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! Ser Appendix, “ Historical Notes," No. X
[TM Scott," says Lord Byron, in his MS. Diary, for 1821, " is certainly the most wonderful writer of the day. His novels are a new literature in themselves, and his poetry as good as any – if not better (only on an erroneous system, and only ceased to be so popular, because the vulgar were tired of hearing · Aristides called the Just,' and Scott the Be, and ostracised him. I know no reading to which I fall with such alacrity as it work of his. I love him, too, for his manliness of character, for the extreme pleasantness of his
inversation, and his good-nature towards myself personally, Marele prosper! for he deserves it." in a letter, written to Sir Walter, from Pisa, in 1922, he says "I owe to you far more than the usual obligation for the courtesies of literature art common friendship; for you went out of your way, in 1:17, to do me a service, when it required not merely kind1144$, but courage, to do so ; to have been recorded by you in stich a manner, would have been a proud memorial at ang time, but at such a time, when . All the world and his wife,' as the proverb gocs, were trying to trample upon me, was something still higher to my self-esteem. Had it been a common criticism, however eloquent or panegyrical, I should have fet pleased and grateful, but not to the extent which the extraordinary gond-heartedness of the whole proceeding must induce in any mind capable of such sensations."]
3 ["I do not know whether Scott will like it, but I hate called him the Ariosto of the North' in my text. 1/ hr should not, say so in time."- Lord Byron to Ms. Nurroy. Aug. 1817.)
*, 5, 6 See Appendix, “Historical Notes, " Nos. II. II. XIII.
? The two stanzas xlii. and xliii. are, with the exception of a line or two, a translation of the famous sonnet of Filicaja : -" Italia, Italia, O tu cui feo la sorte!" # The celebrated letter of Servius Sulpicius to Cicero, on the death of his daughter, describes as it then was, and now is, a path which I often traced in Greece, both by sea and land, in different fourneys and voyages * On my return from Asia, as I was sailing from Euna towards Megara, I began to contemplate the prospect of the countries around me Ægina was behind, Megara before me; Piræus on the right, Corinth on the left: all which towns, once famous azxd Nourishing, now lie overturned and buried in their ruins. Upon this sight, I could not but think presently within my. self, Alas! how do we poor mortals fret and vex ourselves in any of our Hends happen to die or be killed, whose life is yet so short, when the carcasses of so many poble cities lie here exposed before me in one view.“ – Ses Middleton's Creeto, vol. ii. p. 371.
: It is Poggio, who, looking from the Capitoline hill upon Tie Rome, breaks forth in the exclamation, “ Ut nunc Ibidcore pudata, prostrata jacet, instar gigantei cadaverij Ourrupti atque undique exesi." ? See Appendix, “ Historical Notes," No. xiv.
Lo 1817, Lord Byron visited Florence, on his way to Erne. “I remained," he says, “but a day: however, I went to the tro galleries, from which one returns drunk with 2. The Venus is more for admiration than love ; but were are sculpture and painting, which, for the first time, at
zre me an idea of what people mean by their cant about theo most artificial of the arts. What struck me most Tep, the mistress of Raphael, a portrait; the mistroes of Tit per a portrait ; a Venus of Titian in the Medici Gallery; 13. Paus; Canova's Venus, also, in the other gallery: Can's mistress is also in the other gallery (that is, in the Pittà Palace gallery); the Parcæ of Michael Angelo, a picte; and the Antinous, the Alexander, and one or two not Se decent groups in marble; the Genius of Death, a sleep9. inure, &c. &c. I also went to the Medici chapel. Fine Sapery in great slabs of various expensive stones, to commebut fifty rotten and forgotten carcasses. It is unfinished,
will remain so." We find the following note of a second 15! to the galleries in 1821, accompanied by the author of * The Pleasures of Memory:" -"My former impressions sere corfirmed; but there were too many visitors to allow Lit to feel any thing properly. When we were about thirty * Forty all stuffed into the cabinet of gems and knickwakeries, in a corner of one of the galleries, I told Rogers 1124€ . it felt like being in the watch-house.' I heard one bold bricon declare to the woman on his arm, looking at the Venus 6 Titian, 'Well, now, that is really very fine indeed!'2 sertation which, like that of the landlord in Joseph Arieks, on the certainty of death,' was (as the landlor's vile observed "extremely true' In the Pitti Palace, I did to ornit Goldsmith's prescription for a connoisseur, víz. 'that
[The delight with which the pilgrim contemplates the ancient Greek statues at Florence, and afterwards at Rome, is such as might have been expected from any great poet, whose youthful mind had, like his, been imbued with those classical ideas and associations which afford so many sources of pleasure, through every period of life. He has gazed upon these masterpieces of art with a more susceptible, and, in spite of his disavowal, with a more learned eye, than can be traced in the effusions of any poet who had previously expressed, in any formal manner, his admiration of their beauty. It may appear fanciful to say 80 ; - but we think the genius of Byron is, more than that of any other modern poet, akin to that peculiar genius which seems to have been diffused among ail the poets and artists of ancient Greece; and in whose spirit, above all its other wonders, the great specimens of sculpture seem to have been conceived and executed. His creations, whether of beauty or of strength, are all single creations. He requires no grouping to give effect to his favourites, or to tell his story
His heroines are solitary symbols of loveliness, which require no foil ; his heroes stand alone as upon marble pedestals, displaying the naked power of passion, or the wrapped up and reposing energy of grief. The artist who would illustrate, as it is called, the works of any of our other poets, must borrow the mimic splendours of the pencil. He who would transfer into another vehicle the spirit of Byron, must pour the liquid metal, or hew the stubborn rock. What he loses in ease, he will gain in power. He might draw from Medora, Gulnare, Lara, or Manfred, subjects for relievos, worthy of enthusiasm almost as great as Harold has himself displayed on the contemplation of the loveliest and the sternest relics of the inimitable genius of the Greeks. Wilson.)
