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sighted mortals, to maintain and to extend his fame, and to atone for errors in conduct, and levities in composition,who will not grieve that such a race has been shortened, though not always keeping the straight path,—such a light extinguished, though sometimes flaming to dazzle and to bewilder ? One word on this ungrateful subject, ere we quit it
The errors of Lord Byron arose neither from depravity of heart,—for nature had not committed the anomaly of uniting to such extraordinary talents an imperfect moral sense,—nor from feelings dead to the admiration of virtue. No man had ever a kinder heart for sympathy, or a more open hand for the relief of distress ; and no mind was ever more formed for the enthusiastic admiration of noble actions, providing he was convinced that the actors had proceeded on distinterested principles. Lord Byron was totally free from the curse and degradation of literature,—its jealousies, we mean, and its envy. But his won-. derful genius was of a nature which disdained restraint, even when restraint was most wholesome. When at school, the tasks in which he excelled, were those only which he undertook voluntarily ; and his situation as a young man of rank, with strong passions, and in the uncontrolled enjoyment of a considerable fortune, added to that impatience of strictures or coercion which was natural to him. As an author, he refused to plead at the bar of criticism ; as a man, he would not submit to be morally amenable to the tribunal of public opinion. Remonstrances from a friend, of whose intentions and kindness he was secure, had often great weight with im ; but there were few who could venture on a task so difficult. Reproof he endured with impatience, and reproach hardened him in his error; so that he often resembled the gallant war-steed, who rushes forward on the steel, that wounds him.
We are not, however, Byron's apologists, for now, alas ! he needs none.
His excellencies will now be universally acknowledged, and his faults (let us hope and believe) not remembered in his epitaph. It will be recollected what a part he has sustained in British literature since the first appearance of Childe Harold, a space of nearly sixteen years.
There has been no reposing under the shade of his laurels, no living upon the resource of past reputation ; none of that coddling and petty precaution, which little authors call “ taking care of their fame.” Byron let his fame take care of itself. His foot was always in
the arena, his shield hung always in the lists; and although his own gigantic renown increased the difficulty of the strugglesince he could produce nothing, however great, which exceeded the public estimate of his genius—yet he advanced to the honourable contest again and again and again, and came always off with distinction, almost always with complete triumph. As various in composition as Shakspeare himself, he has embraced every topic of human life, and sounded every string on the divine harp, from its slightest to its most powerful and heartastounding tones. There is scarce a passion or a situation, which has escaped his pen ; and he might be drawn, like Garrick, between the Weeping and the Laughing Muse, although his most powerful efforts have certainly been dedicated to Melpomene. His genius seemed as prolific as various. The most prodigal use did not exhaust his powers, nay, seemed rather to increase their vigour. Neither Childe Harold, nor any of the most beautiful of Byron's earlier tales, contain more exquisite morsels of poetry than are to be found scattered through the cantos of Don Juan, amidst verses which the author appears to have thrown off with an effort as spontaneous as that of a tree resigning its leaves to the wind.-But that noble tree will never more bear fruit or blossom! It has been cut down in its strength, and the past is all that remains to us of Byron. We can scarce reconcile ourselves to the idea-scarce think that the voice is silent for ever, which, bursting so often on our ear, was often heard with rapturous admiration, sometimes with regret, but always with the deepest interest.
All that's bright must fade,
The brightest still the fleetest! With a strong feeling of awful sorrow, we take leave of the subject. Death creeps upon our most serious as well as upon our most idle employments; and it is a reflection solemn and gratifying, that he found our Byron in no moment of levity, but contributing his fortune, and hazarding his life, in behalf of a people only endeared to him by their past glories, and as fellow-creatures suffering under the yoke of a heathen oppressor. To have fallen in a crusade for Freedom and Humanity, as in olden times it would have been an atonement for the blackest crimes, may in the present be allowed to expiate greater follies than even exaggerating calumny has propagated against Byron.
CRUELTY TO ANIMALS CONDEMNED_THEIR GOOD AND USEFUL PROPERTIES APPRECIATED.
I would not enter on my list of friends,
bounds, And guiltless of offence, they range the air, Or take their pastime in the spacious field: There they are privileged; and he that hurts Or harms them there is guilty of a wrong, Disturbs the economy of Nature's realm, Who, when she formed, designed them an abode. The sum is this : If man's convenience, health, Or safety, interfere, his rights and claims Are paramount, and must extinguish theirs. Else they are all the meanest things that are As free to live, and to enjoy that life, As God was free to form them at the first, Who, in his sovereign wisdom, made them all. Ye, therefore, who love mercy,
teach To love it too. The spring-time of our years Is soon dishonoured and defiled in most By budding ills, that ask a prudent hand To check them. But, alas ! none sooner shoots, If unrestrained, into luxuriant growth,
Than cruelty, most devilish of them all !
Distinguished much by reason, and still more
NATURAL EQUALITY OF MAN-SLAVERY
wrong and outrage with which earth is filled.
with a bleeding heart