SCOTS
CMSW

Sir Walter Scott's Manuscript Review of Lord Byron's Childe Harold's Pilgrimage III and The Prisoner of Chillon

Author(s): Scott, Sir Walter

Text

Childe Haroldes Pilgrimage Canto III
and
The Prisoner of Chillon, a drama, and other
poems by Lord Byron


We have felt ourselves very much affected by the
perusal of these poems nor can we suppose that we are
singular in our feelings. Other poets have given us
their literary productions as the subject of our criti:
cism impersonally as it were and generally speaking abstrac
ted from their ordinary habits and feelings. Of
our most popular poets some live in rural peace and
seclusion, some mix with the ordinary business
of life or are engaged in
the routine of official duty and all or al:
most all might apply to their poetical effusions
though in somewhat a different sense the L'envoy
of Ovid

Sine me liber ibis in urbem.

The work of the poet is indeed before the public but
the character the habits of the author the events of his life and the
motives of his writing and known but to the small
circle of literary gossips for whose curiosity no food
is too insipid. From such gossips indeed have sometimes
undergone an examination which reminds us
of the extravagances of Arabella in the Female
Quixote who expected from every lady she
met in society a full and understanding history of her
life and adventures.2 The time therefore appeared to be
passed when the mere sin of having been dipp'd in rhyme
was supposed to exclude the poet from the usual bu
siness and habits of life & to single him out from the
herd as a marked deer which is expected to make
sport by his solitary exertions for protection and escape
Whether this has arisen from the irritability of the
rhyming generation having been diminished or from
the peculiar habits of those who have been distinguished
in our time or from their mental efforts having been early directed to modify
and to restrain the excess of their enthusiasm we do not pretend to conjecture
but it




time lost in the chase and astonishment at the hal
lucination under the influence of which it was unde
rtaken. The disproportion between hope and possession which
is felt by all men is thus doubled to those whom
nature has endowed with the power of gilding a dis
tant prospect by the rays of imagination only there
it may appear more sterile and barren when the
traveller has reached it. These reflections though trite
and obvious are in a manner forced from us by the
poetry of Lord Byron by the sentiments of weariness
of life and enmity with the world which they so
frequently express and by the singular analogy
which such sentiments hold with incidents
of his life so recently before the public. The works be
fore us contain so many direct allusions to the
authors personal feelings and private history
that it becomes impossible for us to divide
Lord Byron from his poetry or to offer our criticism
upon the continuation of Childe Harold without
reverting to the circumstances in which the com
mencement of that singular and original work
first appeared.


Distinguished by title and descent from an ill
ustrious line of ancestry Lord Byron shewed even in his
earliest years that nature had added to those advan
tages the richest gifts of genius &
fancy. His own tale is partly told in two lines of Lara


Left by his sire too young such loss to know
Lord of himself that heritage of woe.


His first literary adventure and its fate are well re:
membered. The poems which he published in his minori
ty had indeed those faults of conception and diction
which are inseparable from juvenile attempts and in
particular might rather be considered as imitations
of what had caught the ear and fancy of the youth:
ful author than as exhibiting originality of con
ception and expression. It was like the first essay of the
singing bird catching at and imitating the notes of
its parent ere habit and time have given the fullness
of tone confidence and self possession which renders
assistance unnecessary. Yet though there were many and those
not the worst judges who discerned in these juvenile pro
ductions a depth of thought and felicity of expression
which promised much at a more mature age, the er:
rors of the miscellany did not escape the
critical




But it is certain that for many years passed though
the number of our successful poets may be as great
as at any period of our literary history we have heard little com
paratively of their eccentricities their adventures or
their distresses. Dermody is certainly not worth men
tioning as an exception and the misfortunes of Burns
arose from circumstances not much connected with
powerful poetical genius.


It has been however reserved for our own time to
produce one distinguished example of the muse having
descended upon a bard of an wounded spirit and lent
her lyre to tell and we trust to soothe affections of
no ordinary description, afflictions originating pro:
bably in that singular combination of feeling
which has been called the poetical temperament &
which has so often saddened the days of those on
whom it has been conferred. If ever a man could lay
claim to that character in all its strength and all
its weakness with its unbounded range of enjoyment
and its exquisite sensibility of pleasure and of pain
it must certainly be granted to Lord Byron. Nor does
it require much time or a deep acquaintance with hu
man nature to discover why these extraordinary powers
should in many cases have contributed more to the
wretchedness than to the happiness of their possessor.


The “imagination all compact” which the greatest poet
who ever lived has assigned as the distinguishing badge
of his brethen is in every case a dangerous gift. It exag
gerates indeed our expectations and can often m[¿]d bid its
possessor hope where hope is lost to reason. But the delusive
pleasure arising from these visions of imagination re
sembles that of a child whose notice is attracted by
a fragment of glass to which a sun-beam has given
momentary splendour. He hastens to the spot with breath
less impatience and finds the object of his curiosity and ex
pectation is equally vulgar and worthless. It is
the same with a man of quick & exalted power of ima
gination. His fancy over-estimates the object of his
pursuit and pleasure from distinctive even alternate
ly pursued attained and despised when in his power
Like the enchanted fruit in the palace of a sorcerer
the objects of his admiration lose their attraction &
value as soon as they are grasped by the adventurers
hand and all that remains is regret for the
time





contained a spirit of [service] at least sufficiently poignant for all
purposes of reprisal and all
the voices might in many respects be deemed the offspring
[¿]ly and undiscriminating resentment they [bare] a
testimony to the upcoming talents of the author.

thorough all but the very lowest classes of society
continuing this favour



critical lash and certain brethren of ours yielded to the
opportunity of pouncing upon a titled author and to
that which most readily besets our fraternity & to which
we dare not pronounce ourselves ourselves inaccessible
the temptation namely of showing our our own wit and
entertaining our readers with a lively article without
any respect to the feelings of the author or even to the
indications of merit which the work may exhibit
The review was read and raised mirth the poems were
neglected the author was irritated and took his re
venge in keen iambics not only on the offending
critic but on many others in whose conduct or wri
tings the juvenile bard had found some cause of offence. The
satire which has been since suppressed as containing opi
nions hastily expressed and afterwards retracted Ha
ving thus vented his indignation against the critics and
their readers and put many if not all the laughers
upon his side Lord Byron went abroad and the contro:
versy was forgotten for some years.


