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NORTH. Have done have done, and consider for a moment how jarring must be the contrast between the general influence breathed from the very surface of this haunted place, and the specific, particular, individual influence of the baser moods of which you, in the wantonness and levity of madly exhilarated spirits, are planting pabula plusquam-futura—Mullion, I trouble you for your pipestopper-You are a brute, Hogg !-Why, laying all petty, dirty, little minutiæ out of the question, who can hesitate to say, that Wordsworth is, on the whole, and in the eyes of all capable of largely and wisely contemplating such concerns, of poets, and of the poetical life, the very image essential – I speak of men óias rv Bpotos Elevy-the very specimen and exemplar-of poets, the very beau-ideal
Bore-ideal, you mean.
On?-O Mullion ! how little does the world know of my real sufferings ! Sir, you are a savage, and you compel me to pay the penalty of your barbar. ism! I am the most unfortunate of men. My character will never be understood—I shall go down a puzzle to posterity! I see it-I see it all Your wildness will be
Are you at this bottle, or this, my dawtie ? Fill up your tumbler.
To say the truth, Christopher, you and Canning are, in my opinion, much to be pitied. Yourselves the purest and the most liberal of your race, you are doomed to be eternally injured by the indecorousness, the rashness, the bigotry, the blindness, of your soi-disants adherents. I commiserate you both from my soul of souls. Who will ever believe that the one of you did not write
“ Michael's dinner-Michael's dinner," and the other
" Pericles to call the man ?”.
Rax me the black bottle. I say, Christopher, what, after all, is your opinions about Lord and Leddy Byron's quarrel ? Do you-you yourself I mean—take part with him or with her? I would like to hear your reał opinion.
I dear!-Well, Hogg, since you will have it, I think Douglas Kinnaird and Hobhouse are bound to tell us whether there be any truth, and how much, in this story about the declaration signed by Sir Ralph. I think they, as friends of Lord Byron, must do this—and, since so much has been said about these matters, I think Lady Byron's letter--the “ dearest Duck” one I meanshould really be forthcoming, if her Ladyship's friends wish to stand fair coram populo. At present, we have nothing but the loose talk of society to go upon, and certainly, most certainly, if the things that are said be true, there must be thorough explanation from some quarter, or the tide will continue, as it has assuredly begun, to flow in a direction very opposite to what we for years were accustomed to. Sir, they must explain this business of the letter. You have of course, heard about the invitation it contained the warm affectionate invitation to K—, you have heard of the housewife-like account of certain domestic conveniencies there--you have heard of the hair-tearing scene, as described by the wife of this Fletcher-you have heard of the consolations of Mrs C - ; you have heard of the injunctions“ not to be again naughty;" you have heard of the very last thing which preceded their valediction-you have heard of all this—and we have all heard that these things were followed up by a cool and deliberate declaration, that all these endearments were meant “ only to soothe a madman !"
I dinna like to be interrupting yè, Mr North ; but I maun speer, is the jug to stan’ still while ye are havering away that gate ?
xong. There, Porker. These things are part and parcel of the chatter of every bookseller's shop, à fortiori of every drawing-room in Mayfair. Can the matter stop here? Can a great man's memory be permitted to incur damn nation, while these saving clauses are afloat anywhere uncontradicted? I think not. I think, since the Vietnoirs were burnt by these people, these people are bound to put us in possession of the best evidence which they still have the power of producing, in order that we may come to a just conclusion, as to a subject upon which, by their act, at least as much as by any other people's act, we are compelled to consider it as our duty to make up our deliberate opinion-deliberate and decisive. Woe be to those that provoke this curiosity, and will not allay it!-Woe to them, say I-woe to them, says the world.
HOGG. Faith, and it cannot be denied but what there's something very like reason in what you say, Jr North. Just drap ac hint o'this in Jaga, and my word for't ye'll see a' the lace of the periodicals take up the same tune and then the thing maun be cleared up-it maun, it will, and it shall be
NORTH. Shall I confess the truth to you?-Byron's behaviour in regard to the Greeks has, upon the whole, greatly elevated his character in my estimation. He really seems to have been cut off at the moment when he was beginning in almost every way to give promise and token of improvement. He never wrote any verses so instinct with a noble scorn of the worse parts of bis nature (alas ! may I not say, of our tiature) as the very last that ever came from his pen-the Ode on his last Birth-day-and it is but justice to admit, that, overlooking the general wisdom or folly of his Greek expedition, he seems in Greece to have conducted himself like a man of sense and sanity; while all the others—at least all the other Frankish Philhellenists, appear in te light of dreaming doltish fools, idiots, madmen. It did me good to read Colonel Stanhope's account of his altercatious with Byron on the subject of the Greek press-to see Byron express. ing his complete scorn of the idea of establishing an unchecked press in the midst of an uneducated, barbarous, divided and unsettled people, and the Honourable Colonel Ainging out of the room, with the grand exclamation, “Byron is a TURK !”
