, it is believed, in his own name, except a volume of Sermons.)

10 Mr. Hallam reviewed Payne Knight's "Taste," and was exceedingly severe on some Greek verses therein. It was not discovered that the lines were Pindar's till the press rendered it impossible to cancel the critique, which still stands an ever. lasting monument of Hallam's ingenuity. - Note added to second cdition. The said Hallam is incensed because he is falsely accused, seeing that he never dineth at Holland House. If this be true, I am sorry - not for having said so, but on


[ocr errors]

Scott may perchance his name and influence lend, Ilustrious Holland ! hard would be his lot,
And paltry Pillans) shall traduce his friend ;

His hirelings mention'd, and himself forgot ! 7
While gay Thalia's luckless votary, Lambe,?

Holland, with Henry Petty 8 at his back,
Damn'd like the devil, devil-like will damn.

The whipper-in and huntsman of the pack.
Known be thy name, unbounded be thy sway ! Blest be the banquets spread at Holland House,
Thy Holland's banquets shall each toil repay ; Where Scotchmen feed, and critics may carouse !
While grateful Britain yields the praise she owes Long, long beneath that hospitable roof
To Holland's hirelings and to learning's foes.

Shall Grub-street dine, while duns are kept aloof.
Yet mark one caution ere thy next Review

See honest Hallam lay aside his fork,
Spread its light wings of saffron and of blue,

Resume his pen, review his Lordship's work,
Beware lest blundering Brougham 3 destroy the sale, And, grateful for the dainties on his plate,
Turn beef to bannocks, cauliflowers to kail."

Declare his landlord can at least translate ! 10
Thus having said, the kilted goddess kist

Dunedin ! view thy children with delight,
Her son, and vanish'd in a Scottish mist. *

They write for food — and feed because they write :

And lest, when heated with the unusual grape, Then prosper Jeffrey ! pertest of the train

Some glowing thoughts should to the press escape,
Whom Scotland pampers with her fiery grain ! And tinge with red the female reader's cheek,
Whatever blessing waits a genuine Scot,

My lady skims the cream of each critique ;
In double portion swells thy glorious lot ;

Breathes o'er the page her purity of soul,
For thee Edina culls her evening sweets,

Reforms each error, and refines the whole. 11
And showers their odours on thy candid sheets,
Whose hue and fragrance to thy work adhere

Now to the Drama turn-Oh! motley sight!
This scents its pages, and that gilds its rcar. 5

What precious scenes the wondering eyes invite ! Lo! blushing Itch, coy nymph, enamour'd grown, Puns, and a prince within a barrel pent, '? Forsakes the rest, and cleaves to thee alone :

And Dibdin's nonsense yield complete content. And, too unjust to other Pictish men,

Though now, thank Heaven ! the Rosciomania's o'er, Enjoys thy person, and inspires thy pen! G

And full-grown actors are endured once more;

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

his account, as I understand his lordship's seasts are prefer-
able to his compositions. - If he did not review Lord Hol.
land's performance, I am glad, because it must have been
painful to read, and irksome to praise it. If Mr. Hallam will
tell me who did review it, the real name shall find a place in
the text; provided, nevertheless, the said name be of two
orthodox musical syllables, and will come into the verse : till
then, Hallam must stand for want of a better. - [It cannot
be necessary to vindicate the great author of the Middle

" and the “ Constitutional History of England” from
the insinuations of the juvenile poet.]

1 Pillans is a tutor at Etun. -(Mr. Pillans became afterwards Rector of the High School of Edinburgh, and has now been for some years Professor of Humanity in that University. There was not, it is believed, the slightest foundation for the charge in the text.]

2 The Hon. George Lambe reviewed “ Beresford's Mise-
ries," and is moreover, author of a farce enacted with much
applause at the Priory, Stanmore ; and damned with great
expedition at the late theatre, Covent Garden. It was en-
titled, “ Whistle for It." - (Mr. Lambe was, in 1818, the suc-
cessful candidate for the representation of Westminster, in
opposition to Mr. Hobhouse ; who, however, defeated him in
the following year. In 1821, Mr. Lambe published a transla-
tion of Catullus. In 1832, he was appointed Under Secretary
of State for the Home Department, his chief being his brother,
Lord Melbourne. He died in 1833.]

3 Mr. Brougham, in No. xxv. of the Edinburgh Review,
throughout the article concerning Don Pedro de Cevallos, has
displayed more politics than policy ; many of the worthy bur-
gesses of Edinburgh being so incensed at the infamous prin-
ciples it evinces, as to have withdrawn their subscriptions.
(Here followed, in the first edition, — “ The name of this
personage is pronounced Broom in the south, but the truly
northern and musical pronunciation is BROCGH-AM, in two
syllables ; but for this Lord B. substituted in the second
edition : -" It seems that Mr. Brougham is not a Pict, as
I supposed, but a Borderer, and his name is pronounced
Broom, from Trent to Tay: - so be it."]

