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now but too apparent. Prior to the There are, as will be seen from the year 1709, three only existed in Scot- Index, many other important points land; in the course of last century on which ample and accurate informaninety-eight were introduced ; and tion has been procured. Of these within the present century fifty-one there is one which we own has filled have been added to the number. us with grief and astonishment, and Their introduction seems to have pro- which must serve to lower that tone duced the usual consequences,--the of exultation in which our countryassessments, in some instances, doub- men have hitherto been accustomed to ling themselves in ten years, in others boast, of the universal facilities affordin four. The numbers of the paupers ed to the lower orders of Scotland for have, of course, gone on in similar ra- the acquisition of common and relitios, and the collections at the church- gious education. It now appears from doors are diminished, and in some incontrovertible evidence, that while given up as altogether unproductive. in the Lowland districts of Scotland

Nothing can afford a more decisive there are ample provisions for educaproof of the ruinous tendency of as- tion, there are inany parishes in the sessments than the result of Tables Highlands and Islands where one2d and 3d. From these it appears, third, one-half, and three-fourths of the that the number of poor in those par- inhabitants cannot read; and who, it ishes where assessments are not re- may be almost literally said, have not sorted to, is 2 in the lred; and the gospel preached to them. In the average cost for maintenance of parish, containing 5000 inhabitants, each £3:6:9. While in those par- there are absolutely eleven-twelfths in ishes where the practice of assessment this wretched condition. A Bible is obtains, the number of paupers is 3] even of difficult acquisition to many in the hundred, and the cost of main who can read, and though some fatenance £5, 14s. These facts are in- milies are possessed of one, they have deed important, and their weight is none for their children to take to increased by the universal report of school ;-and this has been, and still the clergy, that in the assessed par- is, the state of extensive districts in ishes the spirit of honest pride and Scotland. While thousands and tens independence, which once characteris- of thousands of pounds are obtained, ed their inhabitants, is rapidly giving from a zealous and religious people, to way to the baneful influence of this carry the Scriptures to every nation ruinous system.

The total number on the earth, thousands of our own of paupers in the 750 parishes is about countrymen are destitute of these in30,000, of whom one-third are males. estimable treasures; and while even There are no instances of forced re- the lowest menial is called upon from moval from one parish to another, and the pulpit to contribute his mite to the expense of litigation is extremely send the gospel of Christ to the Montrifling, amounting, within the last golian Tartars, his brethren of the ten years, to about £1640, of which Hebrides are allowed to remain in sum the assessed parishes are chargeá darkness, utterly destitute of those able with £1230. During the same consolations which the Scriptures alone period, the expense of litigation in can impart. Yet these poor people are England has amounted to about two thirsting for knowledge, and many millions.

affecting instances are given in the ReAlthough the original and chief obm turns, of their anxiety to obtain for ject of the committee was to inquire their children those blessings which into the situation of the poor, they have been denied to themselves. In availed themselves of this favourable more than one remote parish, where opportunity for collecting information the lower orders are so poor as to be on other important subjects relative unable even to send one of every fato the general condition of the lower mily to a distance to be educated, a orders. Thus it is stated, that the subscription is entered into, and some number of blind persons is 745, and clever boyis maintained at school till he of deaf and dumb 542: that there can read the Scriptures ; after which arc 130 savings banks (exclusive of he returns home and repays

the friends Edinburgh and Glasgow), whose funds who had supported him, by teaching are stated at £30,000, and that there their children at his leisure hours, or are 7000 depositors.

by reading during the long nights of pel ;

of the year.

winter to an audience collected from tainments, or unsettled principles. I the adjoining country, many of whom, rely, however, upon the liberality of indeed, come from a distance of se- your professions, and doubt not that veral miles. Without resorting to you will give a place in your pages this expedient, old and young must to my opinion of this great author, be almost entirely ignorant of the gos- although it should chance to be more

for in those remote and stormy different from your own, than, after a regions, the most zealous pastors (and little more serious reflection on your none are to be found more zealous part, I expect it to be. than those in the Islands) cannot ven- The notion which I had long ago ture far from home, during six months formed of Lord Byron's true charac

