« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
Both. For God's sake, my Lady Bluebottle, check
not This gentle emotion, so seldom our lot Upon earth. Give it way ; 't is an impulse which lifts Our spirits from carth; the sublimest of gifts; For which poor Prometheus was chain'd to his
mountain ; 'Tis the source of all sentiment — feeling's true
fountain : 'Tis the Vision of Heaven upon Earth : 't is the gas of the soul: 't is the seizing of shades as they piss, And making them substance: 't is something divine: Ink. Shall I help you, my friend, to a little more
wine ? Both. I thank you; not any more, sir, till I dine. Ink. A propos — Do you dine with Sir Humphry?
to-day ? Tra. I should think with Duke Humphry was
more in your way. Ink. It might be of yore ; but we authors now look To the knight, as a landlord, much more than the
Duke. The truth is, each writer now quite at his case is. And (except with his publisher) dines where he
pleases. But 't is now nearly five, and I must to the Park.
Tra. And I'll take a turn with you there till 't is And you, Scamp
Excuse me; I must to my notes, For my lecture next week. Ink.
He must mind whom he quotes Out of " Elegant Extracts." Lady Blueb.
Well, now we break up ; But remember Miss Diddle 6 invites us to sup. Ink. Then at two hours past midnight we all meet
again, For the sciences, sandwiches, hock, and champagne !
Tra. And the sweet lobster salad !
I honour that meal ; For 't is then that our feelings most genuinely — feel. Ink. True ; feeling is truest then, far beyond
question ; I wish to the gods 't was the same with digestion ! Lady Blueb. Pshaw ! -never mind that; for one
moment of feeling Is worth - God knows what. Ink.
'Tis at least worth concealing For itself, or what follows But here comes your
carriage. Sir Rich. (aside). I wish all these people were
d -d with my marriage ! (Ereunt.
" Pedlars,' and 'boats,' and 'waggons !' Oh! shades
Will right these great men, and this age's severity
I've no sort of objection,
ever will take ?
Lady Bluem. Well, sir, the time's coming.
Scamp! don't you feel sore ?
They have merit, I own;
lectures ? Scamp. It is only time past which comes under
the joy of my heart
And down Aristotle !
Lady Bluebottle ;
Tra. And you, Scamp ! -
and all schools. Tra. Well, one thing is certain, that some must
be fools. I should like to know who. Ink.
And I should not be sorry To know who are not : it would save us some
Ink, Tracy ! open the window.
I wish her much joy on't.
(The late Sir George Beaumont - a constant friend of Mr. Wordsworth.)
? (It was not the present Earl of Lonsdale, hut James,
With his dear'waggoners,' around his lakes.
Of ocean? - No, of air ; and then he makes
Of Pope and Dryden, are we come to this?
Contempt, but from the bathos' vast abyss
Of sense and song above your graves may hiss —
Don Juan, Canto iii.) 4 Fact from Use, with the words.
5 [The late Sir Hurrphry Davy, President of the Royal Society.)
6 (The late Miss Lydia White, whose hospitable functions have not yet been supplied to the circle of London artists and literati -an accomplished, clever, and truly amiable, but very eccentric lady: The name in the text could only have been suggested by the jingling resemblance it bears to Lydia.)
The Vision of Judgment,
BY QUEVEDO REDIVIVUS.'
SUCGESTED BY THE COMPOSITICX SO ENTITLED BY THE AUTHOR OF “ WAT TYLER."
“ A Daniel come to judgment ! yea, a Daniel !
I thank thee, Jew, for teaching me that word."
PREFACE It hath been wisely said, that “ One fool makes many ;” and it hath been poetically observed, “Tua: fools rush in where angels fear to tread"– Pope.
If Mr. Southey had not rushed in where he had no business, and where he never was before, and never will be again, the following poem would not
have been written. It is not impossible that it may be as good as his own, seeing that it cannot, by any species of stupidity, natural or acquired, be worse. The gross flattery, the dull impudence, the renegado intolerance and impious cant, of the poem by the author of “ Wat Tyler," are something so stupendous as to form the sublime of himself-con. taining the quintessence of his own attributes
! (In 1821, Mr. Southey published a piece, in English hexameters, entitled " A Vision of Judgment; and which Lord Byron, in criticising it, laughs at as "the Apotheosis of George the Third." In the preface to this poem, after some observations on the peculiar style of its versification, Mr. Southey introduced the following remarks :
that eats into the soul! The school which they have set up may properly be called the Satanic school; for though their productions breithe the spirit of Belial in their lascivious parts, and the spirit of Moloch in those lothsome images of atrocities and horrors which they delight to represent, they are more especially characterised by a Satanic spirit of pride and audacious impiety, which still betrays the wretched feeling of hopelesses wherewith it is allied.
