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causes which were most likely to have drawn my new neigh- less, now knocked me down. The police interfered, bours to this quiet spot. “ Are they,” thought I,“ mem- however, and set me on my legs. I was 'still as bold as bers of Parliament, come here to study what they are to could be. “I charge these two men," said I, “ Tom and say on some important question? Are they lovers, seek Bob, other names unknown, with conspiring the death ing retirement to descant to each other on the charms of of sundry individuals ; and I command you,” I continued, Their mistresses ? Are they husbands, afraid to face their turning to the policemen, “ to carry them before a magiswives ? Are they"-—but all my conjectures were put to trate, when I shall substantiate the charge." At this Bob flight by the first sentence which reached my ear. and Tom affected the most perfect amazement, and treated
“ Well, Tom," said one, your plot is well laid ; but the accusation with the greatest scorn. The mob, howI think you will have some difficulty in disposing of ever, took part with me, the uproar increased, and the Berkley."
policemen carried us all before Sir Richard Birnie. « Oh, not at all," replied Tom; “ I propose sending The appearance of Bob and Tom at Bow Street seemed him to one of the West Indian Islands, and there are too to occasion some surprise, and Sir Richard, who appeared many ways there of stopping a man's breath, for me to be to know them, looked confounded on bearing the report at any loss.”
of the policemen. " Gentlemen," said he, “this is a most “ Is his death absolutely necessary ?" asked the other. extraordinary affair. I scarcely expected to see you before
“ Undoubtedly," answered Tom, “ for you know the me on such an occasion,"_“ You could not expect it less * Duke has sworn that Julia shall never marry Villiers, so than we did," answered Bob.“ It is not to be borne, that long as Berkeley is alive."
gentlemen are to be pelted by a mob, and dragged here, “ Heaven and earth,” thought I," what atrocious vil- like felons, on the bare assertion of a scurvy, half-drunk lains are here! What Duke are they speaking of? What tailor.”—“ I am not a tailor, Master Bob;" I replied; “I • Berkley do they allude to?"-I had no time for farther am an honest maker of saddles.”_"I wish you had learned reflection.
to put them on the right horse,"answered Bob, as bold as " True, true," said the other," he must certainly be brass. “Sir Richard, I presume we may retire ?”_" If to put out of the way; but I think your sending bim to the you let them go, it will be at your own peril,” said I.
West Indies is a clumsy mode of getting rid of him. “ Gentlemen,” said Sir Richard, “have a moment's pa Could you not kill him in a duel ?"
tience, and we shall soon settle this business. You, fellow, “ Nothing could be more easy, my dear Bob,” replied state your charge.”—“ By your leave, Sir Richard, I will Tom; “ bat as I dismissed Spenser to the other world, first say a few words, which will make their consciences with a bullet for his passport, I would rather try another Ay in their face. Hark ye, Master Bob and Master Tom, mode. I think I shall have him murdered by a slave- other names unknown, look at me.”—“Well!" answered driver."
Bob,“ we do look at you, and see nothing but a half“ I cannot consent to that," answered Bob; “ I don't starved wretch, in' a suit of clothes not worth eighteenlike the expedient."
pence."-" If I took'in band certain jobs, and shared the * Like it or not,” said Tom, angrily, “ I am not aware cash like some people," replied I, staring them full in the that it is necessary to ask your consent in the matter." face, " I might have had a better coat on my back. You
“ Did we not agree to do the thing between us, and to take me, Master Bob ?"_“I take you for an insolent divide the cash ?” asked his companion. “ You are in- scoundrel !" said Bob, in a rage. “No more of this," said experienced in these matters, but I have put a good many Sir Richard ; " but 'state distinctly your charge."--" I such jobs through my hands already."
charge them with conspiring the death of a gentleman of Imagine the dismay with which I listened to this the name of Berkeley, and of his most gracious Majesty horrid dialogue! My head swam; my blood ran cold; 1 William the IVth." At this, Bob and Tom stared at crept close to the tree, afraid even to draw my breath. each other, and Sir. Richard looked confounded.