The unruilled mirror of the loveliest dream
The starry Galileo, with his woes ;
Which gilds it with revivifying ray ;
Could not her quarries furnish forth one bust? Did they not to her breast their filial earth entrust ?
LVII. Ungrateful Florence! Dante sleeps afar, 5 Like Scipio, buried by the upbraiding shore : 6 Thy factions, in their worse than civil war, Proscribed the bard whose name for everinore Their children's children would in vain adore With the remorse of ages ; and the crown 7 Which Petrarch's laureate brow supremely wort,
Upon a far and foreign soil had grown, (own. His life, his fame, his grave, though rifled-not thine
LVIII. Boccaccio to his parent earth bequeath'd 8 Ilis dust, -- and lies it not her Great among, With many a sweet and solemn requiem breathed O'er him who form'd the Tuscan's siren tongue ? 1 [ Only a week before the poet visited the Florence gallery, he wrote this to a friend :-"I know nothing of painting Depend upon it, of all the arts, it is the most artificial and untural, and that by which the nonsense of mankind is most imposed upon. I never yet saw the picture or the statue which came a league within my conception or expectation; but I have seen many mountains, and seas, and rivers, and views, and two or three women, wbo went as far beyond it." - Byron Letters.] 2. ; * Sep Appendix, “ Historical Notes," Nos. xv. xvi.
- The church of Santa Croce contains much illusIrions nothing. The tombs of Machiavelli, Michael Angelo, Guleg, and Alfieri, make it the Westminster Abbey of Italy. I did not admire any of these tombs – beyond their contents.
That music in itself, whose sounds are song,
No more amidst the meaner dead find room,
Of tuneful relics proudly claims and keeps, weeps. While Florence vainly begs her banish'd dead and
LX What is her pyramid of precious stones ? % Of porphyry, jasper, agate, and all hues Of gem and marble, to encrust the bones Of merchant-dukes? the momentary dews Which, sparkling to the twilight stars, infuse Freshness in the green turf that wraps the desila Whose names are mausoleums of the Muse,
Are gently prest with far more reverent tread Than ever paced the slab which paves the princely hrad.
LXI. There be more things to greet the heart and eyes In Arno's dome of Art's most princely shrine, Where Sculpture with her rainbow sister vies ; There be more marvels yet — but not for mine; For I have been accustom'd to entwine My thoughts with Nature rather in the fields. Than Art in galleries : though a work divine
Calls for my spirit's homage, yet it yields Less than it feels, because the weapon which it wields
LXn. Is of another temper, and I roam By Thrasimene's lake, in the defiles Fatal to Roman rashness, more at home; For there the Carthaginian's warlike wiles Come back before me, as his skill beguiles The host between the mountains and the shore, Where Courage falls in her despairing tiles,
And torrents, swoll'n to rivers with their gore, Reek through the sultry plain, withlegions scattered o'er,
Upon their bucklers for a winding sheet; mueet: Such is the absorbing hate when warring nations
That of Alfieri is heavy; and all of them seem to be aire loaded. What is necessary but a bust and name? and pesta date? the last for the unchronological, of whom 1 But all your allegory and culogy is infernal, and more than the long wigs of English numskulls upon Romar boties, in the statuary of the reigns of Charles the Second, William, and Anne." - Byron Letters, 1817.)
See Appendix, “ Historical Notes," Nos. Sin. XIX. XX. and XXI.
9 See Appendix, “ Historical Notes," No. XIII.
10 See Appendix, * Historical Notes," No. xm, -TAR earthquake which shook all Italy occurred during the battle, and was unfelt by any of the combatants.)
LXVIII. Pass not unblest the Genius of the place ! If through the air a zephyr more serene Win to the brow, 't is his; and if ye trace Along his margin a more eloquent green, If on the heart the freshness of the scene Sprinkle its coolness, and from the dry dust Of weary life a moment lave it clean
With Nature's baptism, — 't is to him ye must Pay orisons for this suspension of disgust. 4
LXIX. The roar of waters ! --- from the headlong height Velino cleaves the wave-worn precipice; The fall of waters ! rapid as the light The flashing mass foams shaking the abyss; The hell of waters ! where they howl and hiss, And boil in endless torture; while the sweat Of their great agony, wrung out from this
Their Phlegethon, curls round the rocks of jet That gird the gulf around, in pitiless horror set,
(no words. Stumble o'er heaving plains, and man's dread hath
And Sanguinetto tells ye where the dead
Surely that stream was unprofaned by slaughters — A mirror and a bath for Beauty's youngest daughters !
Who dwells and revels in thy glassy decrs; . While, chance, some scatter'd water-lily sails Down where the shallower wave still tells its bub
The lovely peaceful mirror reflected the mountains of Monte Puiciana, and the wild fowl skimming its ample surface, touched the waters with their rapid wings, leaving circles ud trains of light to glitter in gray repose. As we moved ace, one set of interesting features yielded to another, and Tery change excited new delight. Yet, was it not among these tranquil scenes that Hannibal and Flaminius met? was not the blush of blood upon the silver lake of Thrasi. Dene?-H. W. WILLIAMS.]
2 No book of travels has omitted to expatiate on the temple of the Clitumnus, between Foligno and Spoleto ; and no site, of cenery, even in Italy, is more worthy a description. For 3 account of the dilapidation of this temple, the reader is referred to “ Historical Illustrations of the Fourth Canto of Childe Harold," p. 35.
(* This pretty little gem stands on the acclivity of a bank Overlooking its crystal waters, which have their source at the dare of some hundred yards towards Spoleto. The temple, fronting the river, is of an oblong form, in the Corinthian oder. Four columns support the pedirnent, the shafts of which are covered in spiral lines, and in forms to represent the scales of fishes : the bases, too, are richly sculptured. Within the building is a chapel, the walls of which are onered with many hundred names; but we saw none which we could reangnise as British. Can it be that this classical temple is seldom visited by our countrymen, though celebrated by Dryden and Addison To future travellers from Britain it will surely be rendered interesting by the beautiful lines of Lord Byron, flowing as sweetly as the lovely stream which they describe." - HW. WILLIAMS.]
* (Perhaps there are no verses in our language of happier deseriptive power than the two stanzas which characterise the Clitunnus.' In general poets find it so difficult to leave an
LXX. And mounts in spray the skies, and thence again Returns in an unceasing shower, which round, With its unemptied cloud of gentle rain, Is an eternal April to the ground, Making it all one emerald :- how profound The gulf! and how the giant element From rock to rock leaps with delirious bound, Crushing the cliffs, which, downward worn and rent
[vent ! With his fierce footsteps, yield in chiasms a fearful
LXXI. To the broad column which rolls on, and shows More like the fountain of an infant sea 'Torn from the womb of mountains by the throes Of a new world, than only thus to be Parent of rivers, which flow gushingly, sback! With many windings, through the vale:- Look Lo! where it comes like an eternity,
As if to sweep down all things in its track, Charming the eye with dread, - a matchless cataract, 5
interesting subject, that they injure the distinctness of the description by loading it so as to embarrass, rather than excite, the fancy of the reader; or else, to avoid that fault, they confine themselves to cold and abstract generalities. Byron has, in these stanzas, admirably steered his course betwixt these extremes: while they present the outlines of a picture as pure and as brilliant as those of Claude Lorraine, the task of filling up the more minute particulars is judiciously left to the imagination of the reader ; and it must be dull indeed if it does not supply what the poet has left unsaid, or but generally and briefly intimated. While the eye glances over the lines, we seem to feel the refreshing coolness of the scene -- we hear the bubbling tale of the more rapid streams, and see the slender proportions of the rural temple reflected in the crystal depth of the calm pool. — Sir WALTER Scott.]
$ I saw the Cascata del Marmore of Terni twice, at different periods ; once from the summit of the precipice, and again from the valley below. The lower view is far to be preferred, if the traveller has time for one only; but in any point of view, either from above or below, it is worth all the cascades and torrents of Switzerland put together : the Staubach, Reichenbach, Pisse Vache, fall of Arpenaz, &c. are rills in comparative appearance. Of the fall of Schaffhausen I cannot speak, not yet having seen it. -(" The stunning sound, the mist, uncertainty, and tremendous depth, bewildered the senses for a time, and the eye had little rest from the impe. tuous and hurrying waters, to search into the mysterious and whitened gulf, which presented, through a cloud of spray, the apparitions, as it were, of rocks and overhanging wond. The wind, however, would sometimes remove for an instant this misty veil, and display such a scene of havoc as appailed the soul." - H. W. Williams.)
Resembling, ’mid the torture of the serne,
Glaciers of bleak Mont Blanc both far and near,
All, save the lone Soracte's height, display'd
If free to choose, I cannot now restore
Awakening without wounding the touch'd heart,
Whose agonies are evils of a day
Old Tiber! through a marble wilderness ?
The drill'd dull lesson, forced down word by word 3
I or the time, place, and qualities of this kind of iris, the maturity. I certainly do not speak on this point from any reader will see a short account, in a note to Manfred. The pique or aversion towards the place of my education. I was fall looks so much like "the hell of waters," that Addison not a slow, though an idle bor; and I beliere no one could, or thought the descent alluded to by the gulf in which Alecto can he, more attached to Harrow than I have always been, plunged into the infernal regions. It is singular enough, that and with reason; - a part of the time passed there was the two of the finest cascades in Europe should be artificial - happiest of my life; and my preceptor, the Rev. Dr. Joseph this of the Velino, and the one at Tivoli. The traveller is Drury, was the best and worthiest friend I ever possessed, strongly recommended to trace the Velino, at least as high as whose warnings I have remembered out too well, dlough too the little lake, called Pie' di Lup. The Reatine territory was
late when I have erred, - and whose counsels I have but the Italian Tempe (Cicer. Epist. ad Attic. xv. lib. iv.), and followed when I have done well or wisely. If ever this im. the ancient naturalists (Plin. Hist. Nat. lib. ii. cap. Ixii.), periect record of my feelings towards him should reach his amongst other beautisnl varieties, remarked the daily rain. eyes, let it remind him of one who never thinks of him but bows of the lake Velinus. A scholar of great name has with gratitude and veneration - of one who would more devoted a treatise to this district alone. See Ald. Manut. de gladly boast of having been his pupil, if, by more closely folReatina Urbe Agroque, ap. Sallengre, Thesaur. tom. 1. p. 773. lowing his injunctions, he could reflect any honour upon his
. In the greater part of Switzerland, the avalanches are instructor. known by the name of lauwine.
*[Lord Byron's prepossession against Horace is not without 3 These stanzas may probably remind the reader of Ensign a parallel. It was not till released from the duty of reading Northerton's remarks: '“ D-n Homo," &c. ; but the reasons Virgil as a task, that Gray could feel himself capable of enfor our dislike are not exactly the same. I wish to express, joying the beauties of that poet. – MOORE.) that we become tired of the task before we can comprehend 5.[* I have been some days in Rome the Wonderful. I am the beauty ; that we learn by rote before we can get by heart; deligliced with Rome. As a whole - ancient and modern, that the freshness is worn away, and the future pleasure and it beats Greece, Constantinople, every thing - at least that I advantage deadened and destroyed, by the didactic antici: have ever seen. But I can't describe, because my first im. pation, at an age when we can neither feel nor understand pressions are always strong and confused, and my memory the power of compositions which it requires an acquaintance selects and reduces them to order, like distance in the land. with life, as well as Latin and Greck, to relish, or to reason scape, and blends them better, although they may he less upon.
For the same reason, we never can be aware of the distinct. I have been on horseback most of the day, all days fulness of some of the finest passages of Shakspeare (“To be, since my arrival. I have been to Albano, its lakes, anul to or not to be," for instance), froin the habit of having them the top of the Alban Mount, and to Frescati, Aricia, &c. hammered into us at cight years olil, as an exercise, not of for the Coliseum, Pantheon, St. Peter's, the Vatican, Palatine, mind, but of memory: so that when we are old enough to &c. &c. - they are quite inconceivable, and must be seen." enjoy them, the taste is gone, and the appetite palled. In some ! Byron Letters, Maj, 1817.] parts of the continent, young persons are taught from nove 6 For a comment on this and the two following stanzas, common authors, and do not read the best classics till their the reader may consult “ilistorical Illustrations," p. i6.