| NORTH, This conduct, and the great and successful efforts Byron was making to introduce something like the humane observances of civilized war among these poor people—all this, I must say, has elevated Byron in my mind. He seems to have driven Stanhope quite mad with his sarcasms against Jeremy Bentham, Lord Erskine, Joseph Hume, and the rest of “ the statesmen of Cockaigne ?"
NORTH. Yes, and I must say, there are some parts of the Colonel's behaviour which appear to me explicable, only on the supposition of his being as devoid of sense and memory, as his book shews him to be of education and knowledge.
NORTH. Ay, education. The man cannot even spell English. He writes in the very letter authorizing the publication of his correspondence with Babylonian Bowring, croud for crowd, council for counsel.
MULLION. Pooh! he's but a soldier..
NORTH. Yes, and in his answer to Colonel Macdonald's letter, ordering his return, he tells him, that throughout all his doings in Greece, he had had nothing in view but “ to deserve the esteem of mankind, his country, and his King;" which last is to me a puzzler, I must own.
MULLION. As how, Kit?
NORTH. Why, you see Stanhope, throughout his book, avows himself to Turk, Greek, and Frank, a disciple to the back-bone of sage Jeremy the bencher. He goes so far on one occasion as to repel with apparent indignation an insinuation that he wished to see a government resembling the British established in Greece ; avowing, in terms express, that his wish is to see Greece “ not Anglicized, but Americanized;" and adding also, in terms express, that the only nations that do not loathe the governments under which they live, are the Swiss and the Americans. This is pretty well. But farther still, we have him acting all along in the confidence and in the service of the Greek Committee in London. In other words, of Jeremy Bentham and Bowring. He is their servant and tool throughout.
MULLION Of course, he was. We all know that.
NORTH. Very well. Now reach me the last number of the Westminster Review. By the way, Bowring sent Colonel Stanhope the first number of this work into Greece with a great air. Turn me up the article on Washington Irving's last book-Ay, ay, here it is. Read that passage, Mullion-I need not tell you that Jeremy Bentham is the great and presiding spirit of this periodical. This, indeed, is avowed. Read.
MULLION, (reads.) “In America he saw the great mass of the population earning from thirty to forty shillings a-week, furnished with all the necessaries of life, and absolutely exempt from want ; in America, he saw a clergy, voluntarily paid by the people, performing their duties with zeal and ability ; the various functions of government performed much bet. ter than in Europe, and at less than a twentieth of the expense; the people orderly, provident, and improving, without libel-law, vice-societies, or constitutional associations; no lords or squires driving their dependants to the poll, or commanding votes by influence, that is, by terror-by apprehension of loss if the vote be withheld; no lords or squires turned by means of this influence into what are called representatives, and then combining to make corn dear, or voting away millions, for the support of their own children or friends, money extorted in the shape of taxation from needy wretches, who had not even a share in the mockery of being compelled to give a free vote for their member.