Well, well,” said Tom,“ don't let us fall out about I continued, turning to the culprits, “ I overheard your it; Berkeley shall die some way or other. I am glad murderous schemes ; and, you monster of iniquity! you you think well of the plot. Our employer will surely swore to assassinate the king ! And what harm has be satisfied, seeing there are three Dukes, seven Mar- Berkeley done you, that he should be murdered bya slavequises, and nineteen Earls, engaged in it. The deuce is in driver? You boasted that your plot was well laid ; but con it, if that won't content him !"
fess, ruffians, who are the three Dukes, the seven Mar“ Thunder and lightning !" said I to myself, “it is plain quises, and the nineteen Earls, who are engaged in it ?" that some awful conspiracy is hatching. Is the town to At this, the hardened wretches burst into such a shout be burnt? Is the House of Commons to be blown up?" of laughter as made the roof ring. Peal followed peal;
“ When Berkeley is done for,” continued Bob, “ Vil-though I saw plainly that this was done to gain time to . liers will marry Julia. They will be presented at Court, concert some story to palm upon Sir Richard. At length,
and then comes the grand catastrophe. We there assassi- Master Bot owned that he and his companion had cernate William."
tainly been in St James's Park that night, and that they My brain whirled; I could scarcely credit my senses ; had sat for some time under a tree; but that the converand it was only after pinching my arm that I could be sation I had overheard related entirely to the personages in lieve I was awake. “ Is it possible," thought I, “that these a novel which he and his companion were writing jointly, ruffians could coolly plot the death of our gracious sove and that this was the plot they alluded to! Master Tom, tag reign under the very nose of his palace ? Desperadoes king this hint, chimed in with the story; and they so bamthat they are! 'But the King shall live, and Berkeley boozled Sir Richard, that the good simple man dismissed shall not be murdered by a slave-driver, if I can help it!" the charge, adding a few remarks, so little complimentary They had by this time left the bench, and were walking to me, that I must stand excused for not setting them down. towards town. Fired with indignation, I hastened aster “ Sir Richard," said I, solemnly, “ you are imposed upon ; them, guided by the sound of their footsteps. As there these rogues are too much for you ; but since you are was no creature near to assist me in securing them, I re- pleased to let loose Master Bob and Master Tom, other solved not to attempt it till help was at hand. Step by names unknown, I wash my hands. "_" When your, step I followed them, till they reached Charing-cross, hand is in, you had better wash your face,” remarked when, suddenly springing forward, I seized Bob by the Master Bob; and this was the last I saw of Master Bob collar, and called out - Help, help! they are murderers !" and Master Tom, other names unknown.
A crowd immediately gathered round, and Tom, instead - of running away, stood stock-still. “ I charge you all, - in the king's game," said I," to secure these two despe
rate ruffians !" Bob, who had at first remained motion
eighty-seventh ascent, which he proposes shall take place from Leith ORIGINAL POETRY.
on Monday next. Mr Green was anxious to have gone up, if pos. ble, from Edinburgh, but difficulties occurred, buth on the part de
the Magistrates and the Managers of the Gas Company, which deI DO NOT WEEP!
terred him from making the attempt, at least this season. Every
accommodation having been afforded him at Leith, if the wind and I do not weep that those I love
weather be favourable, there is every probability of the ascent bein, Are parted far from me;
highly interesting. If the wind, howerer, blows from certain arts, I never knew the exile's doom
Mr Green cannot ascend, as he would be driven out to sea. We are To roam beyond the sea ; .
satisfied, however, from his well-known intrepidity, that he will be
anxious to do all in his power to prevent the public from being dis. My early friends, all round me met,
appointed, and we trust that he will not be allowed to leave this pa: Ne'er leave my spirit lone ;
of the island without being sufficiently recompensed for the risk and I dwell 'mong tried and faithful hearts,
expense which he incurs. A balloon ascent is one of the finest sights And yet my tears flow on!
imaginable, and Mr Green, as a brave and ingenious man, deser res
every encouragement in the arduous career he has chosen. I do not weep that Fortune smiles
Chit-CHAT FROM LONDON.--A new exhibition has opened lately
in Leicester Square, called the Udorama. It is on the same plans On other paths than mine ;
the Diorama, and represents some of the most romantic scenery of I never bent the adoring knee
Switzerland, with the effects of sunrise, night, &c. on the mountains At Riches' paltry shrine :
and glaciers. - Cobbett has been lecturing to the London populart A nobler king than wealth has found
on the late French Revolution, and the price of admission to each Within my breast a thronem
lecture is twopence, which is rather a flattering appreciation of its
real value.-Innumerable songs, complimentary of the present King Bright Virtue is my bosom's lord,
and Queen, arę pouring out. Most of the rest on the point of his And yet my tears flow on!
