Abbildungen der Seite
[blocks in formation]


A kiss


with accuracy. Of « the tone of seriousnessa I certainly recollect nothing : on the contrary, I thought Mr Bowles

rather disposed to treat the subject lightly; for be said Ravenna, February 7th, 1821.

(I have no objection to be contradicted if incorrect

that some of his good-patured friends had come to him In the different pamphlets which you have had the good and exclaimed, « Eh! Bowles! how came you to make ness to send me, on the Pope and Bowles' controversy, the Woods of Madeira,» etc., etc., and that he had been perceive that my name is occasionally introduced by at some pains and pulling down of the poem to convince both parties. Mr Bowles refers more than once to what them that he had never made « the Woods» do aay he is pleased to consider « a remarkable circumstance,» thing of the kind. He was right, and I was wrong, not only in his letter to Mr Campbell, but in his reply and have been wrong still up to this acknowledgment; to the Quarterly. The Quarterly also, and Mr Gilchrist, for I ought to have looked twice before I wrote that have conferred on me the dangerous honour of a quo- which involved an inaccuracy capable of giving pain. lation; and Mr Bowles indirectly makes a kind of appeal The fact was, that although I had certaioly before read to me personally, by saying, « Lord Byron, if he re «the Spirit of Discovery,» I took the quotation from members the circumstance, will witness) -(witness IN

the review. But the mistake was mine, and not the ITALIC, an ominous character for a testimony at pre- review's, which quoted the passage correctly enough, I sept).

believe. I blundered - God knows how-into attribuiI shall not avail myself of a «non mi ricordo,n evening the tremors of the lovers to the Woods of Madeira, after so long a residence in Italy;-1 do « remember by which they were surrounded. And I hereby do fully the circumstance»--and have no reluctance to relate it and freely declare and asseverate, that the Woods did (since called upon so to do) as correctly as the distance not tremble to a kiss, and that the lovers did. I quote of time and the impression of intervening events will from memorypermit me. In the year 1812, more than three years after the publication of « English Bards and Scotch

Stole on the list'ning silence, etc., etc. Reviewers, » I had the honour of meeting Mr Bowles in

They (thic lovers) trembled, even as if the power, etc. the house of our venerable host of Human Life, etc.) And if I had been aware that this declaration would the last Argonaut of classic Englislı poetry, and the have been in the smallest degree satisfactory to Mr Nestor of our inferior race of living poets. Mr Bowles Bowles, I should not have waited nine years to make it, calls this « soon after» the publication; but to me three notwithstanding that « English Bards and Scorch Reyears appear a considerable segment of the immortality viewers» bad been suppressed some time previously to of a modern poem. I recollect nothing of« the rest of my meeting him at Mr Rogers's. Our worthy bosi the company going into another room»-nor, though I might indeed have told him as much, as it was at his well remember the topograplıy of our host's elegant and representation that I suppressed it. A new edition of classically-furnished mansiou, could I swear to the very that lampoon was preparing for the press, wben Mr room where the conversation occurred, though the Rogers represented to me, that « I was now acquainted « taking down the poem» scems to fix it in the library with many of the persons mentioned in it, and with Had it been « taken up,» it would probably bave been somne on terms of intimacy; and that he knew coue in the drawing-room. I presume also that the « re family in particular to whom its suppression would markable circumstance» took place after dinner, as I give pleasure.» I did not hesitate one moment; it was conceive that neither Mr Bowles's politeness nor appetite caucelled instantly; and it is no fault of mine that it would have allowed him to detain « the rest of the com- has ever been republished. When I left England, in pany» standing round their chairs in the « other room» April, 1816, with no very violent intentions of troubling while we were discussing « the woods of Madeira,» in- that country again, and amidst scenes of various kiods stead of circulating its vintage. Of Mr Bowles's a good to distract my attention-almost my last act, I believe, huumour» I bave a full and not ungrateful recollection; was to sign a power of attorney, to yourself, to prevent is also of his gentlemanly manners and agreeable con or suppress any attempts of which several bad been versation. I speak of the whole, and not of particulars; made in Ireland) at a re-publication. It is proper that I for whether he did or did not use the precise words should state, that the persons with whom I was subvprinted in the pamphlet, I cannot say, nor could bequently acquainted, whose names liad occurred in that!