" This evil s political as well as moral, for indeed moral and pollt cal evils are insep rably connected. Truly has it been affirmed by one of our ablest and clearest reasoners, that the destruction of govements may be prored and deduced froin the general corruption of the subjects' min. ners, as a direct and natural cause thereof, by a demonstration as certain as any in the mathematics.' There is no maxim more frequerely enforced by Nachtarelli, than that where the manners of a people are generalls corrupted, there the government cannot long subsist, - a truth which all history exemplities and there is no means whereby that corruption can be se surely and rapidly diffused, as by poisoning the waters of literature.
" Let rulers of the state look to this, in time! But, to use the words of Souther, if our physicians think the best way of curing a disease is to by miracle only can prevent pamper it, - the Lord in mercy prepare the kingdom to suffer, has He
“Yo apology is ottered for these remarks. The subject led to them; and the occasion of introducing them was willingly taken, because it is the duty of every one, whose opinion may hare any intluence, to expose the dritt and aim of those writers who are labouring to subrert the foundations of human virtue and of human happiness."
Lord Byron rejoined as follows:" Mr. Southey, in his pious preface to a poem whose Blasphemy is a harmless as the sedition of Wat Tyler, because it is equally absurd with that sincere production, calls upon the legislature to look to it,' as the toleration of such writings led to the French Revolution : no such wit ings as Wat Tyler, but as those of the Satanic School.' This is not true, and Mr. Southey knows it to be not true. Every French writer of any freedom was persecuted; Voltaire and Rousseau were exiles, Varmonie and Diderot sere sent to the Basti e, and a perpetual war was saged with the whole class by the existing despotism. In the nest place, the French Resolution was rica occasioned by any writings whatsoever, but must hare occurred had no such writers ever existed. It is the fanion to attribute every thing to the French Resolution, and the French Rero'ution to every thing but its real cause. That cause is obvious - the government exacted too much, and the people could neither gire nor bear more. Without this, the Encyclopedists might have written the fingers off without the occur. rence of a single alteration. And the English revolution - the first, I mean) - what was it occasioned by? The Purilant were surely as pious and moral as l'esler or his biographer? Acts - acts on the part of gorem. ment, and not writings avainst them, have caused the past convulsions, and are tending to the future.
"I look upon such as inevitable, though no revolutionist: I wish to see the English constitution restored, and not destrored. Born an aristocrat, and naturally one by temper, with the greater part of my present property in the funds, shat have i to gain by a revolution ? Perhaps I hare inore to lose in every way than Mr. Southey, with all his places and presents for panegyrics and abuse into the bargain. But that a rerolution is inevitable, I repeat. The porernment may esult over the repression of petty tumults; these are but the receding wares repulsed and broken for a moment on the shore, while the great vide is still rolling on and gaining Tourd with every breaker. Ir. Southey accuses us of attacking the religion of the country; and is he abetting it by writing lines of Wesley! One mode of worship is merely destrored by another. There never was, nor ever will be, a country without a religion. We shall be told of France again : but it was only Paris and a frantic party, which for a moment upheld their dognatic nonsense of theo-philanthropy. The church of England, if overthrow, will he strept away by the sectarians and not by the sceptie. People are too wise, too well informed, too certain of their own immense importance in the realns of sixaceever to submit to the impiety of doubt. There may be a few such dittident speculators, like water in the pale sunbeam of human reason, but they are rery few; and their opinions, without en thusiasm or appeal to the passions, can never gain proselstes- unless, indeed, they are persecuted that, to be sure, will increase any thing.