Majesty being a British sailor, and ber Majesty, consequently, the
wise of a sailor.—They are getting up a grand dinner for the Dede I do not weep that youth bas past,
of Wellington at Manchester. Seven hundred are expected to be Like morning dream, away,
present, and the tickets are two guineas.-Moore has gone to Dublin, a
where he has been received with much enthusiasm.-A remarkable That hopes, I nursed in early bud, Have fall'n to drear decay ;
investigation, 'in a case of alleged lunacy, las engaged the attention
of a commission in London. The alleged lunatic is a gentleman o The bloom is still upon my cheek,
the name of Brand, and the exquisite point of singularity in the My spring is scarcely gone;
case, is the said lunatic's conducting his own defence in a strait. All summer smiles before me still,
waistcoat, with great clearness and ability. They have been playing And yet my tears flow ou !
the deuce with an unfortunate editor of a newspaper in Brightoa, who slandered the King in a paragraph,,he is likely to be chassés
out of the town. I weep, because all glorious things
CHIT CHAT FRON GLASGOW.-The Maitland Club of Glasgow is Of earth, and sea, and sky,
very much like the Bannatyne Club of Edinburgh, and admission to In bright and varied loveliness,
it is now equally coveted. It originally consisted of fifty members, Around, above me, lie ;
but it has recently been agreed that twenty additional should be gre And Nature's voice bath ever had
dually admitted. These can only enter in detachments of five at a For me a mournful tone;
time, although the present number of candidates is, at the least, ac
tecn. Her face is all too fair for eyes
of course, there will always be a struggle. The Duke of Sus
sex was admitted the other day: and a ballot shortly after tools Of sin to gaze upon !
place, when four othets were found to have the requisite aumber of
votes. Among these was Mr Tytler, the eininent historian of SeotI weep, because my lot is cast
land, to whose claims several gentlemen waived their pretension 'Mong those who are too kind,
Already the Club has done good service to Scottish antiquities, and Who love me far too tenderly
literature in general, by several of its republications, and it promises
to be still more eminently useful.-Our election agitations are not yet To many an error blind ;
over. So important were the proceedings at Mr Finlay's election And in my heart affection's fount
for he is really our member deemed, even in a general point of view, Flows on too strong and deep
in the political history of Scottish boroughs, that an authentie a For souls whose home must surely be
count of it is to appear under the auspices of your western agentIn heaven and thus I weep!
More dinners threaten our digestion : One to Mr Humę, to do homage to utility-another, of anti-monopolists, to Mr Crawford, the histo
rian of the Indian archipelago.' Both will be well attended.Our Alas! I weep, because I live !
Exhibition Rooms are daily crowded ; yet I fear we must not read And round all earthly things
this as an infallible symptom that a taste for the Fine Arts is as yet A mournful shade is ever cast,
widely diffused among us.--Miss Graddon, or Mrs Gibbs, for really, A weight of sadness clings ;
considering personal appearances, it is wrong to give the lady the upWhen we have pass'd life's fever'd dream,
married-looking title of Miss, draws tolerable houses. She is ples
sant, but the very ideal of a Cockneyish singer, and savours terriAnd wake from death's dark sleep,
bly of the Cobourg-The “ Right Loyal Song" you ushered into With new and purer spirits bless'd,
the world has beeu very popular here. It is sung on the streets, and Then may we cease to weep!
has been parodied in sınall periodicals and elsewhere. One of these GERTRUDE.
parodies I have seen; and as you gave the author's name with the original song, there can be no harm in transcribing a verse of it
for your amusement, as well as for that of Mr Atkinson ;LITERARY CHIT-CHAT AND VARIETIES.
