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personage,”_" In some very trivial particulars, and those merely local, there might be grounds for such a notion ; but in the main points, I should hope, none whatever.” Again, " he never was intended as an example, further than to shew, that early perversion of mind and morals leads to satiety of past pleasures, and disappointments in new ones.” But with all the faults of these personages, be they creations or be they copies, they possess nothing of that gloating sensuality which distinguishes the worn-out debauchee, of that devotion to prurient images and filthy allusions, which the man of principle and the man of taste equally banish from their thoughts

and their conversation-of that despicable wit which de2 lights in raising a blush on female cheeks, and in teaching a

young man, just entering the labyrinth of life, the shortest way to the most complete extinction of those hopes and feelings, which can alone guide him through its dim and dreary paths. This is the present most perfect degradation of Lord Byron. Assuming his own character, and speaking in his own person, he is plunging deeper and deeper in the mire of his profaneness; and though we cannot sully our pages with a single passage of the abominable outrages upon decency which the latter cantos of Don Juan contain, we must openly say, for a warning to all those who, in this age of license, choose still to maintain the discipline of experience over the levity of youth, that Lord Byron must cease to be reckoned as the compeer of a Scott, a Wordsworth, or a Coleridge; but must be looked upon and execrated as the imitator and the rival of a Rochester, a Cleveland, or a Wilkes.

In Lord Byron's earlier poems, and we speak especially of Childe Harold, upon which his fame must mainly rest, there was a coldness, we had almost said a sourness, in his allusions to his country, which wisdom might condemn, but which charity would pity. He had evidently suffered much in the land which had given him birth ; and though a by-stander might pretend to distinguish how much of that suffering ought to be ascribed to external circumstances, and how much to Lord Byron's habits and modes of thought, a true searcher of the human heart might forgive him, if the stream of his affections, being diverted from its natural course, had, in its overflowings, become at one time stagnant in the weeds of a morbid sensibility, and at another fearfully rapid in the shallows of a misjudging violence. The misfortunes of Lord Byron had evidently not administered the proper food to his intellect; they had neither made him calmer or less presumptuous. But the world was not prepared to expect that the pent-up soul would discharge itself in bitter denunciations against his country and its glories, and in desperate abuse of her most gifted individuals. In the fourth canto of Childe Harold, he says,

Yet was I born where men are proud to be

Not without cause. And should I leave behind
The inviolate island of the sage and free,
And seek me out a home by a remoter sea,
Perhaps I loved it well ; and should I lay
My ashes in a soil which is not mine,
My spirit shall resume it—if we may,

Unbodied, choose a sanctuary.”
How different is this from the hollow levity of Don Juan:--

“I have no great cause to love that spot of earth,
Which held what might have been the noblest nation ;
But though I owe it little but my birth,
I feel a mix'd regret and veneration
For its decaying fame and former worth.
Seven years (the usual term of transportation)
Of absence lay one's old resentment level,

When a man's country's going to the devil." He has 6 no great cause to love that spot of earth."-He, the inheritor of a splendid fortune and a lofty lineage !-He, the called by his rank and his talents to assert her honour and her freedom in his proper sphere !-He, that choosing to dedicate himself to more pleasurable pursuits, has been welcomed with a warmth and an indulgence that far greater poets and far better men have never realized !-He dare to justify his scorn of her glories, his corruption of her children, his prostitution of her language, by the erroneous self-deception that he owes her 6 little but his birth !”—There is but one word for such conduct, and his Lordship is liberal of it-Renegade.

Again : Lord Byron burst from the obscurity of his drawling school-boy muse in a popular satire. The merits of his suppressed poem have, in our view, been greatly over-rated; but it had at least the faculty of distinguishing between bitterness and blackguardism. That his Lordship has parted with this nice discrimination may, we think, be proved by a few passages from the late Don Juans. We feel real pain in their repetition :

“ That long spout
Of blood and water, leaden Castlereagh.”
“ Carotid artery cutting Castlereagh.”
“ Where's little Castlereagh ?—the devil can tell."

Shuffling Southey, that incarnate lie.”