" Mr. Souther, with a cowardly ferocity, exults ore the anticipated death-bed repentance of the objects of his dislike; and indulce himself in a pleasant Vision of Judgment' in prove as well as rerse, tull of im. pinus imrudence. What Mr. Southey's sensations or ours may be in the awful moment of leaving this Late of Fristence, neither he nor we can rio. tend to decide. In comenon, I presume, wiin most men of an retle bien, I have not wried for a 'death-bed' to repent of many of my actions, not. withstanding the diabolical pride' which this moful renegado in his ran. cour would impute to those who scorn him. Whether upon the whole the
"I am well airare that the public are peculiarly into'erant of such inno. vations : not less so than the populace are of any foreign fashion, whether of fuppery or convenience. Would that this literary intolerance were under the influence of a sarer judgment, and recorded the morals more than the manner of a composition; the spirit rather than the form! Would that i: were directed against those monstrous combinations of horrors and mockery, lewdness and impies, with which English poetry has, in our days, fine beer polluted! For more than half a century English literature had been distinguished by its moral purity, the effect, and, in its tum, the cause, of an improvement in national manners. . father might, without apprehen-ion of evil, have put into the hands of his children any book which issued from the press, if it did not bear, either in its title-pipe or fronts. piece, manifest signs that it was intended as fumiture for the brothel. There was no danger in any work which bore the name of a respectable publisher, or was to be procured at any respectable bookseller's. This was particularly the case with regard to our poetry. It is now no longer so: and woe to those by whom the orlence corneth! The greater the talents of the otfender, the greater is his guilt, and the more enduring will be his shame. Whether it be that the laws are in themselves unable to abate an eril of this magnitude, or whether it be that they are remisly administered, and with such injustice that the celebrity of an offender serves as a privilege wherebs he obtains impunity, individuals are bound to consider that such pernicious works would neither be published nor written, if they were discouraged as they nicht, and ought to be, by public feeling: every person, therefore, who purchases such books, or admits them into his house, promotes the mischief, and thereby, as far as in him lies, becomes an aider and abettor of the crime.
“The publication of a lascivious book is one of the worst offences which can be committed against the well-being of society. It is a sin, to the consequences of which no limits can be assigned, and those consequences no alier.repentance in the writer can counteract. Whaterer remorse of conscience he may feel when his hour comes (and come it must!) will be of no avail. The poignancy of a death-bed repentance cannot cancel one copy of the thousands which are sent ahroad; and as long as it continues to le rend, so long is he the pander of posterity, and so long is he heaping up guilt upon his soul in perpetual accumulation.
** These remarks are not inore serere than the offence deserves, even when applied to those immoral writers who hare not been conscious of any eril intention in their writings, who would acknowledge a little lerity, i little warmth of colouring, and so forth, in that sort of language with which men loss over their favourite vices, and deceive themselves. What then should be said of those for whom the thoughtlessness and inebriety of minton outh can no longer be pledet, but who have written in sober muhool and with deliberate purpose? - Men of diseased * hearts and deprired iinaginations, who, forming a system of opinions to suit their own unhappy course of conduct, have rebelled against the holiest ordinances of human society, and hating that revealed religion which, with all their efforts and bravadoen, they are unable entirely to disbelieve, labour to make others as miserable as themselves, by infecting them with a moral virus
[" Summi poete in omni poetarum sæculo viri fuerunt probi: in nos. tris id vidimus et vidernus ; neque alius est error a veritate longius quam Ia ingenia manis necessario corrumpi vitiis Secundo plerique
thabent primum, hi malimitare, illi inorantia ; et qucm aliquem in. veniunt styli morumque vitiis notatum, nec inticetum tamen nec in libris edendis parcum, eum stipant, prardicant, Occupant, ainplectuntur. Si mores aliquantulum rellet cornire, si strium curare paululuin, si fervido ingenio temperare, si mor tintillum interponere, tum ingens nescio quid ct rere epicum, quadraginta annos natus, procudetat. Ignorant vero fel riculis non indicari tire, impatientiam ab imbecillitate non differte: ignorant a leri homine et inconstante mu ta fortasse scribi posse plusquam mediocrin, nihil compositum, arduum, ternura - Sivagius Landor, De Chutu ufque l'sy Latini Sermonis. "This essay, which is tull of fine cri. tical remarks and strating though:s felicitous express d, reached me from Mica, while the proof of the present steet was lefore me. anchor the author of Gebir and Count Juin) i will onls in this place, that, to have obtained his approbation as a poc, and posted his friendl. shir as a man, will be remonbered arning the honours of my life, when the petty enmities of this generation will be forgotten, and its ephemeral reputations shall hare passed away.'- \r. Sousey's sote.)