• 1 ought to apologise to the worthy deities for introducing
a new goddess with short petticoats to their notice: but, alas !
what was to be done ? I could not say Caledonia's genius, it
being well known there is no such genius to be found from
Clackmanan to Caithness; yet, without supernatural agency,
how was Jeffrey to be saved ? The national " kelpies" are
too unpoetical, and the “ brownies" and "gude neighbours"
(spirits of a good disposition) refused to extricate him. A
goddess, therefore, has been called for the purposc; and great
ought to he the gratitude of Jeffrey, secing it is the only com-
munication he ever held, or is likely to hold, with any thing

» See the colour of the back binding of the Edinburgh Review.

6 (In the tenth canto of Don Juan, Lord Byron pays the following pretty compliment to his quondam antagonist :“ And all our little feuds - at least all mine

Dear Jeffrey, once my most redoubted foe,
(As far as rhyme and criticism combine

To make such puppets of us things below)
Are over : here's a health co · Auld Lang Syne ;'

I do not know you, and may never know
Your face - but you have acted on the whole

Most nobly, and I own it from my soul.")
? (“ Bad enough, and on mistaken grounds too." — B.

8 (Lord Henry Petty ; – now (1836) Marquess of Lansdowne.)

9 [In 1813, Lord Byron dedicated the Bride of Abydos to Lord Holland ; and we find in his Journal (Nov. 17th) this passage :-" I have had a most kind letter from Lord Holland on the Bride of Abydos, which he likes, and so does Lady H. This is very good-natured in both, from whom I don't deserve any quarter.

Yet I did think at the time, that my cause of enmity proceeded from Holland House, and am glad I was wrong, and wish I had not been in such a hurry with that confounded Satire, of which I would suppress even the memory; but people, now they can't get it, make a fuss, I verily believe out of contradiction."]

10 Lord Holland has translated some specimens of Lope de Vega, inserted in his life of the author. Both are bepraised by his disinterested guests. — (We are not aware that Lord Holland has subsequently published any verses, except an universally admired version of the 28th canto of the Orlando Furioso, which is given by way of appendix to one of Jr. W. Stewart Rose's volumes.)

11 Certain it is, her ladyship is suspected of having displayed her matchless wit in the Edinburgh Review. However that may be, we know, fronı good authority, that the manuscripts are submitted to her perusal - no doubt, for correction.

12 In the melo-drama of Tekeli, that heroic prince is clapt into a barrel on the stage ; a new asylum for distressed heroes. - - [In the original MS. the note stands thus:-“ In the melo-drama of Tekeli, that heroic prince is clapt into a barrel on the stage, and Count Evrard in the fortress hides himself in a green-house built expressly for the occasion.

'Tis a pity that Theodore Hook, who is really a man of talent, should contine his genius to such paltry productions as the • Fortress,' • Music Mad,' &c. &c." - This extraordinary numourist, who was a mere boy at the date of Lord Byron's satire, lias since distinguished himself by works inore worthy of his abilities – nine volumes of highly popular novels, entitled " Sayings and Doings - " Gilbert Gurney" a world of political jour d'esprit, ac. &c.]

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

While poor John Bull, bewilder'd with the scene,
Stares, wondering what the devil it can mean;
But as some hands applaud, a venal few !
Rather than sleep, wby John applauds it too.

Such are we now. Ah! wherefore should we turn To what our fathers were, unless to mourn ? Degenerate Britons ! are ye dead to stame, Or, kind to dulness, do you fear to blame? Well may the nobles of our present race Watch each distortion of a Naldi's face; Well may they smile on Italy's buffoons, And worship Catalani's pantaloons, 10 Since their own drama yields no fairer trace Of wit than puns, of humour than grimace. 11

Yet what avail their vain attempts to please,
While British critics suffer scenes like these ;
While Reynolds vents his “ dammes !” “ poohs !" and

“zounds!” And common-place and common sense confounds ? While Kenney's “ World" - ah! where is Kenney's ?

wit? Tires the sad gallery, lulls the listless pit; And Beaumont's pilfer'd Caratach affords A tragedy complete in all but words ? S Who but must mourn, while these are all the rage, The degradation of our vaunted stage ! Heavens! is all sense of shame and talent gone ? Have we no living bard of merit? - none ! Awake, George Colman + ! Cumberland 5, awake ! Ring the alarum bell! let folly quake ! Oh, Sheridan! if aught can move thy pen, Let Comedy assume her throne again ; Abjure the mummery of the German schools; Leave new Pizarros to translating fools; Give, as thy last memorial to the age, One classic drama, and reform the stage. Gods ! o'er those boards shall Folly rear her head, Where Garrick trod, and Siddons lives to tread ? 6 On those shall Farce display Buffoon'ry's mask, And Hook conceal his heroes in a cask ? Shall sapient managers new scenes produce From Cherry, Skettington, and Mother Goose ? While Shakspeare, Otway, Massinger, forgot, On stalls must moulder, or in closets rot ? Lo! with what pomp the daily prints proclaim The rival candidates for Attic fame! In grini array though Lewis' spectres rise, Still Skeffington and Goose divide the prize. 7 And sure great Skeffington must claim our praise, For skirtless coats and skeletons of plays Renown'd alike ; whose genius ne'er confines Her flight to garnish Greenwood's gay designs; 8 Nor sleeps with “ Sleeping Beauties,” but anon In five facetious acts comes thundering on,

