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quainted with his Don Juan,) he has embraced every topic of human life, and sounded every string on the divine harp, from its slightest to its most powerful and heart-astounding tones. There is scarce a passion, or a situation, which has escaped his pen ; and he might be drawn, like Garrick, between the Weeping and the Laughing Muse, although his most powerful efforts have certainly been dedicated to Melpomene. His genius seemed as prolific as various. The most prodigal use did not exhaust his powers, nay, seemed rather to increase their vigour. Neither Childe Harold, nor any of the most beautiful of Byron's earlier tales, contain more exquisite morsels of poetry than are to be found scattered through the Cantos of Don Juan, amidst verses which the author appears to have thrown off with an effort as spontaneous, as that of a tree resigning its leaves to the wind.-But that noble tree will never more bear fruit or blossom! It has been cut down in its strength, and the past is all that remains to us of Byron. We can scarce reconcile ourselves to the idea-scarce think that the voice is silent for ever, which, bursting so often on our ear, was often heard with rapturous admiration, sometimes with regret, but always with the deepest interest.
"All that's bright must fade,
The brightest still the fleetest."
With a strong feeling of awful sorrow, we take leave of the subject. Death creeps upon our most
serious as well as upon our most idle employments; and it is a reflection solemn and gratifying, that he found our Byron in no moment of levity, but contributing his fortune, and hazarding his life, in behalf of a people only endeared to him by their past glories, and as fellow-creatures suffering under the yoke of a heathen oppressor. To have fallen in a crusade for Freedom and Humanity, as in olden times it would have been an atonement for the blackest crimes, may in the present be allowed to expiate greater follies than even exaggerating calumny has propagated against Byron.
EDINBURGH WEEKLY JOURNAL,
LORD BYRON'S ATTACK OF MR. SOUTHEY.
MR. SOUTHEY, too, in his pious preface to a poem whose blasphemy is as harmless as the sedition of Wat Tyler, because it is equally absurd with that sincere production, calls upon the "legislature to look to it," as the toleration of such writings led to the French Revolution: not such writings as Wat Tyler, but as those of the "Satanic School." This is not true, and Mr. Southey knows it to be not true. Every French writer of any freedom was persecuted; Voltaire and Rousseau were exiles ; Marmontel and Diderot were sent to the Bastile; and a perpetual war was waged with the whole class by the existing despotism. In the next place, the
French Revolution was not occasioned by any writings whatsoever, but must have occurred had no such writers ever existed. It is the fashion to attribute every thing to the French revolution, and the French revolution to every thing but its real cause. That cause is obvious-the government exacted too much, and the people could neither give nor bear more. Without this, the Encyclopedists might have written their fingers off without the occurrence of a single alteration. And the English revolution-(the first, I mean)—what was it occasioned by ? The puritans were surely as pious and moral as Wesley or his biographer? Acts-acts on the part of government, and not writings against them, have caused the past convulsions, and are tending to the future.
I look upon such as inevitable, though no revolutionist: I wish to see the English constitution restored, and not destroyed. Born an aristocrat, and naturally one by temper, with the greater part of my present property in the funds, what have I to gain by a revolution? Perhaps I have more to lose in every way than Mr. Southey, with all his places and presents for panegyrics and abuse into the bargain. But that a revolution is inevitable, I repeat. The government may exult over the repression of petty tumults; these are but the receding waves repulsed and broken for a moment on the shore, while the great tide is still rolling on and gaining ground with every breaker. Mr. Southey accuses us of attacking the religion of the country; and is
he abetting it by writing lives of Wesley?. One mode of worship is merely destroyed by another. There never was, nor ever will be, a country without ›a religion. We shall be told of France again; but it was only Paris and a frantic party, which for a moment upheld their dogmatic nonsense of theophilanthropy. The church of England, if overthrown, will be swept away by the sectarians, and not by the sceptics. People are too wise, too well informed, too certain of their own immense importance in the realms of space, ever to submit to the impiety of doubt. There may be a few such diffident speculators, like water in the pale sunbeam of human reason, but they are very few; and their opinions, without enthusiasm or appeal to the passions, can never gain proselytes unless, indeed, they are persecuted-that, to be sure, will increase any thing..
Mr. S., with a cowardly ferocity, exults over the anticipated "death-bed repentance" of the objects of his dislike; and indulges himself in a pleasant “Vision of Judgment," in prose as well as verse, full of impious impudence. What Mr. S.'s sensations or ours may be in the awful moment of leaving this state of existence, neither he nor we can pretend to decide. In common, I presume, with most men of any reflection, I have not waited for a "deathbed" to repent of many of my actions, notwithstanding the "diabolical pride" which this pitiful renegade in his rancour would impute to those who
scorn him. Whether, upon the whole, the good or evil of my deeds may preponderate, is not for me to ascertain; but, as my means and opportunities have been greater, I shall limit my present defence to an assertion (easily proved, if necessary), that I, "in my degree," have done more real good in any one given year, since I was twenty, than Mr. Southey in the whole course of his shifting and turncoat existence. There are several actions to which I can look back with an honest pride, not to be damped by the calumnies of a hireling. There are others to which I recur with sorrow and repentance; but the only act of my life of which Mr. Southey can have any real knowledge, as it was one which brought me in contact with a near connexion of his own, did no dishonour to that connexion, nor to
I am not ignorant of Mr. Southey's calumnies on a different occasion, knowing them to be such, which he scattered abroad on his return from Switzerland against me and others: they have done him no good in this world; and, if his creed be the right one, they will do him less in the next. What his "death-bed" may be, it is not my province to predicate let him settle it with his Maker, as I must do with mine. There is something at once ludicrous and blasphemous in this arrogant scribbler of all work sitting down to deal damnation and destruction upon his fellow-creatures, with Wat Tyler, the Apotheosis of George the Third, and the Elegy on