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ledge, for he corresponds with me. But he and Freedom the mother of the few virtues is not a bloody fellow —only an avaricious incident to human nature.
" It seems that, just at this moment (as
“ Tuesday, January 9. 1821. Lydia Languish says), there will be no elopement after all. I wish that I had known as but Lega (my secretary, an Italianism for
"Rose—the day fine. Ordered the horses; much last night — or, rather, this morning steward or chief servant) coming to tell me
I should have gone to bed two hours ear- that the painter had finished the work in lier. And yet I ought not to complain ; for,
fresco, for the room he has been employed though it is a sirocco, and heavy rain, I have
on lately, I went to see it before I set out. not yawned for these two days. * Came home-read History of Greece from Titian, &c. considering all things.
The painter has not copied badly the prints before dinner had read Walter Scott's
“ Dined. Read Johnson's · Vanity of Rob Roy. Wrote address to the letter in
Human Wishes,' — all the examples and answer to Alessio del Pinto, who has thanked me for helping his brother (the late Com- latter part, with the exception of an occa
mode of giving them sublime, as well as the mandant, murdered here last month) in his
sional couplet. I do not so much admire last moments. Have told him I only did a
the opening. I remember an observation duty of humanity, as is true. The brother
of Sharpe's, (the Conversationist, as he was lives at Rome. “ Mended the fire with some ‘sgobole' (a that the first line of this poem was super
called in London, and a very clever man,) Romagnuole word), and gave the falcon Drank some Seltzer-water. I think,) would have begun at once, only
fuous, and that Pope (the best of poets, Mem. — received to-day a print, or etching,
changing the punctuation of the story of Ugolino, by an Italian painter
“'Survey mankind from China to Peru.'? - different, of course, from Sir Joshua Reynolds's, and I think (as far as recollection The former line, 'Let observation,' &c. is goes) no worse, for Reynolds's is not good in certainly heavy and useless. But 'tis a grand history. Tore a button in my new coat.
and so true! — true as the 10th of I wonder what figure these Italians will Juvenal himself. The lapse of ages changes make in a regular row. I sometimes think all things time-language — the earth that, like the Irishman's gun (somebody had the bounds of the sea — the stars of the sky, sold him a crooked one), they will only do and every thing about, around, and underfor 'shooting round a corner ;' at least, this neath 'man, except man himself, who has alsort of shooting has been the late tenor of ways been, and always will be, an unlucky their exploits. And yet there are materials rascal. The infinite variety of lives conduct in this people, and a noble energy, if well but to death, and the infinity of wishes lead directed. But who is to direct them? No but to disappointment.3 All the discoveries matter. Out of such times heroes spring. which have yet been made have multiplied Difficulties are the hotbeds of high spirits, little but existence. An extirpated disease
* Let observation, with extensive view,
Survey mankind from China to Peru.' Dryden and Pope would have been satisfied with the second line, and would have avoided both the tautology and pomposity of the first.” – Sharp's Letters to a Young Friend at College ; Essays, p. 47. ed. 1831.]
[“ The subject is said, by Cumberlana, to have been suggested to Sir Joshua by Goldsmith. The merit lies in the execution ; and even this seems of a disputable excellence. The lofty and stern sufferer of Dante appears on Reynolds's canvass like a famished mendicant, deficient in any commanding qualities of intellect, and regardless of his dying children who cluster around his knees." Brit. Painters, vol. I. p. 268.
" The dungeon of Bonnivard" (the Prisoner of Chillon) *is, like that of Ugolino, a subject too dismal even for the power of the painter or poet to counteract its horrors. It is the more disagrecable, as affording human hope no anchor to rest upon, and describing the sufferer, though a man of talents and virtues, as altogether inert and powerless under his accumulated sufferings."-SIR WALTER Scott.)
? [" There is an offence against simplicity which should be shunned ; though it occurs often in Johnson, and though the abstract terms, affected by him, give a kind of false pomp to the style, assuming the air of personification. He thus commences his imitation of the tenth satire of Juvenal:
3[" Time hovers o'er, impatient to destroy,
And shuts up all the passages of joy :
Vanity of Human Wishes.] 4 [“ What opposite discoveries we have seen!