Turncoat Southey." We could select fifty instances of this species of wit and argument; but they would prove but one thing, which we are afraid has long since been fully proved that Lord Byron has ceased to be a gentleman. The peer of the realm, who can descend, either in speech or in print, publicly or even privately to call the clerks of public offices, or any other fellowmen, the “ least civil sons of ," must be content to aspire to no society beyond the hero he has so felicitously described, --The footpad Tom,

« With black-eyed Sal (his blowing,)

So prime, so swell, so nutty, and so knowing." The commonest acquaintance with human nature is sufficient to prove, that the mind cannot be brutified and vulgarized in a degree sufficient to produce the atrocities we have felt it our painful duty to notice, without a proportionate decrepitude of the intellectual power, with reference to its employment upon a work of art. As a poet, we conceive Lord Byron is extinct. To those who lean to a contrary opinion, we recommend the perusal of “ The Island ;" a production which, for feebleness, obscurity, and tediousness, is, we think, unsurpassed by any of the myriads of prize poems which the innocent aspirants of our universities annually perpetrate. As our readers may require us to prove even these half negations, we take a passage at random:

" The devotee
Lives not in earth, but in his ecstasy;
Around him days and worlds are heedless driven,
His soul is gone before his dust to heaven.
Is love less potent? No ;-his path is trod,
Alike uplifted gloriously to God;
Or linked to all we know of heaven below,
The other better self, where joy or woe
Is more than ours; the all-absorbing flame,
Which, kindled by another, grows
Wrapt in one blaze ; the pure, yet funeral pile,

Where gentle hearts, like Bramins, sit and smile." We only ask the reader to compare this jumble of images with the weakest passage in Childe Harold, to satisfy himself that “ the ways of heaven are equal;"—that brandy and opium must end in delirium ;—that habitual indecency and profaneness must find their earthly retribution in a premature dotage.

We have applied ourselves to a delicate and an unpleasing task, with no pre-determination to speak more harshly of Lord Byron than his extravagant departures from decency and from sense might demand. We have within us, and we say it most unaffectedly, that reverence for genius which compels us to approach it, even in its decay, as we would walk amidst the wreck of some grand or some lovely fabric, in whose former seats of happiness and beauty the night-bird and the reptile

the same,

have made their resting-places. But we have spoken warmly of Lord Byron's vices, because they are evidently not transient aberrations, but crimes upon principle. Lord Byron has determined to be the poet of the mob; and mistaking, as we most sincerely believe he does, the present temper, habits, and intelligence of the reading portion of the English people, as distinguished from the literati and the fashionable world, he has fancied that the food which the mechanics of London require, is outrageous abuse of persons in authority, undisguised contempt of the national creed, vulgarity in its most obtrusive forms, and obscenity, daring and unmitigated as any that the midnight orgies of an overgrown metropolis might claim. We think he is mistaken in his belief of the present cravings of this large and most important portion of society; that his notions of the popular mind of England are transmitted through a dense and distorting medium of exclusive inquiries and low companionships. But let him speak for himself ;

" I won't reflect that is,
If I can stave off thought, which, as a whelp,
Clings to its teat-sticks to me through the abyss
Of this odd labyrinth ; or as the kelp
Holds by the rocks ; or, as a lover's kiss
Drains its first draught of lips : but, as I said,

I won't philosophize, and will be read.” Let Lord Byron re-consider this empty boast. There have been other idols of sensuality in the world before him, but where are they? The fate of Dagon is the fate of all those who have attempted to build their popularity upon the corruptions of mankind :

" Next came one
Who mourn'd in earnest, when the captive ark
Maim'd his brute image, head and hands lopt off
In his own temple, on the grunsel edge,
Where he fell fat, and shamed his worshippers.”



TELL me, Peroe, wherefore art thou false,
Didst thou not bid me linger in the grove,
The beechen grove for thee, what time thy Sire
Slept, shaded from the sun-light? I did wait
Till fervid noon, nay, solitary trod
The beechen grove in haste, until the sun
Departed, smiling on mine agony;
Oh cruel! wherefore thus afflict my soul ?

Frown not, Learchus, but my father slept
So lightly, starting in his troubled rest,
I dar'd not venture, lest he should awake.

Oh thou untrue !—the bright glow of thy cheek
Proclaims the falsehood of thy lip, there is
No pale regret upon it !-on thy brow
No disappointment sits! I tell thee, girl,
Thou mays't have cause to tremble; dread the wrath
Of Eros, the eternal !-he abhors
Deceit in love, and he will punish thee
As did Apollo once, the sun-crown'd God,
His lying raven, which, ere he was false
Was beautiful, as the caressed dove
That sleeps in Cytherea's breast.


Oh, tell That tale to me, Learchus.


Shall it win A kiss for this fond lip then?

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