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critic-wolves have long ceased to howl; the world knows and loves Chr the man. mentima. In process of time The Examiner was made over to other parties,
and Mr. Hunt devoted his pen more exclusively to literary subjects. " His connexion with Byron and Shelley led him to Italy, where The e Liberal, a journal the joint product of the pens of those three cele}; und bis brated writers, was started, but soon discontinued ; and Leigh Hunt, hence before his return, saw the cordiality of Lord Byron towards him white pe shaken, and witnessed one of the most singular and solemn spectacles heim of modlern times--the burning of the body of his friend Shelley on
o the sea-shore, where he had been thrown up by the waves. the " The occasion of Leigh Hunt's visit to Italy, and its results, havo hemen been placed before the public, in consequence of their singular mo nature, and of the high standing of the parties concerned, in a more Gain prominent position than any other portion of his life. There have
been much blame and recrimination thrown about on all sides. Mr. Hunt has stated his own case, in his work on Lord Byron and his
Contemporaries. The case of Lord Byron has been elaborately stated ve bir by Mr. Moore, in his Life and Letters of the noble poet. It is not is the place here to discuss the question, but posterity will very easily
settle it. My simple opinion is, that Mr. Hunt had much seriously to complain of, and, under the circumstances, made his statement
with great candour ; yet, in a recent revision of his autobiography, *he has stated that, perhaps, his account of these transactions was
written with too warm a feeling, and consequently was somewhat too severe on Byron. The great misfortune for him, as for the world, was, that almost immediately on his arrival in Italy with his family, his true and zealous friend, Mr. Shelley, perished. From that moment, any indifferent spectator might have foreseen the end of the connexion with Lord Byron. He had numerous aristocratic friends, who would, and who did, spare no pains to alarm his pride at the union with men of the determined character of Hunt and Hazlitt for progress and free opinion. None worked more earnestly for this purpose,
by his own confession, than Moore. From that hour there could be me nothing for Mr. Hunt but disappointment and mortification. They
came fast and fully. With all the splendid qualities of Lord Byror, whether of disposition or intellect, no man of sensibility would w ingly have been placed in any degree of dependence upon him ; po man of genius could be so without undergoing the deepest possible
baptism of suffering. Through that Leigh Hunt went, and every Pashto generous mind must sympathise with him. Had Shelley lived, how
different would have been the whole of that affair, and the whole of his future life. He died-and all we have to do is now simply to notice the residences of Leigh Hunt in Italy, without further reference to these matters.
The chief places of Mr. Hunt's Italian sojourn were Pisa, Genoa, baie beter and Florence. At Leghorn he and his family landed, and almost
immediately went on with Shelley to Pisa, where Byron joined them ; but at Monte Nero, near Leghorn, was at once introduced to a curious scene of mixed English and Italian life.“ In a day or two, I went to
that of best of the at. Lor
see Lord Byron, who was in what the Italians call rilleggiatura, at Monte Nero; that is to say, enjoying a country house for the season. I there met with a singular adventure, which seemed to make me free of Italy and stilettos, before I had well set foot in the country. The day was very hot; the road to Monte Nero was very hot, through dusty suburbs; and when I got there, I found the hottestlooking house I ever saw. Not content with having a red wash over it, the red was the most unseasonable of all reds, a salmon colour. Think of this flaming over the country in a hot Italian sun.
“ But the greatest of all the heats was within. Upon seeing Lord Byron, I hardly knew him, he was grown so fat; and he was longer in recognising me, I was grown so thin. He was dressed in a loose nankeen jacket and white trowsers, his neckcloth open, and his hair in thin ringlets about his throat; altogether presenting a very different aspect from the compact, energetic, and curly-headed person whom I had known in England.
“He took me into an inner room, and introduced me to a young lady in a state of great agitation. Her face was flushed, her eyes lit up, and her hair, which she wore in that fashion, looked as if it streamed in disorder. This was the Countess Guiccioli. The Conte Pietro, her brother, came in presently, also in a state of agitation, and having his arm in a sling. I then learned, that a quarrel haring taken place among the servants, the young count had interfered, and been stabbed. He was very angry ; Madame Guiccioli was more so, and would not hear of the charitable comments of Lord Byron, who was for making light of the matter. Indeed, there was a look in the business a little formidable ; for though the stab was not much, the inflictor of it threatened more, and was at that minute keeping watch under the portico, with the avowed intention of assaulting the first person that issued forth. I looked out of the window, and met his eye glaring upwards like a tiger. The fellow had a red cap on, like a sans culotle, and a most sinister aspect, dreary and meagre, a proper caitiff. Thus, it appeared, the house was in a state of blockade-the nobility and gentry of the interior all kept in a state of impassability by a rascally footman.