publication, were made my acquaintances at their own day in the week ; but of « his character» I know nodesire, or through the unsought intervention of others : thing personally; I can only speak to his manners, and I never, to the best of my knowledge, sought a personal these have my warmest approbation. But I never judge introduction to any. Some of them to this day I know from manners, for I once bad my pocket picked by the only by correspondence; and with one of those it was civilest gentleman I ever met with; and one of the begun by myself, in consequence, however, of a polite mildest persons I ever saw was Ali Pacha. Of Mr Bowles's verbal communication from a third person.

« character,» I will not do him the injustice to judge I have dwelt for an instant on these circumstances, from the edition of Pope, if he prepared it heedlessly; because it has sometimes been made a subject of bitter nor the justice, should it b: otherwise, because I would reproach to me, to have endeavoured to suppress that neither become a literary executioner, nor a personal satire. I never shrunk, as those who know me know, one. Mr Bowles the individual, and Mr Bowles the from any personal consequences which could be attached editor, appear the two most opposite things imaginable ; to its publication. Of its subsequent suppression, as I

And he himself one - antithesis. possessed the copyright, I was the best judge and the I won't say « vile,» because it is harsh; nor « mistaken,» sole master. The circumstances which occasioned the because it has two syllables too many; but every one suppression I have now stated; of the motives, each must fill up the blank as he pleases. must judge according to his candour or malignity. Mr Bowles does me the honour to talk of « noble mind,» regret that he should ever have leot his talents 10 such

What I saw of Mr Bowles increased my surprise and and « generous magnanimity ;» and all this because a task. If he had been a fool, there would have been « the circumstance would have been explained had not the book been suppressed.» I see no a nobility of some excuse for him ; if lie had been a needy or a bad mind» in an act of simple justice; and I hate the word is the opposite of all these ; and thinking and feeling as

his conduct would have beea intelligible ; but he « magnanimity,» because I have sometimes seen it ap- I do of Pope, to me the whole thing is unaccountable. plied to the grossest of impostors by the greatest of lowever, I must call things by their right names. fools; but I would have « explained the circumstance,» cannot call his edition of Pope a « candid» work; and notwithstanding « the suppression of the book,» if Mr

I still think that there is an affectation of that quality, Bowles had expressed any desire that I should. As the « gallant Galbraith» says to « Bailie Jarvie,» « Well, the

not only in those volumes, but in the pamphlets lately devil take the mistake and all that occasioned it.» I

pablished. have had as great and greater mistakes made about me

Why yet he doth deny his prisoners ! personally and poetically, once a month for these last Mr Bowles says, that he « has seen passages in his letters ten years, and never cared very much about correcting to Martha Blount, which were never published by me, one or the other, at least after the first eight-and-forly and I hope never will be by others; which are so gross hours had gone over them.

as to imply the grossest licentiousness. Is this fair I must now, however, say a word or two about Pope, play? It may, or it may not be that such passages exist ; of whom you have my opinion more at large in the un- and that Pope, who was not a mook, although a cathopublished letter on or to (for I forget which) the editor of lic, may have occasionally sinned in word and in deed « Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine ;» and here I doubt with woman in his youth; but is this a sufficient ground that Mr Bowles will not approve of my sentiments.

