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opening the door of her little parlour name of Heaven to tell her wherefore to leave her own lodging, she saw he thus haunted her. The apparition standing directly opposite to her in the instantly answered, with a voice and passage, the exact resemblance of Cap- manner in no respect differing from tain Campbell, in his complete High- those proper to him while alive,land dress, with belted plaid, dirk, “ Cousin, why did you not speak pistols
, pouch, and broad sword. Ap- sooner,-my visit is but for your good, palled at this vision, she started back, -your grief disturbs me in my grave, closed the door of the room, staggered and it is by permission of the Fabackwards to a chair, and endeavoured ther of the fatherless and Husband of to convince herself that the apparition the widow, that I come to tell you not she had seen was only the effect of a to be disheartened by my fate, but to heated imagination. In this, being a pursue the line which, by my advice, woman of a strong mind, she partly you adopted for your son. He will succeeded, yet could not prevail upon find a protector more efficient, and as herself again to open the door which kind as I would have been ; will rise seemed to divide her from the shade of high in the military profession, and her deceased relation, until she heard live to close your eyes.' With these a tap on the floor beneath, which was words the figure, representing Captain the usual signal from her friendly Campbell, completely vanished. neighbours to summon her to tea. Upon the point of her being decidOn this she took courage, walked firm- edly awake and sensible, through her ly to the door of the apartment, flung eyes and ears, of the presence and words it open, and—again beheld the mili- of this apparition, Mrs
detary spectre of the deceased officer of clared herself perfectly convinced. the Black Watch. He seemed to stand She said, when minutely questioned within a yard of her, and held his by the lady who told me the story, hand stretched out, not in a menacing that his general appearance differed in manner, but as if to prevent her pass- no respect from that which he preing him. This was too much for hu- sented when in full life and health, man fortitude to endure, and she sunk but that in the last occasion, while she down in the floor, with a noise which fixed her eyes on the spectre in terror alarmed her friends below for her and anxiety, yet with a curiosity which safety.
argued her to be somewhat familiarOn their hastening up stairs, and en- ized with his presence, she observed a tering Mrs 's lodging, they saw speck or two of blood upon his breast, nothing extraordinary in the passage ; ruffle, and band, which he seemed to but in the parlour' found the lady conceal with his hand when he obin strong hysterics. She was recalled served her looking at him. He changto herself with difficulty, but conceal- ed his attitude more than once, but ed the extraordinary cause of her in- slightly, and without altering his gedisposition. Her friends naturally im- neral position. puted it to the late unpleasant intelli- The fate of the young gentleman gence from Argyleshire, and remain- in future life seemed to correspond ed with her till a late hour, endea- with the prophecy. He entered the vouring to amuse and relieve her army, rose to considerable rank, and mind. The hour of rest however ar- died in peace and honour, long after rived, and there was a necessity, he had closed the eyes of the good old (which Mrs felt an alarming lady who had determined, or at least one,) that she should go to her solita- professed to have determined, his desry apartment. She had scarce set tination in life upon this marvellous down the light which she held in her suggestion. hand, and was in the act of composing It would have been easy for a skilher mind, ere addressing the Deity ful narrator to give this tale more effor protection during the perils of the fect, by a slight transference or trifling night
, when, turning her head, the exaggeration of the circumstances. vision she had seen in the passage was
But the author has determined in this standing in the apartment. On this and future communications to limit emergency she summoned up her cou- himself strictly to his authorities, and rage, and addressing him by his name rests your humble servant, and surname, conjured him in the
FOURTH CANTO OF CHILDE HAROLD.* has been seen to run a career of power
and glory. He has brought forward It would be worse than idle to en- from the darkness of past times, no deavour to shadow out the lineaments shining spectres-no immortal ghosts. of that Mind, which, exhibiting itself One Figure alone is seen stalking in dark and perturbed grandeur, has through the city and through the soestablished a stronger and wider sway litude-over the earth and over the over the passions of men, than any sea : and that Figure, stern, melanother poetical Intellect of modern times. choly, and majestic, is still no other We feel as if there were a kind of ab- than Himself, on the same dark, surdity in criticising the power that mournful, solitary, and perplexing Pilhurries us along with it like a whirl- grimage. wind. When standing within the “ The wondrous Childe” passes bemagic circle, and in the immediate fore our eyes, and before oar hearts, presence of the magician, we think and before our souls. And all love, not upon his art itself, but yield our- and pity, and condemn, and turn selves up to its wonder-working in- away in aversion, and return with fluence. We have no wish to specu- sympathy; and “ thoughts that do late on the causes which awoke and lie too deep for tears” alike agitate the stirred up all the profoundest feelings young and the old,—the guilty and and energies of our souls, the deep the sinless,--the pious and the propathos, the stormy passion, has been fane,—when they think on the feaenjoyed or suffered,-and, in the ex- tures of his troubled countenance, altation or prostration of our nature, when they hear the voice of his lofty we own the power of the poet to be mournings,--when they meditate on divine,-and, with a satisfied and un- all the “ disastrous chances that his questioning delight, deliver ourselves youth has suffered.” There is round up to his gentle fascination, or his ir- him a more awful interest than the resistible dominion.
mere halo round the brow of a poet. We do not say that Byron stands And in his feelings, his passions, his above criticism--but that criticism musings, his aspirings, his troubled seems to be altogether foreign to the scepticism, and his high longings after nature and to the purposes of his ge- immortality, his eagle-winged rapnius. It is impossible to speak of his tures, his cold, dull, leaden fears, his poetry without also speaking of him- agonies, his exultation, and his deself, morally, as a man; and this, who spair,—we tremble to think unto what shall dare to do, who has had even a a mysterious nature we belong, and feeble glimpse into the haunted dark- hear in his strains, as it were, the awa ness of the human soul ? In his poe- ful music of a revelation. try, more than any other man's, there We have no hesitation in saying, that is felt a continual presence of himself Byron's creations are not so much po- there is everlasting self-representa- ems, as they are glorious manifestations tion or self-reference; and perhaps of a poet's mind, all irresistibly tendthat, which to cold and unimpassioned ing towards poetry. Having in himjudgment might seem the essential self deep sense of beauty-deeper pasfault of his poetry, constitutes its real sions than probably any other great excellence, and gives it power, sove- poet ever had—and aspiring concepreign and despotical.
tions of power, the poetry in which Strictly speaking, and according to the he expresses himself must be full of rules by which great poems have been vivid portraiture of beauty, deep spirit builded, it cannot be said that Byron has of passion, and daring suggestions of ever created a great Poem. He has
It is obvious that he has celebrated no mighty exploit, or event, never yet soared to his utmost pitch. or revolution in the destinies of man- He is the poet of the age from whom kind; nor brought before us one ma- most is to be expected. For there jestic portion of the history of our are things in his poetry-strong and species, in which, as in a course per- irregular bursts of power, beyond the fect and complete, the mind of man strength of the strongest. At times
he seems possessed and over-mastered * Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, Canto the by an inspiration. A spirit is then in Fourth ; by Lord Byron, 8vo. pp. 258.
him that works at will, and it is a London, Murray. 1818.
spirit that in its perfect grandeur seems to have visited none other of scribe the sphere of its dominion that the children of men.
its power may be more despotical ? The popular belief, that his heroes Or if it be not a free agent, is there are himself, is a true belief; and the not something degrading to the soul world has at last convinced the poet of man in the idea, that inward disof that which he had at first but in- ease or outward affliction can subjudistinctly understood, and imperfectly gate under its yoke him, who, neverbelieved. His heroes are himself theless, would seem to despise subjuthat is, either what he is, or has been, gation, and who vainly imagines that or what he would wish or fear to be. he can display the spirit of freedom in Whatever may have been his intention, the majestic air with which he drags there is in his mind a predominant his chains ? consciousness of himself, which deter- We must all feel that Byron, with all mines the character he draws. This his mighty faculties, is at times only appears most in the first two Cantos of shielded from contempt, by the convicChilde Harold, where his mind seems tion that many of his miseries are selfso enslaved to itself, that it can- inflicted. They are often imaginary; not escape even from a direct jour- and therefore is it that our imagination nal of his own travels. But much redeems him who awakens it. He more than his characters are drawn exasperates his soul into agony. He from himself. Almost every feeling, sinks it down into despair. But gepassion, thought, or image, or repre- nius breathes forth the profoundest sented object in his poetry, has magni- sighs that disturb us, and often converts tude and interest assigned to it, not in them, in an instant, into an exulting proportion to its plan in the poem, but hymn. And often the long majestic to its direct interest to his own mind,- sweep of sorrow, that winds up a suband not to his imagination, but to his duing stanza, is suddenly succeeded passions, and his life of passion. He by airy music, as if in derision of the thus seems seldom to go back to the melancholy close ; and Byron's soul early periods even of his own mind, bounds cxultingly forward,' escaping and then but by fits and starts—but to from the dim cell into which it had be continually living in the last, al- retired in voluntary imprisonment. most the present years of his life. Many awful lessons may certainly His is indeed a mind under the do- be learned from the poetry of Lord minion of its passions, and which can- Byron. Yet, undoubtedly, there are not escape from them even in imagina- many things there barren and unation. This may, indeed must, make a vailing. The good, the happy, and sameness in his writings. But in pro- the innocent, can draw no instruction portion to their sameness is their varie- from what they cannot imagine even riety. It is almost incredible, that a man in dreams; while the erring or pasproducing continually the same passions sion-stricken spirit contemplates, too and the same feelings, should produce often, the ruins as it were of its own them, as he has done, in such continual nature, without hope of the temple change of shape, that we never complain being rebuilt, or if so, ever again being of repetition. This can only be owing to animated with the spirit that is fled. the unequalled intenseness of passion, Of the danger resulting from such which, like the power of life, is end- poetry to souls of fine aspirations, but lessly unfolding itself in new forms. unsteadfast wills,-to souls where pasa It can only be the simple, natural, hu- sion is the only or chief impulse, and man force of the vivid utterance of in- where there is a tendency to hold tense passion, that produces in minds cheap, and in derision, the dull duties of every description so strong a sym- of ordinary life, and at the same time pathy with Byron in all his different not strength sufficient to grasp and moods, and too often, in spite of re- master the objects of a more ambitious luctance and repugnance, of moral and existence,--to such souls (and they intellectual condemnation.
are numerous among the youth of BriBut does not the question naturally tain,) that poetry is most fatal which arise, Is this the best, the noblest flings aside the antiquated bonds conpoetry? Is it fitting, is it truly great, secrated by mere every-day associathat a highly-gifted spirit, potent by tions,—which renders reason itself nature, and enriched by the highest subservient to the senses (ennobled as studies, should voluntarily circum- they are by the imagination), and all
mits no other laws of life but the ty- pause in the darkest track of his pilrannic passions, cherished in the con- grimage, to hear the calm, pure, lofty scious pride of that power, which, in anthem that the poet sings to nature turn, uses those passions as its most in the sinless happiness which she has
created, sanctified, and blest against If such may be the effects of Byron's violence or decay. Lord Byron seems poetry on good natures, it is to be fear- to have roamed through the Alps with ed that it may exert a lamentable in- the spirit of Wordsworth often at his fluence over those prone to evil
. There side ; -and his soul was elevated by must appear in the splendour, and the communion. It is cold and unpower, and majesty, wherein his ge- meaning to say, that in the third cannius enshrouds feelings and passions to of Childe Harold, he imitated or intrinsically worthless or pernicious, a competed with the author of the Exfatal justification of that evil, from cursion. He followed him-he was which, in its native nakedness, even led by him—to the same eternal founthe fallen spirit would turn with aver- tain of all beauty and all grandeur. sion. When virtue is dead, pride Different as are the souls of these two often remains in full life. It firmly illustrious men, nature bowed them fastens on representations like these, down or elevated them up into simili. by which a veil is thrown over its own tude ; so that in Byron's glorious songs meanness,--and a false but dazzling among the Alps, we see the same soul world is thus created for it, wherein at work that had before sublimed the it may move, and aet as bold and fear- mountains of England, -and are deless a part as virtue herself walk- lighted to behold how the calm wise ing in her untroubled beauty. To dom of contemplative age and recluse Byron, and to great though erring philosophy can purify, and sustain, spirits like his, we mournfully allow and strengthen, the impetuous energy the privilege of his pride. It is a of a wilder spirit
, revelling deliriously shirt of mail wherewith he would seek among the maddening magnificence of to guard his bosom from the shafts of nature.
And it may be, that its folds It would lead us into a most intersometimes indeed repel those“ un- esting, but difficult and long inquiry, kindest blows of all," against whose were we to endeavour clearly to point infliction the soul hath no other shield out the connexion subsisting between in its solitude. But with them whose much of Byron's late poetry, and the passions tend only towards mere earth- spirit of Wordsworth's and of some of ly objects—unsanctified by genius or his disciples. This we purpose doing by grief reckless, importunate, and on a future occasion. Suffice it to say, selfish-sacrificing to their indulgence, that such spiritual communion between without compunction, the happiness of two great poets, in many things so unother hearts--how pernicious must like, is honourable to both, -and we that philosophy be (and the poetry of fear not that we shall soon see the Byron is but too full of it), that lends day, when Byron, escaping from the robes of royalty, and a seeming sceptre too severe dominion of his own pasto passions that are in themselves base, sions, shall look abroad over nature odious, and contemptible, or, haply, with a wider sweep of speculation, such as conduct to ruin, agony, and become a happier, a better, a greatdeath.
er man, as the benign influences There is one school of poetry (we of nature are suffered to enter, unopuse the word somewhat unwillingly) posed, into the recesses of his heart, from which this great Poet has already and that the penance which he has learned much, and from which his for so long endured, and often self-innoble nature may yet learn more-the ficted, shall be found to have fitted poetry of the Lakes. Byron need not and disposed his soul for the recepbe ashamed-nay, he must exult to be tion and love of those lofty and uniinstructed by the wisdom of Words- versal truths, on which alone a splenworth. Nothing can impair the ori- did poetical reputation can ultimately ginality of his genius ; little need be rest, and by which alone he can hope added to its power. But a warning to be of essential and lasting benefit voice may arise from the untroubled to his fellow-mortals. He knows, that inagnificence of the mountain solitude, the great poet to whom we have alludand the wandering “ Childe” may ed, though accused of bigotry, infatu
ation, and narrowness of view, has From spoils of nations, and the exhaustless taken ampler and pobler prospects of
East the soul of man than any other living Pour'd in her lap all gems in sparkling mind. He knows the depths of the In purple was she robed, and of her feast calm of that wisdom, which the storms Monarchs partook, and deem'd their dignity of the world cannot disturb. He
increas'd. knows that poetry is a divine art,
3. that its influences are divine. And in Venice Tasso's echoes are no more, all may see scattered throughout the And silent rows the songless gondolier ; darkest scenery of his own soul, lights Her palaces are crumbling to the shore, that seen as if they would fain break And music meets not always now the ear: through the gloom, and that wait but Those days are gone—but Beauty still is here. for his will to shine on him and his States fall, arts fade but Nature doth not
die, spirit for evermore, and make him, Nor yet forget how Venice once was dear, what every great poet should be, the The pleasant place of all festivity, glad, exulting, hoping, undismayed, The revel of the earth, the masque of Italy. friend and vindicator of the immortal
He then seems tacitly to reproach destinies of man.
himself for taking all the subjects of We said, that we sḥould not criti- his musing from among strangers, and cise, and we have accordingly thrown bursts into one of the few truly patriout merely a few unformed feelings otic pieces of poetry which are to be and reflections, which many of our found in his works. readers may think but little illustra
8. tive of the subject immediately before I'vetaught me other tongues--and in strange us. But we may have touched a string, eyes perhaps, in some meditative heart, Have made me not a stranger; to the mind and afforded food for thought to those which is itself, no changes bring surprise ; who love to think and feel for them. Nor is it harsh to make, nor hard to find selves, and who, on that account, are
A country with may, or without mankind; contented to peruse with pleasure the Not without cause ; and should I leave be
Yet was í born where men are proud to be, most wandering reveries of others, hind when they seem to tend, at least, to- The inviolate island of the sage and free, wards what is right and beautiful. And seek me out a bome by a remoter sea, We shall now give some extracts from
9. the last, and perhaps the finest canto Perhaps I loved it well: and should I lay of Childe Harold, the finest, beyond My ashes in a soil which is not mine, all comparison, of Byron's poems.
My spirit shall resume it—if we may
Unbodied choose a sanctuary. I twine At the opening of the Fourth Canto, My hopes of being remembered in my line the Poet represents himself as stand- With my land's language; if too fond and far ing upon a Bridge of Venice, and in- These aspirations in their scope incline dulging himself in such a train of me If my fame should be, as my fortunes are, ditations as might well be excited by Of hasty growth and blight, and dull Obthe decaying splendour, unexpected Livion bar desertedgess, and ancient glories of
10. this romantic city.
My name from out the temple where the
Are honoured by the nationslet it bem I stood in Venice, on the Bridge of Sighs; And light the laurels on a loftier head ! A palace and a prison on each hand : And be the Spartan's epitaph on me I saw from out the wave her structures rise
• Sparta hath many a worthier son than he.' As from the stroke of the enchanter's wand; Meantime I seek no sympathies, nor need ; A thousand years their cloudy wings expand The thorns which I have reaped are of the Around me, and a dying Glory smiles P'er the far times, when many a subject land I planted, they have torn me,
and I bleed; Look'd to the winged Lion's marble piles, I should have known what fruit would spring Where Venice sate in state, thrond on her from such a seed. hundred isles !
He then returns to Venice, and al2.
ludes to the well-known affeetion en, She looks a sea Cybele, fresh from ocean,
tertained by her inhabitants for the Rising with her tiara of proud towers
poetry of Tasso. At airy distance, with majestic motion,
17. A ruler of the waters and their powers : Thus, Venice, if no stronger claim were And such she was ;--her daughters had their thine, dowers
Were all thy proud historic deeds forget,