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Ye! who in Granta's honours would surpass,
Must mount her Pegasus, a full-grown ass; 969 A foal well worthy of her ancient Dam, Whose Helicon is duller than her Cam.
There Clarke,1 still striving piteously "to please," Forgetting doggerel leads not to degrees,
1 This person, who has lately betrayed the most rabid symptoms of confirmed authorship, is writer of a poem denominated The Art of Pleasing, as " Lucus a non lucendo," containing little pleasantry, and less poetry. He also acts as monthly stipendiary and collector of calumnies for the Satirist. If this unfortunate young man would exchange the magazines for the mathematics, and endeavour to take a decent degree in his university, it might eventually prove more serviceable than his present salary.
Note. — An unfortunate young person of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, ycleped Hewson Clarke, has lately manifested the most rabid symptoms of confirmed Authorship. His Disorder commenced some years ago, and the Newcastle Herald teemed with his precocious essays, to the great edification of the Burgesses of Newcastle, Morpeth, and the parts adjacent even unto Berwick-upon-Tweed. These have since been abundantly scurrilous upon the [town] of Newcastle, his native spot, Mr Mathias and Anacrcon Moore. W hat these men hid done to offend Mr. Hewson Clarke is not known, but surely the town in whose markets he had sold meat, and in whose weekly journal he had written prose, deserved better treatment. Mr H. C. should recollect the proverb "'tis a villainous bird that defiles his own nest." He now writes in the Satirist. We recommend the young m;in to abandon the magazines for mathematics, and to believe that a high degree at Cambridge will be more advantageous, as well as profitable in the end, than his present precarious gleanings.
[Hewson Clarke (1787-circ. 18.32) was entered at Emmanuel College. Cambridge, arc. 1806 (see Postscript). He migrated to London, where he devoted his not inconsiderable talents to contributions to the Satirist, the Scourge, etc. He wrote inter alia, a continuation of Hume's History 0} England, 2 vols. (1833).
_ The Satirist, a monthly magazine illustrated with coloured cartoons, was Issued 1808-1814. "The Diary of a Cantab" (June, 1808, ii. 368)
contains some verses of "Lord B n to his
Bear. To the tune of Lachin y gair." The last verse runs thus: —
"But when with the ardour of Love I am burning, I feel for thy torments, I feel for thy care; And weep for thy bondage, so truly discerning What's felt by a Lord, mav be felt by a Bear." In August, 1H0S (ui. 7S-86). there is a critique on Poems Original and Translated, in which the bear plays many parts. Hence the casligation of "the sizar of Emmanuel College,"]
A would-be Satirist, a hired Buffoon, A monthly scribbler of some low lampoon,1
Condemned to drudge, the meanest of the mean,
And furbish falsehoods for a magazine, Devotes to scandal his congenial mind; Himself a living libel on mankind.
Oh! dark asylum of a Vandal race ! 2 At once the boast of learning, and disgrace! 98 r So lost to Phoebus, that nor Hodgson's 3 verse
Can make thee better, nor poor Hewson 's4 worse. But where fair Isis rolls her purer
The partial Muse delighted loves to lave; On her green banks a greener wreath she wove,
To crown the Bards that haunt her
classic grove; Where Richards wakes a genuine poet's
And modern Britons glory in their Sires *
For me, who, thus unasked, have dared to tell 990 My country, what her sons should know too well,
Zeal for her honour bade me here engage The host of idiots that infest her age;
1 " Right enough: this was well deserved, and well laid on." — B., 1816.
2 "Into Cambridgeshire the Emperor Probes transported a considerable body of Vandals." — Gibbon's Decline and Fall, ii. 83. There is no reason to doubt the truth of this assertion; the breed is still in high perfection.
3 This gentleman's name requires no praise: the man who in translation displays unquestionable genius may be well expected to excel in original composition, of which it_is to be hoped, we shall soon see a splendid specimen. [Francis Hodgson (1781-1852) was Bvron's lifeton< friend. His Juvenal appeared in 1807; L*idy Jane Grey and oilier Poems, in 1800; Str Etigar, a Tale, in 1810. He became Provost of Eton in 1840.]
* Hewson Clarke, Esq., as it is written.