So much for his poem-a word on his preface. exists any where, excepting in bis imagination, such In this preface it has pleased the magnanimous a School, is he not sufficiently armed against it by Laureate to draw the picture of a supposed “ Satanic his own intense vanity ? The truth is, that there School,” the which he doth recommend to the no- are certain writers whom Mr. S. imagines, like tice of the legislature; thereby adding to his other Scrub, to have “talked of him; for they laughed laurels the ambition of those of an informer. If there consumedly."
good or eril of my deeds may preponderate is not for me to ascertain ; but as my means and opportunities have been greater, I shall limit my present de ence to an assertion, (easily proved, if necessary,) that I, in my degree,' have done more real soul in any one given year, since I was twenty, than Mr. Souther in the whole course of his shitung and tumcoat existence. There are several actions to which I can look back with an honest pride, not to be dampeil by the calumnies of a hireling. There are other to which I recur with sorrow and repentance : but the only act of my life of which Mr. Southey can have any real knowledice, as it was one which brought me in contact with a near connection of his own (Mr. Coleridge) did no dishonour to that connection nor to me.
"I am not ignorant of Mr. Southey's calumnies on a different occasion, knowing them to be such, which he scattered abroad on his return tror Switzerland against me and others; they have done him no gool in this world, and if his creed be the right one, they will do hum les in the next. What his death-bed' may be, it is not my province to predicate; let him settle it with his Maker, as I must do with mine. There is something at once ludicrous and blasphemous in tuis arrogant seribbler ot all work sitting down to deal dainnation and destruction upon his fellow.creatures, with Wat Tyler, the . Ipotheosis of George the Third, and the Elevy on Martin the regicide, all shoflled together in his writing-desk. One of his consola. tions appears to be a Latin note from a work of a Mr. Landor, the author of. Getir,' whose friendship for Robert Southey will, it wms, ' be an lio. nour to himn when the ephemeral disputes and ephemeral reputations of the day are forgotten. I for one neither enry him the friends!im,'nor the glory in reversion which is to acer 'e from it, like Mr. Theluson's for. tune, in the third and fourth generation. This friendship will probably he as memorable as his own epics, which (as I quoted to him ion or twelve years ago in English Bards') l'orson said would be rememberei when Homer and Virgu are forgotten,- and not till then.' For the present I leave him."
Mr. Southey was not disposed to let this pass unanswered. He, on the 5th of January, 1822, addressed to the Editor of the London Courier a letter, of which we shall quote all that is of importance :
"I come at once to his Lordship's charge against me, blowing away the abuse vith which it is frothed, and evaporating a strong acid in which it is suspended. The residuum then apperirs to be, that Mr. Southey, on his return from Switzerland (in 15171, yattered al road calumnes, knowing them to be such, against Lord Byron and others. To this I reply with a direct and puritive deninda
"If I had been told in that country that Lord Byron had turned Turk, or Jonk of La Trappe, - that he had fumisliert a harem, or endowed an ho pical, I might have thought the account, whichever it had been, possible, and repeated it accordingly : passing it, as it had been taken, in the sinail change of conversation, for no more than it was worth. In this manner I night have spoken of him, as of Baron Geram *, the Green Mant, the Indian Jugglers, or any other figurante of the time being.
There was no reason for any particular delicacy on my part in speaking of his Lorikship: and, indeed, I should have thought any thing which might be reported of him, would have injured his character as little as the sory which so greatly annoved Lord Keeper Guildford, that he had ridden á rhinoceros. He may ride a rhinoceros, and though every body would stare, no one would wonder. But inaking no inquiry concerning him when I was abroad, because I felt no curio ity, I heard nothing, and had nothing to repeat. When I spoke of wonders to my friends and acquaintance on my return, it was of the flying tree at Alpnacht, and the eleven thousand virgins at Cologne - not of Lord Byron." I sought for no staler subject wan St. Ursula.
" Once, and only once, in connection with Switzerland, I have alluded to his lord hip; and, as the passage was curtailed in the press, I take this opportunits of restoring it. 'In the Quarterly Review, speaking inci. dentally of the Jungfrau, I said, it was the siene where Lord Byron's Manfred met the Devil and bullied him - though the Devil must hare won his cause before any tribunal in this world, or the next, if he had not pleaded more feebly for himself than his advocate, in a cause of canonis. ation, ever pleadeil for him.'
With regard to the others,' whom his Lordship accuses me of ca. lumniating, "I suppose he alludes to a party of his friends, whose names I found written in the Album at Mont. Anvert, with an avou al of Atheisin annesed, in Greek, and an indignant comment in the same language, undemeath it. Those names, with that arowal and the comment, I transcribed in my note-book, and spoke of the circumstance on my retum. If I had published it, the gentleman in question would not have thought himself siandered, ly having that recorded of hin which he has so otten recorded of himself.
