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the surviving world would snatch Pope from the wreck, and let the rest sink with the people. He is the moral poet of all civilization; and, as such, let us hope that he will one day be the national poet of mankind. He is the only poet that never shocks; the only poet whose faultlessness has been made his reproach. Cast your eye over his productions; consider their extent, and contemplate their variety:pastoral, passion, mockheroic, translation, satire, ethics,- all excellent, and often perfect. If his great charm be his melody, how comes it that foreigners adore him even in their diluted translations? But I have made this letter too long. Give my compliments to Mr. Bowles.
age of English poetry; no regard for others, the posterity of strangers should know that no selfish feeling, can prevent me from see-there had been such a thing as a British ing this, and expressing the truth. There Epic and Tragedy, might wish for the can be no worse sign for the taste of the preservation of Shakspeare and Milton; but times than the depreciation of Pope. It would be better to receive for proof Mr. Cobbett's rough but strong attack upon Shakespeare and Milton, than to allow this smooth and “candid” undermining of the reputation of the most perfect of our poets and the purest of our moralists. Of his power in the passions, in description, in the mock-heroic, I leave others to descant. I take him on his strong ground, as an ethical poet: in the former none excel, in the mock-heroic and the ethical none equal him; and in my mind, the latter is the highest of all poetry, because it does that in verse, which the greatest of men have wished to accomplish in prose. If the essence of poetry must be a lie, throw it to the dogs, or banish it from your republic, as Plato would have done. He who can reconcile poetry with truth and wisdom, is the only true "poet" in its real sense: "the maker," "the creator" - why must this mean the "liar," the "feigner," "the tale-teller?" A man may make and create better things than these.
I shall not presume to say that Pope is as high a poet as Shakspeare and Milton, though his enemy, Warton, places him immediately under them. I would no more say this than I would assert in the mosque (once Saint Sophia's), that Socrates was a greater man than Mahomet. But if I say that he is very near them, it is no more than has been asserted of Burns, who is supposed
Yours ever, very truly,
BYRON. Postscriptum.-Long as this letter has grown, I find it necessary to append a postscript,-if possible, a short one. Mr. Bowles denies that he has accused Pope of "a sordid money-getting passion;" but he adds, "if I had ever done so, I should be glad to find any testimony that might show he was not so." This testimony he may find to his heart's content in Spence and elsewhere. First, there is Martha Blount, who, Mr. Bowles charitably says, "probably thought he did not save enough for her as legatee.' "Whatever she thought upon this point, her words are in Pope's favour. Then there is Alderman Barber; see Spence's Anecdotes. There is Pope's cold answer to Halifax when he proposed a pension; his behaviour to Craggs and to Addison upon like occasions; and his own two lines
And, thanks to Homer, since I live and thrive,
"To rival all but Shakspeare's name below." I say nothing against this opinion. But of what "order," according to the poetical aristocracy, are Burns's poems? There are his opus magnum, “Tam O'Shanter," a tale; the "Cotter's Saturday Night," a descriptive Indebted to no prince or peer alive. sketch; some others in the same style; the written when princes would have been rest are songs. So much for the rank of proud to pension, and peers to promote him, his productions; the rank of Burns is the and when the whole army of dunces were very first of his art. Of Pope I have ex-in array against him, and would have been pressed my opinion elsewhere, as also of but too happy to deprive him of this boast the effect which the present attempts at of independence. But there is something poetry have had upon our literature. If a little more serious in Mr. Bowles's deany great national or natural convulsion claration, that he "would have spoken" of could or should overwhelm your country, his "noble generosity to the outcast, Richin such sort as to sweep Great Britain from ard Savage," and other instances of a the kingdoms of the earth, and leave only compassionate and generous heart, "had that, after all the most living of human they occurred to his recollection when he things, a dead language, to be studied, wrote." What is it come to this? Does and read, and imitated by the wise of future Mr. Bowles sit down to write a minute and far generations upon foreign shores; and laboured life and edition of a great if your literature should become the learn- poet? Does he anatomize his character, ing of mankind, divested of party-cabals, moral and poetical? Does he present us temporary fashions, and national pride and with his faults and with his foibles? Does prejudice; an Englishman, anxious that he sneer at his feelings and doubt of his
as often as Mr. Bowles, and have had as pleasant things said, and some as unpleasant, as could well be pronounced. In the review of "The Fall of Jerusalem," it is stated that I have devoted "my powers, to the worst parts of Manicheism," which, being