“How long things had continued in this state I cannot say: but the hour was come when Lord Byron and his friends took their evening ride, and the thing was to be put an end to somehow. Fletcher, the valet, had been despatched for the police, and was not returned. .... At length we set out, Madame Guiccioli earnestly entreating · Bairon' to keep back, and all of us uniting to keep in advance of Conte Pietro, who was exasperated. It was a curious moment for a stranger from England. I fancied myself pitched into one of the scenes in the Mysteries of Udolpho, with Montoni and lus tumultuous companions. Everything was new, foreign, and violent. There was the lady, flushed and dishevelled, exclaiming against the 'scelerato;' the young count, wounded and threatening; the assassin waiting for us with his kuife ; and last, not least in the novelty, my English friend metamorphosed, round-looking, and jacketed, trying to damp all this fire with his cool tones, and an air of voluptuous
indolence. He had now, however, put on his loose riding coat of mazarine blue, and his velvet cap, looking more lordly then, but hardly less foreign. It was an awkward moment for him, not knowing what might happen; but he put a good face on the matter; and as to myself, I was so occupied with the novelty of the scene, that I had not time to be frightened. Forth we issued at the door, all squeezing to have the honour of being the boldest, when a termination is put to the tragedy by the vagabond throwing himself on a bench, extending his arms, and bursting into tears. His cap was half over his eyes; his face gaunt, ugly, and unshaven; his appearance altogether more squalid and miserable than an Englishman could conceive it possible to find in such an establishment. This blessed figure reclined weeping and wailing, and asking pardon for his offence, and, to crown all, he requested Lord Byron to kiss him.”
This was a curious introduction to Italian life. Leghorn, Mr. Hunt says, is a polite Wapping, with a square and a theatre. The country around, though delightful to a first view, from its vines hanging from the trees, and the sight of the Apennines, is uninteresting when you become acquainted with it. They left here and proceeded to Pisa. There they occupied the ground-floor of the Casa Lanfranchi, on the Lung' Arno. The house is said to have been built by Michael Angelo, and is worthy of him. It is, says Mr. Hunt, in a bold and broad style throughout, with those harmonious graces of proportion which are sure to be found in an Italian mansion. The outside is of rough marble.
llere poor Shelley saw his friends settled in their apartments, and took his leave for ever! Here they spent their time in the manner which has been made so well known by the Life and Letters of Lord Byron,-talking or reading till afternoon in the house ; then riding out to a wood or a vineyard, and firing pistols, after which they would occasionally alight at a peasant's cottage, and eat figs in the shade-returning to dinner. “În the evening,” observes Mr. Hunt, “ I seldom saw Byron. He recreated himself in the balcony, or with a book ; and at night, when I went to bed, he was just thinking of setting to work with Don Juan.”
In the autumn they left Pisa for Genoa ; and in their way visited the deserted house of Shelley. Wild as the place is, it now seemed additionally so. It was melancholy, its rooms empty, and its garden neglected. “The sea fawned upon the shore, as though it could do no barın."
Genoa now became, as it would appear, the residence of Leigh Hunt for the greater part of the time that he continued in Italy, for he describes himself as quitting it for Florence, three years afterwards. Mrs. Shelley had preceded them thither, and had furnished houses both for herself and Lord Byron, in the village of Albaro. With her they took up their residence in the Casa Negroto. There were forty rooms in it, some of them such as would be considered splendid in England, and all neat and new, with borders and arabesques. The balcony and staircase were of marble ; and there was a little flower garden. The rent was twenty pounds a-year. Byron
paid for his twenty-four pounds. It was called the Casa Saluzzi, was older and more imposing, with rooms in still greater plenty, and a good piece of ground. Mr. Hunt describes himself as passing a melancholy time at Albaro, walking about the stony alleys, and thinking of Shelley. Here the first number of that unfortunate publication, The Liberal, reached them ; here they prepared the few numbers which succeeded it, and here the coldness between Byron and Hunt grew to its height, and they parted.
We next, and lastly, find Mr. Hunt at Florence. He then says:
“Agreeably to our old rustic propensities, we did not stop long in the city. We left Santa Croce to live at Maiano, a village on the slope of one of the Fiesolan hills, about two miles off. I passed there a very disconsolate time; yet the greatest comfort I experienced in Italy was from being in that neighbourhood, and thinking, as I went about, of Boccaccio. Boccaccio's father had 3 house at Maiano, supposed to have been situated at the Fiesolan extremity of the hamlet. That divine writer, whose sensibility outweighed his levity a hundred-fold-as a divine face is oftener serious than it is merry-was so fond of the place, that he not only laid the two scenes of the Decamerone on each side of it, with the valley his company resorted to in the middle, but has made the two little streams that embrace Maiano, the Affrico and the Mensola, the hero and heroine of his Nimphale Fiesolano. A lover and his vestal mistress are changed into them, after the fashion of Ovid. The scene of another of his works is on the banks of the Mugnope, a river a little distant ; and the Decamerone is full of the neighbouring villages. Out of the windows of one side of our house, we saw the turret of the Villa Gherardi, to which his joyous company' resorted in the first instance; a house belonging to the Macchiavelli was nearer, a little on the left; and farther to the left, amongst the blue hills, was the white village of Settignano, where Michael Angelo was born. The house is still remaining in the possession of the family. From our windows on the other side, we saw, close to us, the Fiesole of antiquity and of Milton, the site of the Boccaccio house before mentioned still closer, the Valley of Ladies at our feet; and we looked towards the quarter of the Mugnone, and of a house of Dante, and in the distance beheld the mountains of Pistoia. Lastly, from the terrace in front, Florence lay clear and cathedraled before us, with the scene of Redi's Bacchus rising on the other side of it, and the villa of Arcetri, illustrious for Galileo.