" The many opprobrious appellations which Lord Byron has bestowed upon me, I leare, as I find them, with the praises which he has bestowed upon himself.
• How easily is a noble spirit discern'd
In contumelies, makes a noise, and stinks!'- B. Jossox. But I am accustomed to such things; and, so far from irritating me are the eneinies who use such weapons, that, when I hear of their attacks, it is some satisfaction to think they have thus employed the malignity which must have been employeci somewhere, and could not have been directed against any person whom it could possibly inolest or injure less. The river, however venoinous in purpose, is harmless in effect, while it is viting at the file. It is seldorn, indeeri, that I waste a word, or a thought, upon thine who are perpetually assailing me. But abhorring, as I do, the per. sonalities which di-grace our current literature, and averse from contro versy as I am, both by principle and inclination, I make no profession of
non-resistance. When the offence and the offender are such as to call for the whip and the branding iron, it has een both seen and felt that I can intlict them.
" Lord Byron's present exacerbation is evidently produced by an indliction of this kind - not by hearsay reports of iny conversation, four years ago, transmitted him from England." The cause may be found in certain remarks upon the Satanic school of poetry, contained in my preface to the
Vision of Judginent.' Well would it be for Lord Byron if he could look back upon any of his writings, with as much satisfaction as I shall always do upon what is there said of that flagitious school. Many persons, and parents Grecially, have expressed their gratitude to me for having applied the branding-iron where it was so richly deserved. The Edinburgh Reviewer, indeed, with that honourable feelin' by which his criticisms are so peculiarly distinguished, suppressing the remarks themselves, has inputed them wholly to envy on my part. 1 sive him, in this instance, full credit for sincerity: I believe he was equally incapable of comprehending a wor. thier motive, or of inventing a worse; and as I have never condemended to expose, in ans instance, his pitiful inalevolence, I thank him for having in this, stripetit bare himself, and exhibited it in its bald, naked, and undisguised deformity:
" Lord Byron, like his encomiast, has not rentured to bring the matter of those animadversions into view. He conceals the fact, that they are directed against the authors of blasphemous and lascivious books; against men who, not content with indulging their own vices, labour to make ofiters the states of sensualiex, like themselve; against public panders, who, mingling impiety with lewiness, seek at once to destroy the cement of social order, and to carry protination and pollution into privato tamilies, and into the hearts of individuals.
“ His Loris hip has thought it not unbecoming in him to call me a scribbler of all work. Let the word seribbler pass; it is an appellation which will not stick, like that of the Satanic schimal. But, if a scribbler, how am I one of all merk! I will tell Lord Byron what I have scribbled - what kind of work I have wil done. I have never publistud libris on my friends and acquaintance, expressed my sorrow for those libels, and called them in during a mood of better mind - and then reissued them, wlien the evil spirit, which for a time had been cast out, had retumed and taken possession, with seven other, more wicked than him. self. I have never abused the power, of which every author is in some degree possessed, to wound the character of a man, or the heart of a woman. I have never sent into the world a book to which I did not dare to atlix my name; or which I feared to claim in a court of justice, if it were pirated his a kavish lookseller. I have never manufactured furniture for the brothel. None of these things have I done; none of the foul work by which literature is perverted to the injury of mankind. My hands are clean ; there is no damneil spot' upon them - no tant, which all the pertumes of Arabia will not sweeten.
"Of the work which I have done, it becomes me not here to speak, sare only as relates to the Satanic School, and its Coryphaus, the author of
Don Juan.' I have held up that school to public detestation, as enemies to the religion, the institutions, and the domestic morals of the country. I have give them a designation to orhich their founder and leader inners. I have sent a stone from my sling which has smitten their Goliath in the forehead. I have fastened his nanie upon the gibbet, for reproach and ignominy, as long as it shall enalure. - Take it down who can !
"One word of advice to Lord Byron before I conclude. - When he at. tacks me again, let it be in rhyme. For one who has so little command of himself, it will be a great advantage that his temper should be obliged to keep tune. And while he may still indulge in the same rankness and vi. rulence of insult, the metre will, in some degree, seem to lessen its vul. Sarity.
