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what a horribly bad fellow he could be; to Again :
SHELLEY, AT RAVENNA, TO HIS WIFE.
“Lord Byron is very well, and was delighted woman that he liked could do in the way
to see me. of improving him. The glimpses we get of
He has in fact completely recovered the man in Shelley's letters are very inter- that which he led at Venice. He has a perma
his health, and lives a life totally the reverse of esting:
nent sort of liaison with Contessa Guiccioli, who
now at Florence, and seems from her letters to SHELLEY, AT VENICE, TO HIS WIFE.
be a very amiable woman, She is waiting there “At three o'clock I called on Lord Byron: till something shall be decided as to their emigrahe was delighted to see me.
tion to Switzerland or stay in Italy; which is yet “ He took me in his gondola across the laguna undetermined on either side. She was compelled to a long sandy island, which defends Venice to escape from the Papal territory in great haste, from the Adriatic. When we disembarked, we as measures had already been taken to place her found his horses waiting for us, and we rode in a convent, where she would have been unrealong the sand of the sea, talking. Our con- lentingly confined for life. versation consisted in histories of his wounded feelings, and questions as to my affairs, and
“Lord Byron had almost destroyed himself great professions of friendship and regard for
at Venice: his state of debility was such that he He said that if he had been in England at was unable to digest any food, he was consumed the time of the Chancery affair, he would have by hectic fever, and would speedily have perished, moved heaven and earth to have prevented such but for this attachment, which has reclaimed & decision. We talked of literary matters, his him from the excesses into which he threw himFourth Canto, which he says is very good, and self from carelessness and pride, rather than indeed repeated some stanzas of great energy to taste. Poor fellow ! he is now quite well, and
immersed in politics and literature.”
SHELLEY, AT RAVENNA, TO HIS WIFE,
“I told you I had written by L. B.'s desire “I entirely agree with what you say about to la Guiccioli, to dissuade her and her family Childe Harold. The spirit in, which it is from Switzerland. Her answer is this moment written is, if insane, the most wicked and mis- arrived, and my representation secms to have chievous insanity that ever was given forth. reconciled them to the unfitness of that step. At It is a kind of obstinate and self-willed folly, in the conclusion of a letter, full of all the fine things which he hardens himself. I remonstrated with she says she has heard of me, is this request, him in vain on the tone of mind from which which I transcribe:—Signore – la vostra bontá such a view of things alone arises. For its mi fa ardita di chiedervi unfavore -me lo acreal root is very different from its apparent one. corderete voi? Non partite da Ravenna senza Nothing can be less sublime than the true source Milord.' Of course, being now, by all the laws of these expressions of contempt and desperation. of knighthood, captive to a lady's request, I The fact is, at first, the Italian women with shall only be at liberty on my parole until Lord whom he associates are perhaps the most con- Byron is settled at Pisa. I shall reply, of course, temptible of all who exist under the moon — that the boon is granted, and that if her lover is the most ignorant, the most disgusting, the reluctant to quit Ravenna, after I have made armost bigoted ;
an ordinary Eng- rangements for receiving him at Pisa, I am lishman cannot approach them. Well, L. B. bound to place myself in the same situation as is familiar with the lowest sort of these women, now, to assail him with importunities to rejoin the people his gondolieri pick up in the streets. her. Of this there is, fortunately, no need; and He associates with wretches who seem almost I need not tell you there is no fear that this chiv. to have lost the gait and physiognomy of man, alric submission of mine to the grent general and who do not scruple to avow practices which | laws of antique courtesy, against which I never are not only not named, but I believe seldom rebel, and which is my religion, should interfere even conceived in England. He says he disap- with my quick returning, and long remaining proves, but he endures. He is heartily and with you, dear girl. deeply discontented with himself; and contemplating in the distorted mirror of his own “We ride out every evening as usual, and thoughts the nature and the destiny of man, practice pistol-shooting at a pumpkin; and I am what can he behold but objects of contempt and not sorry to observe that I approach towards my despair? But that he is a great poet, I think noble friend's exactness of aim. The water here the Address to Ocean proves. And he has a is villanous, and I have suffered tortures; but certain degree of candour while you talk to him, I now drink nothing but alcalescent water, and but unfortunately it does not outlast your de- am much relieved. I have the greatest trouble parture. No, I do not doubt, and, for his sake, to get away; and L. B., as a reason for my stay, I ought to hope, that his present career must has urged that, without either me or the Guio end soon in some violent circumstance." cioli, he will certainly fall into his old habits. I
val of temptation that will be left him. L. B. speaks with great kindness and interest of you, and seems to wish to see you."