“But I stuck to my Boccaccio haunts, as to an old home. I lived with the divine human being, with his friends of the Falcon and the Basil, and my own not unworthy melancholy; and went about the flowery hills and lanes, solitary, indeed, and sick to the heart, but not unsustained. * * * My almost daily walk was to Fiesole. through a path skirted with wild myrtle and cyclamen ; and I stopped at the cloister of the Doccia, and sat on the pretty melancholy platform behind it, reading, or looking through the pines down to Florence. In the Valley of Ladies, I found some English trees, -trees not vine and olive, and even a bit of meadow; and these,
site lisaswhile I made them furnish me with a bit of my old home in the
north, did no injury to the memory of Boccaccio, who is of all
countries, and finds his home wherever we do ourselves, in love, in rim, falba
the grave, in a desert island.”
From this charming and celebrated spot of earth, Leigh Hunt the brst post
turned northward and homeward through Switzerland and France. lied them.
Every lover of true poetry and of an excellent and high-hearted man,
must regret that his visit to Italy was dashed by such melancholy ll, and try circumstances, for no man was ever made more thoroughly to enjoy 1 Mr. Hugt 31that fine climate and classical land. Yet as the friend of Shelley,
rustic prate: Keats, Charles Lamb, and others of the first spirits of the age, Mr. ata come wil. Hunt must be allowed, in this respect, to have been one of the the Fier'and happiest of men. It were no mean boon of Providence to have been uncolate to permitted to live in the intimacy of men like these ; but, besides from teir this, he had the honour to suffer, with those beautiful and immortal of Bucat la spirits, calumny and persecution. They have achieved justice through 1 to bare bp deathhe has lived injustice down. As a politician, there is a great That dicine debt of gratitude due to him from the people, for he was their firm
1-88313, champion when reformers certainly did not walk about in vilken of the place to slippers. He fell on evil days, and he was one of the first and fore
most to mend them. In literature he has distinguished himself in milli bort is? various walks ; and in all he has manifested the same genial, buoyant, drog hopeful, and happy spirit. His Sir Ralph Eshier, a novel of Charles a II.'s time, is a work full of thought and fine painting of men and the fan nature. His Indicator, and his London Journal, abound with papers ob » which make us in love at once with the writer and ourselves. There
is a charm cast over every-day life, that makes us congratulate oure selves that we live. All that is beautiful and graceful in nature, and Trolove-inspiring in our fellow-men, is brought out and made part of . our daily walk and pleasure. His Months, a calendar of nature, bears testimony to his intense love of nature, which breathes equally in
every page of his poetry. In these prose works, however, as well as e in some of his earlier poetry, we find certain artificialities of phrase,
fanciful expressions, and what are often termed conceits, which the critics treated as cockneyisms, and led them to style him the head of
the Cockney school. There are certainly many indications, particui larly in The Months, of his regarding the country rather as a visitor
than an inhabitant. His Standpunct, as the Germans call it, his point 6 of standing, or, in our pbraseology, his point of view from which he
contemplates nature, is the town. He thus produces to a country. man a curious inversion of illustration. For instance, he compares April to a lady watering her flowers at a balcony ; and we almost expect him, in praising real flowers, to say, as a French lady once
said to us, “Why do you gather your garden flowers to adorn your · rooms 1 For ten sous you may have splendid artificial ones that will last the whole season."
But these are merely the specks on a sun-disc, all glowing with
the most genuine love of nature. In no writer does the love of the is, and sat .. beautiful and the good more abound. And, after all, the fanciful looking epithets in which he endeavours to clothe as fanciful notions, are, as
sbich his to love-insi je bein our dai farther to testimo; tyrano, every PRIL in the name in some " Slue, West, fanciful
site of the fivescritica ler of Linn: the c le Jugue, and larly
pointains of A, than I clear and cons of sts i rising on the Conte
launts, 20. April 6 bis friends and expect melancbari si said to Dileed, and rooms í Imost var sur last th I mirtie 2013 But