for such a sweeping denunciation ? Where is the nuAlthough I regret having published « English Bards married Eoglishman of a certain rank of life, who and Scotch Reviewers,» the part which I regret the least (provided he has not taken orders) has not to reproach is that which regards Mr Bowles with reference to Pope. himself between the ages of sixteen and thirty with far Whilst I was writing that publication, in 1807 and 1808, more licentiousness than has ever yet been traced to Mr llobhouse was desirous that I should express our Pope ? Pope lived in the public eye from his youth upmutual opinion of Pope, and of Mr Bowles's edition of wards; he had all the dunces of his own time for his bis works. As I had completed my outline, and felt enemies, and, I am sorry to say, some, who have not Jazy, I requested that he would do so. He did it. His the apology of dulness for detraction, since his death : fourteen lines on Bowles's Pope are in the first edition and yet to what do all their accumulated hints and of « English Bards and Scotch Reviewers ;» and are quite charges amount ?-1o an equivocal liaison with Martha as severe and much more poetical than my own in the Blount, which might arise as much from his infirmities second. On reprioting the work, as I put my name to as from his passions; to a hopeless flirtation with Lady it, I omitted Me Hobhouse's lines, and replaced them Mary W. Montagu ; to a story of Cibber's; and to two with my own, by which the work gained less than Mr or three coarse passages in his works. Who could come Bowles. I have stated this in the preface to the second forth clearer from an invidious inquest, on a life of fiftyedition. It is many years since I have read that poem; six years ? Why are we 10 be officiously reminded of but the Quarterly Review, Mr Octavius Gilchrist, and such passages in his letters, provided that they exist. Is Mr Bowles himself, have been so obliging as to refresh Mr Bowles aware to what such rummaging among my memory, and that of the public. Tam grieved 10 letters» and « stories» might lead? I bave myself seen say, that in reading over those lines, I repent of their a collection of letters of another eminent, nay, prehaving so far fallen short of what I meant to express eminent, deceased poet, so abominably gross, and elaupon the subject of Bowles's edition of Pope's Works. borately coarse, that I do not believe that they could be Mr Bowles says that « Lord Byron knows he does not paralleled in our language. What is more strange, is, deserve this character.» I koow no such thing. I have that some of these are couched as postscripts to his met Mr Bowles occasionally, in the best society in Lon- scrious and sentimental letters, to which are tacked don; he appeared to me an amiable, well-informed, either a piece of prose, or some verses, of the most and extremely able man. I desire nothing better than lyperbolical indecency. He himself says, that if «obto dine in company with such a mannered man every sceniiy (using a much coarser word) be the sin against


the Holy Ghose, lic most certainly cannot be saved.» to them in their youth, must laugh at such a ludicrous These letters are in existence, and have been seen by foundation of the charge of a « libertine sort of love ;s many besides myself; but woulil his editor have been while the more serious will look upon those who bring «candid» in eveo alluding to them? Nothing would forward such charges upou an insulated fact, as fanaties have even provoked me, an indifferent speclatur, to or hypocrites, perhaps both. The two are sometimes allude to them, but this further attempt at the depre- compounded in a happy mixture. ciation of Pope.

Mr Octavius Gilchrist speaks rather irreverently of a What should we say to an editor of Addison, who « second tumbler of hot white-wine negus.» What cited the following passage from Walpole's letters to does he mean? Is there any harm iu negus? or is it George Montagu ? « Dr Young has published a new book, the worse for being hot? or does Mr Bowles drink ne