Now, I have neither written a reply, nor complained to Gifford. I believe that I observed in a letter to you, that I thought "that the critic might have praised Milman without finding it necessary to abuse me;" but did I not add at the same time, or soon after (apropos of the note in the book of Travels), that I would not, if it were even in my power, have a single line cancelled on my account in that nor in any other publication?-Of course, I reserve to myself the privilege of response when necessary. Mr. Bowles seems in a whimsical state about the article on Spence. You know very well that I am not in your confidence, nor in that of the conductor of the journal. The moment I saw that article, I was morally certain that I knew the anthor "by his style." You will tell me that
sincerity? Does he unfold his vanity and duplicity? and then omit the good qualities which might, in part, have "covered this multitude of sins?" and then plead that "they did not occur to his recollection?" Is this the frame of mind and of memory with which the illustrious dead are to be ap-interpreted, means that I worship the devil. proached? If Mr. Bowles, who must have had access to all the means of refreshing his memory, did not recollect these facts, he is unfit for his task; but if he did recollect, and omit them, I know not what he is fit for, but I know what would be fit for him. Is the plea of "not recollecting" such prominent facts to be admitted? Mr. Bowles has been at a public school, and as I have been publicly educated also, I can sympathize with his predilection. When we were in the third form even, had we pleaded on the Monday morning, that we had not brought up the Saturday's exercise because "we had forgotten it," what would have been the reply? And is an excuse, which would not be pardoned to a schoolboy, to pass current in a matter which so nearly concerns the fame of the first poet of his age, if not of his country? I do not know him: that is all as it should If Mr. Bowles so readily forgets the virtues of others, why complain so grievously that others have a better memory for his own faults? They are but the faults of an author; while the virtues he omitted from his catalogue are essential to the justice due to a man.
be; keep the secret, so shall I, though no one has ever intrusted it to me. He is not the person whom Mr. Bowles denounces. Mr. Bowles's extreme sensibility reminds me of a circumstance which occurred on board of a frigate, in which I was a passenger and guest of the captain's for a Mr. Bowles appears, indeed, to be sus- considerable time. The surgeon on board, ceptible beyond the privilege of authorship. a very gentlemanly young man, and reThere is a plaintive dedication to Mr. markably able in his profession, wore a Gifford, in which he is made responsible wig. Upon this ornament he was extremely for all the articles of the Quarterly. Mr. tenacious. As naval jests are sometimes a Southey, it seems, "the most able and elo- little rough, his brother-officers made ocquent writer in that Review," approves of casional allusions to this delicate appendage Mr. Bowles's publication. Now, it seems to the doctor's person. One day a young to me the more impartial, that, notwith- lieutenant, in the course of a facetious disstanding that the great writer of the Quar-cussion, said, "Suppose, now, doctor, I terly entertains opinions opposite to the should take off your hat. "Sir," replied able article on Spence, nevertheless that the doctor, "I shall talk no longer with essay was permitted to appear. Is a Review you; you grow scurrilous.” He would not to be devoted to the opinions of any one even admit so near an approach as to the man? Must it not vary according to cir- hat which protected it. In like manner, cumstances, and according to the subjects if any body approaches Mr. Bowles's laurels, to be criticised? I fear that writers must even in his outside capacity of an editor, take the sweets and bitters of the public "they grow scurrilous." You say that you journals as they occur, and an author of are about to prepare an edition of Pope; so long a standing as Mr. Bowles might you cannot do better for your own credit have become accustomed to such incidents; as a publisher, nor for the redemption of he might be angry, but not astonished. I Pope from Mr. Bowles, and of the public have been reviewed in the Quarterly almost taste from rapid degeneracy.
NOTES TO CHILDE HAROLD'S PILGRIMAGE.
NOTES TO CANTO 1. Yes! sigh'd o'er Delphi's long-deserted shrine. [pag. 3. Stanza 1. THE little village of Castri stands partly on the site of Delphi. Along the path of the mountain, from Chrysso, are the remains of sepulchres hewn in and from the rock: "One," said the guide, "of a king who broke his neck hunting. His Majesty had certainly chosen the fittest spot for such an achievement. A little above Castri is a cave, supposed the Pythian, of immense depth; the upper part of it is paved, and now a cowhouse. On the other side of Castri stands a Greek monastery; some way above which is the cleft in the rock, with a range of caverns difficult of ascent, and apparently leading to the interior of the mountain; probably to the Corycian Cavern mentioned by Pausanias. From this part descend the fountain and the "Dews of Castalie."
And rest ye at our Lady's house of woe."
Throughout this purple land, where law secures
Behold the hall where chiefs were late convened!
tion, reconciled rival superstitions, and baffled an enemy who never retreated before his predecessors.
Yet Mafra shall one moment claim delay. [p. 6. St. 29. The extent of Mafra is prodigious; it contains a palace, convent, and most superb church. The six organs are the most beautiful I ever beheld in point of decoration; we did not hear them, but were told that their tones were correspondent to their splendour. Mafra is termed the Escurial of Portugal.
Well doth the Spanish hind the difference know 'Twixt him and Ĺusian slave, the lowest of the low. [p. 7. St. 33.
As I found the Portuguese, so I have characterized them. That they are since improved, at least in courage, is evident.
When Cava's traitor-sire first call'd the band That dyed thy mountain-streams with Gothic gore? [p. 7. St. 35.
Count Julian's daughter, the Helen of Spain. Pelagius preserved his independence in the fastnesses of the Asturias, and the descendants of his followers, after some centuries, completed their struggle by the conquest of Grenada.
No! as he speeds, he chaunts: "Viva el Rey!" [p. 8. St. 48. "Viva el Rey Fernando!"-Long live King Ferdinand! is the chorus of most of the Spanish patriotic songs: they are chiefly in dispraise of the old king Charles, the Queen, and the Prince of Peace. have heard many of them; some of the airs are beautiful. Godoy, the Principe de la Paz, was born at Badajoz, on the frontiers of Portugal, and was originally in the ranks of the Spanish Guards, till his person attracted the queen's eyes, and raised him to the dukedom of Alcudia. It is to this man that the Spaniards universally impute the ruin of their country.
Bears in his cap the badge of crimson hue, Which tells you whom to shun and whom to greet. [p. 8. St. 50. The red cockade with "Fernando Septimo" in the centre.
The ball-piled pyramid, the ever-blazing match. [p. 8. St. 51. [p. 6. St. 24. All who have seen a battery will recollect The Convention of Cintra was signed in the the pyramidal form in which shot and shells are palace of the Marchese Marialva. The late ex-piled. The Sierra Morena was fortified in every ploits of Lord Wellington have effaced the fol- defile through which I passed in my way to lies of Cintra. He has, indeed, done wonders: Seville. he has perhaps changed the character of a na
*) Since the publication of this Poem, I have been informed of the misapprehension of the term Nossa Senora de Pena. It was owing to the want of the tilde, or mark over the n, which alters the signification of the word: with it, Pena signifies a rock; without it, Pena has the sense I adopted. I do not think it necessary to alter the passage, as though the common acceptation affixed to it is "our Lady of the Rock," I may well assume the other sense from the severitics practised there.
Foil'd by a woman's hand, before a batter'd wall? [p. 9. St. 56.
Such were the exploits of the Maid of Saragoza. When the author was at Seville she walked daily on the Prado, decorated with medals and orders, by command of the Junta.
The seal Love's dimpling finger hath impress'd
Fair is proud Seville; let her country boast
Oh, thou Parnassus ! (p. 9. St. 60. | country, appear more conspicuous than in the These stanzas were written in Castri (Delphos), record of what Athens was, and the certainty at the foot of Parnassus, now called taxvoa of what she now is. This theatre of contention Liakura. between mighty factions, of the struggles of orators, the exaltation and deposition of tyrants, the triumph and punishment of generals, is now become a scene of petty intrigue and perpetual disturbance between the bickering agents of certain British nobility and gentry. "The wild foxes, the owls and serpents in the ruins of Babylon," were surely less degrading than such inhabitants. The Turks have the plea of conquest for their tyranny, and the Greeks have only suffered the fortune of war, incidental to the bravest; but how are the mighty fallen, when two painters contest the privilege of plundering the Parthenon, and triumph in turn, according to the tenor of each succeeding firman! Sylla could but punish, Philip subdue, and Xerxes burn Athens; but it remained for the paltry antiquarian, and his despicable agents, to render her contemptible as himself and his pursuits.