Lord Byron, without waiting for the closing hint of the foregoing letter, had already " attacked" Mr. Southey " in rhyme. On October 1. 1821, he says to Mr. Moore,
“I have written about sixty stanzas of a poem, in octave stanzas (in the Pulci style, which the fools in England think was invented by Whistlecraft -It is as old as the hills, in Italy), called 'The Vision of Judgment,' by Quevedo Redivivus. In this it is my intention to put the said George's Apotheosis in a Whis point of view, not forgetting the Poet Laureate, for his preface and his other demerits."
Lord Byron had proceeded some length in the performance thus announced, before Mr. Southey's letter to the Courier" fell into his hands. On seeing it, his Lordship's feelings were so excited, that he could not wait for revenge in inkshed, but on the instant despatched a cartel of mortal de. fiance to the Poet Laureate, through the medium of Mr. Douglas Kinnaird, - to whom he thus writes, February 6. 1822:
" I have got Souther's pretended reply: what remains to be done is to call him out. The question is, would he come for, if he would not, the whole thing would appear ridiculous, if I were to take a long and expansive journey to no purpose. You must be ms second, and, as such, I wish to consult you. 1 ay to you as one well yered in the duello, or monoma. chie. Of course I shall come to England as privately as possible, and leave it (supposing that I was the survivor) in the same manner; having no other object which c uld bring me into that country except to settle quarrels accumulated during my absence."
Mr. Kinnaird, justly appreciating the momentary exacer. bation under which Lord Byron had written the challenge which this letter enclosed, and fully aware how absurd the whole business would seem to his distant friend after the lapse of such a period as must intervene before the return of post from Keswick to Ravenna, put Lord Byron's warlike missive aside ; and it nerer was heard of by Mr. Southey until after the death of its author. Meantime Lord Byron had continued his “ attack in rhyme " -- and his “ Vision of Judgment," after ineflectual negotiations with various publishers in London, at length saw the light in 1822, in the pages of the unfortunate "Liberal."]
* "Baron Gerarnb, - a German Jew, who, for some time excited much public attention in London by the extravagance of his dress. Being very troublesome and menacing in demanding remuneration from Govermeni, for a propoul he had inade of engaging a body of Croat troops in the service nt England, he was, in 1812, sent out of the country under the alien act.)
+ (The Green Man" was a pojmilar afterpiece, so called from the hero, who wore everything teen, hat. gloves, &c. &c.
; (Mr. P. B. Shelley signed luis name, with the addition of ascos, in this albur.)
I think I know enough of most of the writers to whom he is supposed to allude, to assert, that they, in their individual capacities, have done more good, in the charities of life, to their fellow-creatures in any one year, than Mr. Southey has done harm to himself by his absurdities in his whole life; and this is saying a great deal. But I have a few questions to ask.
Istly, Is Mr. Southey the author of “ Wat Tyler ?”
2dly, Was he not refused a remedy at law by the highest judge of his beloved England, because it was a blasphemous and seditious publication ? 1
3dly, Was he not entitled by William Smith, in full parliament, “a rancorous renegado ? "?
4thly, Is he not poet laureate, with his own lines on Martin the regicide staring him in the face ? 3
And, 5thly, Putting the four preceding items together, with what conscience dare he call the attention of the laws to the publications of others, be they what they may ?
I say nothing of the cowardice of such a proceeding; its meanness speaks for itself; but I wish to touch upon the motive, which is neither more nor less than that Jr. S. has been laughed at a little in some recent publications, as he was of yore in the “ Anti-jacobin" by his present patrons. + Hence all this “skimble-scamble stuff ” about “ Satanic," and so forth.
However, it is worthy of him— “ qualis ab incepto."
If there is any thing obnoxious to the political opinions of a portion of the public in the following poem, they may thank Mr. Southey. He might have written hexameters, as he has written every thing else, for aught that the writer cared - had they been upon another subject. But to attempt to canonise a monarch, who, whatever were his household virtues, was neither a successful nor a patriot king, inasmuch as several years of his reign passed in war with America and Ireland, to say nothing of the aggression upon France, - like all other
exaggeration, necessarily begets opposition. In whatever manner he may be spoken of in this new “ Vision," his public career will not be more favour. ably transmitted by history. of his private virtues (although a little expensive to the nation) there can be no doubt.
With regard to the supernatural personages treated of, I can only say that I know as much about them, and (as an honest man) have a better right to talk of them, than Robert Southey. I have also treated them more tolerantly. The way in which that poor insane creature, the Laureate; deals about his judg. ments in the next world, is like his own judgment in this. If it was not completely ludicrous, it would be something worse. I don't think that there is much more to say at present.