Mr Addison sent for the young Earl of Warwick, gus? I had a better opinion of him. I hoped that as he was dying, to show him in what peace a Christian whatever wine he drank was neat; or at least ibat, like could die; unluckily he died of brandy; nothing makes the ordinary in Jonathan Wild, « he preferred punch, a Christian die in peace like being maudlin! but don't the rather as there was nothing against it ia scripture.» say this in Gath, where you are.» Suppose the editor I should be sorry to believe that Mr Bowles was fond introduced it with this preface : « One circumstance is of negus ; it is such a « candid» liquor, so like a wishymentioned by llorace Walpole, which, if true, was indeed waslıy compromise between the passion for wine and flagitious. Walpole iv forms Montayu that Addison sent the propriety of water. But different writers have for the young Earl of Warwick, when dying, to show divers tastes. Judge Blackstone composed his « Comhim in what peace a Christian could die ; but unluckily mentaries » (he was a poet too in his youth), with a he died drunk, etc., etc.» Now, although there might bottle of port before him. Addison's conversation was occur on the subsequent, or on the same page, a faint not good for much till he had taken a similar dose. show of disbelief, seasoned with the expression of « the Perhaps the prescription of these two great men was same candour» (the same exactly as throughout the not inferior to the very different one of a soi-disant book), I should say that this editor was either foolish poet of this day, who, after wandering amongst the hills, or false to his trust; such a story ought not to liave been returns, goes to bed, and dictates his verses, being fel admitted, except for one brief mark of crushing in- by a by-stander with bread and butter during the operadignation, unless it were completely proved. Why the tion. words « if true?» that «if» is not a peace-maker. Why I now come to Mr Bowles's « invariable principles of talk of Cibber's testimony» to his licentiousness; to poetry.» Thiese Mr Bowles and some of his correspondwhat does this amount? that Pope, wlien very young ents pronounce « unanswerable ; » aud they are « unanwas once decoyed by some nobleman and the player to swered,» at least by Campbell, who seems to have been a house of carpal recreation. Mr Bowles was not always astounded by the title. The sultan of the time being, a clergyman; and when he was a very young man, was offered to ally hinself to a king of France, because he never seduced into as much? If I were in the humour « he hated the word league ;" which proves that the for story-telling, and relating little anecdotes, I could Padishan understood French. Mr Campbell has do tell a much better story of Mr Bowles than Cibber's, up- need of my alliance, nor shall I presume'to offer it; on much better authority, viz. that of Mr Bowles him- but I do hate that word « invariable.» What is there self. It was not related by him in my presence, but in of human, be it poetry, philosophy, wit, wisdom, science, that of a third person, whom Mr Bowles names oftener power, glory, mind, matter, life or death, which is than once in the course of his replies. This gentleman ic invariable ?» Of course I put things divine out of related it to me as a humorous and willy anecdote; the question. Of all arrogant baptisms of a book, this and so it was, whatever its other characteristics might lille to a pamphlet appears the most complacently conbe. But should I, from a youthful frolic, brand Mr Bowles ceited. It is Mr Campbell's part to answer the contents with a «libertine sort of love, » or with « licentiousness ?» of this performance, and especially to vindicate his own is he the less now a pious or a good mau for not having «Slip,» which Mr Bowles most triumphantly proclaims always been a priest? No such thing; I am willing to

to have struck to his very first fice. believe him a good man, almost as good a man as Pope,

Quoth he, there was a Ship; but no belter.

Now let me go, thou eres-hair'd loon, The truth is, that in these days the grand primum

Or my staff shall make thue skip. mobile» of England is cant; cant political, cant poetical, It is no affair of mine, but having once begun certainly cant religious, cant moral; but always cant, multiplied not by my own wish, but called upon by the frequent through all the varieties of life. It is the fashion, and recurrence to my name in the pamphlets), I am like an while it lasts will be too powerful for those who can Irishman in a «row,» « any body's customer.» I shall only exist by taking the tone of the time. I say cant, therefore say a word or two on the « Ship. » because it is a thing of words, without the smallest in- Mr Bowles asserts that Campbell's « Slip of the Line, - ! lluence upon human actions; the English being no derives all its poetry, not from «arl,» but from «nature.» wiser, no better, and much poorer, and more divided Take away the waves, the winds, the sun, etc., etc one amongst themselves, as well as far less moral, than they will become a stripe of blue bunting; and the other a were before the prevalence of this verbal decorum. piece of coarse canvas on three tall poles.» Very true; / This hysterical borror of poor Pope's not very well take away the « waves,» « the winds, and there will ascertained, and never fully proved amours (for even be no ship at all, not only for poetical, bui for any Cibber owns that he prevented the somewhat perilous other purpose ; and take away « the sun,» and we must adventure in which Pope was embarking) sounds very rrad Mr Bowles's pamphlet by candic-light. But the virtuous in a controversial pamphlet; but all men of poetry» of the Ship» does not depend on «the wavesa the world who know what life is, or at least what it was etc.; on the contrary, the « Ship of the Linen confers

