« ZurückWeiter »
The Fête of St. Cloud, though not unamusing, would not suit our pages. French subjects, as all Editors and Kings can testify, are lively and dangerous. They are very irregular, or very poor.
The fragment of C. F. F. W. is double proof sentiment indeed ;—and we much wish he could let our readers have a taste of it. It is truly “ some of the right sort” for those who dram in Leadenhall-street.
R. should recollect, that the Odes of Anacreon have been translated and paraphrased from the very days of that jolly old Greek Bibber to the present moment weekly, daily, hourly! Mr. Moore has done them into remarkably elegant Irish. And several recent clergymen and others have prosed over the grape in tedious and orderly raptures. The specimens sent us by R. are extremely spirited and proper. But he who would give Anacreon throughout, will, as Horace Walpole said happily of Sir Charles Hanbury Williams, “ be but in flower for an ode or two."
We must decline “ the Jacobites." The tale is neither carefully written nor cunningly conceived. Perhaps the writer might be more fortunate in some other subject.
H. A. who writes that he is ignorant " whether the London MAGAZINE makes any allowance for Poetry,” is informed that it makes great allowances for it on several occasions. If the specimens sent by H. A. are in his best and most inspired manner, we are sorry to say that we can make no allowance for them and they must therefore be put back on his hands. We understand him to say, that the goods are sent us upon sale or return.
The lines on the “ Logos," are not of sufficient interest to warrant their being dressed in print. The specimen of a History of the Old Actors is also not very promising
We shall have great pleasure in receiving from our Correspondent S. his promised Remarks on the Pythagorean Philosophy.
Several other contributors will be pleased to translate our silence in the way most pleasant to themselves.
REPLY TO BLACKWOOD.
The last Number of Blackwood's Magazine contains the following paragraphs respecting a cancelled leaf of the London.
“ In the London Magazine for February, 1823, it may perhaps be remembered by some few people, there was a review of Peveril of the Peak, marked by an insulting spirit. The Author of Waverley was compared to Cobbett, &c. All this is perhaps fair enough, and not more absurd than what is given us by the idiots of the New Monthly, who find evidences of a conspiracy against the liberties of the country in the Scotch Novels; but we distinctly recollect feeling a slight sensation of disgust on reading it. We did not at the time know, what has since come to our knowledge, that it had contained a passage of consummate blackguardism. Between the first and second paragraphs as they now stand, another was originally printed, and, good reader, here it is. [Observe that the Vermin had attributed the Scotch Novels already by name to Sir Walter Scott-an assertion which he repeats immediately after.)
666 There were two things that we used to admire of old in this author, and that we have had occasion to admire anew in the present instance, the extreme life of mind or naturalness displayed in the descriptions, and the magnanimity and freedom from bigotry and prejudice shewn in the drawing of the characters. This last quality is the more remarkable, as the reputed author is accused of being a thorough-paced partisan in his own person, -intolerant, mercenary, mean; a professed toad-eater, a sturdy hack, a pitiful retailer or suborner of infamous slanders, a literary Jack Ketch, who would greedily sacrifice any one of another way of thinking as a victim to prejudice and power, and yet would do it by other hands, rather than appear in it himself. Can this be all true of the author of Waverley; and does he deal out such fine and heaped justice to all sects and parties in times past ? Perhaps (if so) one of these extremes accounts for the other; and, as he knows all qualities with a learned spirit,' probably he may be aware of this practical defect in himself, and be determined to shew to posterity, that when his own interest was not concerned, he was as free from that nauseous aud pettifogging bigotry, as a mere matter of speculation, as any man could be. As a novel-writer, he gives the devil his due, and he gives no more to a saint. He treats human nature scurvily, yet handsomely; that is, much as it deserves ; and, if it is the same person who is the author of the Scotch Novels, and who has a secret moving hand in certain Scotch Newspapers and Magazines, we may fairly characterize him as
* The wisest, meanest of mankind.' “ “ Among other characters in the work before us, is that of Ned Christian, a cold. blooded hypocrite, pander, and intriguer ; yet a man of prodigious talent,-of great ver. satility, -of unalterable self-possession and good-humour, and with a power to personate agreeably, and to the life, any character he pleased. Might not such a man have written the Scotch Novels ?'