QUEVEDO REDIVIVUS. P.S. - It is possible that some readers may object, in these objectionable times, to the freedom with which saints, angels, and spiritual persons discourse in this “ Vision." But, for precedents upon such points, I must refer him to Fielding's “ Journey from this World to the next,” and to the Visions of myself, the said Quevedo, in Spanish or translated. The reader is also requested to observe, that no doctrinal tenets are insisted upon or discussed ; that the person of the Deity is carefully withheld from sight, which is more than can be said for the Laureate, who hath thought proper to make him talk, not “ like a school divine," but like the unscholarlike Mr. Southey. The whole action passes on the outside of heaven; and Chaucer's Wife of Bath, Pulci's Morgante Maggiore, Swift's Tale of a Tub, and the other works above referred to, are cases in point of the freedom with which saints, &c. may be permitted to converse in works not intended to be serious.
Mír. Southey being, as he says, a good Chris. tian and vindictive, threatens, I understand, a reply to
(la 1821, when Mr. Southey applied to the Court of Echo'd his footsteps, as with eren tread Chancery for an injunction to restrain the publication of He paced around his prison. Not to him "Wat Tyler,” Lord Chancellor Eldon pronounced the fol- Did Nature's fair varieties exist; lowing judgment:_“I have looked into all the affidavits, He never saw the sun's delightful bearns ; and have read the book itself. The bill goes the length of Save when through yon high bars he pour'd a sad stating, that the work was composed by Mr. Southey in the And broken splendour. Dost thou ask his crime ? year 1794 ; that it is his own production, and that it has been He had rebell'd against the king, and sat published by the defendants without his sanction or authority; In judgment on him ; for his ardent mind and therefore seeking an account of the profits which have Shaped goodliest plans of happiness on earth, arisen from, and an injunction to restrain, the publication. I And peace and liberty. Wild dreams! but such have examined the cases that I have been able to meet with As Plato loved ; such as, with holy zeal, containing precedents for injunctions of this nature, and I Our Milton worshipp'd Blessed hopes ! awhile find that they all proceed upon the ground of a title to the From man withheld, even to the latter days. property in the plaintiff. On this head a distinction has been When Christ shall come, and all things be fulfill'd.") taken, io which a considerable weight of authority attaches, supported, as it is, by the opinion of Lord Chief Justice Eyre; gicide's Apartment, written by Mr. Canning, appeared in the
[The following imitation of the Inscription on the Rewho has expressly laid it down, that a person cannot recover
Anti-jacobin :"in damages for a work which is, in its nature, calculated to do injury to the public. Upon the same principle this court re
“ Inscription for the Door of the Cell in Newgate, where fused an injunction in the case of Walcot" (Peter Pindar)
Mrs. Brownrigg, the 'Prentice-cide, was confined, ** %. Walker, inasmuch as he could not have recovered da
previous to her execution. mages in an astion. After the fullest consideration, I remain « For one long term, or ere her tțial came, of the same opinion as that dich I entertained in deciding Here Brownrigg linger'd. Often have these cells the case referred to. Taking all the circunstances into my Echo'd her blasphemies, as with shrill voice consideration, it appears to me, that I cannot grant this in- She scream'd for fresh genera. Not to her junction, until after Mr. Southey shall have established his Did the blithe fields of Tothill, or thy street, right to the property by action." – Injunction resused.]
St. Giles, its fair varieties expand ; (Mr. William Smith, J.P. for Norwich, made a virulent
Till at the last in slow-drawn cart she went attack on Mr. Sovthes in the House of Commons on the 14th
To execution. Dost thou ask her crime? of March, 1817, bid the Laureate replied by a letter in the
She whipp'd treo female 'prentices to death, Courier.)
And hid them in the coal-hole. For her inind 3 [Among the effusions of Mr. Southey's jurenile muse, we
Shaped strictest plans of discipline. Sage schemes !
