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AMERICAN MONTHLY MAGAZINE
PUBLISHED FOR H. BIGLOW, Esq.
EDITOR AND PROPRIETOR,
BY KIRK & MERCEIN, AT THE OFFICE OF THE EDINBURGH AND QUAR-
TERLY REVIEWS, No. 22 WALL-STREET,
AMERICAN MONTHLY MAGAZINE
FOR MAY, 1817.
NO. I..... VOL. I.
ART. I. Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, Canto II1,- Prisoners of Chillon, and
other Poems, by Lord Byron.
admire Lord Byron's poetry, that novour should have prepared him for its man who valued his pretensions to ton, vicissitude. As so much of his excel. dared to speak irreverently of any thing lence was taken upon trust, his fame was that bore the sanction of his name. His closely connected with his veracity ; lordship's writings, indeed, pretty plain- and he should not be astonished to find ly intimate his own sense of the sublimi- his reputation declining with the devety of his genius ; and what can be more lopement of his character. Violent conclusive ? What better authority could emotions are apt to be succeeded by we possibly have than bis lordship's their opposites. Contempt naturally judgment in the case ? or who could be follows disabused esteem; and mistaken s0 conusant to his lordship's merits sympathy may easily be converted into as himself? But be this as it may, it detestation. His lordship's boastful was, at any rate, very generally agreed blazon of the deprarity of his beart, to believe what his lordship so serious- casts no little imputation on the strength ly persisted in asserting; and if he ob- of bis understanding; whilst his wanton tained credit in any proportion to the ex- exhibition of his deformity, has not tent of his claims, hiscelebrity is not won- left good-nature even a fig-leaf with derful. His title to panegyric being thus which to cover his shame. established, the only strife seemed to Yet, but for his folly, he might still de, who should be most vociferous in bave basked in the sunshine of favour. his praise. If a snarling critic were He had long enjoyed a plenary indulsurly enough to question a decree pro- gence for sins against the canons of Bounced by acclamation, he could taste, and might have continued to scarcely hope to be heard in the tumult transgress them with impunity, had he of applause.
contravened no other laws. But, as he But fanaticism, which is generally has chosen so intimately to blend his founded in delusion, is ever transient ; poetic with his moral character, and to and the fickleness of fashion is prover- obtrude bimself, in both, so often, and bial. His lordship's experience of the with so little modesty, on the public, it