then talk, and he listens to reason; and I ear- husband in the familiar and very clever nestly hope that he is too well aware of the ter- verses in "Don Juan "rible and degrading consequences of his former mode of life to be in danger from the short inter-"Her favourite science was the mathematical,” and so on, was in fact an able and accomplished woman; a thinker, and a good writer. There are letters of hers extant which Mr. Mill would not be ashamed of. Again, the Countess of Lovelace, lately deceased, the Ada of “Childe Harold," was a mathematician and well versed in the sciences. The best proof of the estimation in which she was held during her lifetime is that she was, in well-informed circles, credited for a long time with the authorship of the "Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation."
We have preferred breaking what, to large numbers of readers, will be new ground, to making general criticisms upon Byron's poetry, and can only, in conclusion, say that this "Chandos " edition is a wonder in its way.
This last extract is very striking, showing, as it does, not only that the Countess Guiccioli knew, but that Byron himself knew the value, in the way of social restraint, of the friendship of a pure-minded man like Shelley. There is something almost amusingly imploring about the beautiful lady's "Don't leave Ravenna without taking Milord with you."
The interest of these extracts will, we hope, excuse their length. One or two notes as to matters of fact known in literary circles, but not to general readers, may be added. Lady Byron, ridiculed by her
The English Bible. By a Barrister-at-Law. | ity. We cannot say that the book is very attractBartlett. ive, but it will repay perusal.
THE Barrister attempts too much. His subject is the evidence relating to the history and authenticity of the Bible generally. It is impossible to compress into a volume of a hundred and eighty pages even the results of the controversies which have been raised on these questions. His title suggests a speciality to which he might have confined himself with advantage. He gives, for instance, some interesting information about the circumstances under which our own Authorised Version was drawn up; but he says next to nothing on a subject which, in one point of view, is of at least equal importance, the attempts at translation which were made before Wickliffe's time. On this he satisfies himself with a quotation from Foxe. Nor is his account of Wickliffe and his successors as full as it should be. How imperfect is his treatment of other topics may be gathered from the fact that in speaking of the external evidence to the authenticity of the New Testament, he gives no account of what must always be the principal item in it, the quotations found in the writings of the early Christian fathers. The book, nevertheless, has a certain value, and it is written in a sensible and moderate spirit. Spectator.
The Rock Ahead. By Edmund Yates. 3 vols.
THIS is decidedly the weakest of Mr. Yates's novels, and while aiming at being highly sensa tional it fails in sustained power in that direction. The author has taken, as one of the main incidents of his story, the Rugeley murder, and confers on his villain, for whom he has adopted that frightful crime, the further distinction of an attempted fratricide, and, in the end, an accomplished self-destruction. But this villain is not true to himself, for once baffled in an attempted crime, he takes no further steps to perfect it, but contents himself with an immense amount of vapouring and bluster. As to the hero, it has doubtless come within the experience of every one that an English country gentleman can, without a sigh or a struggle, alienate his ancestral estate in order to live abroad illegally married to his deceased brother's wife, and, in the author's own words, " be lost in the crowd." With his heroine, who stands forth a well drawn and thoroughly unconventional character, and with the minor personages of his story, Mr. Yates is much more successful. We do not doubt that that respectable corporation the Ancients of Clement's Inn will feel highly flattered at his description of their abode; and we wonder where he obtained his knowledge of the guiding principles of College authorities. Mr. Yates's style is easy and flowing, and if he would avoid a certain slanginess, a fondness for using foreign words when our own mother tongue would supply his wants equally well, and a paraded admiration
Thoughts of a Physician. Van Voorst.