(Sic in the first copies of the London Magazine for February 1823, p. 205-206. In the copies, as now published, it does not appear, and the space it occupied in the page is supplied by a piece of balaam, being an anecdote of Dr. Franklin.]
“Well, reader, what do you think of that? Here is a wretch directly calling one of the greatest and best men of the country, a toad-eater, a hack, a suborner, a slanderer, a Jack Ketch, a man intolerant, mercenary, and mean, and, by implication, a coldblooded hypocrite, a pander, and an intriguer. Is it expected that we should say a word in answer ? No, we leave you to decide on the consecion of the head and heart of him who wrote it, without adding a word.
“ This man is, if we may trust the chatter of booksellers’ shops, Mr. Tarlok, senior partner of the house of Taylor and Hessey, 90, Fleet Street, and 13, Waterloo Place. We take a pleasure in hanging him upon a gibbet as a fit object for the slow-moving finger of scorn, with the appropriate label of, “ This is Mr. Taylor, who wrote the review of Peveril of the Peak for his Fleet Street Miscellany.” After it was printed, terror seized the cowardly spirit of the proprietor, and after having disposed of two or three hundred of them, they were called in with the most breathless rapidity. Some, however, were out of their reach, and from one of them is printed the above. What a combination of filth there is in the whole transaction! The paltry motive, the direct falsehood, the low and ridiculous envy, the mean venom of the composition, well har. monize with the poor and snivelling poltroonery of its suppression. It says as plainly as a fact can speak, We would be assassins if we durst. Our cowardice, and not our will, prevents.”
READER! In this charge there are three distinct assertions. They are three disTINCT FALSEHOODS.
1. That our publisher, Mr. Taylor, wrote the Review alluded to.—HE DID
2. That two or three hundred copies of that Review were disposed of.THERE WERE NOT FIFTY.
3. That the passage complained of in that Review was suppressed through terror.—IT WAS NOT. The passage was not a libel in law; nothing therefore could be feared from its publication.
The Review in question was written by a celebrated Critic-was received too late for examination—and was cleared of the passage objected to, as soon as possible, from a motive of good feeling towards the Author of the Novel.
This is our answer. It is anonymous, because the charge was so. If the Editor of Blackwood's Magazine is desirous of a personal disavowal, let him step forward in his real character to repeat his slander, and Mr. Taylor will repel it to his face.
PERSONAL CHARACTER OF LORD BYRON.
To the Editor of the London Magazine. Dear Sir, The following article on the personal character of Lord Byron, will be read, I think, with peculiar interest, as your readers will immediately perceive that it is written by one who has had unusual opportunities of observing the extraordinary habits, feelings, and opinions of the inspired and noble Poet. I am quite sure that, after a perusal of the following paper, the reader will be able to see Lord Byron, mind and all, “ in his habit as he lived: ”—Much that has hitherto been accounted inexplicable in his Lordship’s life and writings is now interpreted, and the poet and the man are here depicted in their true colours. I can pledge myself to the strict correctness of its details.
I am, dear Sir, &c.
LORD Byron's address was the live with another with suspicions in most affable and courteous perhaps his bosom-out came the accusation, ever seen; his manners, when in a and he called upon the individual good humour, and desirous of being to stand clear, or be ashamed of well with his guest, were winning himself. He detested a lie-nothing -fascinating in the extreme, and enraged him so much as a lie: he though bland, still spirited, and was by temperament and education with an air of frankness and gene- excessively irritable, and a lie comrosity-qualities in which he was pletely unchained him-his indignacertainly not deficient. He was open tion knew no bounds. He had conto a fault-a characteristic probably siderable tact in detecting untruth, he the result of his fearlessness and in- would smellitout almost instinctively; dependence of the world; but so he avoided the timid driveler, and geopen was he that his friends were nerally chose his companions among obliged to live upon their guard with the lovers and practisers of sincerity him. He was the worst person in and candour. A man tells the false the world to confide a secret to ; and and conceals the true, because he is if any charge against any body was afraid that the declaration of the mentioned to him, it was probably thing, as it is, will hurt him. Lord the first communication he made to Byron was above all fear of this the person in question. He hated sort; he flinched from telling no one scandal and tittle-tattle-loved the what he thought to his face; from manly straightforward course: he his infancy he had been afraid of no would harbour no doubts, and never one: falsehood is not the vice of the Ост. 1824.