'Tfie Aboriginal Britons, an excellent poem, by Richards. [The Rev. George Richards. D.1X (1767-18^), a Fellow of Oriel, and, afterwards! Rector of St MartinVin-the-Fields. The Aboriginal Britons, a prize poem, was publishe*J in 17Q3-1
No just applause her honoured name
shall lose, As first in freedom, dearest to the
Oh! would thy bards but emulate thy fame,
And rise more worthy, Albion, of thy name!
What Athens was in science, Rome in power,
What Tyre appeared in her meridian hour,
Tis thine at once, fair Albion I to have been — 1000
Earth's chief Dictatress, Ocean's lovely Queen:
But Rome decayed, and Athens strewed
the plain, And Tyre's proud piers lie shattered in
the main; Like these, thy strength may sink in ruin
And Britain fall, the bulwark of the world.
But let me cease, and dread Cassandra's fate,
With warning ever scoffed at, till too late;
To themes less lofty still my lay confine, And urge thy Bards to gain a name like thine.
Then, hapless Britain! be thy rulers blest, Ioio The Senate's oracles, the people's jest! Still hear thy motley orators dispense The flowers of rhetoric, though not of sense.
While Canning's colleagues hate him
for his wit. And old dame Portland 1 fills the place
1 A friend of mine being asked, why his Grace of Portland was likened lo an old woman? redied, *"he supposed it was because he was past bearing." His Grace is now gathered to his grandmothers, where he sleeps as sound as ever: bat even his sleep was better than his colleagues ■diking. fWu''am Henry Cavendish,
tlrirdDuke of Portland (iri8-i8og), was Prime Minister in 1807. till his death in 1800. When Brron meditated a tour to India in 1808, Portland declined to write on his behalf to the Directors of the East India Company, and . Tuched his refusal in terms which Byron fancied to be offensive.]
Yet once again, adieu! ere this the sail
That wafts me hence is shivering in the gale;
And Afric's coast and Calpe's adverse height,1
And Stamboul's minarets must greet my sight:
Thence shall I stray through Beauty's native clime,2 1020
Where KafT5 is clad in rocks, and crowned with snows sublime.
But should I back return, no tempting press
Shall drag my Journal from the desk's recess;
Let coxcombs, printing as they come from far,
Snatch his own wreath of Ridicule from Carr;
Let Aberdeen and Elgin 1 still pursue The shade of" fame through regions of Virtu;
Waste useless thousands on their Phid
ian freaks, Misshapen monuments and maimed
And make their grand saloons a general mart 1030 For all the mutilated blocks of art: Of Dardan tours let Dilettanti tell, I leave topography to rapid Cell; 5 And, quite content, no more shall interpose
To stun the public ear — at least with Prose.
'"Saw it August, 1809." — B., 1816.
8 Mount Caucasus.
* Lord Elgin would fain persuade us that all the figures, with and without noses, in his stoneshop, are the work of Phidias!" Credat Juda-us!" [R. Payne Knight, in his introduction to Specimen* of A ncient Sculpture, published 1800, throws a doubt on the Phidian workmanship of the "Elgin" marbles.]
'Mr Cell's Topography of Troy and Ithaca cannot fail to ensure the approbation of every man possessed of classical taste, as well for the information Mr Cell conveys to the mind of the reader, as for the ability and research the respective works displav.
[Sir William Cell (1777-18.16) published the Topography of Troy (1804). the Geography otul Antiquities of Ithaca (1807), and the Itinerary of Greece (iHio). Bvron reviewed the two last worts in the Monthly Rnnno (August, 1811). Fresh from the scenes, he speaks with authority.
Thus far I've held my undisturbed career,
Prepared for rancour, steeled 'gainst se I fish fear;
This thing of rhyme I ne'er disdained to own —
Though not obtrusive, yet not quite unknown:
My voice was heard again, though not so loud, 1040
My page, though nameless, never disavowed;
And now at once I tear the veil away: — Cheer on the pack! the Quarry stands at bay,
Unscared by all the din of Melbourne house,1
By Lamb's resentment, or by Holland's spouse,
By Jeffrey's harmless pistol, Hallam's rage,
Edina's brawny sons and brimstone page.
Our men in buckram shall have blows enough,
And feel they too are "penetrable stuff": And though I hope not hence unscathed
to go, 1050 Who conquers me shall find a stubborn
The time hath been, when no harsh sound
would fall From lips that now may seem imbued
Nor fools nor follies tempt me to despise The meanest thing that crawled beneath my eyes:
But now, so callous grown, so changed
since youth, I've learned to think, and sternly speak
"With Homer in his pocket and Gell on his sumptcr-mule, the Odysseus tourist may now make a very classical and delightful excursion." The epithet in the original MS. was "coxcomb." but becoming acquainted with CIcll while the satire was in the press, Byron changed it to "classic." In the fifth edition he altered it to "rapid," and appended this note: — "'Rapid,' indeed! He topographised and typographised King Priam's dominions in three days! I called him 'classic' before I saw the Troad, but since have learned better than to tack to his name what don't belong to it."]
*" Singular enough, and din enough, God knows." — B., 1816.
Learned to deride the critic's starch decree,
And break him on the wheel he meant for me;
To spurn the rod a scribbler bids me kiss, 1060
Nor care if courts and crowds applaud or hiss:
Nay more, though all my rival rhymesters frown,
I too can hunt a Poetaster down;
And, armed in proof, the gauntlet cast at once
To Scotch marauder, and to Southern dunce.
Thus much I've dared; if my incondite lay
Hath wronged these righteous times, let
others say: This, let the world, which knows not
how to spare, Yet rarely blames unjustly, now
POSTSCRIPT TO THE SECOND EDITION.
I Have been informed, since the present edition went to the press, that my trusty and well-beloved cousins, the Edinburgh Reviewers, are preparing a most vehement critique on my poor, gentle, unresisting Muse, whom they have already so be-deviled with their ungodly ribaldry;
"Tantame animis ccelcstibus lrtc!"
I suppose I must say of Jeffrey as Sir Andrew Aguecheek saith, "an I had known he was so cunning of fence, I had seen him damned ere I had fought him." What a pity it is that I shall be beyond the Bosphorus before the next number
'"The greater part of this satire I moist sincerely wish had never been written — not only on account of the injustice of much of thic critical, and some of the personal part of it — but the tone and temper are such as I cajinrrf approve." — BYRON. July 14, 1816. LHoxlati, has passed the Tweed 1 But I yet hope lo light my pipe with it in Persia.'
My Northern friends have accused me, rith justice, of personality towards their great literary Anthropophagus, JefFrey; but what else was to be done rith him and his dirty pack, who feed by "lying and slandering," and slake their thirst by "evil speaking"? I have adduced facts already well known, and of Jeffrey's mind I have stated my free opinion, nor has he thence sustained icy injury: — what scavenger was ever wiled by being pelted with mud? It may be said that I quit England because I have censured there "persons of honour and wit about town"; but I am coming back again, and their vengeance >rill keep hot till my return. Those who know me can testify that my motives for leaving England are very different from fears, literary or personal; those who do not, may one day be convinced. Since the publication of this thing, my name has not been concealed; I have been mostly in London, ready to answer for my transgressions, and in daily expectation of sundry cartels; but, alas! "the age of chivalry is over," or, in the vulgar tongue, there is no spirit now-a-days.
There is a youth ycleped Hewson Clarke (subaudi esquire), a sizar of Emmanuel College, and, I believe, a denizen of Berwick-upon-Tweed, whom I have introduced in these pages to much better company than he has been accustomed to meet; he is, notwithstanding, a very sad dog, and for no
1 [Die article never appeared, and Lord Byron, il the Hints from Horace, taunted Jeffrey with 1 sJence which seemed to indicate that the critic was beaten from the field.]
reason that I can discover, except a personal quarrel with a bear, kept by me at Cambridge to sit for a fellowship, and whom the jealousy of his Trinity contemporaries prevented from success, has been abusing me, and, what is worse, the defenceless innocent above mentioned, in the Satirist for one year and some months. I am utterly unconscious of having given him any provocation; indeed, I am guiltless of having heard his name, till coupled with the Satirist. He has therefore no reason to complain, and I dare say that, like Sir Fretful Plagiary, he is rather pleased than otherwise. I have now mentioned all who have done me the honour to notice me and mine, that is, my bear and my book, except the editor of the Satirist, who, it seems, is a gentleman — God wot! I wish he could impart a little of his gentility to his subordinate scribblers. I hear that Mr. JerningHam 1 is about to take up the cudgels for his Maecenas, Lord Carlisle. I hope not: he was one of the few, who, in the very short intercourse I had with him, treated me with kindness when a boy; and whatever he may say or do, "pour on, I will endure." I have nothing further to add, save a general note of thanksgiving to readers, purchasers, and publishers, and in the words of Scott, I wish
"To all and each a fair good night,
'[Edward Jerningham (1727-1812), third son of Sir George Jerningham, Bart., was_ an indefatigable versifier. Between the publication of his first poem, The Nunnery, in 1762, and his last, The Old Bard's Farewell, in 1812, he sent to the press no less than thirty separate compositions.]
BEING AN ALLUSION IN ENGLISH VERSE TO THE EPISTLE "AD PISONES, DE ARTE POETICA," AND INTENDED AS A SEQUEL TO "ENGLISH BARDS, AND SCOTCH REVIEWERS."
"Ergo fungar vice cotis, acutum
Reddere qua; fcrrum valet, cxsors ipsa secandi."
— Hor. De Arte Poet.. II. 304 and 305. "Rhymes are difficult things — they are stubborn things. Sir."
— Fielding's Amelia, vol. iii. bk. A ch. v.
Athens: Capuchin Convent,
Who would not laugh, if Lawrence,2
hired to grace His costly canvas with each flattered
Abused his art, till Nature, with ablush, Saw cits grow Centaurs underneath his brush?
Or, should some limner join, for show or sale,
A Maid of Honour to a Mermaid's tail? Or low Dubost' — as once the world
has seen — Degrade God's creatures in his graphic
Not all that forced politeness, which defends
Fools in their faults, could gag his grinning friends. 10
1 [A fragment. 1.56 lines, of Hints from Horace, as first published in Recollections oj the Life o) R. C. Dallas. 1824. The full text of the poem was not published till 1831.]
2 [Sir Thomas Lawrence (1760-1830) succeeded West as P.R.A. in 1820. Benjamin West (1738-1820) had been elected P.R.A. in I7g2, on the death of Sir Joshua Reynolds.]
3 In an English newspaper, which finds its way abroad wherever there are Englishmen. I read an account of this dirty dauber's caricature of Mr H as a "beast,'' and the consequent action, etc. The circumstance is, probably, too well known to require further comment. [Thomas Hope (1770-1831) was celebrated for his collections of pictures, sculpture, and bric-A-brac. He was the author of Anastasius, or Memoirs oj a Creek, etc., which was attributed to Byron, and, according to Lady Blessington, excited his envy. "Low Dubost" was a French [winler, who, in revenge for some fancied injustice, caricatured Hope and his wife as Beauty and the Beast.]
Believe me, Moschus, like that picture
The book which, sillier than a sick man's dreams,
Displays a crowd of figures incomplete. Poetic Nightmares, without head or feet.
Poets and painters, as all artists
May shoot a little with a lengthened
We claim this mutual mercy for our task. And grant in turn the pardon which we
But make not monsters spring from
gentle dams — Birds breed not vipers, tigers nurse not
A laboured, long Exordium, sometimes tends (Like patriot speeches) but to paltry
And nonsense in a lofty note goes down,
goodly plain: The groves of Granta, and her Gothic halls,
King's Coll — Cam's stream — stained
windows, and old walls: Or, in adventurous numbers, neatlv
To paint a rainbow, or — the river Thames.1 30
You sketch a tree, and so perhaps may shine —
But daub a shipwreck like an alehouse sign;
You plan a vase — it dwindles to a pot; Then glide down Grub Street — fasting
and forgot; Laughed into Lethe by some quaint Review,
Whose wit is never troublesome till — true.
In fine, to whatsoever you aspire, Let it at least be simple and entire.
1" While pure Description held the place of Sense." — Pope, Prd. to the Sal., 1. 148.