It was in 1812 when Lord Byron returned to England
and Childe Harolds Pilgrimage made its first
appearance producing an effect upon the public at
least equal to any work which has appeared within
the last century. Reading is indeed so much more general
among all ranks and classes than it was thirty
years ago that the impulse received by the public
mind on such occasions is instantaneous and unusual instead of
being slowly communicated from one set of readers
to another as was the case in the days of our fathers
The Pilgrimage acting on such an extensive medium was calculated to rouse and arrest
the attention in a peculiar degree. The fictitious person
age whose sentiments however no one could help iden
tifying with those of the author himself presented
himself with an avowed disdain of all the attributes
which most men would be gladly supposed to possess
Childe Harold is represented as one satiated by indulgence
in pleasure and seeking in change of place and clime
a relief from the tedium of a life which glided on
without an object. The assuming such a character
as the medium of communicating his poetry & his
sentiments indicated a feeling towards the public
which of it fell short of disdained at
least all attempt to propitiate them. Yet the very
audacity of this repulsive personification joined to the
energy with which it was supported, the
indications of a bold powerful and original mind
which



impenetrable armour with which the [¿] Lord has
variety [¿]shed himself. Our opinion however
must be necessarily qualified by the caution that as
no human [¿] can be infinitely fertile, as even
the richest genius may be in agricultural phrase
crop'ed out and renderd sterile, as each another
must necessarily have a particular style in which
he is supposed to excell & must therefore be was
as life mannerist, no one can with persevere [¿] in for
: any himself before the public where from failure
in [¿] or from hurry renderd his still over
trite and familiar, the [¿] “[¿] superfluous in
the stage” a slighted mute in there [¿] where
he was even Mr principal personage. To this
humiliation Vanity frequently exposes genius and on
it is so double true that a copious [¿]
of [¿] [¿] to habitual carelessness in compositi:
-on hour frequently conducted to it. We would there:
fore be [¿] to recommend to another while
a consciousness of the possession of [¿] powers
carefully cultivated unites with the favour of the
publicise , to dis:
[¿] the arena and ambience thus effects vigo:
rously which thus hopes are high thus spirits ac:
tive and the public professes in order that as
We slightest failure of nerves or brush they
may be able to withdraw themselves hounoura:
-bly from the [¿] gracefully giving way to other candi:
-dates for fame and cultivating studies were
suitable to a slogging imaginatives than the
fear is art of poetry. This however is the affair of the
authors themselves: should they neglect this [¿]
bal [¿] the public will no doubt have
more indifferent [¿] thus [¿]ble than
would either were have been loaded is and as the waved
always seizes the first opportunity of recalling the
applause it has bestowed, the farmer wreathe of the
writers will for a time be slighted by their immediate
failure. But these will so far as the public is concerned
are greatly overbalanced by such as arising from the [¿]
[¿] which [¿] genius suppress its effects untill
they shall be refund unto unattainable perfection - and
wrt


retreating through the [distance] on the watch-man who res
on his lance while his tribe slumber around him
in the following exquisite picture taken from one of
the poems before us.
Taken in from the Dream (Prisoner of Chillon Stanza 10
The boy was sprung to manhood & to Heaven
This is true Keeping an eastern picture perfect in
foreground and distance and sky and no part of which
so dwelt upon or laboured as to obscure the principal
figure.


Slight but discriminating touches which mark
the reality of the scene the lightly indicated ed palmtree
which over hangs the distant fountain or the
shadowy and obscure delineation of the long column
of the caravan. It is often in the slight and almost
imperceptible touches that the hand of the master is
shewn and that a single spark struck from his
fancy lightens with a long train of illumination
that of the reader. This is well known to painters who
instructed by the first principles of their art are far more
seldom than their poetical brethern guilty of the error
which supposes effect to depend upon [declaim]. In a
funeral procession of which the figures are scarce
distinguishable in the distance an artist of genius will
by the raised arm of one mourner and the dejected stoop
of another in[¿] clamorous or overwhelming sor=
row and call forth at once the desired train of feel=
ing in the spectator. But the sphere[¿] of the p[oet]
here exceeds that of the artist which limited to the representation
of outward appearances only cannot aid the
feeling they are calculated to inspire by such a
train of mural reflection as that with which Lord By=
ron has illustrated the following descrip=
tion of the snow on the heights of Delphos.
[Taken in from the Siege of Corinth 1st Editn line 317
“Before the Camp — behind him lay
to line 344
“And saw the Spartan smile in dying”]
This fine description like that of the “tideless” Mediterrane
an Sea in the XVIth Stanza forms a happy illustration
of the concise accuracy of Lord Byrons painting in
which all is sub[dued] and kept back which is not in
immediate aid of the mural impression he means to
produce. Numberless other examples may be found in the
works of this distinguished poet.
It is another remarkable property of the poetry of
of Lord Byron that although his manner is frequently va
ried — although he appears to have assumed for an occa
sion the characteristic stanza and stile of several
contemporaries yet not only was his poetry
marked in every instance by the strongest cast of origi
=nality but in some leading particulars & especially
in the character of his heroes each so closely resembled
the other that managed by a writer of less power the
effect would have been an unpleasing monotony —
all or almost all his heroes have somewhat the attributes
of


of Childe Harolde — all or almost all have minds which
seem at variance with their fortunes and with high and
poignant feelings of pain and pleasure, a keen sense of
what is noble and honorable & an equally keen suscep
=tibility of injustice or injury under the garb of stoicism
or contempt of mankind. The strength of early passion
and the glow of youthful feeling is uniformly painted
as chilled or subdued by a train of early imprudence
and too intimate& experienced an acquaintance with the vanity of
human wishes. These general attributes mark the stern
features of all Lord Byrons heroes from those which
are shaded by the scalloped hat of the illustrious pilgrim
to those which lurk under the turban of Alp the rene
=gade. The public ever anxious in curiosity or malignity
to attach to fictitious characters real prototypes were obsti
nate in declaring that in these leading traits of charac
=ter Lord Byron copied from the individual features
reflected in his own mirror. On this subject the noble
author entered a formal protest on one occasion though
it will be observed without entirely disavowing the
grounds on which the conjecture was formed and rather
evading than refuting the inferences
Dedication to Giaour p. IX “With regard to my story &
to “alias they please — ”
It is difficult to say whether we are to receive this pas
=sage as an admission or a denial of the opinion to
which it refers but Lord Byron certainly did the public
injustice if he supposed it imputed to him the crimi
=nal actions with which many of his heroes were stained
Men no more expected to meet in Lord Byron the Corsair
who “knew himself a villain” than they looked for the
hypocrisy of Kehama on the shores of the Derwent Wa=
ter or the profligacy of Marmion on the banks of
the Tweed. Yet even in the features of Conrad those
who have looked on Lord Byron will recognize some
likeness
Corsair line 99.
——— to the sight
No giant frame & to line 212
All times attracted yet perplexd the view.
And the ascetic regimen which the noble author himself observed
was no less marked in the description of Conrads fare
Line 66 Corsair
Ne'er for his lip & to line 74
a hermits board would scarce deny


his deportment and even his personal appearance.



