« PreviousContinue »
(Aug. 1, instead of being lessened, have of late straggling shoots, or cutting up some of years become more abundant ; my mind the underwood in the entangling maze of cannot but feel an emotion of surprise mischief. Visionary schemes are conat the indications of a tainted system tinually obtruded upon public attention where such extraordinary pretensions by men ambitious of fame, or needy are set up to virtue and piety. The adventurers seeking employment; but multiplication of convictions, and the experience shews that all such devices reports that have been made upon the are only productive of private adrantage, depravity of the lower orders of the and that after imposing upon the cre. community, are as little to the credit of dulous for a short time, they end in the religious associations upon which smoke, or leave the state of the body we pride ourselves, as to the legislative politic worse than it was before these assembly to whose united wisdom and ex- empirical experiments were made to betertions the people are ever eager to turn ter its condition. in all cases of difficulty. Yet in spite of The public encouragement of new penal laws on the one hand, and of bene- projects in whatever concerns the morais volent establishments on the other, the of the people has a natural tendency to population continues to be vitiated in a wcaken the influence of old establishmost alarming degree, and one genera- ments, and to beget a spirit of disobetion only leaves a worse behind it, with dience where it did not previously the prospect of another still more de- ' exist. Considering, therefore, how praved to follow. This is no exaggerated fashionable the rage for novelty has sketch, for the records at the Old Bailey, become in matters where it would have and the walls of our prisons and peni- been better to have “sought for the old tentiary houses, to say nothing of the paths of experience and to have walked streets at large, bear dreadful evidence therein ;" may we not without offence to the fact. Now were this a nation demand of the zealous promoters of injust emerging from barbarism, or novation what are the fruits of the escaped from the fiery ordeal of a revo- religious changes that have already taken lution, much allowance might be made place? for the awful anomaly. But when it is Methodism, for instance, has now subconsidered that for the space of one' sisted, and been in active exercise for the hundred and fifty years, England has space of four score years, a time surely enjoyed the benefit of a restored con- of sufficient length to have warranted the stitution, and that for full a century past expectation of an abundant harvest, liberty has spread its wings over all her But can it be said that after the multiborders, may it not well excite wonder plication of meetings, the accumulation to behold a mass of licentiousness bid- of immense funds, establishments for ding defiance to all moral application foreign missions, and the passing of new and legal enactments ? A field of enquiry protecting statutes in their favour, these here presents itself which calls for the sectaries have contributed in any permost diligent aud scrutinizing examina- ceptible degree to the improvement of tion; and that not so much into the the morals of the people? It will be no ramifications of an evil which seems to satisfactory answer to say that many have gained a fixed root in our soil, as to sinners have been turned from darkness the inadequacy of the various means em to light, and that the face of things has ployed for its eradication or correction. It undergone a great alteration in this or requires no extraordinary skill in political that village, through the instrumentality science to perceive that defective laws of the licensed itinerant teachers. All and inefficient institutions, serve but to this may be very true, and yet the strengthen and render more injurious flattering changes upon which such exwhat they were designed to remove or pectations were formed, may have been prevent. The inquiry therefore should as evanescent as the mist of the mornbe directed to the state of our penal ing, which is absorbed by the solar heat code and the inoperative efforts of those and leaves no trace of fructification instruments which have received public behind. encouragement under a persuasion that Within half the period that Methodism they were calculated to improve the has occupied in our history, the face of manners and principles of the people, the Roman empire in the east and west Much has been done in the investigation was materially affected by the progress of particular sources of moral corruption, of Christianity, and that too in the and some good no doubt has been ac midst of the severest trials which the complished; but after all
, this is scarcely hand of tyranny could inflict upon the any thing better than lopping off a few preachers of the gospel and those who
1818.] Sir F. Bourgeois ---Observations on a Letter to Lord Byron. 31 confessed it. Yet in this enlightened OBSBRVATIONS ON A Letter TO LORD country where toleration protects every
BYRON. religions denomination, an immense SIR, engine has been in exercise for more
EXALTED genius, like exalted virthan two generations, under the direc- tue, however duly it may be honoured tion of no ordinary hands, and avowed by those who are capable either of aply employed in reforming the people preciating its worth, or emulating its exwithout having wrought an effect cor ample, is, nevertheless proportionably ex. respondent to its professions and posed to the bitterest shafts of envy and means. On the contrary while every detraction. It occupies an elevated situvillage has its meeting-house, a universal ation in the world, but outery is ireard upon the vitiation of “ To be the mark where wrong manners and the increase of crimes. Aims with her poisoned arrows;" This question, therefore, forces itself and whilst it is an object of admiration. upon the mind, whence is it that under to such as have sense to discern, and lisuch circumstances and with so vast an berality enough to allow its merits, eliinfluence methodism has not succeeded cits also the hatred and malevolence of in an equal proportion in depopulating those who, destitute of virtue, and bargaols, as in founding and filling conven ren in understanding, would sully the ticles ?