THIS volume is a collection of essays on various ethical subjects, most of them pleasantly and sensibly written, if not showing much originality or power. The writer illustrates some of his positions by instances drawn from modern biography. These are, perhaps, the best part of the book. He illustrates, for instance, the subject of " The Usefulness of an Invalid" by an interesting sketch of the labours of Dr. Andrew Combe, who, for Bohemianism in general, his writings would as he justly says, made ten years of disease and be much more agreeable and acceptable to the self-discipline worth many a life of healthy activ-reading public.
From The Economist, 19 Sept. peace in which the effect of a coming war THE RUMOURS OF WAR.
must be constantly discounted, but the dis
counting of the effect on all sides should DURING the last fortnight there has been make people proof against mere rumours. a fresh crop of war rumours, and a renewal Looked at closely, we think it will be adof apprehensions of war. The French mitted there have lately been no new data. Emperor has been to Chalons and to Lan- The Chalons and Lannemezan visits are nemezan presenting to the legions the heir nothing in themselves, and even the shoutof France as if preparatory to some great ing for the Rhine only indicates an impa. crisis in his fortunes, and the soldiers have tience for war in the French soldiery which been shouting in his ears “ to the Rhine.” was perfectly surmised before. So far as it Prussia and Russia again are reported to goes, the Prussian disarmament, now that the have been asking France to disarm, though despatch is proved a canard, though it was a Prussian despatch reporting the fact of a never a very probable one, is really a peace partial Prussian disarmament to the French indication; the Prussian Government has Government turns out to be a canard. The really thought it safe to postpone till Jan. King of Prussia has also been making at uary the drilling of a new contingent which Kiel one of those peaceful speeches which might have been called out in October; and are held to be worse than warlike, saying the King of Prussia's speech with all its brain one breath that there is no cause for the vado gives no hint of fast approaching peril. peace of Europe to be disturbed, and that Both the Belgian and Dutch questions again the listeners may be reassured by the vigour are in that early stage when their future of the Fatherland as represented by its sol- growth is quite uncertain, so that their existdiers and sailors who are ready to fight to ence means no more than the score of questhe death. Added to all this are dark hints tions which might be easily got up were the of a Franco-Belgian Customs' Union, the great Powers of Europe as desirous of imdisagreement between Holland and Prussia mediate war as is sometimes represented. about the administration of the lower Rhine, Even the Italian request for the evacuation and reports of a despatch from the Italian of Rome which has perbaps more of reality Government requesting the French evacua- in it, though that too has just been denied, tion of Rome. Partly for these reasons, is not necessarily a warlike symptom, for and partly also independently of them, the Italy at least is unprepared for war, and apprehensions of immediate war have re- could give little speedy assistance to any vived. Now without discussing the chronic great Power with whom the real struggle danger to which Europe is exposed by its would lie. Other new rumours are as easily great military governments in the hands of explicable. We do not deny that the atmosirresponsible despots, and the readiness for phere is likely to breed them, but just beimmediate war which is now their normal cause they may be easily bred we should be condition, we should like to ask whether the more than usually critical towards them. frequent recurrence of war panics is alto- It is doubtful besides whether some of gether reasonable? It is possible to admit the grounds on which reliance is placed for that the change from peace to a great war the opinion that war is immediately probamay now be swiftly made, that the circum- ble are not rather fanciful. Nothing is more stances are such as keep all prudent men common than to say, for instance, that the out of engagements at à long date, that tension of a peace like this is almost as bad there are even strong reasons for believing as war - that war must come to put an end in the desire of one or more Powers for å to the strain and let a surer peace come by war if they can only get a fitting opportu- the reaction from an actual conflict. The nity, that