“ In the British dominions he sees the great mass of the agricultural labourers starving on eight shillings a-week; he sees a clergy cnormously paid by taxation of the whole community, for rendering slender service, in one portion of the empire to about a fourteenth part of the population, and in other parts to little more than a third ; he sees discussion repressed, the investigation of truth punished by fine and imprisonment for life, and the judges themselves so hostile to the press, as to prohibit, during the course of a trial, when its appearance is most likely to be beneficial to all parties, any printed statement of what passes in court; he sees a gang of about a hundred and eighty families converting all the functions of gorernment into means of a prorision for themselves and their dependants, and for that purpose steadily upholding and promoting every species of abuse, and steadily opposing every attempt at political improvement : all this and more he sees in Britain only, and yet, with this before his eyes, the ignorant and puling sentimentalist has a manifest preference for British institutions ! In a man of ordinary penetration and ordinary benevolence, such a preference could never be found ; but the penetration and benevolence of your genuine sentimentalist are not of the ordinary kind; his perverse fecundity of imagination fills him with apprehension where no danger exists; bis indivi. dual attachments and associations preclude him from entertaining any general regard for his species. In the check which every well-regulated community ought to possess against misconduct on the part of its rulers, he sees nothing but visions of anarchy, rapine, and bloodshed; in uncontrolled poreer on the part of gorernment, and the consequent pillage and privation to which the many are subjected for the benefit of the fito, he sees nothing but the natural, and, as he deems it, amiable weakness of human institutions. He can weep at a tale of disappointed love, and sigh over a dying leaf, but the slaughter of thousands at the nod of the successful conqueror, the pain and privation inflicted on mil. lions to support the conqueror's career, will not cost him a regret, or a single exertion of thought as to the means by which the world may be ridden of such detestable vermin. In Geoffrey's sentimentalism there is also something antiquarian and romantic. America has no buildings nor institutions that have not the demerit of being new ; in England we have Gothic cathedrals and Norman castles; and who would not submit to, or allow the Nobodys to submit to, a morld of actual cril, to enjoy the edifying associations which the
sight of these terrolle edifces, these strong-holds of ignorance and n perstition, are sure tercite! Hor Gestirey cane to acquire and cultivate the tastes of these Samnebodys, it is not difficult to divine."
NORTH. Swp there-Pretty well for one specimen, I think. The whole of that article is the most genuine effusion of the ignorant malevolence of the tailorly tribe, that I have as yet met with ; but it is not worth while to talk of that I only wished to let you have the opportunity of comparing this arowal of the true Benthamn principles, with the assertion of one of Bentham's dearest and mont devored pupils, that be who went to Greece as Bentbam's agent, and be gan and ended every one communication he bad with the Greek authorities by maintaining that there could be no good for Greece unless Greece Benthamized herseli-I wished you to compare this passage in the Bentham Gazette with the assertion of the Bentham soldier, that he was uniformnly influenced while in Greece by the desire to obtain the esteem of the King of England, whose uniform he wears. I wished you to put these things together, and be sitate if you can about corning to the same conclusion with myself as to the intellectual status of this hero-statesman.
MULLION. They say Bowring and Co. have made TWENTY THOUSAND POUNDS by the Greek Loan. Some folks, at least, are no fools, if that be true.
NORTH. Ay, ay--I guessed what the bursting of the bubble would reveal. Well, Bowring, after all, is not a goose he is a good linguist. I should not be sorry to hear he had made a little picking off those dolts.
MULLION. They are a neat set altogether. What a fine thing they would make of it were they in power! Then they might sing
I admit that Byron had his defects. He was aye courting the ill will o' the world, that he might make a fool o't. There was a principle in his prodigality that I ne'er observed in other men. He wasna just like King Henry, the fifth o' that name, wild for wantonness—but in a degree like Hamlet the playactor, a thought antic for a purpose - What that purpose was, he best kent himself, and if it werena to speak blasphemy, I would a'maist say he was wicket that he might be wise. O he was a desperate worldly creature, thinking to make himself a something between a god and devil-a spirit that would hae a dominion over the spirits o' men and make the earth a third estate 'tween heaven and hell.
MULLION. A new idea, Hogg—and the thing is not an impossibility. Do we not see, every now and then, a genius arise, whose energies affect the whole elements of mind,-changing the currents of opinion, and, in proportion to its power, influencing and governing the thoughts, and, by consequence, the will and actions of mankind.
NORTH. Po! None of your mysteries now-Put Hogg's thought into plain language, and it means nothing more than that Lord Byron was ambitious, and chose literature for the field of his fame.
MULLION. Not so fast, old one I could build a theory on the Shepherd's notion-Suppose, for example, that there has been another rebellion among the angels, and that they have been cast upon the earth, and entered into certain human forms -may not Byron have been the Satan of this secret insurrection ?
NORTH. If what Medwin says be true, the only spirits that Byron fell with were gin and water.
Really ye're vera comical the night, Mr North.—Oh, Mullion, man, it's a great pity you and Byron hadna been acquaint; there would hae been a brave ettling to see wha could say the wildest or the dreadfu'est things—for he hadna fear either o' man or woman-but would hae his joke and jeer, harm wha it might. Did ye ever hear Terry tell what happened wi' him and ane o' the players behint the scenes o' Drury Lane ae night—that there was a stramash among the actors anent a wife who had misbehaved at Covent Garden. “Had I been Harris," said my lord, “ I would have turned her out o' the house."