(Signs of true genius, and of empty pockets) One makes new noses, one a guillotine,
One breaks your bones, one sets them in the sockets:
Don Juan, c. 1. st. 129.) 2 (See his “ Specimens of the British Poets," vol. i. p. 260.)
is succeeded by some new pestilence; and “ Politics somewhat tempestuous, and a discovered world has brought little to the cloudier daily. To-morrow being foreign ! old one, except the p— first and freedom post-day, probably something more will be afterwards - the latter a fine thing, parti- known. cularly as they gave it to Europe in ex- “ Came home – read. Corrected Tom change for slavery. But it is doubtful whe- Campbell's slips of the pen. A good work, ther the Sovereigns' would not think the though — style affected -- but his defence first the best present of the two to their of Pope is glorious.? To be sure, it is his subjects.
own cause too,-but no matter, it is very good, • At eight went out — heard some news. and does him great credit. They say the King of Naples has declared by couriers from Florence, to the Powers (as
* Midnight. they call now those wretches with crowns), “ I have been turning over different Lives that his Constitution was compulsive,&c.&c. of the Poets. I rarely read their works, and that the Austrian barbarians are placed unless an occasional flight over the classical again on war pay, and will march. Let them ones, Pope, Dryden, Johnson, Gray, and
- they come like sacrifices in their trim,' those who approach them nearest (I leare the hounds of hell! Let it still be a hope the rant of the rest to the cant of the day); to see their bones piled like those of the and — I had made several reflections, but I human dogs at Morat, in Switzerland, which feel sleepy, and may as well go to bed. I have seen. “ Heard some music. At nine the usual
January 11. 1821. visitors — news, war, or rumours of war. “ Read the letters. Corrected the traConsulted with P. G. &c. &c. They mean gedy and the ‘ Hints from Horace.' Dined, to insurrect here, and are to honour me with and got into better spirits. Went out — rea call thereupon. I shall not fall back ; | turned - finished letters, five in number. though I don't think them in force or heart Read Poets, and an anecdote in Spence. sufficient to make much of it. But, onward! All', writes to me that the Pope, and - it is now the time to act, and what signi- Duke of Tuscany, and King of Sardinia, have fies self, if a single spark of that which would also been called to Congress ; but the Pope be worthy of the past can be bequeathed un- will only deal there by proxy. So the intequenchedly to the future? It is not one man, rests of millions are in the hands of about nor a million, but the spirit of liberty which twenty coxcombs, at a place called Leimust be spread. The waves which dash bach! upon the shore are, one by one, broken, but * I should almost regret that my own yet the ocean conquers, nevertheless. It affairs went well, when those of nations are overwhelms the Armada, it wears the rock, in peril. If the interests of mankind could i and, if the Neptunians are to be believed, it be essentially bettered (particularly of these has not only destroyed, but made a world. In oppressed Italians), I should not so much like manner, whatever the sacrifice of indi- mind my own ‘sma peculiar. God grant us viduals, the great cause will gather strength, all better times, or more philosophy! sweep down what is rugged, and fertilise In reading, I have just chanced (for sea-weed is manure) what is cultivable. expression of Tom Campbell's ; – speaking And so, the mere selfish calculation ought of Collins, he says that 'no reader cares any never to be made on such occasions; and, more about the characteristic manners of his at present, it shall not be computed by me. Eclogues than about the authenticity of the I was never a good arithmetician of chances, tale of Troy.' 'Tis false — we do care about and shall not commence now.
the authenticity of the tale of Troy.' I
have stood upon that plain daily, for more
“ January 10. 1821. than a month in 1810; and if any thing di“ Day fine — rained only in the morning. minished my pleasure, it was that the blackLooked over accounts. Read Campbell's guard Bryant had impugned its veracity." Poets — marked errors of Tom (the author) It is true I read · Homer Travestied' (the for correction. Dined — went out — mu- first twelve books), because Hobhouse and sic — Tyrolese air, with variations. Sustained others bored me with their learned localities, the cause of the original simple air against and I love quizzing. But I still venerated the variations of the Italian school.
the grand original as the truth of history (in
1 (See Childe Harold, c. iii. st. 64. and note.)
“ I've stood upon Achilles' tomb, And heard Troy doubted ;-time will doubt of Rome."
Don Juan, c. iv. st. 101.) 1 Here follows a long passage, already extracted, reheads and kicking their heels' - and no love
the material facts) and of place. Otherwise, “ I have found out the seal cut on Murit would have given me no delight. Who ray's letter. It is meant for Walter Scottwill persuade me, when I reclined upon a or Sir Walter — he is the first poet knighted mighty tomb, that it did not contain a hero? since Sir Richard Blackmore. But it does
its very magnitude proved this. Men do not do him justice. Scott's — particularly not labour over the ignoble and petty dead when he recites — is a very intelligent coun
and why should not the dead be Homer's tenance, and this seal says nothing. dead? The secret of Tom Campbell's de- “Scott is certainly the most wonderful fence of inaccuracy in costume and descrip- writer of the day. His novels are a new tion is, that his Gertrude, &c. has no more literature in themselves, and his poetry as locality in common with Pennsylvania than good as any - if not better (only on an errowith Penmanmaur. It is notoriously full of neous system) — and only ceased to be so grossly false scenery, as all Americans de- popular, because the vulgar learned were clare, though they praise parts of the poem. tired of hearing Aristides called the Just,' It is thus that self-love for ever creeps and Scott the Best, and ostracised him. out, like a snake, to sting any thing which “ I like him, too, for his manliness of chahappens, even accidentally, to stumble racter, for the extreme pleasantness of his upon it.
conversation, and his good-nature towards
myself, personally. May he prosper! January 12. 1821.
he deserves it. I know no reading to which
I fall with such alacrity as a work of W. “ The weather still so humid and imprac- Scott's. I shall give the seal, with his bust ticable, that London, in its most oppressive on it, to Madame la Comtesse G. this evening, fogs, were a summer-bower to this mist who will be curious to have the effigies of a and sirocco, which has now lasted (but with man so celebrated. one day’s interval), chequered with snow or How strange are our thoughts, &c. &c. heavy rain only, since the 30th of Decem- &c. 1 ber, 1820. It is so far lucky that I have a literary turn ; — but it is very tiresome not
Midnight. to be able to stir out, in comfort, on any horse but Pegasus, for so many days. The “Read the Italian translation by Guido roads are even worse than the weather, by Sorelli of the German Grillparzer the long splashing, and the heavy soil, and of a name, to be sure, for posterity ; but the growth of the waters.
they must learn to pronounce it. With all " Read the Poets - English, that is to say the allowance for a translation, and above all,
-out of Campbell's edition. There is a an Italian translation (they are the very worst good deal of taffeta in some of Tom's pre- of translators, except from the Classics fatory phrases, but his work is good as a Annibale Caro, for instance — and there, the whole. I like him best, though, in his own bastardy of their language helps them, as, poetry.
by way of looking legitimate, they ape their " Murray writes that they want to act the father's tongue); but with every allowance Tragedy of Marino Faliero more fools for such a disadvantage, the tragedy of Sapthey, it was written for the closet. I have pho is superb and sublime! There is no protested against this piece of usurpation, denying it. The man has done a great thing (which, it seems, is legal for managers over in writing that play. And who is he? Î any printed work, against the author's will,) know him not ; but ages will.
'Tis a high and I hope they will not attempt it. Why intellect. don't they bring out some of the numberless “I must premise, however, that I bave aspirants for theatrical celebrity, now en- read nothing of Adolph Müllner's (the author cumbering their shelves, instead of lugging of Guilt), and much less of Goethe, and me out of the library? I have written a Schiller, and Wieland, than I could wish. I fierce protest against any such attempt ; but only know them through the medium of I still would hope that it will not be neces- English, French, and Italian translations. Of sary, and that they will see, at once, that it the real language I know absolutely nothing, is not intended for the stage. It is too re- except oaths learned from postillions and gular — the time, twenty-four hours — the officers in a squabble. I can swear in Gerchange of place not frequent — nothing melo- man potently, when I like — ' Sacrament dramatic
— no surprises, no starts, nor trapdoors, nor opportunities for tossing their
lative to his early friend, Edward Noel Long. [See - the grand ingredient of a modern play. antè, p. 31.).
Verfluchter Hundsfott - and so forch'; the forest. Misty and rainy. Returned – but I have little less of their energetic con- dined wrote some more of my tragedy. versation.
“ Read Diodorus Siculus — turned over “ I like, however, their women,(I was once Seneca, and some other books. Wrote some so desperately in love with a German woman, more of the tragedy. Took a glass of grog. Constance, and all that I have read, trans- After having ridden hard in rainy weather, lated, of their writings, and all that I have and scribbled, and scribbled again, the spirits seen on the Rhine of their country and (at least mine) need a little exhilaration, and people — all, except the Austrians, whom II don't like laudanum now as I used to do. abhor, loathe, and — I cannot find words for So I have mixed a glass of strong waters and my hate of them, and should be sorry to single waters, which I shall now proceed to find deeds correspondent to my hate ; for I empty. Therefore and thereunto I conclude abhor cruelty more than I abhor the Austri- this day's diary.
except on an impulse, and then I am “ The effect of all wines and spirits upon savage — but not deliberately so.
me is, however, strange. It scttles, but it Grillparzer is grand — antique — not so makes me gloomy - gloomy at the very mosimple as the ancients, but very simple for a ment of their effect, and not gay hardly ever. modern — too Madame de Staelish, now and But it composes for a time, though sullenly. then — but altogether a great and goodly writer.
* January 15. 1821. “Weather fine. Received visit. Rode " January 13. 1821, Saturday.
out into the forest - fired pistols. Returned “Sketched the outline and Drams. Pers. home — dined — dipped into a volume of of an intended tragedy of Sardanapalus, which Mitford's Greece — wrote part of a scene of I have for some time meditated. Took the Sardanapalus. Went out — heard some names from Diodorus Siculus, (I know the music - heard some politics. More minishistory of Sardanapalus, and have known it ters from the other Italian powers gone to since I was twelve years old,) and read over Congress. War seems certain in that case, a passage in the ninth vol. octavo, of Mitford's it will be a savage one. Talked over various Greece, where he rather vindicates the me- important matters with one of the initiated. mory of this last of the Assyrians.
At ten and half returned home. “ Dined news come the Powers mean “I have just thought of something odd. In to war with the peoples. The intelligence the year 1814, Moore (the poet,' par excelseems positive — let it be so — they will be lence, and he deserves it) and I were going beaten in the end. The king-times are fast together, in the same carriage, to dine with finishing. There will be blood shed like Earl Grey, the Capo Politico of the remainwater, and tears like mist ; but the peoples ing Whigs. Murray, the magnificent (the will conquer in the end. I shall not live to illustrious publisher of that name), had just see it, but I foresee it.
sent me a Java gazette -I know not why, “ I carried Teresa the Italian translation or wherefore. Pulling it out, by way of Grillparzer's Sappho, which she promises riosity, we found it to contain a dispute (the to read. She quarrelled with me, because said Java gazette) on Moore's merits and I said that love was not the loftiest theme for mine. I think, if I had been there, that I true tragedy ; and, having the advantage of could have saved them the trouble of dispuher native language, and natural female elo- ting on the subject. But, there is fame for quence, she overcame my fewer arguments. you at six and twenty! Alexander had conI believe she was right. I must put more quered India at the same age ; but I doubt love into Sardanapalus' than I intended. I if he was disputed about, or his conquests I speak, of course, if the times will allow me compared with those of Indian Bacchus, at leisure. That if will hardly be a peace-maker. Java.
“ It was a great fame to be named with
January 14. 1821. Moore ; greater to be compared with him ; “Turned over Seneca's tragedies. Wrote greatest — pleasure, at least — to be mich the opening lines of the intended tragedy of him ; and, surely, an odd coincidence, that Sardanapalus. Rode out some miles into we should be dining together while they were
1 ["On with the horses ; off to Canterbury !
through puddle ;
Not like slow Germany, wherein they muddle
Along the road, as if they went to bury
Their fare ; and also pause besides, to fuddle With'schnapps' - sad dogs ! whom Hundsfott' er
• Verfluchter,' Affect no more than lightning a conductor."
