« 上一頁繼續 »
CANTO THE SIXTH. (1)
(1) [Cantos VI. VII. and VIII. were written at Pisa, in 1822, and published by Mr. John Hunt in July, 1823. The poet's resumption of Don Juan is explained in the following extract from his correspondence:
Pisa, July 8. 1822.—“It is not impossible that I may have three or four cantos of Don Juan ready by autumn, or a little later, as I obtained a permission from my dictatress to continue it,-provided always it was to be more guarded and decorous and sentimental in the continuation than in the commencement. How far these conditions have been fulfilled may be seen, perhaps, by and by; but the embargo was only taken off upon these stipulations."-E]
TO CANTOS VI. VII. AND VIII.
THE details of the siege of Ismail in two of the following cantos (i. e. the seventh and eighth) are taken from a French Work, entitled "Histoire de la Nouvelle Russie."() Some of the incidents attributed to Don Juan really occurred, particularly the circumstance of his saving the infant, which was the actual case of the late Duc de Richelieu, (2) then a young volunteer in the Russian service, and afterward the founder and benefactor of Odessa, (3) where his name
(1) ["Essai sur l'Histoire ancienne et moderne de la Nouvelle Russie, par le Marquis Gabriel de Castelnau." 3 tom. Paris, 1820.]
(2) ["Au commencement de 1803, le Duc de Richelieu fut nommé gouverneur d'Odessa. Quand le Duc vint en prendre l'administration, aucune rue n'y était formée, aucun établissement n'y était achevé. On y comptait à peine cinq mille habitans: onze ans plus tard, lorsqu'il s'en éloigna, on y en comptait trente-cinq milles. Les rues étaient tirées au cordeau, plantées d'une double rang d'arbres; et l'on y voyait tous les établissemens qu'exigent le culte, l'instruction, la commodité, et même les plaisirs des habitans. Un seul édifice public avait été négligé; le gouverneur, dans cet oubli de lui-même, et cette simplicité de mœurs qui distinguaient son caractère, n'avait rien voulu changer à la modeste habitation qu'il avait trouvé en arrivant. Le commerce, débarassé d'entraves, avait pris l'essor le plus rapide à Odessa, tandis que la sécu rité et la liberté de conscience y avaient promptement attiré la popu lation." Biog. Univ.]
(3) [Odessa is a very interesting place; and being the seat of government, and the only quarantine allowed except Caffa and Taganrog, is, though of very recent erection, already wealthy and flourishing. Too much praise cannot be given to the Duke of Richelieu, to whose admi nistration, not to any natural advantages, this town owes its prosperity. —
and memory can never cease to be regarded with
In the course of these cantos, a stanza or two will be found relative to the late Marquis of Londonderry, but written some time before his decease. Had that person's oligarchy died with him, they would have been suppressed; as it is, I am aware of nothing in the manner of his death (1) or of
(1) [Robert, second Marquis of Londonderry, died, by his own hand, at his seat at North Cray, in Kent, in August, 1822. During the session of parliament which had just closed, his lordship appears to have sunk under the weight of his labours, and insanity was the consequence. The following tributes to his eminent qualities we take from the leading Tory and Whig newspapers of the day :
"Of high honour, fearless, undaunted, and firm in his resolves, he combined, in a remarkable manner, with the fortiter in re the suaviter in modo. To his political adversaries (and he had no other) he was at once open, frank, unassuming, and consequently conciliatory. He was happy in his union with a most amiable consort; he was the pride of a venerated father; and towards a beloved brother it might truly be said he was notus animo fraterno.
"With regard to his public character, all admit his talents to have been of a high order, and his industry in the discharge of his official duties to have been unremitting. Party animosity may question the wisdom of measures in which he was a principal actor, to save its own consistency, but it does not dare to breathe a doubt of his integrity and honour. His reputation as a minister is, however, above the reach of both friends and enemies. He was one of the leaders of that ministry which preserved the country from being subjugated by a power which subjugated all the rest of Europe - which fought the country against combined Europe, and triumphed - and which wrenched the sceptre of dominion from the desolating principles that the French revolution spread through the world, and restored it to religion and honesty. If to have preserved the faith and liberties of England from destruction-to have raised her to the most magnificent point of greatness-to have liberated a quarter of the globe from a despotism which bowed down both body and soul - and to have placed the world again under the control of national law and just principles, be transcendent fame-such fame belongs to this ministry; and, of all its members, to none more than to the Marquis of Londonderry. During great part of the year, he toiled frequently for twelve or fourteen hours per day at the most exhausting of all kinds of labour, for a salary which, unaided by private fortune, would not have supported him. He laboured for thirty years in the service of the country. In this service
his life to prevent the free expression of the opinions of all whom his whole existence was consumed in endeavouring to enslave. That he was an amiable man in private life, may or may not be true: but with this the public have nothing to do; and as to lamenting his death, it will be time enough when Ireland has ceased to mourn for his birth. As a minister, I, for one of millions, looked upon him as the most despotic in intention, and the weakest in intellect, that ever tyrannised over a country. It is the first time indeed since the Normans that England has been insulted by a minister (at least) who could not speak English, and that parliament permitted itself to be dictated to in the language of Mrs. Malaprop.(1)
Of the manner of his death little need be said, except that if a poor radical, such as Waddington or Watson, had cut his throat, he would have been
he ruined a robust constitution, broke a lofty spirit, destroyed a first-rate understanding, and met an untimely death, without adding a shilling to his patrimonial fortune. What the country gained from him may never be calculated-what he gained from the country was lunacy, and a martyr's grave."- New Times.
"Lord Londonderry was a man of unassuming manners, of simple tastes, and (so far as regarded private life) of kind and generous disposition. Towards the poor he was beneficent: in his family mild, considerate, and forbearing. He was firm to the connections and associates of his earlier days, not only those of choice, but of accident, when not unworthy; and to promote them, and to advance their interests, his efforts were sincere and indefatigable. In power he forgot no service rendered to him while he was in a private station, nor broke any promise, expressed or implied, nor abandoned any friend who claimed and merited his assistance."— Times.
(1) [See Sheridan's comedy of "The Rivals."]