Europe, to use the banal phrase, truth we believe to be that a peace like this, is a powder magazine to which the spark full of evils and perils as it is, falls a long may at any moment be applied; all this we way short of the calamities of actual war, say may be allowed, and yet there is no rea- and that the reaction from conflict may not son for those feverish fits which every now lead to a better peace. There is a tendenand then occur. Unless new facts come to cy in speaking of excessive armaments to light, it would be wise to accept the situation compare the expense merely with what with as much sang froid as possible. If prevailed ten or twenty or thirty years ago, the rulers of Europe create a permanent ar- and this leads to a grave error in estimating rangement in which war is always on the the burden on the peoples of Europe. The cards it is wise to be prepared, but prepara- other side of the account is that all coustion made, commerce and industry must tries have been growing richer, and can make the best of things, and work on quiet- bear greater burdens. Sometimes the exly in their hampered state. It is not a good pense may have grown faster than the wealth, as Mr. Gladstone held it did in this blunt the keenness of expectation. This country between 1853 and 1860; but in being the case, the strong peace interests of general the absence of any greater percep- both Governments and peoples in Europe tible pressure in the circumstances of Euro- should weigh something in the balance. pean peoples, if indeed there has not been Russia, Austria, and Italy, are for various a small improvement, may show that arma- reasons in no fit state for lighting on a great mnents are not yet absolutely ruinous, though scale, and the industrial interests of both they check material growth. Probably not France and Prussia are of such magnitude a State in Europe could have maintained a and would be so. affected by war that in century ago a standing army of a hundred spite of patriotic currents in both countries thousand men as ready for war as the hun- the leaning to peace is manisest. As M. dreds of thousands which Prussia and France Guizot has just been so forcibly pointing now have always equipped and ready, but out in the Revue des Deux Mondes, there is the armaments of the present day still bear no cause on either side for which to fight about the same relation to the resources of unless one or the other is attacked ; and the nations as the armaments of former times. want of a cause so far paralyses any GovNations are now so much richer that they ernment which is backed by nothing þetcan arm up to the standard of being ready ter than jealousy about position or prestige. at once for great campaigns, and are every The Prussian Government, again, as distinct way more mobile. All this does not justify from the German people, is strengthened by great armaments, but it renders doubtful peace, really makes progress by peace in any hope of a remedy in the necessity for a Prussianising Germany; and although the campaign which the supposed tension pro- French Government as distinguished from duces. And how should the reaction from the people may believe itself, and may be conflict produce disarmament ? Nations believed by others, not to gain by peace, armed more than ever after the Crimea, af- the risks of such a war as must be fought are ter the Italian campaign, after Sadowa. so great that indefinite delay is not improbWhy should a new campaign have a differ-able in the hope of something turning up. ent result? One reason why reaction does While we deprecate war panics we admit not produce disarmament has been the brev- it is not a satisfactory alternative for peoity of the wars themselves, and the impa- ple to make up their minds to the indefinite tience which makes wars brief will probably prolongation of the present state of things. be as great as ever, though of course it may It is not pleasant to acknowledge as a perbe disappointed. It would be difficult in manent arrangement that peace should hang any case to conceive so exhausting a war by a mere thread -- should depend almost that nations would give up the system by absolutely on the will of any one of two or which, whatever number of men they have, three individuals, whom there is no means they can take them into a campaign at a of checking in a necessary interval of premoment's notice; that secret is not likely paration. But the fact is so whether it is to be lost, and this preparedness, not merely liked or not, and may continue so for a the scale of it, is the permanent cause of good many years, while military Governtension.