Such as Lycurgus taught, when at the shrine find this
Of the Orthyan goddess he hade flog “ Inscription for the Apartment in Chepstow Castle, where
The little Spartans ; such as erst chastised Henry Martin, the Regicide, was imprisoned thirty years. (ur Milton, when at college. For this act " For thirty years secluded from mankind
Did Brownrigg swing. Harsh laws ! But time shall come, Here Martin linger. Often have these walls
When France shall reign, and laws be all repeal'd.")
this our answer. It is to be hoped that his visionary Or wild colt of a comet, which too soon
The guardian seraphs had retired on high, in the shape of Latin verses ; and not long ago, the
Finding their charges past all care below; poet laureate dedicated to him, it appeareth, one of
Terrestrial business fill'd nought in the sky his fugitive lyrics, upon the strength of a poem
Save the recording angel's black bureau; called Gebir. Who could suppose, that in this same
Who found, indeed, the facts to multiply Gebir the aforesaid Savage Landor) (for such is
With such rapidity of vice and wo, his grim cognomen) putteth into the infernal regions
That he had stripp'd off both his wings in quills, no less a person than the hero of his friend Mr. And yet was in arrear of human ills. Southey's heaven, -yea, even George the Third !
IV. See also how personal Savage becometh, when he
His business so augmented of late years, hath a mind. The following is his portrait of our
That he was forced, against his will no doubt, late gracious sovereign :
(Just like those cherubs, earthly ministers,) (Prince Gebir having descended into the infernal regions, the
For some resource to turn himself about, shades of his royal ancestors are, at his request, called up to
And claim the help of his celestial peers, his view; and lie exclaims to his ghostly guide) – “ Aroar, what wretch that nearest us? what wretch
To aid him ere he should be quite worn out, Is that with eyebrows white and slantinz brow ?
By the increased demand for his remarks; Listen! him yonder, who, bound down supine,
Six angels and twelve saints were named his clerks, Shrinks yelling from that sword there, engine-hung. He too amongst my ancestors ! I hate The despot, but the dastard I despise.
V. Was he our countryman?"
This was a handsome board - at least for heaven; " Alas, o king!
And yet they had even then enough to do,
So many conquerors' cars were daily driven, " He was a warrior then, nor fear'd the gods ?"
So many kingdoms fitted up anew; “ Gebir, he fear'd the demons, not the gods, Though them indeed his daily face adored ;
Each day too slew its thousands six or seven,
Till at the crowning carnage, Waterloo,
They threw their pens down in divine disgust Oh madness of mankind ! address'd, adored!"
The page was so besmear'd with blood and dust. Gebir, p. 28.
VI. I omit noticing some edifying Ithyphallics of Sa
This by the way; 't is not mine to record vagius, wishing to keep the proper veil over them,
What angels shrink from: even the very devil if his grave but somewhat indiscreet worshipper will
On this occasion his own work abhorr'd, suffer it; but certainly these teachers of “great
So surfeited with the infernal revel : moral lessons” are apt to be found in strange
Though he himself had sharpen'd every sword, company.
It almost quench'd his innate thirst of evil. (Here Satan's sole good work deserves insertion. 'T is, that he has both generals in reversion.)
VII. The Vision of Judgment.
Let's skip a few short years of hollow peace,
Which peopled earth no better, hell as wont,
And heaven none - they form the tyrant's lease, I.
With nothing but new names subscribed upon 't: SAINT Peter sat by the celestial gate:
'T will one day finish: meantime they increase, His keys were rusty, and the lock was dull,
“ With seven heads and ten horns," and all in front, So little trouble had been given of late;
Like Saint John's foretold beast; but ours are born Not that the place by any means was full,
Less formidable in the head than horn.
In the first year of freedom's second dawn 2
Died George the Third 3; although no tyrant, one At sea — which drew most souls another way.
Who shielded tyrants, till each sense withdrawn II.
Left him nor mental nor external sun : The angels all were singing out of tune,
A better farmer ne'er brush'd dew from lawn, And hoarse with having lit else to do,
A worse king never left a realm undone ! Excepting to wind up the sun and moon,
He died - but left his subjects still behind, Or curb a runaway young star or two,
One half as mad - and 'tother no less blind.
I (Walter Savage Landor, Esq., author of " Count Julian, a tragedy"-" Imaginary Conversations," in three series and various other works, was an early friend of Mr. Southey, and difference of politics has never disturbed their personal feelings towards each other. Mr. Landor has long resided in Italy.)
? (George Ill. died the 29th of January, 1920, -- a year in
which the revolutionary spirit broke out all over the south of Europe.)
3 (Here, perhaps, the reader will thank us for transcribing a few of Mr. Southey's hexameters :" Pensive, though not in thought, I stood at the window, beholding Mountain, and lake, and vale; the valley disrobed of its verdure: