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Overcome.

ly beneath difficulties, which, by a perhaps you might have emulated, you bold effort, you might for ever have are but a pigmy among a band of

giants. One great distinction, howIn spite, then, of the shouts of vul- ever, between you and them, as it gar approbation, you feel, my Lord, a relates not to your art alone, but to solitary and unrevealed conviction, the interests and welfare of those to that you have not as yet done any whom that art addresses itself, a plain thing which can give you a permanent man, who makes no pretensions to the title to being associated with the demi- character of a poet, but who loves and gods of poetry. This conviction, to a venerates the nature of which he is spirit so haughty as yours, must be partaker, hopes he may notice in a few bitterness and wormwood. To others words, without giving just offence it might afford no trivial consolation either to you or your admirers. Your to know, that although, since poetry predecessors, in one word, my Lord, began, scarcely one age has passed have been the friends—you are the which did not suppose itself to be in enemy of your species. You have possession of a first-rate poet, the transferred into the higher departnames of those whose claims to that ments of poetry (or you have at least character the world has ratified, may endeavoured to transfer) that spirit of all be written with a single drop of mockery, misanthropy, and contempt, ink. But you, unless you be a greater which the great bards of elder times hypocrite than even I suppose you, left to preside over the humbler walk have that within which would make of the satirist and the cynic. The you prefer total obscurity to any fame calm respect which these men felt for that falls short of the most splendid. themselves inspired them with sympaBy comparing the nature of your own thetic reverence for their brethren. with that of more glorious produc- They perceived, indeed, the foibles tions,-above all, by observing the and the frailties of humanity, and contrast which your own character they depicted, at least as well as you affords to that of greater poets,--you have ever done, the madness of the may perhaps discover somewhat, both senses and the waywardness of the of the cause of your failures, and of passions ; but they took care to vindithe probable method of retrieving cate the original dignity of their nathem. The compliment which I pay ture, and contrasted their representato your genius, in supposing, that, tions of the vice and weakness, which even under any diversity of circum- they observed in some, with the more stanees, you might have become the cheering spectacle of the strength and rival of those master-spirits with whom the virtue, whose stirrings they felt you have as yet been so unworthy of within themselves, and whose workcomparison, is assuredly a great one. ings they contemplated in others, Of all that read my letter, none will Conscious of the glorious union of understand its weight so well as you: intellectual grandeur and moral purity none will so readily confess that it within, they pitied the errors of other verges upon extravagance, or be so apt men; but they were not shaken from to accuse of unconscious flattery the their reverence for the general charadmonisher that has bestowed it. acter of man. Instead of raving with

It is not my purpose (for from me demoniacal satisfaction about the to you such a disquisition would be worthlessness of our motives and the absurd) to describe, or to attempt to nothingness of our attainments, they describe, to your Lordship, wherein strove, by shewing us what we might your productions and your spirit differ be and what we had been, to make us from those of the great poets that have what we should be.

They drew the preceded you. I am not of the opinion portraits of wrath, jealousy, and haof certain modern sophists, who affect tred, only that we might appreciate to try every thing in poetry by the more justly the kindly feelings which rules of logic. I feet, and so does every these fierce passions expel from the man of common understanding, that rightful possession of our bosoms. if you were born with the elements of They took our nature as it is, but it heroic growth within you, your stature was for the purpose of improving it: has been stunted; and that, when they sung of our miseries and our brought into contact with those whom tumults in noble strains,

" Not wanting power to mitigate and swage The interest which you have found With solemn touches troubled thoughts, and means to excite for the dismal crea

chace Anguish, and doubt, and fear, and sorrow,

tions of your poetry, is proof abundant and pain,

of the vigour of your genius, but From mortal or immortal minds."

should afford small consolation to your

conscience-stricken mind. You are a With the names of Spenser, Shake skilful swordsman ; but you have made SPEARE, Milton, we associate the use of poisoned weapons, and the idea of our nature in its earthly per- deadliness of your wound gives no adfection, -of love, pure, tender, and dition to your valour. You have done ethereal,-of intellect, serene and con- what greater and better men despised templative, -of virtue, unbending and to do. You have brought yourself sublime. As the Venus, the Apollo, down to the level of that part of our and the Theseus, are to our bodies, erring and corrupted nature, which it the memories of these men are to our was their pride and privilege to banish minds, the symbols and the standards from the recollection and the sympaof beauty and of power. The con- thy of those to whom they spake. In templation of them refines and enno- the great struggle between the good bles those who inherit their language. and the evil principle, you have taken 'The land that has given birth to such the wrong side, and you enjoy the ministers of patriotism and of virtue, worthless popularity of a daring rebel. fears not that the sacred flame should But hope not that the calm judgment expire upon her altars. We are proud of posterity will ratify the hasty hoof England because she produced nours which you have extorted from them, and we shrink from degrada- the passions of your contemporaries. tion, lest their silent manes should Believe me, Men are not upon the reproach us.