Some bitter o'er the flowers its bubbling venom
A traitor only fell beneath the feud. [p. 12. St. 85. Alluding to the conduct and death of Solano, the Governor of Cadiz.
"War even to the knife!"
[p. 12. St. 86. "War to the knife." Palafox's answer to the French General at the siege of Saragoza.
And thou, my friend!
[p. 13. St. 91. The Honourable I. W**. of the Guards, who died of a fever at Coimbra. I had known him ten years, the better half of his life, and the happiest part of mine.
In the short space of one month I have lost her who gave me being, and most of those who had made that being tolerable. To me the lines of YOUNG are no fiction:
Insatiate archer! could not one suffice?
Thy shaft flew thrice, and thrice my peace was slain,
And thrice ere thrice yon moon had fill'd her horn.
I should have ventured a verse to the memory of the late Charles Skinner Matthews, Fellow of Downing College, Cambridge, were he not too much above all praise of mine. His powers of mind, shown in the attainment of greater honours, against the ablest candidates, than those of any graduate on record at Cambridge, have sufficiently established his fame on the spot where it was acquired, while his softer qualities live in the recollection of friends who loved him too well to envy his superiority.
NOTES TO CANTO II.
Despite of war and wasting fire. [p. 13. St. 1. PART of the Acropolis was destroyed by the explosion of a magazine during the Venetian siege.
But worse than steel and flame, and ages slow,
The Parthenon, before its destruction in part, by fire during the Venetian siege, had been a temple, a church, and a mosque. In each point of view it is an object of regard: it changed its worshippers; but still it was a place of worship thrice sacred to devotion: its violation is a triple sacrilege. But
"Man, vain man,
Drest in a little brief authority,
Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven
Far on the solitary shore he sleeps.
[p. 14. St. 5. It was not always the custom of the Greeks to burn their dead; the greater Ajax in parti
cular was interred entire. Almost all the chiefs became gods after their decease, and he was indeed neglected, who had not annual games near his tomb, or festivals in honour of his memory by his countrymen, as Achilles, Brasidas, and at last even Antinous, whose death was as heroic as his life was infamous.
Here, son of Saturn! was thy fav'rite throne.
[p. 14. St. 10.
The temple of Jupiter Olympius, of which sixteen columns, entirely of marble, yet survive: originally there were 150. These columns, however, are by many supposed to have belonged to the Pantheon.
And bear these altars o'er the long-reluctant brine. [p. 14. St. 11. The ship was wrecked in the Archipelago.
To rive what Goth, and Turk, and Time hath spared. [p. 14. St. 12. At this moment (January 3, 1809), besides what has been already deposited in London, an Hydriot vessel is in the Piræus to receive every portable relic. Thus, as I heard a young Greek observe in common with many of his countrymen-for, lost as they are, they yet feel on this occasion-thus may Lord Elgin boast of having ruined Athens. An Italian painter of the first eminence, named Lusieri, is the agent of devastation; and like the Greek finder of Verres in Sicily, who followed the same profession, he has Oproved the able instrument of plunder. Between this artist and the French Consul Fauvel, who wishes to rescue the remains for his own government, there is now a violent dispute concerning a car employed in their conveyance, the wheel of which-I wish they were both broken upon it-has been locked up by the Consul, aud Lusieri has laid his complaint before the Waywode. Lord Elgin has been extremely happy in his choice of Signor Lusieri. During a residence of ten years in Athens he never had the curio
sity to proceed as far as Sanium ), till he accompanied us in our second excursion. However, his works, as far as they go, are most beautiful; but they are almost all unfinished. While he and his patrons confine themselves to tasting medals, appreciating cameos, sketching columns, and cheapening gems, their little absurdities are as harmless as insect- or fox-hunting, maidenspeechifying, barouche-driving, or any such pastime: but when they carry away three or four shiploads of the most valuable and massy relics that time and barbarism have left to the most injured and most celebrated of cities; when they destroy, in a vain attempt to tear down, those works which have been the admiration of ages, I know no motive which can excuse, no name which can designate, the perpetrators of this dastardly devastation. It was not the least of the crimes laid to the charge of Verres, that he had plundered Sicily, in the manner since imitated at Athens. The most unblushing impudence could hardly go farther than to affix the name of its plunderer to the walls of the Acropolis; while the wanton and useless defacement of the whole range of the bassorelievos, in one compartment of the temple will never permit that name to be pronounced by an observer without execration.