“ God bless our poet Atkinson,
'Tis Tommy that I mean ; THE Arrow and the Rose, with other Poeins, by William Ken
And grant that he may fat-get-soon, nedy, which we announced some time ago, will appear about the end
For he looks wondrous lean : pf October. The principal poem is founded on a traditional story
Upon his hurdies, where he sits, of the love of Henry IVth of France, when a youth of some fifteen
He penn'd a royal feast, summers, for a gardener's daughter, by name Fleurette.
And his heart in expectation beats The Musical Gem for 1831, and Apollo's Gift, or Musical Souve
Of K.C.B. at least. pir, are both in preparation, and will appear in November,
Then bless our poet Atkinson," &c. The 15th Number of the Family Library, just published, is the CHIT-CHAT FROM COCKENZIE.No meeting of the inhabitants, Arst volume of a History of British India, by the Rev. G. R. Gleig-has as yet taken place here to express to the French people their adthe work is to extend to three volumes.
miration of the energy, courage, and moderation which attended We learn thal, in January next, a new Theological Magazine, to their late conduct. Should such a meeting be held, I shall make be couducted by several distinguished divincs of the Episcopal a point of reporting the speeches and resolutions. A rumour was Church, will be commenced in this city.
preralent here last week that Prince Polignac had passed through in AEROSTATION-MR GREEN.- The inhabitants of Edinburgh and the disguise of a Highland shearer, but it is now understood to hate its vicinity are to be gratified with a view of this gallant aeronaut's been totally without foundation.
considerable difficulty ; but I have long had a notion that,
some time or another, it would fall to my lot to perform The Life of Lord Byron. By John Galt, Esq. (Na- beautifully sympathetic with this is the remark by which
it. I approach it, therefore, without apprehension." How tional Library, Vol. I.) London. Colburn and Bentley, 1830.
his critic insinuates the equality of the illustrious trio
mentioned in the following sentence, where we are at a In order to prevent mistakes, it may be as well to say loss to determine whether the parenthesis (“ a man of that the following remarks apply to Mr Galt in his ca- genius himself”) be intended to support the dubious claims pacity of author alone. We have not the honour of his of Galt or Byron :-" Personally acquainted with Lord acquaintance, but from the opinion entertained of him by Byron, a man of genius himself, Galt, like Moore, brings some of our friends, who know him intimately, and are much of previous qualification to the task.”
“ Burst of well able to discern what is in a man, we are prepared to warlike music, enter Tom Thumb!". Much in the same believe, that in his personal character he is at once highly style is Mr Galt's subsequent condescension, in backing, honourable, and capable of conciliating affection, when with his authority, the suspicion entertained by a few " he is i' the vein." Now.
isolated individuals that Shelley was a man of genius :, · The present work has been ushered into the world with as also the patronising lecture, in which he reminds Leigh a most disgusting superabundance of the puff-preliminary. Hunt of the wide difference between him and Lord Byron, From the time of its first announcement, down to that all the while that he is making the identical mistake into of its issuing from its publisher's shop, not a day has past which the object of his advice fell
. The ex-editor of the without our stumbling, in some journal or another, upon Courier placed cosily at Lord Byron's table, and accusing a very suspicious paragraph, stating (as from the Editor) the ex-editor of the Examiner of presumption in daring that Mr Galt was a man of high literary reputation ; or to sit down. communicating to a worshipful public, that Mr Galt, But leaving the consideration of this coxcombry, let us from his intimate acquaintance with Lord Byron, had examine the merits of the author and his book, without reenjoyed opportunities of investigating his Lordship’s pe- ference to adventitious circumstances, however ridiculous. , culiarities, granted to few; or commencing with a cock It has been said that Mr Galt was qualified to write the and a bull story, (in the fashion of the old fairy tales,) Life of Byron, by his high literary talents, and by his inti"When Mr Galt was travelling in Greece," and going on, macy with the noble Lord. Both assertions are, to say the, "ja silly sooth," to tell how he met with a certain no- least of them, incorrect. Mr Galt is perhaps the most indeble poet ;” and one and all of them ending with the cuckoo fatigable writer of the day, but he does not hold a high rank song," Mr Galt is, we are happy to learn, at present in literature. He has tried his band at every thing—plays, engaged writing a Life of Lord Byron for Mr Colburn's travels, criticism, biography, novels. But he drudged on, Natioual Library." We at once acquit Mr Galt of all unnoticed by the public, and laughed at for his pertinasuspicion of accession to this paltry blowing of penny city by his acquaintance, till, by a lucky chance, he hit trumpets. No one, who is in the least acquainted with upon the Ayrshire Legatees. That work (which originthe leading powers in the great system of English book-ally appeared in Blackwood's Magazine) told at once, and selling, can for a moment hesitate to recognise the “ de- deservedly. Mr Galt, whose pen seems to be endowed licate Roman hand,” which waved to the musicians in with the locomotive power of a pair of seven-league boots, token that it was time to begin.