powerful ; the Greek slave lies, the for this reason he feared, or hated, Turkish tyrant is remarkable for his or fancied that he hated England: adherence to truth.
in fact, as far as this one cause went, Lord Byron was irritable (as I he did hate England, but the bahave said), irritable in the extreme; lance of love in its favour was imand this is another fault of those mense ; all his views were directed who have been accustomed to the to England; he never rode a mile, unmurmuring obedience of obsequi- wrote a line, or held a conversation, in ous attendants. If he had lived at which England and the English public home, and held undisputed sway were not the goal to which he was over hired servants, led captains, looking, whatever scorn he might servile apothecaries, and willing have on his tongue. county magistrates, probably he Before he went to Greece, he might have passed through life with imagined that he had grown very an unruffled temper, or at least his es- unpopular, and even infamous, in capades of temper would never have England; when he left Murray, enbeen heard of; but he spent his time gaged in the Liberal, which was unin adventure and travel, amongst successful, published with the Hunts, friends, rivals, and foreigners; and, he fancied, and doubtless was told doubtless, he had often reason to so, by some of his aristocratic friends, find that his early life had unfitted that he had become low, that the better him for dealing with men on an English thought him out of fashion equal footing, or for submitting to and voted him vulgar; and that for untoward accidents with patience, the licentiousness of Don Juan, or
His vanity was excessive-unless for vices either practised or suspected, it may with greater propriety be the public had morally outlawed called by a softer name-a milder him. This was one of the determin, term, and perhaps a juster, would ing causes which led him to Greece, be his love of fame. He was ex- that he might retrieve himself. He orbitantly desirous of being the sole thought that his name coupled with object of interest: whether in the the Greek cause would sound well circle in which he was living, or in at home. When he arrived at Cephathe wider sphere of the world, he lonia, and found that he was in good could bear no rival; he could not odour with the authorities,-that the tolerate the person who attracted at regiment stationed there, and other tention from himself; he instantly English residents in the island, rebecame animated with a bitter jea- ceived him with the highest consilousy, and hated, for the time, every deration, he was gratified to a most greater or more celebrated man than extravagant pitch; he talked of it himself: he carried his jealousy up to the last with a perseverance and even to Buonaparte; and it was the in a manner which showed how secret of his contempt of Wellington. anxious his fears had been that he It was dangerous for his friends to was lost with the English people. rise in the world if they valued his They who have not resided abroad friendship more than their own fame are very little aware how difficult it he hated them.
is to keep up with the state of pubą It cannot be said that he was vain lic opinion at home. Letters and of any talent, accomplishment, or newspapers, which are rarely seen other quality in particular; it was even by the richer traveller on acneither more nor less than a morbid count of the immense expense of and voracious appetite for fame, ade their transmission, scarcely do any miration, public applause : propor- thing more than tantalize the spirit, tionably he dreaded the public cen- or administer food to the imagination. sure; and though from irritation We gather the state of public opinion and spite, and sometimes through by ten thousand little circumstances design, he acted in some respects as which cannot, or only a few of which if he despised the opinion of the world, çan, be communicated through any no man was ever more alive to it. other channel of information. While
The English newspapers talked on the spot, absence of calumny, or freely of him; and he thought the the fact of not hearing any thing disEnglish public did the same; and agreeable, is a proof of its non-ex