purity of the spring they are not perJuly 11, 1818. JOIN OAKLEY. mitted to taste. I am led to offer
these observations, from the perusal of GALLERY OF SIR FRANCIS BOURGEOIS. a letter in Blackwood's magazine of MR. EDITOR,
last month to Lord Byron, in which IN reply to your correspondent who the writer puts forth as much bitterness enquires for some particulars respecting and malignity against that noble bard, the picture gallery founded at Dulwich as ever disgraced the annals of the press. College, I send you the following brief Indeed I should scarcely have thought information. Sir Francis Bourgeois, a it necessary to notice so vile a superfeSwiss by birth, who had long resided in tation of “envy, hatred, and uncharitathis country, and acquired both fortune bleness," had it not occurred to me, that and reputation by his profession as an were such calumnies suffered to pass. historical painter, became desirous of with impunity, their author might possecuring his valuable collection of pictures sibly delude himself into a belief, that for the benefit of the art. With this his extravagant and unmanly insinuaview he made an offer of the same to tions had been received, and in some the British Museum, the trustees of measure tolerated by the public. which threw such obstacles in his way as It should then appear from the poetiinduced him to transfer his proposal to cal “notices to correspondents," which other quarters. Strange to say he met Mr. Blackwood has prefixed to what he with a cold reception also from the heads is pleased to term his peerless magaof other institutions in the metropolis zine, that he has in his employ certain on which he tendered his collection to furbishers of falsehood for his pages, the master, warden and fellows of the who amuse themselves by doing intolelCollege of God's gift at Dulwich by whom ters—if we may be allowed the term~it was accepted, and whose building is the characters of individuals justly ennow enriched by this bequest in addition titled to the highest consideration and to the pictures of Mr. William Cart- respect, and infusing into these composiwright formerly given to the same tions as much personality and abuse as society. Sir Francis, besides his dona- they may deem nccessary, either to tion of paintings, gave 10,000). to keep round their periods with becoming efthem in preservation, 2000). for the fect, or .produce what may be mistaken fitting up of the gallery, and legacies of for originality of thought and ener10001. earh to the principal and chaplain gy of style. The traducer towards of the college.
G.S. whom these observations are parti
cularly directed, has undertaken to Mr. Evelyn, in his Diary says, " Sept: 2, supply this publication with what, in 1675, I went to see Dulwich Colledge, being the cant phrase of the day, is dethe pious foundation of one Allen, a famous comedian in King James's time. The
nominated "sauce piquante,' and unchapell is pretty, the rest of the hospitall der the occasional signatures of “Idolovery ill contrived; it yet maintaines divers clastes,” “Presbyter Anglicanus,”" &c., poore of both sexes; 'tis in a melancholy to calumniate all the authors of the day, part of Camerwell parish.” Vol. ii. p. 452. whose writings shall have obtained for
Observations on a Letter to Lord Byron. (Aug. 1, them a sufficient degree of popularity to malignity. It is almost needless to obrender a disquisition on their demerits serve that this “man of many sorrows" a subject of general curiosity: Truly is Lord Byron. Foiled in their impotent the labourer is worthy of his hire, and if attacks upon his poetic reputation, his we may judge from the “ notice-mon- enemies would fain blacken and deform ger's” rhymes of last month, he has ra- him in his character and conduct as a ther overdone his part.
Well and truly has he said: * The letters to the Reverend Sydney Smith, “ From mighty wrongs to petty perfidy Professor Playfair, Hazlitt, and Tom
Have I not seen what human things Moore,
could do ? Have all Idoloclastes' nerve and pith From the loud roar of foaming calumny We never read more bitter things be To the small whisper of the as paltry few, fore.” &c.
And subtler venom of the reptile crew.
The Janus glance of whose significant “ We have received Philemon's sharp epistle
eye, To Mister Wilson, author of “the Isle Learning to lie with silence, would seem Of Palms," which calls that poet's lyre a
And without utterance save the shrug or And cuts him up throughout in monstrous sigh,
Deal round to happy fools its speechless Philemon makes a great display of bristle, obloquy." And seems to breathe the very soul of Lord Byron has had to defend himself, bile."