its own poetry upon the waters, and heightens theirs. I and Turkish craft, which were obliged to a cut and runn do not deny, that the « waves and winds, » and above before the wind, from their unsafe anchorage, some for all « the sun, » are highly pocucal; we know it to our Tenedos, soine for other isles, some for the main, and cost, by the many descriptions of them in verse : but some it might be for eternity. The sight of these little if the waves bore only the foam upon their bosoms, if scudding vessels, darting over the foam in the twilight, the winds wafted only the sea-weed to the shore, if the now appearing and now disappearing between the waves sun shone neither upon pyramids, nor fleets, nor for- in the cloud of night, with their peculiarly white sails tresses, would its beams be equally poetical? I think the Levant sails not being of « coarse canvas», but of not: the poetry is at least reciprocal. Take away « the white collon), skimming along as quickly, but less safely ship of the line» « swinging round» the « calm water,» than the sea-mews which hovered over them; their and the calm water becomes a somewhat monotonous evident distress, their reduction to fluttering specks in thing to look at, particularly if not transparently clear; the distance, their crowded succession, their littleness, witness the thousands who pass by without looking on as contending with the giant element, which made our it at all. What was it attracted the thousands to the stout forty-four's teuk timbers (she was built in India) launch? they might have seen the poetical «calm water,» creak again; their aspect and their motion, all struck at Wapping, or in the « London Dock,» or in the Pad-me as something far more « poetical» than the mere dington Canal, or in a horse-pond, or in a slop-basin, or broad, brawling, shipless sea, and the sullen winds, in any other vase. They might have heard the poetical could possibly have been without them. winds howling through the chinks of a pig-stye, or the

The Euxine is a noble sea to look upon, and the port garret-window; they might have seen the sun shining of Constantinople the most beautiful of harbours, and on a footman's livery, or on a brass warming-pan; but yet I cannot but think that the twenty sail of the line, could the « calm water,» or the « wind,» or the « sun, some of one hundred and forty guns, rendered it more make all, or any of these « poctical?» I think not. « poetical» by day in the sun, and by night perhaps still Mr Bowles admits « the ship» to be poetical, but only more, for the Turks illuminate their vessels of war in a from those accessaries : now if they confer poetry so as manner the most picturesque, and yet all this is artito make one thing poetical, they would make other ficial. As for the Euxine, I stood upon the Symplethings poetical ; the more so, as Mr Bowles calls a «ship gades—I stood by the broken altar still exposed to the of the lines without them, that is to say, its « masts and winds upon one of them-I felt all the « poetry» of the sails and streamers,» « blue bunting,» and « coarse can situation, as I repeated the first lines of Medea; but vas,» and « tall poles. So they are; and porcelain is would not that « poetry» have been heightened by the clay, and man is dust, and flesh is grass, and yet the Argo? It was so even by the appearance of any inertwo latter at least are the subjects of much poesy.

chant vessel arriving from Odessa. But Mr Bowles says, Did Mr Bowles ever gaze upon the sea? I presume

« why bring your ship off the stocks ?» for no reason that he has, at least upon a sea-piece. Did any painter that I know, except that ships are built to be launched. ever paint the sea only, without the addition of a ship, | The water, etc., undoubtedly Heightens the poetical assoboat, wreck, or some such adjunct? Is the sea itself a ciations, but it does not make them; and the ship ammore attractive, a more moral, a more poetical object ply repays the obligation : they aid each other; the with or without a vessel, breaking its vast but fatiguing water is more poetical with the ship—the ship less so monotony! is a storm more poetical without a ship? without the water. But even a ship, laid up in dock, is or, in the poem of the Shipwreck, is it the storm or the a graud and poetical sight. Even an old boat, keel up ship which most interests ? both much undoubtedly; but wards, wrecked upon the barren sand, is a u poetical» without the vessel, what should we care for the tempest? object (and Wordsworth, who made a poem about a It would sink into mere descriptive poetry, which in washing-tub and a blind boy, may tell you so as well itself was never esteemed a high order of that art. as I; whilst a long extent of sand and unbroken water,