On this occasion I speak impartially: I am not a collector or admirer of collections, consequently no rival; but I have some. early prepossession in favour of Greece, and do not think the honour of England advanced by plunder, whether of India or Attica.
Another noble Lord has done better, because he has done less: but some others, more or less noble, yet "all honourable men," have done best, because, after a deal of excavation and execration, bribery to the Waywode, mining and
countermining, they have done nothing at all.
Her sons too weak the sacred shrine to guard,
[p. 14. St. 12.
I cannot resist availing myself of the permission of my friend Dr. Clarke, whose name requires no comment with the public, but whose sanction will add tenfold weight to my testimony, to insert the following extract from a very obliging letter of his to me, as a note to the above lines:
"When the last of the Metopes was taken from the Parthenon, and, in moving of it, great part of the superstructure with one of the triglyphs was thrown down by the workmen whom Lord Elgin employed, the Disdar, who beheld the mischief done to the building, took his pipe from his mouth, dropped a tear, and, in a supplicating tone of voice, said to Lusieri: Téλos! I was present.
The Disdar alluded to was the father of the present Disdar.
Where was thine Ægis, Pallas! that appall'd
-The netted canopy.
[p. 14. St. 14. According to Zozimus, Minerva and Achilles Now Cape Colonna. In all Attica, if we frightened Alaric from the Acropolis; but others except Athens itself and Marathon, there is relate that the Gothic king was nearly as misno scene more interesting than Cape Colonna.chievous as the Scottish peer.-See CHANDLER. To the antiquary and artist, sixteen columns are an inexhaustible source of observation and design; to the philosopher, the supposed scene of some of Plato's conversations will not be unwelcome; and the traveller will be struck with the beauty of the prospect over "Isles that crown the Egean deep:" but for an Englishman, Colonna has yet an additional interest, as the actual spot of Falconer's Shipwreck. Pallas and Plato are forgotten in the recollection of Falconer and Campbell:
[p. 15. St. 18. The netting to prevent blocks or splinters from falling on deck during action.
Here in the dead of night by Lonna's steep, The seaman's cry was heard along the deep. This temple of Minerva may be seen at sea from a great distance. In two journeys, which 1 made, and one voyage to Cape Colonna, the view from either side, by land, was less striking than the approach from the isles. In our second land-excursion we had a narrow escape from a party of Mainnotes, concealed in the caverns beneath. We were told afterwards, by one of their prisoners subsequently ransomed, that they were deterred from attacking us by the appearance of my two Albanians: conjecturing very sagaciously, but falsely, that we had a complete guard of these Arnauts at hand, they remained stationary, and thus saved our party, which was too small to have opposed any effectual resistance. Colonna is no less a resort of painters than of pirates; there The hireling artist plants his paltry desk, And makes degraded Nature picturesque. But there Nature, with the aid of Art, has done that for herself. I was fortunate enough to engage a very superior German artist; and hope to renew my acquaintance with this and many other Levantine scenes by the arrival of his performances.
But not in silence pass Calypso's isles.
Land of Albania! let me bend mine eyes
Albania comprises part of Macedonia, Illyria, Chaonia, and Epirus. Iskander is the Turkish word for Alexander; and the celebrated Scanderbeg (Lord Alexander) is alluded to in the
*) This Sr. Gropius was employed by a noble Lord for the sole purpose of sketching, in which he excels; but I am sorry to say, that he has, through the abused sanction of that most respectable name, been treading at humble distance in the steps of Sr. Lusieri. A shipful of his trophies was detained, and I believe confiscated, at Constantinople in 1810. I am most happy to be now enabled to state, that "this was not in his bond;" that he was employed solely as a painter, and that his noble patron disavows all connexion with him, except as an artist. If the error in the first and second edition of this poem has given the noble Lord a moment's pain, I am very sorry for it; Sr. Gropius has assumed for years the name of his agent; and though I cannot much condemn myself for sharing in the mistake of so many, I am happy in being one of the first to be undeceived. Indeed, I have as much pleasure in contradicting this as I felt regret in stating it.