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buried in a cross-road, with the usual appurtenances of the stake and mallet, But the minister was an elegant lunatic-a sentimental suicide-he merely cut the “carotid artery," (blessings on their learning!) and lo! the pageant, and the Abbey ! and “the syllables of dolour yelled forth" by the newspapers and the harangue of the Coroner() in a eulogy over the bleeding body of the deceased-(an Anthony worthy of such a Cæsar) — and the nauseous and atrocious cant of a degraded crew of conspirators against all that is sincere and honourable. In his death he was necessarily one of two things by the law()—a felon or a madman -and in either case no great subject for panegyric. (3) In his life he was - what all the world knows, and half of it will feel for years to come, unless his death
11) [Lord Byron seems to have taken his notions of the proceedings of this inquest from Cobbett's Register. What the Coroner really did say was as follows:-“ As a public man, it is impossible for me to weigh his character in any scales that I can hold. In private life I believe the world will admit that a more amiable man could not be found. Whether the important duties of the great office which he held pressed upon his mind, and conduced to the melancholy event which you are assembled to investigate, is a circumstance which, in all probability, never can be discovered. If it should unfortunately appear that there is not sufficient evidence to prove what is generally considered the indication of a disordered mind, I trust that the jury will pay some attention to my humble opinion, which is, that no man can be in his proper senses at the moment he commits so rash an act as self-murder. My opinion is in consonance with every moral sentiment, and the information which the wisest of men have given to the world. The Bible declares that a man clings to nothing so strongly as his own life. I therefore view it as an axiom, and an abstract principle, that a man must necessarily be out of his mind at the moment of destroying himself.” – E.]
(2) I say by the law of the land - the laws of humanity judge more gently; but as the legitimates have always the law in their mouths, let them here make the most of it.
(3) (Upon this passage one of the magazines of the time observes : “ Lord Byron does not appear to have remembered that it is quite possible for an English nobleman to be both (in fact) a felon, and (what in common parlance is called) a madman.”]
66 moral lesson" to the surviving Sejani (1) of Europe. It may at least serve as some consolation to the nations, that their oppressors are not happy, and in some instances judge so justly of their own actions as to anticipate the sentence of mankind. Let us hear no more of this man; and let Ireland remove the ashes of her Grattan from the sanctuary of Westminster. Shall the patriot of humanity repose by the Werther of politics !!!
With regard to the objections which have been made on another score to the already published cantos of this poem, I shall content myself with two quotations from Voltaire:-“ La pudeur s'est enfuite des cæurs, et s'est refugiée sur les lèvres.”....“ Plus les moeurs sont dépravés, plus les expressions deviennent mesurées; on croit regagner en langage ce qu'on a perdu en vertu.”
This is the real fact, as applicable to the degraded and hypocritical mass which leavens the present English generation, and is the only answer they deserve. The hackneyed and lavished title of Blasphemer which, with Radical, Liberal, Jacobin, Reformer, &c. are the changes which the hirelings are daily ringing in the ears of those who will listen — should be welcome to all who recollect on whom it was originally bestowed. Socrates and Jesus Christ were put to
(1) From this number must be excepted Canning. Canning is a genius, almost a universal one, an orator, a wit, a poet, a statesman ; and no man of talent can long pursue the path of his late predecessor, Lord C. If ever man saved his country, Canning can, but will he ? I, for one, hope so.
death publicly as blasphemers, and so have been and may be many who dare to oppose the most notorious abuses of the name of God and the mind of man.
But persecution is not refutation, nor even triumph: the “ wretched infidel," as he is called, is probably happier in his prison than the proudest of his assailants. With his opinions I have nothing to do — they may be right or wrong — but he has suffered for them, and that very suffering for conscience' sake will make more proselytes to deism than the example of heterodox () Prelates to Christianity, suicide statesmen to oppression, or overpensioned homicides to the impious alliance which insults the world with the name of “Holy!” I have no wish to trample on the dishonoured or the dead; but it would be well if the adherents to the classes from whence those persons sprung should abate a little of the cant which is the crying sin of this double-dealing and false-speaking time of selfish spoilers, and but enough for the present.
Pisa, July, 1822.
(1) When Lord Sandwich said " he did not know the difference between orthodoxy and heterodoxy,” Warburton, the bishop, replied, " Orthodoxy, my lord, is my doxy, and heterodoxy is another man's doxy.” A prelate of the present day has discovered, it seems, a third kind of doxy, which has not greatly exalted in the eyes of the elect that which Bentham calls “ Church-of-Englandism.".
DON JUA N.
CANTO THE SIXTH.
6 THERE is a tide in the affairs of men
Which, taken at the flood,"—you know the rest, (“ And most of us have found it now and then ;
At least we think so, though but few have guess'd The moment, till too late come again.
But no doubt every thing is for the bestOf which the surest sign is in the end : When things are at the worst they sometimes mend.
There is a tide in the affairs of women
Which, taken at the flood, leads—God knows where: Those navigators must be able seamen
Whose charts lay down its current to a hair; Not all the reveries of Jacob Behmen (2)
With its strange whirls and eddies can compare: Men with their heads reflect on this and thatBut women with their hearts on heaven knows what!
(1) See Shakspeare, Julius Cæsar, act iv. sc. iii.
(2) [A noted visionary, born near Görlitz, in Upper Lusatia, in 1575, and founder of the sect called Behmenites. He had numerous followers in Germany, and has not been without admirers in England; one of these, the famous William Law, author of the “ Serious Call," edited an edition of his works.]
And yet a headlong, headstrong, downright she,
Young, beautiful, and daring-who would risk A throne, the world, the universe, to be
Beloved in her own way, and rather whisk The stars from out the sky, than not be free
As are the billows when the breeze is briskThough such a she's a devil (if that there be one) Yet she would make full many a Manichean.
Thrones, worlds, et cetera, are so oft upset
By commonest ambition, that when passion O’erthrows the same, we readily forget,
Or at the least forgive, the loving rash one. If Anthony be well remember'd yet,
'Tis not his conquests keep his name in fashion, But Actium, lost for Cleopatra's eyes, Outbalances all Cæsar's victories.
He died at fifty for a queen of forty ;
I wish their years had been fifteen and twenty, For then wealth, kingdoms, worlds are but a sport-I
Remember when, though I had no great plenty Of worlds to lose, yet still, to pay my court, I
Gave what I had -a heart: as the world went, I Gave what was worth a world ; for worlds could never Restore me those pure feelings, gone for ever.