Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

BYRON ON HUNT'S POEMS

2

are gathered together--must be, and as even Johnson was; but, withal, a valuable man, and less vain than success and even the consciousness of preferring "the right to the expedient” might excuse.

(1813, December 1. 'Journal, 1813-1814,"

Vol. II., p. 357.) Your poem [i.e. the Feast of the Poets] I read long ago in the Reflector, and it is not too much to say it is the best “Session” we have, and with a more difficult subject, for we are neither so good nor so bad (taking the best and worst) as the wits of the olden time. . . . You are hardly fair enough to Rogers. Why tea? You might surely have given him supper, if only a sandwich.

(1814, February 9. Letter 403, to Leigh

Hunt, Vol. III., p. 28.)

I send you Hunt, with his Ode [i.e. “Ode for the Spring of 1814 ”]; the thoughts are good, but the expressions buckram except here and there.

(1814 [undated]. Letter 435, to John

Murray, Vol. III., p. 69.)

I have not seen Hunt's sonnets nor descent of Liberty [i.e. The Descent of Liberty, a Masque, composed by Hunt in prison]: he has chosen a pretty place wherein to compose the last.

(1814, September 7. Letter 490, to John

Murray, Vol. III., p. 132.)

Thanks for the Mask; there is not only poetry and thought in the body, but much research and good

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

RIMINI-A DEVILISH GOOD POEM

209

’ray let me have the rest of Rimini. You have

excellent points in that poem--originality and .anism. I will back you as a bard against half fellows on whom you have thrown away much d criticism and eulogy; but don't let your kseller publish in quarto; it is the worst size sible for circulation. I say this on bibliopolical hority. (1815, September October 30. Letter 557,

to Leigh Hunt, Vol. III., p. 242.)

in.

I have written to Mr Lh. Hunt, stating your illingness to treat with him, which, when I saw you,

understood you to be. Terms and time, I leave to iis pleasure and your discernment; but this I will say, that I think it the safest thing you ever engaged

I speak to you as a man of business; were I to talk to you as a reader or a critic, I should say it was a very wonderful and beautiful performance, with just enough of fault to make its beauties more remarked and remarkable.

(1815, November 4. Letter 561, to John

Murray, Vol. III., p. 246.)

Leigh Hunt's poem is a devilish good one-quaint, here and there, but with the substratum of originality, and with poetry about it, that will stand the test. I do not say this because he has inscribed it to me, which I am sorry for, as I should otherwise have begged you to review it in the Edinburgh. It is really deserving of much praise, and a favourable critique in

[ocr errors]

old reading in your prefatory matter. I hope you have not given up your narrative poem, of which I heard you speak as in progress. It rejoices me to hear of the well-doing and regeneration of the Feast, setting aside my own selfish reasons for wishing it success.

(1815, May-June 1. Letter 537, to Leigh

Hunt, Vol. III., p. 200.)

You have excelled yourself—if not all your contemporaries—in the canto [i.e. Story of Rimini, Canto 3) which I have just finished. I think it above the former books; but this is as it should be; it rises with the subject, the conception appears to me perfect, and the execution perhaps as nearly so as verse will admit. There is more originality than I recollect to have seen elsewhere within the same compass, and frequent and great happiness of expression. In short, I must turn to the faults, or what appear to be such to me: these are not many, nor such as may not be easily altered, being almost all verbal ;-and of the same kind as I pretended to point out in the former cantos, viz., occasional quaintness and obscurity, and a kind of a harsh and yet colloquial compounding of epithets, as if to avoid saying common things in a common way; difficile est propriè communia dicere seems at times to have met with in you a literal translator. The Poem as a whole will give you a very high station ; but where is the conclusion? Don't let it cool in the composition !

(1815, October 22. Letter 554, to Leigh

Hunt, Vol. III., p. 226.)

RIMINI-A DEVILISH GOOD POEM

209

Pray let me have the rest of Rimini. You have two excellent points in that poem-originality and Italianism. I will back you as a bard against half the fellows on whom you have thrown away much good criticism and eulogy; but don't let your bookseller publish in quarto; it is the worst size possible for circulation. I say this on bibliopolical authority.

(1815, September October 30. Letter 557,

to Leigh Hunt, Vol. III., p. 242.)

I have written to Mr Lh. Hunt, stating your willingness to treat with him, which, when I saw you, I understood you to be. Terms and time, I leave to his pleasure and your discernment; but this I will say, that I think it the safest thing you ever engaged in. I speak to you as a man of business; were I to talk to you as a reader or a critic, I should say it was a very wonderful and beautiful performance, with just enough of fault to make its beauties more remarked and remarkable.

(1815, November 4. Letter 561, to John

Murray, Vol. III., p. 246.)

Leigh Hunt's

poem

is a devilish good one-quaint, here and there, but with the substratum of originality, and with poetry about it, that will stand the test. I do not say this because he has inscribed it to me, which I am sorry for, as I should otherwise have begged you to review it in the Edinburgh. It is really deserving of much praise, and a favourable critique in

[ocr errors]
« ПредишнаНапред »