whole quite so unprincipled, -nor WoHad it been your destiny to live two men quite so foolish,-nor Virtue so centuries ago, and in the place of these useless,-nor Religion so absurd, -nor illustrious spirits, to form the national Deception so lasting,—nor Hyprocrisy poetry of England, how miserably dif- so triumphant, -as your Lordship has ferent had been, with regard to you been pleased to fancy. A day of terand to themselves, the feelings of your rible retribution will arrive, and the countrymen! In all your writings, punishment inflicted may not improhow little is there whose object it bably consist of things the most unis to make us reverence virtue, or welcome to a poet's view-the scorn love our country! You never teach of many, and the neglect of all. Even us to despise earthly sufferings, in now, among the serious and reflective the hope of eternal happiness. With part of the Men and the Women of respect to all that is best and great- England, your poetry is read, indeed, est in the nature and fate of man, and admired, but you yourself are you preserve not merely a sorrowful, never talked of except with mingled but a sullen silence. Your poetry emotions of anger and pity. With need not have been greatly differ- what pain do the high spirits of your ont from what it is, although you virtuous and heroic ancestors contemhad lived and died in the midst plate the degradation of their descendof a generation of heartless, vicious, ant. Alas! that the genius which and unbelieving demons. With you, might have ennobled any

name, should heroism is lunacy, philosophy folly, have only assisted you to stamp a more virtue a cheat, and religion a bubble. lasting stain upon the pure, the geYour Man is a stern, cruel, jealous, nerous, the patriotic, the English name revengeful, contemptuous, hopeless, of Byron. solitary savage. · Your Woman is a Any other poet might complain with blind, devoted, heedless, beautiful justice, should he see remarks of a minister and victim of lust. The past personal nature mixed up with a is a vain record, and the present a criticism upon his writings. You, fleeting theatre, of misery and mad- my Lord, can scarcely flatter yourself ness : the future one blank of horrid that you have any right to expect such darkness, whereon your mind foats forbearance. If the scrutiny of the and fluctuates in a cheerless uncer- world be disagreeable to you, either in tainty, between annihilation and de- its operation or in its effects, you need spair.

blame no one but yourself We were well enough disposed to treat you with we did to its full extent, the depth distant respect, but you have courted of your woes, it is no wonder that we and demanded our gaze. You have were lenient critics of the works of bared your bosom when no man en- such a peerless sufferer. We revertreated you ; it is your own fault if enced your mournful muse; we were we have seen there not the scars of willing to believe that, if such was her honourable wounds, but the festering power in the midst of tears, a brighter blackness of a loathsome disease. You fortune would have made it unrivalhave been the vainest and the most led and irresistible. The forlornness egotistical of poets. You have made of your bosom gained you the forbearyourself your only theme; shall we ance of the most unrelenting judges. not dare to dissect the hero, because, Every thing was pardoned to the choforsooth, he and his poet are the same? sen victim of destiny. We regarded You have debased your nobility by you as the very masterpiece and symstrutting upon the stage ; shall we bol of affliction, and looked up to you still be expected to talk of you as of a the more that your glory had been private and unobtrusive individual ? withered You must share the fate of your

“ As when Heaven's fire brethren, and abide the judgment of Had scathed the forest oak, or mountainthe spectators. Having assumed, for pine, our amusement, these gaudy trap- With singed top his stately growth, though pings, you must not hope to screen

bare, your blunders from our castigation, Stands on the blasted heath.” by a sudden and prudish retreat into Although, however, we at the time a less glittering costume. You have believed what you told us, and opened made your election.—The simile which all the stores of our pity to your movI have employed may appear inept to ing tale, we have not been able to abmany; of these, I well know, your stain, in the sequel, from considering Lordship is not one.

somewhat more calmly the items of You made your debut in the ute its horror. The first thing which most dignity and sadness of the Co- made us suspect that we had been thurnus. You were the most lugu- played upon, was the vehemence of your brious of mortals; it was the main outcries. If your account of yourself ambition of your vanity to attract to were a true one, your heart was brokyour matchless sorrows the overflow- You decked yourself in the sable ing sympathies of the world. We trappings of a Hamlet, and, like him, gave you credit for being sincere in you were free to confess that “ the your affliction. We looked upon you earth seemed to you only a sterile as the victim of more than human promontory, and the goodly canopy of misery, and sympathized with the ex- heaven a foul and pestilent congregatravagance of your public and un- tion of vapours. You had no pleasure controllable lamentations. It is true in Man, no! nor, for all our smiling, that no one knew whence your sorrow in Woman neither." You stood like had sprung, but we were generous in another Niobe, a cold and marble staour compassion, and asked few ques- tue, frozen by despair amidst the ruin tions. In time, however, we have be- of your hopes. Had your sorrow been come less credulous and more inquisi- so deep, my Lord, its echoes had been tive; the farce was so often renewed, lower. The dignified sufferer needs that we became weary of its wonders; no circle of listeners to fan, by their we have come to suspect at last, that responding breath, the expiring emwhatever sorrows you may have, they bers of misery. Poetry was born are all of your own creating ; and within you, and you must have made that, whencesoever they may be, they it the companion of your afflictions ; are at least neither of so uniform nor but your lyre, like that of the bereavof so majestic a character as you would ed hero of old, would have uttered fain have had us to suppose.

lonely and unobtrusive notes, had There was indeed something not a your fingers, like his, been touched little affecting in the spectacle of with the real tremblings of agony. youth, nobility, and genius, doomed A truly glorious spirit, sunk in sorrow to a perpetual sighing over the treach- such as you assumed, might have well ery of earthly hopes, and the vanity of deserved the silent veneration of its earthly enjoyments. Admitting, as more lowly and more happy contem

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plators. But it would neither have of his calamity. He scorned the vulcourted their notice nor enjoyed their gar consolation, and would have wishsympathy. Alone, in its gigantic ed to have been alone in his sufferings, wretchedness, it would have scorned as he had been unequalled in his fault. to lay its troubles open to the gaze of

“ His form had not yet lost Your delicacy was less All his original brightness, nor appeared exquisite, or your grief was less sin- Less than archangel ruined. You howled by day upon the

his face house-top; you called upon all the Deep scars of thunder had entrenched, and world to admire your song of lament

Sat on his faded cheek. ation, and to join their voices in its

Cruel his eye, but cast doleful chorus.

Signs of remorse and passion, to behold Under pretence of making us par. The fellows of his crime, the followers rather takers in a fictitious or exaggerated (Far other once beheld in bliss), condemned grief, you have striven to make us For ever now to have their lot in pain, sympathize with all the sickly whims Millions of spirits for his fault amerced and phantasies of a self-dissatisfied Of heaven, and from eternal splendours flung,

For his revolt.and self-accusing spirit. That you were, as you have yourself told us, a I have a singular pleasure, I know dissipated, a sceptical, and therefore, for not how, in quoting to your Lordship there was no other cause, a wretched the lines of Milton. You cannot lisa man, was no reason why you should wish ten to their high and melancholy muto make your readers devoid of religion, sic, without reflecting with repentant virtue, and happiness. You had no

humiliation on your own perverted right to taint the pure atmosphere of and dishonoured genius. To his pure the English mind with the infectious ear, the inspirations of the muse came phrenzies of the fever of debauch. placid and solemn, with awful and Your misery was the punishment of majestic cadences. She ruffled not, your folly and your wickedness ; why but smoothed and cherished the wings did you come to rack the eyes of the of his contemplation. She breathed wise, the good, and the tranquil, with the calm of a holier harmony into his the loathsome spectacle of your merit- unspotted bosom. Reason and imagied torments ? Could genius, a thou- nation went hand in hand with virtue. sand times more splendid than yours,

He never forgot that his poetry was entitle the poor, giddy, restless victim given him, only to be the ornament of remorse, to make his art the in- and instrument of a patriot and a saint. strument of evil,--to abuse the gifts Beside your pillow the “ nightly visiof his God, by rendering them the en

tant” respires the contaminating air of gines of corruption and ruin among its pollution. The foul exhalations his fellow-men? For shame! my Lord, of disorder and sensuality poison her for shame upon your manhood! If you virgin breath, and dim the celestial had acted as became the dignity, either lustre of her eye. In despair of enof your person or of your genius, you nobling you, she becomes herself dewould have hidden yourself from the graded, and lends her vigour to be the public gaze,

until

you had expiated, in weapon of that violence, which, had the solitude of some congenial dungeon, its phrenzy been less incurable, her the sins that had embittered your con

ministrations might have soothed and science, and degraded your muse.

tempered. Milton is to you as his You had offended the eternal laws of own cherub was to the apostate. virtue, and yielded up your self-con

That glory then, when thou no more wast demning soul to be the play-thing--the

good,

Departed from thee.” aspsov xovuyma--of doubt, and of deri.

His sion. But although you felt within

very name is to your unwilling yourself the hell of conscience, why when you reflect upon the beauty of

a grave rebuke;" and you feel, should you have assumed at once the malevolence of a demon ? Alas! you in the place inviolable.”

his purity, as the revolted demon did have not even attained to the genero

“ Abashed the devil stood, sity of “ the superior fiend.” While the abject instruments of his rebellious Virtue in her own shape more lovely ; saw,

And felt how awful goodness is, and saw rage found comfort in the companion.

and pined ship of many, the Satan of Milton pre- His loss : but chiefly to find here observed served a nobler sentiment in the midst His lustre visibly impaired."

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NOTICES OF THE ACTED DRAMA IN

LONDON.

I give you credit for a real anguish, below the disguise which has once been when you turn from the contemplation lifted, and claim acquaintance, not of this happy spirit, to that of your with the sadness of the princely own“ faded splendour wan.”

masque, but with the scoffing and sara Visible, however, as was your apos- donic merriment of the ill-dissembling tacy, and mean your vengeance, there reveller beneath it. In evil hour did was still something about you to cre- you step from your vantage-ground, ate respect, even in those who compre- and teach us that Harold, Byron, and hended the best your vices and your the Count of Beppo are the same. errors. If you were an immoral and

I remain, an unchristian, you were at least a

My Lord, serious, poet. Your pictures of depra

with much pity, and not vity were sketched with such a sombre

entirely without hope, magnificence, that the eye of vulgar

Your Lordship's observers could gain little from survey

most obedient, ing their lineaments. The harp of the

most humble servant, mighty was still in your hands; and

PRESBYTER ANGLICANUS. when you dashed your fingers over its loosened strings, faded as was the harmony, and harsh the execution, the notes were still made for their listening, who had loved the solemn music

No VI. of the departed.

The last lingering talisman which We have seen Mr Elliston in the secured to you the pity, and almost Duke Aranza, and in Archer. We the pardon, even of those that abhor- were so much accustomed to receive red your guilt,--with the giddiness of unmixed pleasure from this gentlea lunatic, or the resolution of a suicide, man's acting, before we were either -you have tossed away. You have capable or desirous of judging of its lost the mournful and melancholy merits, that we are quite unable to harp which lent a protecting charm think or even talk critically about it even to the accents of pollution ; now. But we may yet be permitted and bought, in its stead, a gaudy to say that his return is truly delightviol, fit for the fingers of eunuchs, and ful to us. It gives us back an image the ears of courtezans. You have of the very spring-time of our playparted

going: a time that we thought no“With what permissiveglory, since that fall, thing could have restored even the reWas left

semblance of. It is, indeed, only an You have Aung off the last remains of image. A dim one,-like that of a the “regal port;" you are no longer one beautiful woman seen in a mirror of “ the great seraphic lords,” that sat covered with gauze ; or a starry sky even in Pandemonium,“ in their own reflected in a lake over which a breeze dimensions like themselves.” You is passing-wavering and indistinct, have grown weary of your fallen gran- but still lovely.--Criticism is a good deur, and dwarfed your stature, that thing enough in its way—but one hour you might gain easier access, and work of that time was worth a whole eterpaltrier mischief. You may resume, nity of it. Then, what did we care if you will, your giant-height, but we how the magazines or newspapers shall not fail to recognise, in spite of thought or spoke of the last new play? all your elevation, the swollen features What was it to us whether it was a of the same pigmy imp whom we have good or a bad one? We neither knew once learned-a lasting lesson—not to or desired to know any thing about abhor merely, and execrate, but to the matter. It was a play--and that despise. You may wish, as heretofore, was enough for us. It made us hapto haunt our imaginations in the sha- py—and what could we wish for dowy semblance of Harold, Conrad, more? Oh! “ Either for tragedy, Lara, or Manfred: you may retain comedy, history, pastoral, &c."their vice, and their unbelief, and their “ Scene undividable or poem unlimitrestlessness; but you have parted ireed,"—that was your only time! Lillo retrievably with the majesty of their was not “ too heavy,” nor O'Keefe despair. We see you in a shape less too light.”. sentimental and mysterious. We look We have learned better since then; VOL. III,

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