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of the seraglio scene , and other places rhymes to “ necessary" in a third ; to which I must decline making any and “had in her” to “ Wladimir" in farther reference.
a fourth. As for the flow of his verse, Alas! poor Lorel Byron! His ori. read the following patches of dull ginality has been often questioned, and prose : he has of late been compelled to admit, that the scissors, or a mental ope “ He died at fifty for a queen of forty ; ration almost as inechanical as scissors I wish their years had been fifteen and work, have stood him in good stead.
twenty, for then wealth, kingdoms, worlds, In this new book of his, he honestly
are but a sport; I remember when, though confesses his obligation to a French
I had no great plenty of worlds to lose, yet
still, to pay my court, I gave what I had description of the siege of Ismail. So
-a heart ;-as the world went I gave far so good. But he has not the cou
what was worth a world; for worlds could rage, or, if you will, the impudence, to
never restore me those pure feelings, gone avow his obligation to another French for ever.” work, which has supplied his warm “ I wonder (although Mars no doubt's colouring. I may as well name the a god I praise) if a man's name in a bullet. book at once—the Chevalier de Fau in may make up for a bullet in his body ? blas. To such of your readers as know I hope this little question is no sin, bethe book, there is no need of making
cause, though I am but a simple noddy, I any observation whatever on its con
think one Shakespeare puts the same tents-to those who do not, I may just
thought in the mouth of some one in his mention that the meritorious Mr Ben
plays so doating, which many people pass
for wits by quoting.” bow has suffered an accident before the courts of Westminster for being so Stop here for a moment, Christoliberal as to republish it. Now, from pher, just to admire the style in which this filthy work, which I am really al- “one Shakespeare," and his “ doating most ashamed for having mentioned, plays," are mentioned by this worshipare all the striking situations of Don per of Pope; and then go on to the folJuan taken-for instance, the very in- lowing: cident in the seraglio, &c. &c. &c. It “Perceiving then no more the commandis, however, fair to say, that Byron ant of his own corps, nor even the corps, adopts here and there the filthy inci- which had quite disappeared—the Gods dents, and, almost throughout, the know how ! (I can't account for everyfilthy tone, of Faublas, without, in any thing which may look bad in history ; but one passage, (I mean of these three we at least may grant it was not marvellous new cantos,) rivalling the sparkle of that a mere lad, in search of glory, should Louvet's wit-far less the elegance of
S the legance of look on before, nor care a pinch of snuff Louvet's language.
about his corps.") Talking of language, it is indeed Read these morceaus, (they are luce clarius that Lord B.'s residence in three veritable stanzas of Don Juan,) Italy has been much too long pro- and doubt, if you can, that Byron has tracted. He has positively lost his ear, staid away rather too long, and that, not only for the harmony of English if he means to write more English, it verse, but for the very jingle of Eng- is high time he were back in England, lish rhymes. He makes will rhyme to to hear the language spoken. It is very will in stanza 33 of Canto VI. “ Pa- good of him to give alms to any poor tience" is the rhyme to“ fresh ones” Cockney he finds at sea abroad, within another place. “ John Murray” out a tester in his fob—but hence
“ Methinks these are the most tremendous words,
Since • Menè, Menè, Tekel,' and “Upharsin,'
Heaven help me! I'm but little of a parson :
Severe, sublime; the Prophet wrote no farce on
forth he must actually guard against and “ STRAW," like the immortal allowing them to utter any of their Leigh Rex himself? Just imagine gibberish in his hearing. If he goes him already sunk to beginning a on in such culpable, however amiable, stanza, with such a line as " But Juan weaknesses, why, who shall swear was quite 'A BROTH OF A BOY!!!"" that he won't come in time to rhy- of the wit of these Cantos, deign ming “ Morn,” and “ Fawn," like to accept this one sample. The pasBarry Cornwall-" Dear” and “ Cy- sage occurs in the description of Sutherea," like John Keats or “ FOR" warrow's host.
“ Then there were foreigners of much renown,
Of various nations, and all volunteers;
But wishing to be one day brigadiers;
A pleasant thing to young men at their years.
Jack Thomson and Bill Thomson ;-all the rest
Had been called 'Jemmy,' after the great bard;
But such a godfather's as good a card.
Amongst them all, hard blows to inflict or ward,
The rest were Jacks and Gills, and Wills and Bills;
But when I've added that the elder Jack Smith
And that his father was an honest blacksmith,
Three lines of the despatch in taking 'Schmacksmith,'
“ A habit rather blameable, which is
That of despising those we combat with,
The cause of killing Tchitchitzkoff and Smith;
Out of those nineteen who late rhymed to pith ;'
And then to crown the whole, take the stanza that immediately follows this about “ Tchitchitzkoff and Smith.”
“ The Russian batteries were incomplete,
Because they were constructed in a hurry;
And throws a cloud o'er Longman and John Murray,
As they who print them think is necessary,
These are the mumblings of a man, I am almost ashamed to think of mywhose impressions of Joseph Miller self tacking the mention of such conhave been weakened by long absence! temptible trash to a notice, however Never was such poor, poor stuff and hasty and imperfect, of such a work
as the Quarterly Review. Southey, plete as the recent fall of Lord Byron's Gifford, &c. have their faults-above literary name. I don't mean to inall, they have their affectations-but, sinuate that people of taste think less Heaven preserve us ! what a plunge it highly now, than they did five, six, is from their worst to the best that seven, or eight years ago, of the geeven Lord Byron seems capable of nius of Byron, in his true works of giving us since his conjunction with genius. But what I mean to say is these deluded drivellers of Cockaigne! this, that his name can no more sell There we have at least strong English a book now, than Jeremy Bentham's. prejudices delivered in the strong clear Christian, for instance, did not sell a language of England! Here, what bit better than any new poem of Mr have we got? Stupid French books Milman's, or Mrs Hemans's, would do translated, not into stupid English, and this continuation of Don Juan butinto stupid Cockneyeze-wit, that is obliged to be sold for a shilling, won't make the Duke of Sussex him- and is very moderately taken off even self chuckle - verse, that Charles at that rate, although, of course, it has Young himself could not read, so as all the advantage of being believed to to produce anything like the effect of be a licentious thing. Never, to be musical cadence-jests, that even the sure, was a more egregious tumble. Laureate will not feel-in short, to If it were only to check the joy which say all that can be said a book which, must prevail in a certain quarter, though written by Lord Byron, is (which I need not name,) if this goes published by, without elevating the on-Lord Byron ought really to pull brotherhood of, the Hunts !
up, and make at least one more exerI do not mean to say that there are tion worthy of himself, and of the orinot some half-dozen or two of stanzas ginal expectations of a reading public, not quite unworthy of the better days that has unwillingly deserted, and of Lord Byron. There are. But I that would most gladly return to him, have already occupied far too many of even after all that has happened. your columns with a production which, I do not believe Lord Byron to be with fewer exceptions than anything a bad man- I mean a deliberately, rethat has been published this year, (save solvedly wicked man. I know him to only perhaps the Liber Amoris, by be a man of great original power and any man of the least pretension and genius, and, from report, I know him talent of any kind, appears deserving to be a kind friend where his friendof sovereign and universal neglect ship is wanted. I cannot consent to “CHRISTIAN, OR THE ISLAND,” con- despair of Lord Byron—but as to his tained two pages, and just two of By- late publications, he may depend upronian Poetry-all the rest was mere on it, they are received by the people translation, and generally feeble trans- of Britain“ with as much coldness and lation. This contains po passage equal indifference,” (to use an expression to the two I allude to in Christian in one of Cobbett's late Registers,) none whatever It contains nothing “as if they were as many ballads from that the moment it is read makes Grub Street, or plays from Lord John everybody exclaim,“ Well, say what Russel.”-He must adopt an entire you please of the book-but here is a change of system, or give the thing stanza which no living man but Lord up altogether. So thinks sincerely, Byron could have written." There is and in the spirit of kindness and of nothing of this class here—there was regret, much more than in any other in the worst of the preceding cantos; spirit, and, in one word, Don Juan appears,
Yours ever, like Lord Byron himself, to be getting
Dear Christopher, into his dotage before his time.
T. T. I don't remember anything so com
THE INHABITED WELL.
From the Hindoostanee. The name of Mahummud, as the founder of a false religion, is familiar to every one; and, in this view, his history has been studied, and his impostures exposed by philosophers and divines. But it has been, perhaps, less remarked, that, among the vulgar of those nations where his religion is professed, he is better known as the hero of a series of romantic tales, as the King Arthur, in short, of eastern chivalry, than as the saint or lawgiver. His friends and companions (ushab) are exactly the knights of his round-table ; and their common exploits have been the subject of as much rugged rhyme as those of the champions of Christendom. The Koran, which contains what is really known concerning Mahummud, never having been profaned by translation, has left room, among his ignorant followers, for a plentiful crop of romance; and of this circumstance the ballad-chroniclers of the East have not omitted to take due advantage. Every exploit of which the actor was a name, either obsolete or unknown, has found a ready hero in this favourite of their devotion; and many a pearl which glittered of old in the romantic diadems of Rustam, Secunder, or the forgotten heroes of Ind, has been translated to a situation where it may shine to more advantage in the tiara of Mahummud. Some of these gems, it must be confessed, are but “ barbaric pearl ;” but many appear to be really interesting, and will bear a comparison with anything of the same kind in European literature. The following is one which has frequently amused me, and which I translated from a manuscript given me by an old Moollah from Surat; the story is familiar to the Indian Mussulmans, and perhaps also to those of other countries.
There are many passages in this, as in other specimens of Oriental narrative, whose extravagance at once startles a European imagination out of the dream of reality which more gentle management might have prolonged to the end of the fiction. Most of these, as they are not necessary to the general outline of the story, I have retrenched or changed; the rest, without much violating the better regulations of European literature, will still give a sufficient specimen of what is required from the poets of Hindoostan* to gratify the wild taste of their countrymen.
SHAGIRD. THE INHABITED WELL.
PART I. When mid-day's fierce and cloudless sun From dawn till noon their march had sped, Ilumed the desert's sand,
Beneath the scorching sun; Mahummud pitch'd his spreading tents, For April's fresh'ning spring was pass'd, To rest his wearied band.
The summer's drought begun.
• It may amuse some readers to trace similarities between languages so remote as the Hindoostanee and vulgar Scots. The following are a few of the more striking coincidences : Scots.
Hindoostanee. Gird, a hoop.
Gird, round, circle. Sing, to singe.
Sengna, lo toast (bread.) Peery, a boy's top.
Phira, anything whirled round. Bannock, a toasted cake.
Bhonna, to toast. Huff, pet, anger.
Khuffa, angry, vexed. Hallukit, frolicsome, light-witted.
Huluka, light; wed, wit. To Job, to pierce, to prick.
Chobna, to prick. Swatch, a specimen.
Suratchna, to try, to prove. Ne funk, (a term used by children at mar Ne phenko, don't fling.
bles) no flinging, Goose, a tailor's smoothing iron.
Ghusna, to rub, to smooth. Poh, get out.
Po, imperative of Pona, to go. Glaut, mud.
Gilawu, mud. Flobby, portly, fat.
And faint with thirst, the straggling bands “And go, thy lurking friends recal,
Where'er they flee to hide;
Before my presence guide.” Each gasping wanderer faint return'd, “My people's haunts,” the man replied, His comrades' hopes to damp;
“May scarce be quickly found ; And raging thirst despairing burn'd They fled distress'd, when far they heard Through all the restless camp.
Thine host's approaching sound. Mahummud heard the wailing voice “ An hundred years my days have pass'd That mid his followers grew :
Amid this lonely wild, “Go, Ali, friend beloved," he cried, And these the gods, and this the faith, “ Go thou, the search renew.
· My fathers taught their child. " Thy fleet Duldul will bear thee swift, “More aged still, my hoary wife The region far to spy ;
Twice sixty years has seen; Some fountain hid, some cavern moist, Her wisdom o'er the wilds of life, May meet thy faithful eye.”
My guidance still has been.