« السابقةمتابعة »
Having stated that Bacon was frequently incorrect in his citations from history, I have thought it necessary in what regards so great a name (however trifling), to support the assertion by such facts as more immediately occur to me. They are but trifles, and yet for such trifles a schoolboy would be whipped (if still in the fourth form) ; and Voltaire for half a dozen similar errors has been treated as a superflcial writer, notwithstanding the testimony of the learned Warton: –“ Voltaire, a writer of much deeper research than is imagined, and the first who has displayed the literature and customs of the dark ages with any degree of penetration and comprehension.” For another distinguished testimony to Voltaire's merits in literary research, see also Lord IIolland's exccllent Account of the Lise and Writings of Lope de Vega, vol. i. p. 215. cdition of 1817.”
Voltaire has even been termed “a shallow fellow,” by some of the same school who called Dryden's Ode “a drunken song ; "-a school (as it is called, I presume, from their education being still incomplete) the whole of whose filthy trash of Epics, Excursions, &c. &c. &c. is not worth the two words in Zaire, “Pous pleure: *,” or a single speech of Tancred:—a school, the apostate lives of whose renegadocs, with their tea-drinking neutrality of morals, and their convenient treachery in politics—in the record of their accumulated pretences to virtue can produce no actions (were all their good decds drawn up in array) to equal or approach the sole defence of the family of Calas, by that great and unequalled genius—the universal Voltaire.
I have ventured to remark on these little inaccuracies of “ the greatest genius that England, or perhaps any other country, ever produced “,” merely to show our national injustice in condemning generally the greatest genius of France for such inadvertencies as these, of which the highest of England has been no less guilty. Query, was Bacon a greater intellect than Newton 2
Being in the humour of criticism, I shall proceed, after having ventured upon the slips of Bacon, to touch upon one or two as triding in their edition of the British Poets, by the justly celebrated Campbell. But I do this in good will, and trust it will be so taken. If any thing could add to my opinion of the talents and true feeling of that gentleman, it would be his classical, honest, and triumphant defence of Pope, against the vulgar cant of the day, and its existing Grub-street.
The inadvertencies to which I allude are, —
Firstly, in speaking of Anstey, whom he accuses of having taken “his leading characters from Smollett.” Anstey's Bath Guide was published in 1766. Smollett's Humphry Clinker (the only work of Smollett's from which Tabitha, &c. &c. could have been taken) was written during Smollett's last residence at Leghorn in 1770—" Argal,” if there has been any borrowing. Anstey must be the creditor, and not the debtor. I refer Mr. Campbell to his own data in his lives of Smollett and Anstey.
secondly, Mr. Campbell says in the life of Cowper (note to page 338. vol. vii.) that he knows not to whom Cowper alludes in these lines:
The Calvinist meant Voltaire, and the church of Ferney, with its inscription “Deo erexit Voltaire.”
Thirdly, in the life of Burns, Mr. Campbell quotes Shakspeare thus:
“To gild refined gold, to paint the rose,
This version by no means improves the original, which is as follows:–
“To gild refined gold, to paint the lily,
To throw a perfume on the violet,” &c.—King John.
A great poet quoting another should be correct: he should also be accurate, when he accuses a Parnassian brother of that dangerous charge “borrowing:" a poet had better borrow any thing (excepting money) than the thoughts of another—they are always sure to be reclaimed; but it is very hard, having been the lender, to be denounced as the debtor, as is the case of Anstey versus Smollett.
As there is “honour amongst thieves,” let there be some amongst poets, and give each his due, – none can afford to give it more than Mr. Campbell himself, who, with a high reputation for originality, and a fame which cannot be shaken, is the only poet of the times (except Rogers) who can be reproached (aud in him it is indeed a reproach) with having written too little.
Ilavenna, Jan.5, 1821.
CoNversations or Lord ByRoN, as RELATED by Thoxias MEdwin, Esq., coxlpARED with A Porttion of His Lordship's Correspondence.
The volume of “Lord Byron's Conversations” with Mr. Medwin contain several statements relative to Mr. Murray, his lordship's publisher, against which, however exceptionable they might be, he was willing to trust his defence to the private testimony of persons acquainted with the real particulars, and to his general character, rather than resort to any kind of public appeal, to which he has ever been exceedingly averse. But friends, to whose judgment Mr. Murray is bound to deser, having decided that such an appeal upon the occasion is become a positive duty on his part, he hopes that he shall not be thought too obtrusive in opposing to those personal allegations extracts from Lord Byron's own letters, with the addition of a few brief notes of necessary explanation.
hand, because, in case of any reckoning between you and me, these two are only to go for oxe, as this was the original form and in fact the two together are not longer than one of the first; so remember, that I have not made this division to double topon You, but merely to suppress some tediousness in the aspect of the thing. I should have served you a pretty trick if I had sent you, for erample, cantos of fifty stanzas each.”
Capt. Medwin, p. 169.
“I don't wish to quarrel with Murray, but it seems inevitable. I had no reason to be pleased with him the other day. Galignani wrote to me, offering to purchase the copyright of my works, in order to obtain an exclusive privilege of printing them in France. I might have made my own terms, and put the money in my own pocket ; instead of which, I enclosed Galignani's letter to Murray, in order that he might conclude the matter as he pleased. He did so, very advantageously for his own interest; but never had the complaisance, the common politeness, to thank me, or acknowledge my letter.”
LoRD BY RoN's LETTER.
“I have received from Mr. Galignani the enclosed letters, duplicates, and receipts, which will erplain themselves. As the poems are your property by purchase, right, and justice, All MATTERs of publication, &c. &c. ARE for You to decide Upon. I know not how far my compliance with Mr. G.'s request might be legal, and I doubt that it would not be honest. In case you choose to arrange with him, I enclose the permits to you, and in so doing I wash my hands of the business altogether. I sign them merely to enable you to exert the power wou justly possess more properly. I will have nothing to do with it further, ercept in my answer to Mr. Galignani, to state that the letters, &c. &c. are sent to you, and the causes thereof. If you can check these foreign pirates do; if not, put the permissive papers in the fire. I can have no victo nor object whatever but to secure to you your property.”
Note. — Mr. Murray derived no advantage from the proposed agreement, which was by no means of the importance here ascribed to it, and therefore was never attempted to be carried into effect: the documents alluded to are still in his possession.
“Murray has long prevented the ‘Quarterly" from abusing me. Some of their bullies have had their fingers itching to be at me; but they would get the worst of it in a set-to.
“Murray and I have dissolved all connection: he had the choice of giving up me or the Navy List. There was no hesitation which way he should decide: the Admiralty carried the day. Now for the Quarterly: their batteries will be opened ; but I can fire broadsides too. They have been letting off lots of squibs and crackers against me, but they only make a noise and * * *.”
“‘Werner' was the last book Murray published for me, and three months after came out the Quarterly's article on in 2 Plays, when “Marino Faliero' was noticed for the first time."
Lond BY Rox's LETTER.
“I had sent you back the Quarterly without perusal, having resolved to read no more reviews, good, bad, or indu/erent; but who can control his fate P “Galignani,' to whom my English studies are confined, has forwarded a copy of at least one half of it in his indefatigable weekly compilation, and as, ‘like honour, it came unlooked for,” I have looked through it. I must say that upon the whole — that is, the whole of the half which I have read (for the other has is to be the segment of Gal.'s
“Murray pretends to have lost money by my writings, and pleads poverty; but if he is poor, which is somewhat problematical to me, pray who is to blame?
“Mr. Murray is tender of my fame. How kind in him : He is afraid of my writing too fast. Why? because he has a tender regard for his own pocket, and does not like the look of any new acquaintance in the shape of a book of mine, till he has seen his old friends in a variety of new faces: In tsr. disposed of a vast many editions of the former works. I don't know what would become of me without Douglas Rin. naird, who has always been my best and kindest friend. It is not easy to deal with Mr. Murray.”
Note. — In the numerous letters received by Mr. Murray yearly from Lord Byron (who, in writing them, was not accustomed to restrain the expression of his feelings), not one has any tendency towards the imputations here thrown out: the incongruity of which will be evident from the fact of Mr. Murray having paid at various times, for the copyright of his lordship's poems, sums amounting to upwards of 15,000l., viz.
Childe Harold, I. II. - - -e 600 joined, the second of them written by Lord Byron a few III. - - - 1,575 weeks before his death, and the last addressed by his lordIp'. - - 2,100 ship's valct to Mr. Murray as one of his deceased master's Ginour - - - 525 most confidential sriends. Bride of Abydos - - - 525 - - o 2." - - ; Lond BYRoN's LETTERs. ; of* - : : “May 8th, 1819. arriorn T - -- 315 “I have a great respect for your good and gentlemanly o asso - : 315 qualities, and return your personal friendship towards me. o - - - - : *** ***. You deserve and possess the estceon of those whose ño. I rt - 1,525 estrem is worth having, and qf none more (however useless it in rr. r - - 1.525 may be) than -- -Doge of Jon o - - - iod Yours, very truly, Jge t"nic - - - - “BYRON.” Sardanapalus, Cain, and Foscari - 1,100 Masoppa - - - : “Missolonghi, Feb. 25. 1824. Chillon - - - - 450 “I have heard from Mr. Douglas Kinnaird that you Sundrics - - state a report of a satire on Mr. Gifford having arrived from -to 15,455 Ita/y, said to be written by Me, but that You do not believe it ; I dare say you do not, nor any body else, I should think. Whoever asserts that I am the author or abettor of any thing of the kind on Gifford, lies in his throat: I a...ways regarded Carr. MEDw1N, p. 170. him as my literary father, and myself as his prodigal son. If any such composition crists, it is none qf mine. You know, as “My diffurences with Murray are not over. When he well as any body, upon whoy! I have or have not written, and
purchased Cain,’ ‘The Two Foscari,' and ‘Sardanapalus, he sent me a dced, which you may remember witnessing.