not so much “ from the arrow that flieth It seems, therefore, from these ex at noon day," as “ from the pestilence tracts, that a batch of letters has been that walketh in darkness." He « has received " breathing the very soul of bile,” been the mark against five gentlemen, who, however For blight and desolation compassed round objectionable their political principles, With hatred and contention;" must be allowed to occupy a very high but bursting through thc crude deforsituation in this Augustan age of litera- mity of his enemies with redoubled splenture; but the bard of Lalla Rookh- a dour on each assault, he has driven them production which will be read with delight to a state of roaring idiotcy, which ocas long as the language in which it is casionally finds vent in that description written shall exist -- the translator of of general invective and execration on Anacreon, “the poet of all circles, and which I now beg leave to offer some the idol of his own," is to be carped at, remarks. his intentions misrepresented, and his. The. “Letter to the author of Beppo" character traduced, and all this because, is ushered in by an affected “ Note to in the first place, his splendid talents have the Editor," wherein the writer kindly procured for him a degree of public fa- expresses his concern, that all the critics vour which renders every thing said of who have ever commented upon Lord him of more than common interest to Byron's poetry should “have been led the world; and in the next to gratify away by a (pardonable) enthusiasm in the depraved appetites of some few crea- favor of his genius, to award to him a tures of idleness and dissipation, who 00 greater degree of fame as a poet than feeble to contest with genius, are grati- agreed with the notions which he (Presfied only by the dark and malignant byter Anglicanus) had long ago formed whisperings of its enemies. I have of the talents and character of that illusbeen led imperceptibly into this slight trious bard." He goes on to state that tribute of admiration for Mr. Moore, Lord Byron has no where so fully dea, being well assured that no opinion veloped the “baseness of his principles" of nine can raise him higher in public as in his Venetian Story," and that estimation than he at present stands; "he has degraded his genius by a series but there is an individual from whom, of cool sarcasms, in ridicule of the fideby the vilest and most unjustifiable ca- lity of English wives," and after besmearlumnies, the tide of popular applause has ing the editor of the “ Edinburgh Re.. heen in some measure turnell: one who view” with his awkward flattery, this has been elevated by fame to the loftiest qualified critic finishes his “Note" and pinnacle of her temple but to render him introduces his “ Letter." the more liable to the shafts of envy and Your limits will not allow me to make
such quotations from the poem of Beppo See Notice to Blackwood's Magazine as would exhibit the falsehood of this asfor June.
sertion in its fullest light; yet surely the
1818.] Observations on a Letter to Loril Byron. testimony of all the periodical critics of of the thousands of all nations, who have the day is to be depended upon. It would descanted upon his Lordship's poetry, be singular enough, if what has been this person would fain delude himself pronounced by all who have seen it as into a belief, that he alone has exhibited an ingenious and lively satire on the the slightest perception, either in apprevices of an Italian metropolis, should ciating its merits, or exhibiting its deturn out to be a series of cool sarcasms fects. He would endeavour to persuade against the fidelity of English wives! the public that the opinions of such But mark the inconsistency of this men as Moore, Gifford, Rogers, Scott, sneaking malignant: he takes occasion Southey, Campbell
, &c. sink into comfrequently in the course of his letter to parative nothingness as soon as he abuse Lord Byron for the deep and me- puts forth his sentiments upon the point lancholy tone of his writings, calls hin in question. Yet these, the most illus" the most lugubrious of mortals," affects trious names of which this age can boast, to “disbelieve that he had ever any real have all and each expressed the most excause for sorrow," and states that “ he alted eulogiums on the bard who, achowled by day upon the house top, and cording to the statement made by this called upon the world to adınire his song pettyfogging traducer, “ has, with wanof lamentation, and join in its doleful ton hypocrisy, tortured their feelings, chorus,"—and after having expressed and, with cool contemptuousness, insultthat " these have been his notions of ed · their principles.” The noblest Lord Byron's poetry for some years, poets and critics of the age have admitted as soon as ever his Lórdship publishes a to their most intimate friendship and harmless jeu d'esprit-in the words of association the man “who is the enemy one of the first critics of the day, “ with of his species, and whose poetry need not as little serious meaning as can well be to have been different from what it is, imagined, except that of being a lively although he had lived and died in the and playful satire" - he immediately midst of a generation of heartless and breaks forth into the most furious and unbelieving demons.” They have shewn insane invectives against him, and de- themselves proud in publicly testifying plores “that he should have thrown their esteem for the Being “whose hefrom him the harp of the mighty, which, roism is, lunacy, whose philosophy is when he dashed his fingers over the folly, whose virtue is a cheat, and whose strings, fuded as was the harmony, and religion is a bubble !"-Yet such are the harsh the e.recution, were still made for conclusions which must be drawn, if their listening, who had loved the solemn any credit is to be attached to the assermusic of the departed !" What rational tions of this base vituperator of genius. readers will be enabled to comprehend of He further states that it is not his pursuch bathos as this I know not, but pose to describe, or attempt to describe, their risible faculties will doubtless be wherein Lord Byron differs from other affected, when they are told that this great poets who have preceded him, stupendous critic takes the Devil in one “but when he expresses an opinion hand and lordByron in the other, and after which he acknowledges to be different having paced up and down 16 columns of from that of the world at large, it is inMr. Blackwood's Edinburgh magazine, cumbent on him to offer something like and made various comparisons between a valid testimony; some proof in supthem, in which the “Prince of Dark- port of that opinion, unless, as in the pess has always the advantage of his present instance," he is conscious of havLordship, he settles the point by de- ing offered to the public, a tissue of claring it to be his conviction that Satan glaring and indefensible falsehoods. is by far the noblest character of the I should not have condescended to two; for that our poet “has all the ma- honour, with this particular notice, a levolence of a demon without the gene- production, so entirely divested of all rosity of the superior fiend !"