ter, has lately received confirmation, In stating these facts, we would not more than I ever looked for, from the be understood to convey censure on publication of his Beppo. The basethe Bible Societies. They have not ness of his principles is there repreknown the true state of things, else sented in a manner not indeed more would they have long since directed a open, but, I doubt not, infinitely more portion, and a large one too, of their dangerous, than before ; and I cannot immense funds to objects of such pa- help wondering very much at the conramount importance as those now laid duct of the ingenious critic, who, in before them. Here there can be no the last number of the Edinburgh Redoubt as to the result of their exer- view, entertained us with a little, tions, for the people are imploring lively, flimsy dissertation on ludicrous assistance, and they have the most poetry in general, and with many exunexceptionable assurance of the pro- pressions of admiration for the ease, per management of their bounty in grace, and vivacity of this Venetian the zeal and intelligence of a resident Story, without thinking himself bound and enlightened Clergy, and in the pat- to express a single feeling of indignariotic exertions of the Highland So- tion at the wickedness of those topics cieties. Indeed, after the melancholy on which so much of all this ease, pictures which the returns from many grace, and vivacity has been wasted. Highland parishes present to us, it One should have thought that no Engis not to be expected that any Scot- lishman, who understands so well as tish Bible or Missionary Society will Mr Jeffrey does the value of that pure direct a shilling of their funds to fo- domestic morality on which the public reign objects, till satisfactory assur- prosperity of his country is founded, ances are received that the is

would have failed to think " foul of common and religious education” scorn," that a great English poet in the Highlands, are on a level with should degrade his genius, by writing those of the most favoured Lowland a series of cool sarcasms in ridicule of districts.

the fidelity of English wives. But my business is with the poet, not with

his reviewer; although I think the NOTE TO THE EDITOR,

latter has, on this occasion, laid himEnclosing a Letter to the Author of

self quite as open to a serious rebuke

as the former. If it should seem worth Beppo.

while to honour his misconduct with MR EDITOR,

any more formal notice, I leave that The mode in which the critics of your business to those who have already so Journal have, on all occasions, express- severely chastised him in your Magaed themselves concerning the poetry zine, and rendered both you and it of Lord Byron, convinces me, that they the horror of all the infidels in Edinhave not as yet considered its tenden- burgh, -I mean the German Baron, cy in the same point of view with and Idoloclastes. myself. Borne away by a pardonable enthusiasm in favour of its genius, they have overlooked, for otherwise I do not imagine your correspondents would have failed to condemn, MY LORD, the effect which it is likely to pro- It has for many years been almost duce upon readers of superficial at- impossible that any thing should ine

means

TO THE AUTHOR OF BEPPO.

the man.

crease my contempt for the profes- this was indeed a high and noble ambi. sional critics of this country, otherwise tion, and the envy of kings might have the manner in which these persons been due to its gratification. Such were have conducted themselves towards the proud aspirings that a few years ago your Lordship, would, most certainly, possessed your mind, and your counhave produced that effect. The hy- trymen were eager to believe and to perboles of their sneaking adulation, proclaim the probability of your sucin spite of the far-off disdain with cess. Alas ! my Lord, when you rewhich you seem to regard them, have flect upon what you have done, and probably reached, long ago, the vanity upon what you are,—when you reof the poet, and touched, with a chilling member with what wanton hypocrisy poison, some of the better feelings of you have tortured our feelings, and

I have formed, however, a with what cool contemptuousness you very mistaken opinion of your charac- have insulted our principles,--you canter, if, conscious as you still are of the not scruple to confess, that the people full vigour of youthful genius, you of England have been shamefully can allow yourself to be permanently abused, and are, with justice, disapsatisfied, either with the subjects or pointed. the sources of the commendation which I admire the natural splendour of has been poured upon you. If you your genius as much as the most viofeel not within yourself a strong and lent of your slavish eulogists. I do more tornenting conviction, that as yet you - reverence it ; and I sigh with the have done little more than exhibit to humility of a worshipper, over the dethe world, the melancholy spectacle of gradation of its divinity. The ideas a great spirit, self-embittered, self- which you must have of the true greatwasted, and self-degraded, --if, in your ness of a poet, are, doubtless, very difsolitary moments, there shoot not ferent from those of ordinary mortals. sometimes across your giddy brain, the You have climbed far up among the lightnings of a self-abhorrent and un- crags and precipices of the sacred hill, hypocritical remorse, the progress of and have caught some glimpses of their the mental paralysis has been more glory, who repose amidst the eternal deadly than I had been willing to be- serenity of its majestic summit. It is lieve ;--but even then, a friend of not necessary to tell you by what an Charity and of Virtue may expect a immeasurable space your loftiest flights ready pardon for having hoped too have as yet fallen short of the unseen much, and for having spoken to you soarings of the illustrious dead. You in vain.