was not slow of following up his successful hit. The . But the joke does not end here. Before copies of the Provost, the Annals of the Parish, Ringan Gilhaize, the work have been issued to the trade, reviews of it appear Entail, and a host of others, appeared in rapid succession. in two journals, notoriously under the thumb (we beg They were warmly received by a pretty numerous pubpardon for the vulgarism) of its publisher, in which Mr lic; although we believe that, from the number and Galt's work is described as “ the eagerly expected vo sameness of these novels, the demand for more is pretty lume;" as " original and striking in its treatment, com well glutted. It is therefore a fact, independent of any plete and satisfactory in its result;" as “clear, vivid, and private opinion we may entertain, that Mr Galt's literary characteristic, free from prejudice on the one hand, or reputation, whatever it be, rests solely upon his novels. partiality on the other ;" as the work of " a singularly We do not, however, from so vague a datum, seek to in. acute and exact observer of the truth, no less in regard to fer what are his peculiar qualifications for his present uncharacter than to fact ;" as " no less eloquent than just;" dertaking-we take the trouble to examine into his works, as “the best existing record of the history of Byron's with a view to ascertain the peculiar characteristics of his mind;" as evincing " good sense, good feeling, and good mind. taste.” After rehearsing such a string of epithets, we The works upon which we rest, as corroborative of the mast stop a moment to draw breath.
outline of his intellectual character which we are now We repeat it, we cannot believe that Mr Galt was ac- about to give, are-bis critical sketch, prefixed to a colcessary to such ridiculous attempts to bring his book into lection of the works of Mackenzie ; bis tragedies; bis fashion. But it must be confessed, that the consequen- novels; his Earthquake, and the present work. Pro. tial strut with which he mounts the stage, and makes his ceeding upon the evidence afforded by these productions, bow to the assembled audience, is in admirable keeping we are of opinion, that in all enquiries of a metaphysical with these preliminaries ;--" My present task is one of nature, Mr Galt has evinced an utter want of that faculty
by which we take cognizance of the acts of the mind. phical error in Mr Galt's work, it is impossible to fix the He seems to be totally destitute of the power of observing date.) The remainder of their intercourse consisted of mental phenomena ; and when obliged to enter into dis- the occasional interchange of the presentation copy of quisitions therewith connected, he uniformly substitutes a work, or of a complimentary letter. The only remark high-sounding expressions for ascertained facts. He has that we make upon this account of the acquaintance be110 feeling of the beautiful : what he mistakes for that tween Lord Byron and his biographer is, that it was sufemotion, is high excitement of any kind. He is not sus- ficient for picking up a few stray anecdotes, but not for ceptible (except in a mere organic way) of the pleasurable fathoming so deep and wayward a character. emotions excited by sounds and colours, or their various There is, however, yet another question, to which none arrangements; or of the peculiarity about virtuous con- of those (be they prophets of the future, or preachers of the duct, by which it leaves upon the mind an impression past) who have as yet made Mr Galt's book the theme of analogous to that resulting from the contemplation of their harangues, have seen fit to advert. Even allowing beautiful objects. These emotions appertain to the mind that Mr Galt had been (and is evident that he was alone, and have no reference to our own personal comfort not) a confidential friend of Lord Byron, the principal or discomfort. But that alone is beautiful in Mr Galt's advantage thence accruing to him in his capacity of bioapprehension of the word, which excites a reaction on grapher, would have been such a knowledge of his habits his physical frame-love, hatred, and the like. He stands and opinions, as would have served the purpose of a touchin the same relation to a person possessed of a tine taste, stone whereby to test the value of anecdotes communithat one whose palate is naturally, or in consequence of cated to bim by third parties. He must still have had dissipated habits, assured against all excitement save that recourse to others for the narrative of that portion of caused by ardent spirits, does to the man capable of dis- Byron's life which was not passed in his company. But, criminating and relishing the inore