ments and wealthy communities render posThe desire of the great Powers for war is sible that high state of preparation for war again insufficient to justify the repeated which characterises our epoch. Only it does panics. Grant that Prussia and France are not follow that we must have more war and both willing to engage in war as soon as a have wars more frequently than in former good chance offers — Prussia to extend and periods because of this unstable peace. consolidate her hold on Germany, France The counter-currents are very strong, and to secure her preponderance in Europe and perhaps the mutual paralysis of each other's perhaps make new annexations — there is preparations by several great Powers who still no necessity for panic where no more are nearly on a level and fear the calamities chances are apparent to-day than were ap- and chances of actual fighting, is not really. parent yesterday. The greatest immediate an unfavourable condition for a season of apprehension is of the action of France, peace. The work of peace must be restrictbut it is the mere truth that for practicaled by the want of long credit and the abpurposes French preparations have been straction of means for warlike preparations, complete for months." There is plainly no but within these limits peace itself may disposition to hurry into the risks and haz- practically be very safe—more safe perhaps ards of actual campaigning, and the perpet- than it has been for centuries from the disual adjournment of the coming war" should turbance of great and prolonged campaigns.
From The Saturday Review, 26 Sept. at once easing our consciences, and estabENGLAND ON DUTIES OF NEUTRALS.
lishing a precedent most advantageous to
England. On what principle the amount It is most satisfactory to find that Mr. to be paid should be fixed is a very curious Johnson has arrived in England not only question, and would lead the anxious inwith full power, but with every disposition, quirer into many most complicated legal to settle all outstanding disputes. As he subtleties. But, in the first place, the amount says, it cannot be difficult to do this if both will probably be fixed, as in the verdicts of nations honestly wish it. We shall soon, it juries, by a sort of hazard, and in defermay be hoped, come to the end of the long-ence to what is called substantial justice, standing Alabama dispute. England is rather than by any measure of logical fitness; ready to own herself to have been in the and, in the next place, the exact amount is wrong, but she thinks that she may claim to not a matter which gives Englishmen much have been pardonably in the wrong. We thought. We will cheerfully pay whatever did not know what could be asked from us, the representatives of both nations agree we what we ought to do, and when and how we should pay. What we really care about is ought to do it. International law was silent that the law as to cruisers from neutral terrion a point that had never before arisen. tory should be laid down so as to protect The duties of neutrals towards belligerents the just interests of a great maritime Power constituted an omitted chapter in that most like England, and also that the Americans imperfect of codes. . We did not at first un- should be really and finally satisfied with derstand how much it was to our interest to what we do, and should think that, in the create and enforce these duties; but we long run and on the whole, we have behaved were brought to see how much we might suf- honourably to them. Mr. Johnson has fer if neutrals could favour belligerents with wisely paved the way for the attainment of impunity, and we rapidly gave in our adhe- a good understanding by publicly stating sion to the new doctrines as to the duties of beforehand that neither nation ought to win neutrals which the Federal Government in- a triumph over the other, and that he is as sisted should be received. Under the pressure England will not submit, as that his sure of circumstances, indeed, we acted on country will not submit, to be humiliated. these doctrines before we had made up our With so friendly, so temperate, and so minds to adhere to them; and a Commission courteous an antagonist, we can rely on has only this year advised that Parliament settling all our differences easily and speedshould legalize what the Government of the ily. Mr. Johnson is very fortunate in harday did several years ago without regard to ing the opportunity of beginning his diploits legality. If it was right to stop the rams, matic career so pleasantly; but he not only it would ‘also, without question, have been has the opportunity, he uses it eagerly and right to stop the Alabama. We did wrong well, and he has already made his task much in not stopping the Alabama, and we are more easy and his success more certain, by ready to own it, and to pay for it; and if we inspiring Englishmen with a confidence in pay for it, we shall have the satisfaction of his personal friendliness and goodwill.
A FRIEND of mine writing from Interlachen, and driven for amusement one wet day to the Livre des Etrangers, has sent me the following:
Jungfrau looks to me like a lady
To think she is made with Glaciers.
Pour jouir de la belle vue
Tomber en un jour autant d'eau,
Il m'eut plus plu, qu'il plut plutot.
In questa casa troverete
"Once a Week."