manly sentiment and liberality, as the Of the opinions of all critics who have “letter to the author of Beppo,” had ever spoken favourably of Lord Byron's I not felt it my duty to express my degenius, this “ Presbyter Anglicanus“ has cided reprehension that a petty scribbler an utter contempt; he considers their should continue to pour forth the vile and praise as "sneaking adulation,” and the paltry ebullitions of his malice, merely * shouts of the vulgar" &c. so that out because he imagines that his insignifi
cance will secure him from the chastise. * Probably ever since the appearance of ment to which he is so justly entitled. the English bards and Scotch reviewers.
A. NEW MONTHLY MAC,--No. 55.
Polls for London.
Sir Watkin Lewes .
3747 POLLS FOR LONDON.
John Sawbridge, esq.
3586 MR. EDITOP,
Nathaniel Newnham, esq. 2582 THE following statement of Polls on
Rt. Hon. the Lord Mayor (Wm. the Election of Members of Parliament
1064 for the City of London during the pre
February 23, 1793. Brook Watson, sent reign may not be altogether unac
esq. being appointed Commissary, vacaceptable at this time. 1761 Sir Robert Ladbroke
ted his seat, and on the 6th of March
-4306 Rt. Hon. Thos. Harley
3983 following, John William Anderson, esq. William Beckford, esq. 3663
was elected in his room on the shew of Sir Richard Glyn
3283 hands, the other candidate, Nathaniel Sir Samuel Fludyer
9193 Newnham, esq. not demanding a Poll. 1768 Rt. Hon. Thos. Harley
3729 John Sawbridge, esq. died 21st Febru-
3678 ary 1795.
on that day.
Harvey Christian Combe, esq. 1560 1770. On the decease of William Beck
1796. William Lushington, esq. 4379 ford, esq. Richard Oliver, esq.
Rt. Hon the Lord Mayor (Wm. was elected.
4313 1774 John Sawbridge, esq.
Harvey Christian Combe, esq. 3865
1802 Harvey Christian Combe, esq. 3377
2989 1780 George Hayley, esq.
Sir John Wm. Anderson, bart. 2387
1806 Harvey Christian Combe, esq. 2294 Richard Clark, esq.
Rt. Hon, the Lord Mayor John Kirkman, esq. died at Margate
2276 the day the Poll closed (15 Sep.) but the Sir Charles Price, bart. 2254 Sheriffs returned his name in the Inden
Sir William Curtis, bart. 2205 ture with the three other members, and
John Atkins, esq,
315 on the 28th November following John
John Peter Hankey, esq.
3115 Saw bridge, esq. was unanimously elected 1807 Sir Charles Price, bart.
3059 in his room.
Sir William Curtis, bart.
Harvey Christian Combe, esq. 2583
John Peter Hankey, esq.
. Hon. the Lord Mayor 2685 Election commenced: the first day's Poll
2387 was as follows; 1784 Brook Watson, esq.
John Peter Hankey, esq.
Ilarvey Christian Combe, esq. 124
287 1812 Harvey Christian Combe, esq. 5125
Sir William Curtis, bart. 4580 Upon this a scrutiny took place and Sir Janies Shaw, bart.
4082 the numbers were finally declared as
John Atkins, esq.
Robert Waithman, esq.
2374 Sir Watkin Lewes
The Rt. Hon. the Lord Mayor (C. S. Nathaniel Newnham, esq
4167 Hunter) was a Candidate, bui declined John Sawbridge, esq. ·
2812 before the commencement of the Pull, Richard Atkinson, esq. 2803 notwithstanding which 8 voted for him. Samuel Smith, esq.
286 Harvey Christian Combe, esq. re. Rt. Hon. William Pitt. 56 siyned, and on the 10th June, 1817, the 1790 William Curtis, esq.
4346 Rt. Hon. the Lord Mayor (Matt. Wood) Brook Watson, esz.
was elected upon a shew of hands is