delicate sorts of wine. situated as he was, the great bulk of his story must have Lastly, in regard to his power of appreciating character, been received at second hand. The question then arises and detecting the delicate ties which link man to man, —whence has he received his information ? To this enhis penetration is in the one instance but skin-deep, and quiry, however, we can return no satisfactory answer; in the other capable of seizing only the most gross and for, except in the case of one or two quotations from Mr palpable links. His delineations of character convey only Moore's work, the citation of a letter from some nameless the external show, without giving any hint of the mind friend, at present resident in Edinburgh, one reference to within. Hence, his power of representing it is confined Mr Hobhousc's authority, one to that of the late Dr to the comparatively narrow range of that class of so- Kennedy, and one or two anecdotes respecting scenes of ciety, which, sufficiently raised above the labourer to have which Mr Galt seems himself to have been an eye-wita feeling of its own importance, stands too low in respect ness, we are left entirely in the dark as to the sources of of education and experience to have its mind expanded his knowledge. This would be a dreadful drawback upon or its manners formed. In other words, his forte lies in any biography; but it presses with double weight upon the description of vulgar characters—of the apes of gen- Mr Galt, for an overwhelming majority of his statements tility, or, at best, of commonplace people. He can draw are verbatim the same with those which have already the provost of a small burgh, or a Glasgow nailer, but it made the round of all the journals, pilfered from that most, is only in so far as their station in society bas superindu- veracious publication, Galignani's Messenger. ced certain peculiarities upon them. Galt, in short, is not Incapacity, want of authentic information, a swaggera Shakspeare, wbo can lay bare to us the deepest feelings ing pretence of knowing more than he does—these are of the soul ; he is merely a clever mimic, who can take off heavy charges against an author ; but we are about to the awkward habits of his friends. A mind thus consti- follow them up with one, in comparison with which they tuted in regard to metaphysical discernment, appreciation are but as dust in the balance. Whether Mr Galt is of the beautiful, and comprehension of character, is far himself conscious of the fact, we know not—the human too low to grapple with such a subject as Byron. mind has a strange power of veiling its unamiable feelings
We now turn to consider the nature of those facilities from itself—but he certainly has composed his book under for prying into the peculiarities of Byron, which have the influence of a strong personal dislike to Lord Byron. been attributed to our author. We take Mr Galt's We prove this by his own words. He speaks, at the one own account of the matter. Towards the end of Au- hundred and seventeenth page, of a “singular scowl, which gust 1809, he sailed from Gibraltar to Malta, and struck me so forcibly when I first saw him, and which Lord Byron and Mr Hobhouse were on board the pack- appears to have made a stronger impression upon me than
The passage was a short one, and Mr Galt only it did upon many others. I nerer, in fact, could orerremained a week on the island after landing. At this come entirely the prejudice of the first impression, although time, therefore, they could not be more than a fortnight I ought to have been gratified by the confidence and in company, and during the whole perind, Lord Byron friendship with which he always appeared disposed to showed an anxiety to avoid contracting any new intima- treat me." This childish and contemptible feeling has
Their next meeting was at Athens, where Mr been exasperated, we have no doubt, by the perusal of a Galt arrived on the 20th February 1810, and whence passage from Lord Byron's Diary, printed in Mr Moore's Lord Byron departed on the 4th of March. At Athens Life, which Mr Galt quotes as a proof of the noble Mr Galt accompanied Lord Byron on one or two excur-poet's "excoriated sensibility;" and which we take, in sions to some of the most remarkable spots in the neigh- conjunction with the paltry attempt which follows his bourhood. About three weeks or a month after Lord notice of it to prove Lord Byron a plagiarist, as the cause Byron's departure, Mr Galt travelled to Smyrna by a and evidence of Galt's batred towards him. circuitous route, and arrived there two or three days be there is a coincidence between the first part of " The fore his Lordship sailed for Constantinople. Mr Galt, Bride' and some story of his, whether published or not, on returning to Athens, found, in October, not Lord I know not, never having seen it. He is almost the last perByron, but (what perhaps was as good for his purpose) son upon whom one would commit any literary larceny." It his valet, Fletcher. During the first winter after Lord appears from the passages we bave just quoted, that Galt Byron returned to England, Mr Galt, we are rather was predisposed to dislike Lord Byron, that they had a disvaguely told, was frequently with him. Mr Galt left pute respecting the original authorship of part of a poem, wwn in the beginning of summer, and did not return and that the biographer has latelydiscovered the withertill the ensuing spring. After this, Mr Galt only saw ing contempt entertained by his hero for bis literary abiLord Byron for a few occasional visits. Their last in lities. The amiable disposition engendered by these conterview seems to bave taken place some time either in curring circumstances speaks out in almost every page. the September or December of 1813, (from a typogra- We cite a few examples. At page 13 Mr Galt says,
" Galt says
“ His school-fellows, many of whom are alive, still recol- by it in the art of detraction.” Whatever charges may lect him as a lively, warm-hearted, and high-spirited boy, be brought against the Liberal, this one at least is unpassionate and resentful, but withal affectionate and com- founded. Mr Galt knows right well that The Vision panionable ; this, however, is an opinion given of him of Judgment, the insertion of which at the head of the after he became celebrated; for a very different impres- first number gives a hollow semblance of foundation to sion has unquestionably remained among some, who carry his charge, was composed, and in the hands of Mr Murtheir recollections back to his childhood.” Which being ray, before the Liberal was started, and consequently could interpreted, means: “ There is conflicting testimony in not be calculated upon by the editors. “ His principles regard to this point, and I, out of the dear love and affec- were objects of jealousy to the Tuscan Government; and tion I bear to the memory of Lord Byron, rather incline it has already been seen, that there was a disorderliness to side with his detractors." The truth is, that to an about the Casa Lanfranchi which attracted the attention unprejudiced mind the accounts are nowise incompatible; of the police.” On turning back to page 215, we find that the one is that of persons who have seen him in all his Lord Byron having been assaulted by a non-commissioned moods; the other that of persons who, having seen him officer of hussars, his domestics rose in defence of their once and away, have encountered him in a fit of passion. master, and that during the scuffle the sergeant-major Again, Mr Galt, wondering that Byron should never was wounded by a pitchfork. The affair was inyestigahave mentioned Malta in bis poems, suggests the follow- ted by the police, and Mr Galt's own remark upon the ing ingenious hypothesis to account for this fact :-" The termination of the enquiry is— “ The result upon these silence of his muse on a topic so rich in romance, per- particulars was not just ; all Lord Byron's Italian servants suades me that there must have been some specific cause were banished from Pisa,” &c. Yet, in a subsequent porfor the omission. If it were nothing in the duel, I should tion of his book, the same gentleman dares to make the 4 be inclined to say, notwithstanding the seeming improbabi- assertion we have quoted above, well knowing that the lity of the notion, that it was owing to some curious modi- generality of readers, retaining but a vague impression fication of vindictive spite. Assuredly he had inet of what they have read, and induenced, moreover, by all with something there which made him resolute to forget the foolish calumnies which have been propagated respectthe place. The question as to what it was, he never an- ing Lord Byron, must necessarily give a most sinister inswered—[was he ever asked ?] The result—[result of terpretation to the " disorderliness about the Casa Lan, what?]-would throw light into the labyrinths of his franchi which attracted the attention of the police." character.” This is the most wanton and gratuitous as. “ Honest, honest Iago !” We could swell these examples sumption of an improper motive that we remember to by at least a round dozen more, but we suspect our readhave met with. The concluding remark is a curious ers bave enough. specimen of a peculiarity of the author's mind to which We have said enough to show that Mr Galt is “almost we shall afterwards advert. “Perhaps——[perhaps !)