I look upon myself as entitled to talk of naval mal- without the boat, would be as like dull prose as any fers, at least to poets :-with the exception of Walter pamphlet lately published. Scott, Moore, and Soutbey, perhaps (who have been What makes the poetry in the image of the « marble voyagers), I have swam more miles than all the rest of waste of Tadmor,» or Grainger's « Ode to Solitude, » them together now living ever sailed, and have lived so much admired by Johnson? Is it the « marble,» or for months and months on ship-board ; and during the the « waste,» the artificial or the natural object. The whole period of my life abroad, have scarcely ever passed wasten is like all other wastes; but the « marble» of a month out of sight of the ocean: besides being brought Palmyra makes the poetry of the passage as of the up from two years till ten on the briok of it. I recol- place. lect, when anchored off Cape Sigæum, in 1810, in an

The beautiful but barren Hymettus, the whole coast English frigate, a violent squall coming on at sunset, so

of Attica, ber Pills and mountains, Pentelicus, Anchesviolent as to make us imagine that the ship would part mus, Philopappus, etc., etc., are in themselves poetical, cable, or drive from her anchorage. Mr Hobhouse and and would be so if the name of Athens, of Athenians, myself, and some officers, had been up the Dardanelles and her very ruins, were swept from the earth. Buc to Abydos, and were just returned in time. The aspect am I to be told that the « naturen of Attica would be of a storm in the Archipelago is as poetical as need be, more poetical without the « arts of the Acropolis ? of the sea being particularly short, dashing, and dangerous, the Temple of Theseus? and of the still all Greek and and the navigation intricate and broken by the isles and glorious monuments of her exquisitely artificial genius? currents. Cape Sigæum, the tumuli of the Troad, Lem- Ask the traveller what strikes him as most poetical, nos, Tenedos, all added to the associations of the time. the Parthenon, or the rock on which it stands? The But what seemed the most a poetical» of all at the mo COLUMNS of Cape Colonna, or the Cape itself: The ment, were the numbers (about two hundred) of Greek rocks, at the foot of it, or the recollection that Falconer's

ship was bulged upon them. There are a thousand sea, and the innumerable islands which constitute the rocks and capes, far more picturesque than those of site of this extraordinary city. the Acropolis and Cape Sunium in themselves; what The very Cloacx of Tarquin at Rome are as poetical are they to a thousand scenes in the wilder parts of as Richmond Hill; many will think more so. Take Greece, of Asia Minor, Switzerland, or even of Cintra away Rome, and leave the Tiber and the seven hills, in in Portugal, or to many scenes of Italy, and the Sierras the nature of Evander's time; let Mr Bowles, or Mr of Spain ?

But it is the unrt,» the columns, the tem- Wordsworth, or Mr Southey, or any of the other « natuples, the wrecked vessel, which give them their antique rals,» make a poem upon them, and then sce which is and their modern poetry, and not the spots themselves. most poctical, their production, or the commonest Willout them, the spots of earth would be unnoticed suide-book which tells you the road from St Peter's and unknown; buried, like Babylon and Nineveli, in to the Coliseum, and informs you wbat you will see indistinct confusion, without poetry, as without exist by the way. The ground interests in Virgil, because it cnce : but to whatever spot of carili these ruins were will be Rome, and not because it is Evander's rural transported, if they were capable of transportation, domain. like the obelisk, and the sphinx, and the Memnon's Mr Bowles then proceeds to press Homer into his sesa head, there they would still exist in the perfection of sice, io answer to a rernark of Me Campbell's, that their beauty and in the pride of their poetry. I opposed, « Homer was a great describer of works of art.» Mr and will ever oppose, the robbery of ruins from Athens, Bowles contends that all his great power, even in thuis, to instruct the Euglisli in sculpture; but why did I so? depends upon their connexion with nature. The a shield The ruins are as poetical in Piccadilly as they were in of Achilles derives its poctical interest from the subjects the Parthenon ; but the Parthenon and its rock are less described on it.» And from wliat does the spear of so without them. Such is the poetry of art.

