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Blackett the cobbler, is dead, in spite of his rhymes, and is probably one of the instances where death has saved a man from damnation. Yon were the ruin of that poor fellow amongst you: had it not been for his patrons, he might now have been in very good plight, shoe- (not verse-) making; but you have made him immortal with a vengcance; who would think that any body would be such a blockhead as to sin against an express proverb- Ne sutor ultra crepidam!'
'But spare him, ye Critics, his follies are past,
For the Cobbler is come, as he ought, to his last.'
Which two lines, with a scratch under last, to show where the joke lies, I beg that you will prevail on Miss Milbank to have inserted on the tomb of her departed Blackett."]
98.-Page 173, line 42.
How ladies read, and literati laud!
[This was meant for poor Blackett, who was then patronised by A. J. B." (Lady Byron); "but that I did not know, or this would not have been written, at least I think not."-B., 1816.]
99.-Page 174, line 4.
And Capel Lofft declares 'tis quite sublime.
Capel Lofft, Esq., the Mæcenas of shoemakers, and preface-writergeneral to distressed versemen; a kind of gratis accoucheur to those who wish to be delivered of rhyme, but do not know how to bring forth. [Bloomfield owed his first celebrity to the notice of Capel Loft and Thomas Hill, Esquires, who recommended his "Farmer's boy to a publisher, and by their influence attracted attention to its merits. The public sympathy did not rest permanently on the amiable poet, who died in extreme poverty, in 1823.]
100.-Page 174, line 7.
Lo! Burns and Bloomfield, nay, a greater far,
["Read Burns to-day. What would he have been if a patrician ? We should have had more polish-less force-just as much verse, but no immortality-a divorce and a duel or two, the which had he survived, as his potations must have been less spirituous, he might have lived as long as Sheridan, and outlived as much as poor Brinsley."B. Journal, 1813.]
101.-Page 171, line 12.
Bloomfield! why not on brother Nathan too?
See Nathaniel Bloomfield's ode, elegy, or whatever he or any one else chooses to call it, on the enclosures of "Honingtou Green."
102.-Page 174, line 25.
May Moorland weavers boast Pindaric skill,
Vide" Recollections of a Weaver in the Moorlands of Staffordshire.'
103.-Page 174, line 34.
Recall the pleasing memory of the past;
It would be superfluous to recall to the mind of the reader the authors of "The Pleasures of Memory" and "The Pleasures of Hope," the most beautiful didactic poems in our language, if we except Pope's "Essay on Man:" but so many poetasters have started up, that even the names of Campbell and Rogers are become strange.-[Beneath this note Lord Byron scribbled, in 1816,
"Pretty Miss Jaqueline
Like a fierce Mameluke."
"I have been reading," says Lord Byron, in 1813, "Memory again, and Hope together, and retain all my preference of the former. His elegance is really wonderful-there is no such a thing as a vulgar line in his book." In the annotations of 1816, Lord Byron remarks, "Rogers has not fulfilled the promise of his first poems, but has still very great merit."]
104.-Page 175, line 6.
Bear witness Gifford,
Gifford, author of the Baviad and Mæviad, the first satires of the day, and translator of Juvenal.
105.-Page 175, line 6.
Sotheby, translator of Wieland's Oberon and Virgil's Georgics, and author of "Saul," an epic poem.
106.-Page 175, line 6.
Macneil, whose poems are deservedly popular, particularly " Scotland's Scaith," and the "Waes of War," of which ten thousand copies were sold in one month.-[Hector Macneil died in 1818.]
107.- Page 175, line 8.
Why slumbers Gifford? let us ask again.
Mr. Gifford promised publicly that the Baviad and Mæviad should not be his last original works: let him remember, "Mox in reluctantes dracones."-[It was Canning and Frere, in their masterly poem of " New Morality" in the Antijacobin, who had preceded Lord Byron in the flattering interrogation of Mr. Gifford.
"Ah! where is now that promise? why so long
A few months after the appearance of "English Bards" Mr. Gifford became the editor of the Quarterly Review,-which thenceforth occupied most of his time.]
108.-Page 175, line 19.
Unhappy White! while life was in its spring,
Henry Kirke White died at Cambridge, in October 1806, in consequence of too much exertion in the pursuit of studies that would have matured a mind which disease and poverty could not impair, and which death itself destroyed rather than subdued. His poems abound in such beauties as must impress the reader with the liveliest regret that so short a period was allotted to talents, which would have dignified even the sacred functions he was destined to assume.-[In a letter to Mr. Dallas, in 1811, Lord Byron says,-"I am sorry you don't like Harry White; with a great deal of cant, which in him was sincere (indeed it killed him, as you killed Joe Blackett), certes there is poesy and genius. I don't say this on account of my simile and rhymes; but surely he was beyond all the Bloomfields and Blacketts, and their collateral cobblers, whom Lofft and Pratt have or may kidnap from their calling into the service of the trade. Setting aside bigotry, he surely ranks next to Chatterton. It is astonishing how little he was known; and at Cambridge no one thought or heard of such a man till his death rendered all notices useless. For my part, I should have been most proud of such an acquaintance: his very prejudices were respectable."]
109.-Page 175, line 31.
View'd his own feather on the fatal dart.
["That eagle's fate and mine are one,
Which on the shaft that made him die,
Espied a feather of his own
Wherewith he wont to soar on high."-WALLER.]
110.-Page 176, line 5.
This fact in Virtue's name let Crabbe attest;
["I consider Crabbe and Coleridge as the first of these times, in point of power and genius."-B., 1816.]
111.--Page 176, line 7.
And here let Shee and Genius find a place,
Mr. Shee, [afterwards President of the Royal Academy,] author of Rhymes on Art," and "Elements of Art."
112.-Page 176, line 25.
Wright! 'twas thy happy lot at once to view
Walter Rodwell Wright, late consul-general for the Seven Islands, is author of a very beautiful poem, just published: it is entitled "Horæ Ionicæ," and is descriptive of the isles and the adjacent coast of Greece. [Mr. Wright was a friend of Mr. Dallas, who probably recommended the Hore Ionica" to the favour of Lord Byron.]
113.-Page 176, line 29.
And you, associate bards! who snatch'd to light
The translators of the Anthology, Bland and Merivale, have since published separate poems, which evince genius that only requires opportunity to attain eminence.
114.-Page 177, line 10.
False glare attracts, but more offends the eye.
The neglect of the "Botanic Garden" is some proof of returning taste. The scenery is its sole recommendation.
115.-Page 177, line 14.
Seems blessed harmony to Lamb and Lloyd;
Messrs. Lamb and Lloyd, the most ignoble followers of Southey and Co.-[In 1798, Charles Lamb and Charles Lloyd published in conjunction a volume, entitled "Poems in Blank Verse."]
116.-Page 177, line 19.
And thou, too, Scott! resign to minstrels rude
By the bye, I hope that in Mr. Scott's next poem, his hero or heroine will be less addicted to "Gramarye," and more to grammar, than the Lady of the Lay and her bravo, William of Deloraine.
117.-Page 177, line 25.
Let simple Wordsworth chime his childish verse,
118.-Page 177, line 35.
Let Stott, Carlisle, Matilda, and the rest
It may be asked, why I have censured the Earl of Carlisle, my guardian and relative, to whom I dedicated a volume of puerile poems a few years ago?--The guardianship was nominal, at least as far as I have been able to discover; the relationship I cannot help, and am very sorry for it; but as his lordship seemed to forget it on a very essential occasion to me, I shall not burden my memory with the recollection. I do not think that personal differences sanction the unjust condemnation of a brother scribbler; but I see no reason why they should act as a preventive, when the author, noble or ignoble, has, for a series of years, beguiled a "discerning public" (as the advertisements have it) with divers reams of most orthodox, imperial nonsense. Besides, I do not step aside to vituperate the carl: no-his works come fairly in review with those of other patrician literati. If, before I escaped from my teens, I said anything in favour of his lordship's paper books, it was in the way of dutiful dedication, and more from the advice of others than my own judgment, and I seize the first opportunity of pronouncing my sincere recantation. I have heard that some persons conceive me to be under obligations to Lord Carlisle: if so, I shall be most particularly
happy to learn what they are, and when conferred, that they may be duly appreciated and publicly acknowledged. What I have humbly advanced as an opinion on his printed things, I am prepared to support, if necessary, by quotations from elegies, enlogies, odes, episodes, and certain facetious and dainty tragedies bearing his name and mark:"What can ennoble knaves, or fools, or cowards? Alas! not all the blood of all the Howards."
So says Pope. Amen!-[Much too savage, whatever the foundation might be."-B., 1816.]
119.-Page 178, line 25.
And glory, like the phoenix midst her fires,
["The devil take that phoenix! How came it there?"-B., 1816.]
120.-Page 178, line 32.
With rhyme by Hoare,
[The Rev. Charles James Hoare published, in 1808, the "Shipwreck of St. Paul," a Seatonian prize poem.]
121.-Page 178, line 32.
and epic blank by Hoyle:
[The Rev. Charles Hoyle, author of "Exodus," an epic in thirteen books, and several other Seatonian prize poems.]
122.-Page 178, line 34.
Requires no sacred theme to bid us list.
The "Games of Hoyle," well known to the votaries of whist, chess, &c., are not to be superseded by the vagaries of his poetical namesake, whose poem comprised, as expressly stated in the advertisement, all the plagues of Egypt."
123.-Page 179, line 2.
A monthly scribbler of some low lampoon,
["Right enough: this was well deserved, and well laid on."-B., 1816.]
124.-Page 179, line 6.
Himself a living libel on mankind.
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 dece.. degree in his university, it might eventually prove more serviceable than his present salary.-[Mr. Hewson Clarke was also the author of "The Saunterer," and a 'History of the Campaign in Russia."]