Well ; after its return to England it was discovered that
- - - - - - But I shall take no notice of it."—
Nore. — Mr. Murray of course cannot answer a statement which he does not sec; but pledges himself to disprove any inculpation the suppressed passage may contain, whenever disclosed. Iic has written twice to Captain Medwin's publisher, desiring, as an act of justice, to have the passage printed entire in any new edition of the book, and in the mean time to be favoured with a copy of it. As this has not yet been obtained, and as the context seems to imply that it accuses him of endeavouring to take some pecuniary advantage of Lord Byron, he thinks he shall be forgiven for stating he following circumstances. Mr. Murray having accidentally heard that Lord Byron was in pecuniary difficultics, immediately forwarded 1,500l. to him, with an assurance that another such sum should be at his service in a few months; and that, if such assistance should not be sufficient, Mr. Murray would be ready to sell the copyright of all his lordship's works for his use. The following is Lord Byron's acknowledgment of this offer. “November 14th, 1815. “Dear Sir, “I return you your bills not accepted, bot certainly not unhonoumed. Your present offer is a favour which I would accept from you if I accepted such from any man. Had such been my intention, I can assure wou I would have asked you fairly and as freely as you would give ; and I cannot say more of my confidence or your conduct. The circumstances which induce me to part with my books, though sufficiently are not immediately pressing. I have made up my mind to them, and there is an end. Had I been disposed to trespass on your kindness in this way, it would have been before now; but I am not sorry to have an opportunity of declining it, as it sets my opinion of you, and indeed of human nature, in a different light from that in which I have been accustomed to consider it. “Believe me, tery truly, “Your obliged and faithful servant, “BYRON. “To John Murray, Esq.”
Note. — That nothing had occurred to subvert these friendly sentiments will appear from the three letters sub
You also know whether they do or did not deserve the same –
is a very pretty lively child. All her brothers were killed by the Greeks, and she herself and her mother were spared by special favour, and owing to her extreme youth, she being then but five or six years old.
“My health is rather better, and I can ride about again. My qffice here is no sinecure—so many parties and difficulties of every kind; but I will do what I can. Prince Mavrocordati is an excellent person, and does all in his pourer; but his situation is perplering in the ertreme ; still we have great hopes of the success of the contest. You will hear, however, more of public news from plenty of quarters, for I have little time to write. Believe me,
“Yours, &c. &c. “ N. B. “To John Murray, Esq.”
“Missolonghi, April 21. 1824.
- “Forgive me for this intrusion which I now am under the painful necessity of writing to you, to inform you of the mucluncholy news of my Lord Byron, who is no more. He departed this miserable life on the 19th of April, after an illness of only ten days. His lordship began by a nervous fever, and terminated with an inflammation on the brain, for want of being bled in time, which his lordship refused till it was too Iate. I have sent the Hon. Mrs. I.eigh's letter inclosed in yours, which I think would be better for you to open and erplain to Mrs. Leigh, for I fear the contents of the letter will be too much for her. And you will please to inform Lady Byron and the Honourable Miss Byron, whom I am wished to see when I return with my lord's effects, and his dear and noble remains : Sir, you will please manage in the mildest way possible, or I am much afraid of the consequences. Sir, you will please give my duty to Lady Byron ; hoping she will allow me to see her, by my lord’s particular wish, and Miss Byron likewise. Please to ercuse all defects, for I scarcely know what I either say or do, for after twenty years' service with my lord, he was more to me than a father, and I am too much distressed to now give a correct account of every particular, which I hope to do at my arrival in England. — Sir, you will likewise have the goodness to forward the letter to the Honourable Captain George Byron, who, as the representative of the family and title, I thought it my duty to send him a line. But gou, Sir, will please to explain to him all particulars, as I have not time, as the erpress is now ready to make his voyage
Aglietti, Dr., 42. 230.
Anacreon, his ‘81Aa. Aizu, Artuba; "
Anastasius Macedon, 792.
Anastasius, Hope's, 438.
“And wilt thou weep when I am low,'
“And thou art dead, as young and fair,"
“And thou wert sad : " 472.
Andalusian nobleman, adventures of,
Andrews, Bishop, a punster, 440.
Andrews, Miles Peter, csq., his pro-
Angelo, Michael, his tomb in the church
Angelo, St., Castle of, 58. 313.
Angiolini, dancer, 430.
Anger, 65.97. 607.
Angling, ‘the cruelest and stupidest of
Anne, Lines to, 535.
Annesley, hill near, 475.
Annuitants, alleged longevity of, 616.
Anstey's Bath Guide, 755. 809.
Anthony, St., his recipe for hot blood,
Anti Jacobin, 514.
Antilochus, tomb of, 8.2. 648.
Antinous, his heroic death, 16.
Antoninus Pius, 782.
Antony, 21. His person described, 303.
Apollo, 641. “
Apollo Belvidere, 59.
Appearances, the joint on which good
Applause, popular, 636.
Arabs, life of the 86.
Ararat, Mount, 232.
Archipelago, 36. 172.
Ardennes, forest of. 31.
Aretino, Pietro, 779.
Aretino, Leonardo, 499.
Argus. Ulysses' dog, 631.
Argyle institution, 431.