The following description of Lara suddenly and unexpectedly
returned from distant travels and reassuming his
station in the society of his own country has in like man
ner strong points of resemblance to the part which the
author himself seemed occasionally to bear amid the
scenes where the great mingle with the fair.
Lara — Stanza V.
——— tis quickly seen
Whate'er he be &c
To the end of the stanza
— livid face” —
We are not writing Lord Byrons private history though
from the connection already stated between his poetry and
his character we feel ourselves f[orce]d upon considering
his literary life But we know enough even of his pr[ivate]
story to give our warrant that if he may have shared in
the indiscretions of young men left too early masters of
their own actions and fortunes falsehood malice alone can impute
to him any real cause for deep remorse or gloomy misan
=thropy for his actions and character afford no
grounds for it. To what then are we to ascribe the
singular peculiarity which induced an author of such
talent and so well skilled in tracing the dark impres
sions which guilt and remorse leave on the human
character so frequently to affix features peculiar to him
self to the robbers and corsairs which
he sketched with a pencil as forcible as that of Sal=
vater. More than one answer may be returned to this
question nor do we pretend to say which is best warran
=ted by the facts. The practice may arise from a tempera
=ment which radical & constitutional melancholy
has as in the case of Hamlet pre-disposed to identify its
owner with scenes of that deep and arouzing interest which
arise from the stings of conscience con[ten]ding with the
stubborn energy of pride, and delighting to be placed
in supposed situations of guilt and danger as some me[¿]
love instinctively to tread the giddy edge of a precipice
or holding by some frail twig to stoop forward over the
abyss into which some dark torrent discharges itself.
Or it may be that these disguises were assumed ca
=priciously as a man might choose the cloak po=
niard and dark lanthorn of a bravoe for his disguize
at a masquerade. Or feeling his own powers in painting
the sombre and the horrible as well as in depicting the
surviving lump of l[ove] glimmering over [rui]ns &
amid despair Lord Byron conscious of his strength
assumed


of the unamiable tributes with which he usually inv[oked]
heroes &c


assumed in his fervour the very semblance and favour of
the character he described like an actor who presents
on the stage at once his own person and the tragic charac
=ter with which for the time he is invested. Nor is it altogether
incompatible with his character to believe that in con
tempt of the criticisms which on this account had
attended Childe Harolde he was determined to shew
to the public how little he was affected by them and how
effectually it was in his power to compell attention &
respect even when imparting a portion of his own
likeness and his own peculiarities to criminals
pirates and outlaws.
But although we do not pretend to ascertain the motive on
which Lord Byron acted in keeping the peculiarities of his own
sentiments almost continually before his readers it is with
no little admiration that we regard these extraordinary
powers which amidst this seeming uniformity could
continue to rivet the public attention and secure general
and continued applause. The versatility of authors
who have been able to draw and support characters as
different from each other as from their own has given
to their productions the inexpressible charm of variety
and has secured them against that neglect which
in general attends what is technically called Man
= nerism. But it was reserved to Lord Byron
to present the same character on the stage a
=gain and again and again varied only by the exertions of that
powerful genius which searching the springs of passion
and of feeling in their innermost recesses knew how
to combine their operations so that the interest was eter=
nally varying and never abated although the most
important personage of the drama retained the same line
=aments. It will one day be considered as not the least
remarkable literary phenomenon of this age that du:
=ring a period of four years notwithstanding the
quantity of distinguished poetical talent of which we
may permitted to boast a single author and he
managing his pen with the careless and negligent ease
of a man of quality and chusing for his theme
subjects so very similar & personages bearing so
close a resemblance with each other did in des:
pite of these circumstances the proverbial fickle
ness of the public maintain the ascendency in their
favour which he had acquired by his first matured
production


so frequently
2 that they cannot pass without some notice
3 but crowned with all the fame which the public could
bestow


production. So however it indisputably has been and those comparatively small circles of admirers excepted
which assemble naturally around individual
poets of eminence Lord Byron has been for that
time and may for some time continue to be
the Champion of the English Parnassus. If his empire
over the public mind be in any measure diminished
it arises from no literary failure of his own and from
no triumph of his competitors but from other cir:
cumstances alluded to in the publications
before us 2 which we will study
to render as brief as it is impartial.
The poet thus gifted thus honoured thus admired no
longer entitled to regard himself as one defrauded of
his just fame and expelled with derision from the
lists in which he had stood forward a candidate
for honour 3 was now in a situation apparently as enviable as
could be attained through mere literary celebrity.
The sequel may be given in the words in which the
author adopting here more distinctly the character
of Childe Harold than in the
original poem has chosen to present us with it.
In the case of an ordinary man the tale might
seem somewhat obscure to such as those whom
Sp[¿]r denounces as being of
sense
——— all too blunt and base
That n'[ote] without a hound fine footing tr[ace]
But a man of Lord Byrons exalted genius may use w[¿]
with a more truth than that foun[d] himself Henry of Prus
sia's famous observation Malheureusement J'appartien
entierement a l'histoire — the sound of his steps can=
not be observed nor his wanderings [can]
could ever amid the noise and confusion of the
waves by which he is surrounded. We therefore give
the lines without farther introduction as assigning the
cause why Childe Harold has resumed his pilgrims
staff when it was well hoped he had sat down for
life a denizen of his native country happy as hon=
oured and beloved as admired. The length of the quotation
will be pardoned by those who can feel at once the moral
interest and poetical beauty with which it abounds
Harold pilgrimage Canto III. from the VIII to the
XVI Stanza inclusive.
The commentary on this melancholy tale is comprized
[in &]


constrained stiffened violent


long before the public and still in vivid remembrance for the
errors of those who excell their fellows in gifts and accom=
plishments are not soon forgotten and it is possi=
ble that amongst those who exclaimed most loudly on
this unhappy occasion were some in whose eyes literary
superiority exaggerated Lord Byrons offence. The scene may
be described in a few words — the wise condemned — the good
regretted — the multitude idly rather than malicious
ly inquisitive rushed from place to place gathering gossip
which they mangled and exaggerated while they
repeated it and Impudence ever ready to hitch itself
into notoriety hooked on as Falstaff enjoins
Bardolph, blusterd bullied and talked of ‘pleading
a cause’ and ‘taking a side.’
The family misfortunes which have for a time lost Lord Byron
to his native land have neither chilled his poetical
fire nor deprived England of its benefit. The Third Canto
of Childe Harold exhibits in all its strength and in all its
peculiarity the wild powerful and original vein of poetry
which in the preceding cantos first fixed the public atten
=tion upon the author. If there is any difference the first
seems to us to have been rather more sedulously corrected
and revised for publication, the present work to have been
dashed from the authors pen with less regard to the
subordinate points of expression and versification. Yet such
is the deep and powerful strain of passion such the origi=
nal tone and colouring of description that the want
of polish in some of its minute parts rather adds to than
deprives the poem of its energy. It seems occasionally
as if the consideration of mere grace was beneath the
care of the poet in his ardour to hurry upon the reader
the “thoughts that glow and words that burn” and that
the occasional roughness of the verse corresponded with
the stern tone of thought and of mental suffering which it ex=
presses. We have remarked the same effect produced by the
action of Mrs Siddons when to give emphasis to some
passage of overwhelming passion she seemed willfully
to assume a position diametrically contrary to the
rules of grace, in order as it were to concentrate her=
self for the utterance
of grief or passion which disdained embellishment . In the same
manner versification in the hands of a master-bard is
as frequently correspondent to the thought
it expresses as to the action it describes and the “line
labours & the words move slow” under the heavy & painful thought
wrung as it were from the bosom as when Ajax is
heaving


of the plan of the poem before pursuing these observations
2 more intimately than in the former Cantos
3 and amid the quiet simplicity of whose scenery is excited
a moral interest deeper and more potent even than that
which is produced by gazing upon the sublimest efforts
of Nature in her most romantic recesses.
or at best the suggestion of sudden starts of feeling
and passion


heaving his massy rock. — It is proper however to give some account
The subject is the same as in the preceding Cantos 19 of
the Pilgrimage. Harold wanders over other fields and a
=mid other scenery and gives vent to the various thoughts
and meditations which they excite in his breast. The
poem opens with a beautiful and pathetic though a=
brupt invocation to the infant daughter of the author and bes=
peaks at once our interest and our sympathy
for the selfexiled pilgrim.
[Take I & II Stanzas
Is thy face &c to “tempests breath prevail”.
The theme of Childe Harold is then resumed and the
stanzas follow which we have already quoted and which it
must be allowd identify the noble author with
the creature of his imagination 2 We do not mean to say
that all Childe Harold's feelings and adventures must be
considered as those of Lord Byron but merely that there is
much of Lord Byron in the supposed pilgrim.
He arrives on Waterloo a scene where all men, where a
poet especially and a poet such as Lord Byron must needs
pause 3
even by the quiet simplicity of the surrounding objects
contrasted with the overwhelming recollections of the me
morable 18th of June more highly even than that produced

That Lord Byron's sentiments do not seem to
correspond with ours is obvious and we are sorry for
both our sakes. For our own because we have lost that note
of triumph which his harp would otherwise have sung
over a field of glory such as Britain never reaped before
and on Lord Byrons account because it is melancholy to
see a man of genius duped by the cant of words & phrases
even when facts are broadly confronted with them.
We would willingly avoid mention of the political opinions
hinted at by Childe Harolde and more distinctly expressed
in other poems of Lord Byron — the more willingly as we
strongly suspect that these effusions are rather the
sport of whim and singularity than the expressions of any
serious or fixed opinion. A French author (Le Censeur du
Dictionnaire des Girouettes) who has undertaken the hardy
task of vindicating the consistency of the actors in
the late revolutions & counter-revolutions of his
country gives it as his decided opinion that poets in par
ticular are not amenable to censure whatever political
opinions they may express or however frequently these
opinions may exhibit marks of inconsistency.


according to these gentlemen
Bonapart assured the world he was changed in temper mind & d
position and his old agent and minister (Fouché of Nantes) wa
as ready to give his security as Bardolph was for Falstaff.

p.a.
“Le cerveau d'un poète est une cire molle et flexible où
s'imprime naturellement tout ce qui le flatte, le séduit
et l'alimente. La muse du chant n'a pas de parti;
c'est une étourdie sans conséquence qui folâtre également
et sur the riches gazons et sur d'arides bruyères. Un
poète en délire chante indifféremment Titus et Thamas,
Louis XII et Cromwel, Christine de Suède et Fanchon
la Vielleuse.



it will be difficult for him to escape from the charge of
inconsistency. For to compare Waterloo to the battle of
Cannæ and speak of the blood which stains it as that
of freedom is contrary


20 Le cerveau d'un poete &c p.a. 21
We suspect that Lord Byron will not feel much flattered by the
opportunity we have given him of sheltering himself under the
insignificance which this Frenchman attaches to the political
opinions of poets. But if he renounces the defence arising
from the difficulty of resisting a tempting subject and the
pleasure of maintaining a paradox contrary not only to plain sense
and general opinion but to Lord Byrons own experience and to the
testimony of that experience which he has laid before the
public. Childe Harolde in his former Pilgrimage beheld in
Spain the course of the “tyrant and of the tyrant's slaves”
He saw “Gaul's vulture with her wings unfurled” and indig
=nantly expostulated with fate on the impending destruction
of the patriotic Spaniards
And must they fall the young the proud the brave
To swell one bloated Chief's unwholesome reign
No step between submission and a grave
The rise of rapine and the fall of Spain
His Childe Harolde saw the scenes which he celebrates
and does he now compare to the field of Cannæ the plain
of Waterloo and mourn over the fall of the tyrant &
the military satraps and slaves whose arms built his
power as over the fall of the cause of liberty. We know
the ready answer which will be offered by the few who soothe their own prejudices or try
to carry their own purposes by maintaining this extra
=vagant proposition. They take a distinction Bonaparte
according to their creed fell a tyrant in 1814 and revived
a deliverer in 1815. A few months residence in the Isle
of Elba had given him time for better thoughts and had mortified
within his mind that ambition for gorging which Russia was
not once thought too great or Hamburgh too small a
morsel which neither evaporated under the burning
sun of Egypt nor was chilld by the polar snows
which survived the loss of millions of soldiers and
an incalculable tract of territory and burned as fiercely
during the conferences of Chatillon when the Despots
fate was trembling in the scales as at those of Tilsit
where that of his adversary had kicked
the beam. All the experience which Europe had
bought by oceans of blood and years of degradation was
to be forgotten upon the empty professions of one whose word
whensoever or wheresoever pledged never bound him an
instant when interest or ambition required a breach
of it When Gil Blas found his old comrades in knavery
Don Raphael & Ambrose de Lamela administrating the revenues
of a Carthusian convent he shrewdly conjectured that the
treasure of the holy fathers was in no small danger
and


If however there were any simple enough to expect to h[ave]
Freedom restored by the victorious arms of
Buonaparte their mistake (had Lord Wellington not
saved them from its consequences) would have resembled th
of poor Slender who rushing to the embraces of Anne
Page found himself unexpectedly in the grip of a
lubberly post-masters boy and under the unpleasant a
=lternative of [suringeing] or being surveyed as the
penalty of his egregious folly. But probably no-one
was foolish enough to nourish such hopes though
though he shuns to celebrate the victory of Waterloo


21
and grounded his suspicion on the old adage “Il ne faut 22
pas mettre a la cave un ivrogne qui a renoncé le
vin.” But Europe — when France had given the strongest proof of
her desire to recover what she termed her glory by expelling
a king whose reign was incompatible with foreign war &
recalling Napoleon to whom conquest was as the very breath
of his nostrils — Europe most deserving had she yielded to
be crownd with “the diadem hight foolscap” is censured for
having exerted her strength to fix her
security and having confuted with her own warlike weapons
those whose only law was arms and their only argument
battle. We do not believe there lives anyone who can seriously
doubt the truth of what we have said there are some — their
number is few whose general opinions concerning the
policy of Europe are so closely & habitually linked with their party pre
judices at home that they see but in the victory of Water
loo the triumph of Lord Castlereagh & could the event have
been reversed would have thought rather of the change of
seats in St Stephens than of the probable subjugation of
Europe. Such were those who hiding perhaps secret
hopes with affected despondence lamented the madness
which endeavoured to make a stand against the Irresis
=tible whose military calculations were formed on plans far beyond
the comprehension of all other minds;and such are they
who confuted by stubborn facts now affect to mourn o=
ver the consequences of a victory which they had pro=
nounced impossible. But as we have already hinted we
cannot trace in Lord Byrons writings systematic
attachment to a particular creed of politics & he appears
to us to seize the subjects of public interest upon the
side in which they happen to present themselves for the
moment with this qualification that he usually
paints them on the shaded aspect that their tints
may harmonize with the sombre colours of his landscape
Childe Harolde gives us a most beautiful descripti
on of the evening which preceded the battle of Quatre Bras
the alarm which called out the troops and the hurry and
confusion which preceded their march. We are not sure
that any verses in our language surpass the following
in vigour and in feeling. The quotation is again a long one
but we must not and dare not curtail it.
From Stanza XXI. There was a sound)of revelry)
to Stanza XXVIII. in one red burial)blent)
A beautiful elegiac stanza on the honble Major Howard who was a relation of Lord Byron and several
verses in which the author contemplates the character
and


in contemplating which we forget the evil use for which its
strength was employd
X or as he has termd it in a note “the continued obtrusion on
mankind of his want of all community of feeling with [¿]
or for them” we conceive him to be
we plainly for the subsistence of his power


23
and fall of Napoleon close the meditations suggested
by the field of Waterloo. The present situation of Bonaparte
ought to exempt him even from such petty warfare as
we can wage nor do we dispute that in his actual
state like the ruins of a dismantled citadel once the l[¿] of
the surrounding country 2 he who has been divested of
such immense power & remains an awful monument
of the instability of human affairs may claim to be
treated with that respect in his misfortunes which
we at least refused to his [prosperity]. But if Lord Byron
supposes that Napoleons fall was occasioned or even precipitated by a
“just habitual scorn of men &their thoughts” too publickly
and rashly expressed X under a material error.
Far from being deficient in that necessary branch of
the politicians art which soothes the passions & concili
-ates the prejudices of those whom they wish to employ
as instruments Bonaparte possessed it in exquisite per
=fection. He seldom missed finding the very man that
was fittest for his immediate purpose and he had
in a peculiar degree the art of moulding him to it.
It was not then because he despised the means necessary
to gain his end that he finally fell short of attaining
it but because confiding in his stars his fortune &
his strength the ends which he proposed were unattainable even by the gigantic means
which he possessed. But if we are to understand that
the projects of Napoleon intimated how
little he regarded human life or human happiness
in the accomplishment of his personal views and that
this conviction heated his enemies & coold his
friends his indeed may be called a scorn but surely not
a just scorn of his fellow mortals.
But bidding adieu to politics that extensive gulph
whose eddies draw everything that is British into their
vortex we follow with pleasure Childe Haroldes wander
=ings up the enchanting valley of the Rhine
There Harold gazes on a work divine
A blending of all beauties streams and dells
Fruit foliage crag wood cornfield mountain vine
And chiefless castles breathing stern farewells
From gray but leafy walls where Ruin greenly dwells
These ruins once the abodes of the robber chivalry of the
German frontier where each Free Count and Knight exer
=cized within his petty domain the power of a feudal
Sovereign call forth from the poet an appropriate com=
memoration of the exploits & character of their former
owner. In a softer mood the pilgrim pours forth his gree=tings



and could we but think there was less bitterness of feeling in
his heart than in his poetry we would say as the banished
Duke of the melancholy Jaques
“We love to cope him in these sullen fits
For then he's full of matter —
N.L.
2 [re]asoning and studies of most affected declamation
3 The enthusiasm expressed by Lord Byron is no small trib
to the power possessed by Jean Jacques over the passion
And to say truth we needed some such evidence for tho


24
greetings to one fond breast in whom he could yet repose
his sorrows and hope for responsive feelings. The fate of Mar=
ceau is next commemorated and the pilgrim passing
with a fond adieu from the Rhin-thal plunges into the
Alps to find among their recesses scenery yet wilder and
better suited one who sought for loneliness in or
=der to renew
Thoughts hid but not less cherishd than of old
Ere mingling with the herd had pen'd “him” in their fold
And now we find our pilgrim a temporary inhabi
tant
By the blue rushing of the arrowy Rhone
Or the pure bosom of its nursing lake
nourishing still such thoughts as follow on
breach of friendship mistaken pursuits or disappointed
hopes and proudly repulsing the consolation of creatures
of [human] mould to cling to mountains lakes & vallies
as part “of him and of his soul” — The next theme on which
the poet rushes is the character of the enthusiastic & as Lord
Byron well terms him “self-torturing Sophist wild Rous
seau” a subject naturally suggested by the scenes
in which that unhappy visionary dwelt at war with
all others and by no means at peace with himself an
affected contemner of polished society for whose applause he
secretly panted and a waster of eloquence in praise of the sa=
vage state in which his paradoxical 2 would
never have procured him an instants notice. In the
following stanza his character and foibles are happily treated.
Stanza LXXX His life & to end of Stanza
— reasoning show” —
In another part of the poem this subject is renewed
where the traveller visits the scenery of La Nouvelle Eloise
Clarens sweet Clarens birth-place of deep Love
Thine air is the young breath of passionate thought
Thy trees take root in Love; the snows above
The very Glaciers have his colours caught
And sun-set into rose-hues sees them wrought
By Rays which sleep there lovingly —
There is much more of beautiful & animated
description from which it appears that the impassioned
parts of Rouseau's romance have made a deep impression
upon the feelings of the noble poet 3 — almost
ashamed to avow the truth which is probably very much
to our own discredit — still like the wife of Midas we must
speak or die — we have never — [tell] it not in Goethe been
able


To state our opinion in language much better than our own we
unfortunate enough to regard this far-famed history of philosoph
gallantry as an unfashioned, indelicate, [¿]
‘gloomy, ferocious medley of pedantry & lewdness; of me
‘physical speculations, blended with the coarsest se
‘suality.’x
2 upon false principles
X Footnote Letter to a Member of the National Assembly.
and thereby s[¿]d so promising a plan.


25
able to feel the interest or discover the merit of this far-famed
performance. That there is much eloquence in the letters we
readily admit — there lay Rousseau's strength and the n[¿]
[brilliance] it showed the [¿] that his sophistry was engaged
in paradox. But his lovers the celebrated St
Preux and Julie have from the earliest moment we have
heard the tale (which we well remember) down to the pre=
sent hour totally failed to interest us. There might be
some constitutional hardness of heart but like Lance's pebble
-hearted cur Crab we remained dry-eyed while all blubbered
around us. And still on resuming the volume even now
we can see little in the loves of these two tiresome pedants
to interest our feelings for either of them
are by no means flattered by the
character of Lord Edward Bomston produced as the
representative of the English nation and upon the whole
consider the dullness of the story as the best apology for
is exquisite immorality. Neither does Rousseau
claim a higher rank with us on account of that
Pythian & frenetic inspiration which vented
Those oracles which set the world in flame
Now ceased to burn till Kingdoms were no more
We agree with Lord Byron that this frenzied Sophist
reasoning or rather presenting that show of reason
ing which is the worst pitch of madness was a prim
ary apostle of the French revolution nor do we differ great
=ly from his conclusion that good & evil were
together overthrown in that volcanic explosion. But
when Lord Byron assures us that after the successive chan
=ges of government by which the French legislators have
attempted to reach a theoretick perfection of consti=
tution mankind must & will begin the same work anew in order to do it better
& more effectually We devoutly hope the experiment however hopeful
may not be renewed in our time, and that the “fixd
Passion which Childe Harolde describes as “holding his
breath” and waiting the “attoning hour” will choke
in his purpose ere that hour arrives. Is not the contra
ry proposition somewhat like the complaint of the
ingenious practitioner in medicine who had acquired
by dint of long study a specific cure for the gout &
in the pamphlet which he published giving an ac=
count of the cases of seven patients who had all died
under his treatment waxd wroth with the timidity of
the peda[grous] sufferers who declined all further ex=
periment. Surely the voice of dear-bought experience
should


once more destroy your old-fashioned chimnies & vents in
order to make an eleventh


26
now at length silence even in France the clamour of empirical philoso=
phy. Who would listen a moment to the blundering mechanic
who should say “I have burned your house down ten
times in the attempt but let me make the eleventh trial &
I will pledge myself to succeed in heating it upon the
newest and most approved principle”.
The poem proceeds to describe in a tone of great
beauty and feeling a night-scene witnessed on the Lake of
Geneva and each natural object from the evening grass
=hopper to the Stars “the poetry of heaven suggest thus appropri=
ate t[¿] of reflections and naturally [¿] in the contem=
plation of the connection between the Creator and his works.
The scene is varied by the “fierce & fair delight” of a thunder
storm described in verse almost as vivid as its lightnings
We had marked it for transcript as one of the most beau
tiful passages of the poem but quotation must have bounds
and we have been already liberal. But the ‘live thunder
leaping among the rattling crags — the voice of the moun
tains as if shouting to each other — the plashing of
the big rain — the gleaming of the wide lake lighted like
a phosphoric sea — present a picture of sublime terror yet
of enjoyment often attempted but never so well — certainly
at least never better brought out in poetry. The poet or his
supposed pilgrim reviews the charac
ters of Gibbon & Voltaire & concludes by reverting to the
same melancholy tone of feeling with which the poem
opened. Childe Harolde though not formally dismissed from
the scene glides [from our observation & the poet in his own
person concludes the poem as it had opend by an af=
fecting address to his infant daugh=
ter
Take in Stanza CXV
“My daughter &c to thy father's mould”
The poet proceeds in the same tone for several Stanzas
& then concludes with this paternal benediction
Sweet be thy cradled slumbers oer the sea
And from the mountains where I now respire
Fain would I waft such blessing upon thee
As with a sigh I deem thou mightst have been to me
Having finished the analysis of this beautiful po=
em we have the difficult and delicate work before us of
offering some remarks on the tone and feeling in which
it is composed. But before discharging this part of our
duty we must give some account of the other fasciculus
with which the fertile genius of Lord Byron has sup
=plied us.
the &


apparently to prevent their guilt and their punishment
from being forgotten.
the sudden exchange of the silence of a dungeon for the &


27
The collection to which the Prisoner of Chillon gives
name inferior in interest to the Continuation of Childe Ha=
rolde is marked nevertheless by the peculiar force of Lord
Byrons genius. It consists of a series of detached pieces some
of them fragments and rather poetical prolusions than fi=
nished and perfect poems.
Some of our readers may require to be informed that
Chillon which gives name to the first poem is a castle on
the Lake of Geneva belonging of old to the Dukes of Savoy
employd by them during the dark ages as a state-prison
and furnished of course with a tremendous range of
subterranean dungeons with a chamber dedicated to
the purpose of torture and all the apparatus of feudal
tyranny Here the earlier champions of the Reformation
were frequently doomed to expiate their heretical opinions
Among the hardiest of these was Bonnivard whom Lord Byron
has selected as hero of his poem. He was imprisoned in
Chillon for nearly six years from 1530 namely to 1536 and
underwent all the rigour of the closest captivity. But it
has not been the purpose of Lord Byron to paint the peculiar
character of Bonnivard nor do we find any thing
to remind us of the steady firmness and patient
endurance of one suffering for conscience-sake. The object of
the poem like that of Sterne's celebrated sketch of the prisoner
is to consider captivity in the abstract, its effect in gradu
ally chilling the mental powers as it benumbs &
freezes the animal frame untill the unfortunate victim
becomes as it were a part of his dungeon and identified
with his chains. This transmutation we believe to be founded on fact. At
least in the Low Countries where Capital punishments
are never inflicted and solitary confinement for life sub=
stituted in the case of enormous crimes something like
it may be witnessed. On particular days in the course
of the year these victims of a jurisprudence which calls
itself humane are presented to the public eye upon a
stage erected in the open market-place It is scarce
possible to witness a sight more degrading to humanity
with matted hair wild looks & haggard features, with eyes daz=
zled by the unwonted light of the sun and ears deafend &
astounded by the busy hum of men the
wretches sit more like rude images fashioned to
a fantastic imitation of humanity than like living
& reflecting beings. In the course of a certain space of
time we are assured they generally become either mad
men or idiots as mind or matter happens to predominate when
the balance between them is destroyed. But they who are
subjected to such a dreadful punishment are generally
like &


28
like most perpetrators of gross crimes men of feeble internal
resources. Men of talents like Trenck [have] been known in
the deepest seclusion and most severe confinement to battle the foul
fiend melancholy and to come off conqueror during a cap
=tivity of years. Those who suffer imprisonment for
the sake of their country or their religion have yet a stronger
support and may exclaim though in a different sense from
that of Othello
It is the cause it is the cause my soul
And hence the early history of the Church is filld with
martyrs who confident in the justice of their cause and the
certainty of their future reward endured with patience the
rigour of protracted and solitary captivity as well as the
bitterness of torture and of death itself. This however is not
the view which Lord Byron has taken of the character &
captivity of Bonnivard for which he has
offered an apology in the following passage in the
notes. “When the foregoing poem was composed I was not suffi
=ciently aware of the history of Bonnivard or I would have
endeavoured to dignify the subject by an attempt to
celebrate his courage & his values.” The theme of
the poem is therefore the gradual effect of protracted cap
tivity upon a man of powerful mind tried at the
same time by the successive deaths of his two bre=
=thern. The Second brother of Bonnivard
— pure of mind
But formd to combat with his kind
first droopd under the effects of protracted imprisonment
more bitter to one bred a warrior and a huntsman
& was the first who died. The sickness and pining of the
second a youth of a milder and more affectionate cha
racter is affectingly described.
Prisoner of Chillon St. VIII.
“But he the favourite &c to line 175 withered on
the stalk away”
The effects of the survivors sorrow succeed. At first fierce
and frantic at feeling himself the only being “in this
black spot” and every link burst which bound him
him to humanity is succeeded by the stupor of des
=pair and of apathy the loss of sensation of light air &
even of darkness
I had no thought no feeling — none
Among the stones I stood a stone
And was scarce conscious what I wist
As shrubless crags within the mist
For all was blank and bleak and grey
there &


29
There were no stars no earth no time
No check no change no good no crime
But silence and a [st]irless breath
Which neither was of life or death
A sea of stagnant idleness
Blind, boundless, mute & motionless
The effects produced on the mind of the captive by the casual
visit of a bird and by the view of the lake from the loop-hole
of his prison are next successfully described. An
extract from the latter shall form our last specimen of
the poem.
line 337 I heard the torrents & to line 350 breath & hue
Freedom at length comes when the captive of Chillon re
conciled to his prison had learned to consider it as “a her
mitage and all his own,” & had become friends with the
very shackles which he wore. Inured to imprisonment &
having charmd his thoughts to walk within its circle Bon
-nivard regaind his freedom with a sigh.
It will readily be allowed that this singular poem
is more powerful than pleasing. The dungeon of Bonni=
vard is like that of Ugolino a subject too dismal for even
the powers of the painter or poet to counteract its horrors.
It is the more disagreeable as affording human hope no
anchor to rest upon and describing the sufferer though a
man of talents and virtues as altogether inert and po
werless under his accumulated sufferings. Yet as a picture
however gloomy the colouring it may rival any which
Lord Byron has drawn nor is it possible to read it with
out a sinking of the heart corresponding to what he des
cribes the victim to have sufferd.
We have said that Lord Byron occasionally tho'
without concealing his own original features freely
assumes the manner and stile of his contemporaries. Of
these we have more than one instance in the present collecti
on. It is impossible to read the Prisoner of Chillon
without finding several passages — that last quoted for
example with strongly remind us of Wordsworth. There
is another called Churchills grave for which
Southey seems to afford the model. not in his
Epic strains but in his English Eclogues in which moral
truths are explored to use the poets own language in “an almost
colloquial plainness of language.” The grave of Churchill
however might have called from Lord Byron a deeper com
memoration for though they generally differd in character
and genius there was a resemblance between their his=
tory & character. Both held themselves above the opinion
of &


29
30
world and both were followed by the fame & popularity which they
seemd to despise. Both exhibit inborn though some=
times ill regulated generosity of mind and judging from
their poems and a spirit of proud independence which
was frequently pushed to extremes. Both pushd their hatred
of hypocrisy beyond the verge of prudence and indulged
their vein of satire to the borders of license. In the flower
of his age Churchill died in a foreign land — here we trust
the parallel will cease and that the subject of
our criticism will long survive to honour his own.
(Two other pieces in this miscellany recall to our mind
the wild unbridled and fiery imagination of Coleridge.
[to this poets high poetical genius we have always]
paid deference but he has not uniformly perhaps but
too frequently for his own popularity wandered into
the wild and mystic and left the reader at a
loss accurately to determine his meaning. The two pieces
we allude to seem of the school.
Perhaps in that calld the Spell the resemblance may be
fanciful but we cannot allow it to be so in the singu=
lar poem calld Darkness well entitled
A dream which is not all a dream.)
In this case our author has abandoned the art so
peculiarly his own of showing the reader where his
purpose tends and has contented himself with
presenting a map of powerful ideas managed &
the meaning of which we certainly confess ourselves
not always able to attain. A succession of terrible ima
=ges is placed before us flitting & mixing and disengaging
themselves as in the dreams of a feverish man Chimeras
dire to whose existence the mind refuses credit which
confound and weary the ordinary reader and baffle the
comprehension even of those more accustomed to the flights
of the Poets Muse. The subject is the progress of utter dark
ness until it becomes in Shakespeares phrase the “burier
of the dead and the assemblage of terrific ideas which
the poet has placed before us only fail in exciting our
terror from the extravagance of the plan. To speak plain
=ly the framing such phantasms is a dangerous
employment for the exalted and teeming imagination
of such a poet as Lord Byron whose Pegasus has ever
required rather a bridle than a spur. The waste of
boundless space into which they lead the poet the neglect of precision which such themes may
render habitual make them in respect to poetry what
mysticism is to religion. The meaning of the poet as he
ascends upon cloudy wing becomes the shadow only
of a meaning and having eluded the comprehension
of others necessarily ends by escaping from that of the
author himself and the strength of poetical conception
and beauty of diction bestowed upon such prolusions is
as much thrown away as the colours of a painter could
he take a cloud of mist or wreath of smoke for his
canvas.


and with exceptions so cautiously restricted and guarded a[s]
to be almost no exceptions at all brands the mass of humanity
whom he leaves behind him as false and treacherous
We do not assume the office of harsh censors — we are entitled at
no time to do so towards genius least of all in its
hour of adversity and we are prepared to make full allow
ance for the natural effect of misfortune upon a bold and haughty
spirit
When the splitting wind
Makes flexible the knees of knotted oaks
And flies fled under shade, the Thing of Courage
As roused with rage with rage doth sympathise
And with an accent tuned in self same key
Returns to chiding fortune —
But this mood of defiance may last too long
and hurry him who indulges it into further evils & to
this point our observations tend.


31
Omitting one or two compositions of less interest we cannot
but notice the Dream, which if we do not misconstrue it has
a covert and mysterious relation to the tale of Childe Harolde
It is written with the same power of poetry nor have we here to
complain of obscurity in the mode of narrating the vision
though we pretend not to the skill or information necessary to its interpre
=tation. It is difficult however to mistake who or
what is meant in the conclusion and more especially as
the tone too well agrees with similar passages in the continu:
ation of Childe Harolde.
Take in Stanza [VIII] of the Dream. line 2
The wanderer was alone as heretofore & to
Hatred & contention — (Omit the four next lines &
go on to
— he lived &c to the end of the
Stanza — “Be it so” —
The Reader is requested to contrast
these lines with the stern and solemn passage in which
Childe Harolde seems to bid a long and lasting farewell to
social intercourse
Stanzas CXIII & CXIV
Though the last of these stanzas has something in it mystical
and enigmatical yet with the passage already quoted from
the Dream and some other poems which are before the pub=
lic they remove the scrupulous delicacy with which otherwise we
would have avoided allusion to the mental sufferings of
the noble poet. But to uncover a wound is to demand
the surgeons hand to tent it. With kinder feelings to Lord
Byron in person and reputation no one could approach him
than ourselves: we owe it to the pleasure which he has bes=
towed upon us & to the honour he has done to our literature. We have paid our warmest tribute
to his talents — it is their due — We will touch on the
uses for which he was invested with them — it is our duty —
And happy most happy could we be if in discharging it
we should render a real service. The advice ought not to
be contemned on account of the obscurity of those by whom
it is given — the meanest shepherd may be a sure guide
over a pathless heath and the admonition which he gives
in well meant kindness should not be despised even were it
tendered with a frankness which might resemble a want of courtesy.
If the conclusion of Lord Byrons literary career were
to be such as these mournful verses have anticipated — if
this darkness of the spirit this scepticism concerning
the existence of worth of friendship of sincerity were really
and permanently to sink like a gulph between this
distinguished author and society — another name will
be added to the illustrious list to whom Prestons caution refers
Still wouldst thou write? — to tame thy youthful fire
Recall to life the masters of the lyre
Lo every brow the shade of sorrow wears
And every wreath is staind with dropping tears —


There is no royal & no poetical path to contentment and
heart's-ease: that by which they are attained is open to all
classes of mankind and accessible by the most limited ran
of intellect.
2 to consider our misfortunes however peculiar in their character
as our inevitable share in the patrimony of Adam —
whose applause we ought so far as possible to deserve
but neither to court nor to contemn — Such
we retort this query on the noble poet himself.


32
But this is an unfair picture. It is not the temper
and talents of the poet but the use to which he puts them
on which his happiness or misery is grounded. A powerful
and unbridled imagination is we have already said the au=
thor & architect of its own disappointments. The materials of happiness
that is of such degree of happiness as is consistent with
our present state lie around us in profusion But the
man of talents must stoop to gather them otherwise they
would be beyond the reach of the mass of society for whose
benefit as well as for his Providence has created them.
To narrow our wishes and desires within the scope of our
powers of attainment 2 — to bridle those irritable feelings which un=
governed are sure to become governors — to shun what our
own poet has so forcibly described in his own burning
language
— I have thought
Too long & darkly till my brain became
In its own eddy boiling and overwrought
A whirling gulph of phantasy & flame
To stoop in short to the realities of life repent
if we have offended & pardon if we have been trespassed
against, to look on the world less as our foe than as
a doubtful & capricious friend seem the most obvious & certain
means of keeping or regaining mental tranquility,
— Semita certe
Tranquillæ per virtutem patet unica vitæ.
We are compelled to dwell upon this
subject for future ages while our lan=
guage is remembered while demand of us why Lord Byron was
unhappy? He does injustice to the world if he imagines
he has left it exclusively filld with those who rejoice in
his sufferings. If the voice of consolation be in cases like
his less loudly heard than that of reproach or upbraiding it
is because those who long to conciliate to advise to mediate to
console are timid in thrusting forward their sen
=timents and fear to exasperate where they most seek
to soothe while the busy and officious intrude
without shame or sympathy and embitter the privacy
of affliction by their rude gaze and importunate clamour.
But the pain which such insects can give only lasts
while the wound is raw — Let the patient submit to the dis=
cipline of the soul enjoind by religion & recommended by
philosophy and the scar will become speedily insensible
to their stings. Lord Byron may not have loved the
world &



that his next effort will shew that he has regaind


33
but the whole world has loved him not perhaps with a wise or
discriminating affection but as well as it is capable of
loving any one. And many who do not belong to the world
as the world is generally understood have their thoughts
fixd on Lord Byron with the anxious wish and eager hope
that he will bring his powerful understanding to com
=bat with his irritated feelings and that peace
of mind necessary for the free and useful exercise of his
splendid talents
I decus, I nostrum, melioribus utere fatis —

Close

Cite this Document

APA Style:

Sir Walter Scott's Manuscript Review of Lord Byron's Childe Harold's Pilgrimage III and The Prisoner of Chillon. 2021. In The Corpus of Modern Scottish Writing. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved December 2021, from http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk/cmsw/document/?documentid=229.

MLA Style:

"Sir Walter Scott's Manuscript Review of Lord Byron's Childe Harold's Pilgrimage III and The Prisoner of Chillon." The Corpus of Modern Scottish Writing. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2021. Web. December 2021. http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk/cmsw/document/?documentid=229.

Chicago Style

The Corpus of Modern Scottish Writing, s.v., "Sir Walter Scott's Manuscript Review of Lord Byron's Childe Harold's Pilgrimage III and The Prisoner of Chillon," accessed December 2021, http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk/cmsw/document/?documentid=229.

If your style guide prefers a single bibliography entry for this resource, we recommend:

The Corpus of Modern Scottish Writing. 2021. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk/cmsw/.

Close

Sir Walter Scott's Manuscript Review of Lord Byron's Childe Harold's Pilgrimage III and The Prisoner of Chillon

Document Information

Document ID 229
Title Sir Walter Scott's Manuscript Review of Lord Byron's Childe Harold's Pilgrimage III and The Prisoner of Chillon
Year group 1800-1850
Genre Personal writing
Year of publication 1830
Wordcount 10969

Author information: Scott, Sir Walter

Author ID 47
Title Sir
Forenames Walter
Surname Scott
Gender Male
Year of birth 1771
Place of birth Edinburgh, Scotland
Occupation Author, solicitor
Father's occupation Solicitor
Education University
Locations where resident Edinburgh
Other languages spoken Latin