Achilles derive its interest ? and the helmret and the mail Mr Bowles contends, again, that the pyramids of worn by Patroclus, and the celestial armour, and the Egypt are poetical, because of " the association with very brazen greaves of the well-booted Greeks? Is it solely boundless deserts,» and that a « pyramid of the same from the legs, and the back, and the breast, and the loudimensions» would not be sublime in « Lincoln's Inn

man body, which they inclose ? In that case, it would Fields ; » not so poctical certainly; but take away the have been more poetical to have made them fight naked; "pyramids,» and what is the « desert?» Take away and Gulley and Gregson, as being nearer to a state of Stone-lenye from Salisbury plain, and it is nothing nature, are more poetical, boxing in a pair of drawers, more than Hounslow leath, or any other uninclosed than Hector and Achilles in radiant armour, and with down. It appears to me that St Peter's, the Coliseum, heroic weapons. the Pantheon, the Palatine, the Apollo, the Laocoon, Instead of the clash of helmets, and the rushing of the Venus di Medicis, the Hercules, the dying Gladiator, chariots, and the whizzing of spears, and the glancing of the Moses of Michel Angelo, and all the biglier works swords, and the cleaving of shields, and the piercing of of Canova (I have already spoken of those of ancient breast-plates, why not represent the Greeks and Trojans Greece, still extant in that country, or transported to like iwo savage tribes, tugging and tearing, and kickin, England), are as pocticalas Mont Blanc or Mount Ætna, and biting, and gnashing, foaming, grinning, and foug. perhaps still more so, as they are direct manifestations ing, in all the poetry of martial nature, unincumbered of mind, and presuppose poetry in their very concep-with gross, prosaic, artificial arms, an equal supertluity tion; and have, moreover, as being such, a something to the natural warrior, and his natural poet? Is there of actual life, which cannot belong to any part of inani- | any thing unpoetical in Ulysses striking the horses of mate nature, unless we adopt the system of Spinosa, Rhesus with his bow (having forgotten his thong), or that the world is the deity. There can be nothing more would Mr Bowles have had him kick them with his poetical in its aspect than the city of Venice: does this foot, or smack them with his hand, as being more undepend upon the sea, or the canals ?-

sophisticated? The dirt and sea-weed whence proud Venice rose!

In Gray's Elegy, is there an image more striking

than bis « stiapeless sculpture ?» Of sculpture in geneIs it the canal which runs between the palace and the ral, it may be observed, that it is more poetical than prison, or the « Bridge of Sighs» which connects them, nature itself, inasinucli as it represents and bodies forth that render il poetical? Is it the « Canal Grande,» that ideal beauty and sublimity which is never to be or the Rialto which arches it, the churches which tower found in actual nature. This at least is the general over it, the palaces which line, and the gondolas which opinion ; but, always excepting the Venus di Medicis, I slide over the waters, that render this city more poetical differ from that opinion, at least as far as regards fethan Rome itself? Mr Bowles will say, perhaps, that the male beauty, for the head of Lady Charlemont (when I Rialto is but marble, the palaces and churches only first saw her, nine years ago) seemed to possess all that stone, and the gondolas a « coarse» black cloth, throwii sculpture could require for its ideal. I recollect seeing over some planks of carved wood, with a shining bit of something of the same kind in the head of an Albanian fantastically-formed iron at the prow, « without» the girl, who was actually employed in mending a road in water. And I tell lum that without these the water the mountains, and in some Greek, and one or two would be nothing but a clay-coloured ditch; and who- Italian faces. But of sublimity, I have never seen aty ever says the contrary, deserves to be at the bottom of thing in inuman nature at all to approach the express that where Pope's hieroes are embraced by the mud- sion of sculpture, cither in the Apollo, the Moses, or nymphs. There would be nothing to make the canal other of the secruer works of ancient or modern ari. of Venice more poetical than that of Paddington, were Let us examine a little further this « babble of green! it not for the artificial adjuncts above mentioned, alleles, and of barr vature in general, as superior to though it is a perfectly natural canal, formed by the artificial imagery, for the poetical purposes of the five

« ZurückWeiter »