Then let Ausonia, skilld in every art
To soften manners, but corrupt the heart,
Pour her exotic follies o'er the town,
To sanction Vice, and hunt Decorum down :
Let wedded strumpets languish o'er Deshayes,
And bless the promise which his form displays;
While Gayton bounds before th'enraptured looks
Of hoary marquises and stripling dukes :
Let high-born lechers eye the lively Presle
Twirl her light limbs, that spurn the needless veil ;
Let Angiolini bare her breast of snow,
Wave the white arm, and point the pliant toe ;
Collini trill her love-inspiring song,
Strain her fair neck, and charm the listening

Whet not your scythe, suppressors of our vice !
Reforming saints ! too delicately nice!
By whose decrees, our sinful souls to save,
No Sunday tankards foam, no barbers shave;
And beer undrawn, and beards unmown, display
Your holy reverence for the Sabbath-day.

Or hail at once the patron and the pile Of vice and folly, Greville and Argyle ! 12


| All these are favourite expressions of Mr. Reynolds, and prominent in his comedies, living and defunct. — (The reader is referred to Mr. Reynolds's Autobiography, published in 1826, for a full account of his voluminous writings for the stage.] ? (Mr. Kenney has since written many successful dramas.]

Mr. Thomas Sheridan, the new manager of Drury Lane theatre, stripped the tragedy of Bonduca oi the dialogue, and exhibited the scenes as the spectacle of Caractacus. this worthy of his sire ? or of himself?-(Thomas Sheridan, who united much of the convivial wit of his parent to many amiable qualities, received, after the termination of his theatrical management, the appointment of colonial paymaster at the Cape of Good Hope, where he died in September, 1817, leaving a widow, whose novel of “ Carwell" has obtained much approbation, and sereral children ; among others, the accomplished authoress of “ Rosalie" and other poems, now the Honourable Mrs. Norton.)

* [Lord Byron entertained a high opinion of George Col. man's convivial powers. --" If I had," he says, " to choose, and could not hare both at a time, I should say, ' Let me begin the evening with Sheridan, and finish it with Colman. Sheridan for dinner, and Colman for supper ; Sheridan for claret or port, but Colman for every thing. Sheridan was a grenadier compans of life-guards, but Colinan a whole regi. ment- of light infantry, to be sure, but still a regiment. Mr. Colman died in October, 1836.*')

[Richard Cumberland, the well-known author of the West Indian," the “ Observer," and one of the most interesting of autobiographies, died in 1811.)

(In all editions previous to the fifth, it was, “ Kemble lives to trend." Lord Byron used to say, that, " of actors, Cooke was the most natural, Kemble the most supernatural, Kean the medium between the two; but that Mrs. Siddons was worth them all put together." Such cffect, however, had Kcan's acting on his mind, that once, on seeing him play Sir

Giles Overreach, he was seized with a sort of convulsire at. Johu Kemble died in 1823, — his illustrious sister in 1830.)

? (Dibdin's pantomine or Mother Goose had a run of nearly a hundred nights, and brought more than twenty thousand pounds to the treasury of Covent Garden theatre.]

o Mr. Greenwood is, we believe, scene. painter to Drurs. lane theatre - as such, Mr. Sketlington is much indebted to him.

9 Mr. [now Sir Lumler] Skeffington is the illustrious author of the " Sleeping Beauty;" and some comedies, par. ticularly " Maids and Bachelors:" Baccalaurii baculo magis quam lauro digni.

10 Naldi and Catalani require little notice ; for the visage of the one and the salary of the other, will enable us long to recollect these amusing vagabonds. Besides, we are still black and blue from the squeeze on the first night of the lady's appearance in trousers.

" [The following twenty lines were struck off one night after Lord Byron's return from the Opera, and sent the next morning to the printer, with a request to have them placed where they now appear.]

12 To prevent any blunder, such as mistaking a street for a man, I beg leave to state, that it is the institution, and not the duke of that naine, which is here alluded to. A geatleman, with whom I am slightly acquainted, lost in the Argyle Rooms several thousand pounds at back-gainmon. It is but justice to the manager in this instance to say, that some degree of disapprobation was manifested : but why are the implements of gaining allowed in a place deroted to the sociсty of both sexes ? A pleasant thing for the wives and daughters of those who are blest or cursed with such connections, to bear

(" True. It was Billy Way who lost the money. I knew him, and was a subscriber to the Argyle at the time of the event." - Byron, 1816.]

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »