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ty, as our old friend Jeremy very properly denominates it. Sylvanus should have superintended our obituaries. Horace Walpole might have arranged our nicknacks; and Voltaire, who would have been delighted at the idea of writing in our Magazine, might have officiated as our jack of all trades. Our readers will observe we say nothing of the author of Junius. We are above mysteries, but there is a delicacy in this case which restrains us. In fact, to tell the truth, we wrote the book ourself, when our politics and our principles were not properly fixed. We must, however, observe, as a kind of corollary to the preceding, that there is yet another instance in which our modesty has prevented us from coming openly forward, and receiving in our own person the acclamations and plaudits of the world. There is yet another instance in which our possession of Gyges's Ring has procured us the immunities of invisibility. This excusable instance-but no-we will not anticipate, or withdraw the veil-we will leave it to futurity to determine what is this third and greatest claim of Christopher North to pre-eminence in


But we are, in the mean time, digressing entirely from the subject; a mode of writing, to use the phrase of that eminent auctioneer Mr Smirk, "pleasant, but wrong. "We began with Sylvanus, and we have ended with ourselves, a topic certainly inexhaustible. In short, good reader, what champaigne is to homely black strap, are we when compared with our worthy predecessor. Nevertheless, there are times and seasons when plain dishes are grateful to the palate, and, after the flash and glare of our pages, it may not be unamusing to look back at the sober and serious miscellany of Sylvanus, who, good man! takes care hat his guests shall never injure their bealth by interdicted spiceries. We will, therefore, with thy permission, ur gentle friend, just tumble over is coronation volume for the year 1761. And first of all, we must obve, that the poetry is sad stuff. It all of that particular sort which either gods nor men are said to pernit. Tales, Acrostics, Verses to Miss Miss B. and all the Misses in the phabet,-Odes to Narcissa, Næra, Moe, and other names of classical noriety,-Stanzas on the Four Seasons, VOL. X.


appearing as periodically as the seasons themselves,-Epigrams which look as dismal as epitaphs, and songs which seem elegies miscalled, are the ordinary stuff of which the venerable Sylvanus weaves his monthly chaplet of poetical flowers. It must certainly have been a most comfortable and solacing reflection to the young manufacturers of these useful articles, the ingenious youths of sixty years ago, who now, alas! having lost the fire of their younger days, write for the Edinburgh Review, and "My Grandmother," to think that such a good-natured repository was extant, which, like the poors' box in a church, was continually open for the contributions of the well-disposed. But now, indeed, Tempora mutantur et nos mutamur in illis. Editors are grown hard hearted, and constant readers, as well as constant writers, plead in vain. We will not number the hosts of young men, ""smit with the love of poetry and prate," whose hearts we have broken by our repeated refusals, sometimes, indeed, embittered with the shafts of our wit, yet really the number is quite alarming. are not without our fears of awaking some night, like King Richard the Third, to see our victims pass in review before us, upbraiding us with our cruelty. We wish, too, we had not similar cruelties to the fair sex to charge ourselves with; yet such is the melancholy case. It is an ascertained fact, that two sempstresses died within the last month of a decline, into which our neglect of the Odes of the one and the Stanzas of the other had precipitated them. We are accused of being severe; but we assure our readers, that no sooner were we made acquainted with their melancholy situation, than we hobbled out as fast as our gouty limbs allowed us, to be the messenger of glad tidings to them, and offer them, if necessary for their recovery, the long-desired admission. We were, however, too late. "Mr North," said one of them, "your kind attention is unavailing; we are now going fast to the bourne, from which, to use the expression of Shakspeare, no traveller returns; yet, why should we deny it, it would be some consolation to us before we die, to see ourselves in Blackwood's Magazine. We should then have finished our concerns on this side of the grave." Our good readers will believe that we could not refuse

them a request under such circumstances. Even we, albeit unused to the melting mood, were dissolved into tears, when we took leave of these two interesting young creatures. Their parting request it was not in our power to perform. They died, alas! before the 20th of the month, without having that felicity to which they so anxiously looked. All this is very melancholy, we wish we could say it was not very true. We should certainly have immortalized their memory, as we have done that of Sir Daniel Donelly, by a Luctus expressly for the occasion; but the coronation intervening, we thought the expression of sorrow at such a period would have been indecorous and disloyal, and have therefore abandoned the idea. We feel yet the remembrance of this sad event casts a damp upon our spirits, and we will accordingly drop the subject.

We were speaking of Sylvanus and his poetry. It would really have done him good to look into our repository for rejected verse, a heap which has been gradually and prodigiously accumulating for the last four years, and now shews a bulk "like Teneriffe or Atlas unremoved." There would have been matter enough to supply his poetical corner for twenty years, and such matter, too, as the old gentleman would have jumped at. We cannot help observing by the way, that, notwithstanding the great number of Magazines and periodical works, there is yet one desideratum, and that is,a Repository expressly for dull or middling poetry. We are confident it would have a prodigious sale, and we should certainly recommend it as a good speculation to Mr Colburn, or Messrs Taylor and Hessey. It is a thing much wanted. The mighty pent up mass of dullness, to adopt the phrase of that well known resolution of the House of Commons, "has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished." We, of course, never admit any portion of it into our pages. The London Magazine, and the New Monthly, take off a great deal, and the other periodicals still more; yet the part taken has but a very small proportion to the part left. It is like paying off the interest of the national debt, and even those who contribute to its reduction feel it as a tax. We therefore think it absolutely necessary that some public channel should be

devised, through which, as through a common sewer, these bad humours of young and old may meet with an unobstructed passage. Thus shall we see many walk lighter along the streets, who now seem as if pressed and weighed to the earth by some unaccountable internal force of heaviness acting upon them like the night-mare, and, in short, the spirit of cheerfulness, ease, freedom, and self-enjoyment will be diffused through his Majesty's dominions. As an inducement to the happy person who first seizes upon this bright idea which we have here thrown out for the benefit of the world of literature, we hereby promise to set him up with two MSS. poems of Leigh Hunt, some unpublished verses by Lord Byron, and several ditto by our excellent friend the Patriarch Jeremy, who has taken to the writing of poetry in a most extraordinary manner of late, and who now sends us regularly contributions of this description, the postage of which, we are sorry to say, he does not as regularly discharge. Nevertheless, this is excusable enough in an old man like him, whose memory was never of the best.

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But let us now see what the good Sylvanus has got in the way of prose It is but homely stuff, but it is un questionably better than his poetry Yet," Interesting Queries concernin the Dutch," "New Project for inclo sing the Common Land," " Account a Cure for a Cold," "Some Proceed ings in the last Session of Parliament, "Narrative of the Attempt on Be leisle," and "Description of a terrib Shipwreck," are amongst some of t most attracting contents of his Misce lany. These, we have a notion, wou look rather curious by the side of Hour's Tête-a-tête with the Public or the intrepid Standard-bearer's B iana. The story of Almoran and F met would hardly pair well either w the " Ayrshire Legatees," "Steam-Boat." People now-a-d grow sick at the names of Omar, { Abdallah, and Caled, and feel no g desire to traverse the plains of Cir sia, even with a Genius at hand to struct them. Mountains and for now rather pall the stomach, and “ of man" inevitably gives us the pours. The time is past when old men saw visions, and the yo men dreamed dreams. Visions 1 only make us shut our eyes, and dre


set us instantly a-sleeping. That useful class of the community who would dream you a dream of six columns as regularly as the week came on, is now, like the tribe of scriveners, extinct, though, in both cases, the same thing is revived under another denomination. The writers on politics have taken up the falling mantle; and he who wishes to see how the old sect of dreamers are

now employed, need only to look into the Edinburgh Review.

But, after all, Sylvanus must be considered as one of the sages of literature; and we shall be quite satisfied if we are enabled to continue our career as long as he has done, and, throughout the whole period, be regarded with as much uniform respect and esteem by the Gentlemen of England.


MY DEAR NORTH, As I know you have a confounded moral ill will at Byron, and lately threw yourself into a devil of a passion at his racketting boy, Don Juan, I have determined, before you can get the three new Cantos, to put it out of your power, for a month at least, to say one uncivil word on the subjectFor you will not venture to reject any communication of mine; and two articles on the same topic, is what you will never permit in the same number. This afternoon, as I was at dinner, an unknown porter brought me a copy of the book-what bookseller sent it he either would not or could not tell, but I have no doubt, when I get my bill from Murray, I shall find it there. At the sight of Don Juan, I need not say that the dissection of joint and fowl was instantly abandoned, even had I not been seized with the determination to anticipate the severity of your strictures, by immediately sitting down to try if I could get this sketchy critique ff by the post.

In the first place, then, Christopher, I take leave to insist that these three cantos are like all Byron's poems, and, by the way, like every thing else in this world, partly good, and partly bad. In the particular descriptions, they are not quite so naughty as their predecessors; indeed his Lordship has been so pretty and well behaved on the present occasion, that I should not be surprised to hear of the work being detected among the thread-cases, flower-pots, and cheap tracts, that litter the drawing-room tables of some of the best regulated families. But to the work itself. The third canto opens with a reference to the condition in which the hero and Haidée were left at the conclusion of the second.

"Hail, Muse! et cetera. We left Juan sleeping,

Pillow'd upon a fair and happy breast, And watch'd by eyes that never yet knew weeping,

And loved by a young heart, too deeply blest To feel the poison through her spirit creeping,

Or know who rested there; a foe to rest Had soil'd the current of her sinless years, And turn'd her pure heart's purest blood

to tears.

"Oh, Love! what is it in this world of ours Which makes it fatal to be loved? Ah, why

With cypress branches hast thou wreathed thy bowers,

As those who dote on odours pluck the And made thy best interpreter a sigh? flowers,

And place them on their breast-but place to die

Thus the frail beings we would fondly


Are laid within our bosoms but to perish."

This, you must allow, is pretty enough, and not at all objectionable in a moral point of view. I fear, however, that I cannot say so much for what follows; marriage is nojoke, and therefore not a fit subject to joke about; besides, for a married man to be merry on that score, is very like trying to overcome the pangs of the toothache by affecting to laugh.

"Men grow ashamed of being so very fond;
They sometimes also get a little tired,
(But that, of course, is rare,) and then de-

The same things cannot always be ad-
Yet 'tis "so nominated in the bond,”

That both are tied till one shall have expired.

Sad thought! to lose the spouse that was adorning

Our days, and put one's servants into mourning.

Don Juan; Cantos III, IV, and V. London: Printed by Thomas Davison, Whitefriars. 1821.

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ant captures,"

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Crimson as cleft pomegranates, their long tresses,

The gesture which enchants, the eye that speaks,

The innocence which happy childhood

Made quite a picture of these little

So that the philosophical beholder
Sigh'd for their sakes-that they should
e'er grow older."

The father is not at all pleased to see such fatal doings in his absence. "Perhaps you think in stumbling on this feast,

having remained long at sea, it was
supposed he had perished, and she, in
consequence, took possession of all his
treasures, and surendered herself to
the full enjoyment of her lover. The
old gentleman, however, returns, and
landing on a distant part of the island,
walks leisurely towards his home, while
Juan and his daughter are giving a
public breakfast to their friends and
acquaintance. The description of the
fete is executed with equal felicity and
spirit; we think it would be difficult
to match the life and gaiety of the pic-You're wrong.
ture by any thing of the kind in Eng-
lish poetry-perhaps in any other po-

"And further on a group of Grecian girls,
The first and tallest Ker white kerchief

Were strung together like a row of pearls; Link'd hand in hand, and dancing; each too, having

Down her white neck long floating auburn curls

(The least of which would set ten poets raving ;) Their leader sang-and bounded to her


With choral step and voice, the virgin throng.

"And here, assembled cross-legg'd round

their trays,

Small social parties just begun to dine; Pilaus and meats of all sorts met the gaze,

He flew into a passion; and in fact,
There was no mighty reason to be pleased;
Perhaps you prophesy some sudden act.

He was the mildestmanner'd man

That ever scuttled ship, or cut a throat;
With such true breeding of a gentleman,
You never could divine his real thought.



"Advancing to the nearest dinner tray,
Tapping the shoulder of the nighest guest
With a peculiar smile, which, by the way.
Boded no good, whatever it express'd,
He ask'd the meaning of this holiday;
The vinous Greek to whom he had ad

His question, much too merry to divine
The questioner, fill'd up a glass of wine."
And facetiously looking over his shoul
der, said,

"Talking's dry work, and our old mas
ter's dead."

This certainly was not very pleasan

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Over the innocence of that sweet child,
His only shrine of feeling undefiled."

The portrait of this man is one of the best, if not the very best, of all Byron's gloomy portraits. It may be the Corsair grown into an elderly character and a father, but it is equal to the finest heads that ever Michael Angelo, Carrivagio, painted with black and umber.

"He was a man of a strange temperament, Of mild demeanour, though of savage mood,

Moderate in all his habits, and content With temperance in pleasure as in food; Quick to perceive, and strong to bear, and


For something better, if not wholly good;

His country's wrongs, and his despair to save her,

Had stung him from a slave to an enslaver. "The love of power, and rapid gain of


The hardness by long habitude produced, The dangerous life in which he had grown old,

The mercy he had granted oft abused, The sights he was accustom'd to behold, The wild seas, and wild men, with whom

he cruised,

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He waged, in vengeance of her degradation.

"Still o'er his mind the influence of the clime

Shed its Ionian elegance, which show'd Its power unconsciously full many a time,A taste seen in the choice of his abode, A love of music and of scenes sublime,

A pleasure in the gentle stream that flow'd

Past him in crystal, and a joy in flowers, Bedew'd his spirit in his calmer hours."

Lambro, for so it seems he was called, passed, unseen, a private gate, and stood within the hall where his daughter and her lover were at table. This affords the noble poet an opportunity to show his knowledge of a Greek gentleman's house and an Ottoman feast. But the merits of this still life, splendid and true as they are in delineation and colouring, are far inferior to the description of Haidée. "Round her she made an atmosphere of life,

The very air seem'd lighter from her eyes,

They were so soft and beautiful, and rife

With all we can imagine of the skies, And pure as Psyche ere she grew a wifeToo pure even for the purest human


Her overpowering presence made you feel It would not be idolatry to kneel.

"Her eyelashes, though dark as night, were tinged,

(It is the country's custom,) but in vain ; For those large black eyes were so blackly fringed,

And in their native beauty stood avenged: The glossy rebels mock'd the jetty stain, Her nails were touch'd with henna; but again

The power of art was turn'd to nothing, for They could not look more rosy than before. "The henna should be deeply dyed to make

The skin relieved appear more fairly


She had no need of this, day ne'er will break

On mountain tops more heavenly whire than her:

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