Don Juan, c. I. st. 71.)
quarrelling about us beyond the equinoctial me faint. I have not been well ever since. line.
I deserve it for being such a fool — but it "Well, the same evening, I met Lawrence was provoking - a set of scoundrels ! It the painter, and heard one of Lord Grey's is, however, but five and twenty pounds. daughters (a fine, tall, spirit-looking girl, with much of the patrician, thorough-bred look of
" January 19. 1821. her father, which I dote upon) play on the “Rode. Winter's wind somewhat more harp, so modestly and ingenuously, that she unkind than ingratitude itself, though Shaklooked music. Well, I would rather have had speare says otherwise. At least, I am so my talk with Lawrence (who talked delight- much more accustomed to meet with ingrafully) and heard the girl, than have had all titude than the north wind, that I thought the fame of Moore and me put together.
the latter the sharper of the two. I had “ The only pleasure of fame is that it
met with both in the course of the twentypaves the way to pleasure ; and the more four hours, so could judge. intellectual our pleasure, the better for the
Thought of a plan of education for my pleasure and for us too. It was, however, daughter Allegra, who ought to begin soon agreeable to have heard our fame before with her studies. Wrote a letter — afterdinner, and a girl's harp after.
wards a postscript. Rather in low spirits —
certainly hippish — liver touched — will take “ January 16. 1821.
a dose of salts. “Read - rode — fired pistols — returned
“I have been reading the Life, by himself - dined wrote — visited — heard music and daughter, of Mr. R. L. Edgeworth, the – talked nonsense — and went home.
father of the Miss Edgeworth. It is alto" Wrote part of a Tragedy — advanced in gether a great name. In 1813, I recollect Act Ist with all deliberate speed.' Bought to have met them in the fashionable world a blanket. The weather is still muggy as a of London (of which I then formed an item, London May — mist, mizzle, the air replete a fraction, the segment of a circle, the unit with Scotticisms, which, though fine in the of a million, the nothing of something) in descriptions of Ossian, are somewhat tire- the assemblies of the hour, and at a breaksome in real, prosaic perspective. Politics fast of Sir Humphry and Lady Davy's, to still mysterious.
which I was invited for the nonce. I had
* January 17. 1821. been the lion of 1812: Miss Edgeworth and “ Rode i' the forest-fired pistols — dined. wards the end of 1813, were the exhibitions
Madame de Stael, with the Cossack,' toArrived a packet of books from England and Lombardy English, Italian, French, and
of the succeeding year. . Latin. Read till eight — went out.
“I thought Edgeworth a fine old fellow, of a clarety, elderly, red complexion, but
active, brisk, and endless. He was seventy,
" January 18. 1821. but did not look fifty — no, nor forty-eight " To-day, the post arriving late, did not even. I had seen poor Fitzpatrick not very ride. Read letters — only two gazettes in- long before – a man of pleasure, wit, elostead of twelve now due. Made Lega write quence, all things. 3 He tottered — but still to that negligent Galignani, and added a post- talked like a gentleman, though feebly. Edgescript. Dined.
worth bounced about, and talked loud and At eight proposed to go out. Lega came long; but he seemed neither weakly nor dein with a letter about a bill unpaid at Venice, crepit, and hardly old. which I thought paid months ago. I flew " He began by telling that he had given into a paroxysm of rage, which almost made Dr. Parr a dressing, who had taken him for
"[" Blow, blow, thou winter wind,
As You Like It, act ii. sc. 7.1
3 (General Richard Fitzpatrick, brother of the Earl of Upper Ossory, and, during forty years, the intimate friend of Fox. He was secretary at war to the ministry of 1783; to which situation he was again appointed in 1806, during the Fox and Grenville administration. He wrote various poetical trifles; and among others a political eclogue entitled “ The Lyars," considered by Mr. Matthias the most finished of all the productions of the authors of the Rolliad. (See Pursuits of Literature.) He also composed the epitaph, inscribed on his monument in the church-yard of Sunning Hill, Berks. See Gent. Mag. vol. Ixxxvi. p. 99. He died in 1813.)