—the last person” who ought to have undertaken the bioI did him injustice, but I thought he was, in that short graphy of Byron. It only remains to enquire whether space, something changed, and not with improvement. so " experienced a pen" has succeeded in getting up his Towards Mr Hobhouse, he seemed less cordial, and was materials after a workmanlike fashion. Mr Galt takes altogether, I should say, having no better phrase to ex particular care to tell us that his object is to give a “gepress what I describe, more of a Captain Grand than im- neral view of the intellectual character of Lord Byron ;" proved his manners. I never, in the whole course that "it did not accord with his plan to enter into the of my acquaintance, saw him kithe* so unfavourably as details of his private life;" that “it forms no part of the he did on that occasion. It was too evident, that, plan of his work to repeat the gossip and tattle of private without intending any wrong, or any offence, the un- society.” We confess that we do not clearly see how any checked humour of his temper was, by its caprices, cal- person's intellectual character can be represented otherculated to prevent him from ever gaining that regard to wise than by a narrative of his sayings and doings--and which his talents and freer moods, independently of his in the case of Lord Byron, who never was a public charank, ought to have entitled him. Such men become ob- racter, except in his capacity of poet, we do not see jects of solicitude, but never of esteem.” About half a wherein a narrative which shall exclude the details of his page farther on, we find the following passage : “ A letter private life, possibly can differ from a mere criticism of to his mother, written a few days before my arrival at his works. Indeed we have not the least doubt that Mr Smyrna, throws some light on the sources of his un- Galt is entirely of our opinion, and that his disclaimers satisfied state. He appears by it to have been disap- are merely thrown out as an apology for his work's barpointed of letters and remittances from his agent." renness of anecdote, because we see that whenever he And again---" It is easy to conceive that the false dig- gets hold of a new story, however trilling, and of however nity he assumed, and which seemed so like arrogance, doubtful authority it may be, he is sure to introduce it. was the natural effect of the anxiety and embarrass Still, from the poverty of bis materials, he is under ment he suffered, and of the apprehension of a per- the necessity of making his book, in reality not a bioson of his rank being, on account of his remittances, graphy, but a long-running commentary on Byron's exposed to require assistance among strangers.” This is a works, interspersed and enlivened occasionally with little just and natural interpretation; why then does Mr Galt anecdotes of the author, and just as often with anecdotes allow his first inference to remain blackening the charac of the critic himself. We have already discussed the ter of Lord Byron? A solitary instance ( Mr Galt“ never groundwork of Mr Galt's critical character, and shall saw him kithe so unfavourably as on that evening") is now only advert hastily to two of its minor features. not enough to warrant the sweeping charge founded | The first shows itself in his definition of a great poet .upon it; and even this instance is abandoned as untepable, “ The London Gazelle does not tell us things inore like while the accusation is inaliciously left upon record. We facts than the narratives of Homer, and it often states add only two more instances of Mr Galt's liberal and facts that are more like fictions than his most poetical upprejudiced appreciation of Lord Byron's character. inventions. So much is this the case with the works of "There is no disputing the fact, that his lordship, in con- all the higher poets, that as they recede from that world
ceiving the plan of the Liberal,.was actuated by sordid ly standard which is found in the Epics of Homer, they ! motives, and of the basest kind, inasmuch as it was in- sink in the scale of poets.” It is curious to see the per
tended that the popularity of the work should rest upon tinacity with which he persists in trying Byron's poems satire ; or, in other words, on the ability to be displayed by this standard. The poet's works stand high in Mr
Galt's estimation, in proportion as they are exact tran• An English eritie says, this word will puzzle some of Mr Gall's scripts of the persons and scenery described in them. southern, we know it has puzzled some of his northern, readers. Imagination, fancy, passion, go for nothing with him— 'Why, this is affectatious!"