know and feel your superiority to the To few men, either in ancient or herd of men ; but the enviable elevain modern times, has been afforded an tion which enables you to look down opening destiny more fortunate than upon them, convinces you at the same yours. Sprung from a long line of time of your inferiority to those, who generous cavaliers, and inheriting from sit together in unapproached greatness, them a name to which no English ear the few peerless spirits, alone among could listen without respect,--and, men and among poets, -HOMER, adding to these, the advantages of a Dante, and the British graceful person and a powerful ge- Distances and distinctions which are nius,—where was that object of wor- lost to weaker and remoter optics are thy ambition which could have ap- seen and penetrated by your more fapeared to be beyond the wishes or the voured eye. Beholding, as you do, hopes of Byron? You chose to build Alps on Alps rising beyond you, even your fame upon poetry, and your choice the gratification of your self-love canwas wise. The names of Marlbo- not prevent you from contemning their rough, Nelson, Chatham, Pitt, Fox, voice, who would extol you as having and Burke,-what, after all, are these already reached the utmost limit of when compared with those of Spenser, ascension. Nor will this contempt for Shakspeare, and Milton? To add their foolish judgment be lessened by another name to the great trio of the consciousness, which I believe you English Poets, and to share the eter- feel, that your progress might have nal sovereignty which these majestic been more worthy of their admiration, spirits exert over the souls of the most had you not clogged your march with free, and the most virtuous of people, needless fetters, and loitered perverse

THREE.

ly beneath difficulties, which, by a perhaps you might have emulated, you bold effort, you might for ever have are but a pigmy among a band of overcome.

giants. One great distinction, howIn spite, then, of the shouts of vuln ever, between you and them, as it gar approbation, you feel, my Lord, a relates not to your art alone, but to solitary and unrevealed conviction, the interests and welfare of those to that you have not as yet done any whom that art addresses itself, a plain thing which can give you a permanent man, who makes no pretensions to the title to being associated with the demi- character of a poet, but who loves and gods of poetry. This conviction, to a venerates the nature of which he is spirit so haughty as yours, must be partaker, hopes he may notice in a few bitterness and wormwood. To others words, without giving just offence it might afford no trivial consolation either to you or your admirers. Your to know, that although, since poetry predecessors, in one word, my Lord, began, scarcely one age has passed have been the friends--you are the which did not suppose itself to be in enemy of your species. You have possession of a first-rate poet, the transferred into the higher departnames of those whose claims to that ments of poetry (or you have at least character the world has ratified, may endeavoured to transfer) that spirit of all be written with a single drop of mockery, misanthropy, and contempt, ink. But you, unless you be a greater which the great bards of elder times hypocrite than even I suppose you, left to preside over the humbler walk have that within which would make of the satirist and the cynic. The you prefer total obscurity to any fame calm respect which these men felt for that falls short of the most splendid. themselves inspired them with sympaBy comparing the nature of your own thetic reverence for their brethren. with that of more glorious produc- They perceived, indeed, the foibles tions,-above all, by observing the and the frailties of humanity, and contrast which your own character they depicted, at least as well as you affords to that of greater poets,--you have ever done, the madness of the may perhaps discover somewhat, both senses and the waywardness of the of the cause of your failures, and of passions ; but they took care to vindithe probable method of retrieving cate the original dignity of their nathem. The compliment which I pay ture, and contrasted their representato your genius, in supposing, that, tions of the vice and weakness, which even under any diversity of circum- they observed in some, with the more stances, you might have become the cheering spectacle of the strength and rival of those master-spirits with whom the virtue, whose stirrings they felt you have as yet been so unworthy of within themselves, and whose workcomparison, is assuredly a great one. ings they contemplated in others, Of all that read my letter, none will conscious of the glorious union of understand its weight so well as you: intellectual grandeur and moral purity none will so readily confess that it within, they pitied the errors of other verges upon extravagance, or be so apt men; but they were not shaken from to accuse of unconscious flattery the their reverence for the general charadmonisher that has bestowed it. acter of man. Instead of raving with

It is not my purpose (for from me demoniacal satisfaction about the to you such a disquisition would be worthlessness of our motives and the absurd) to describe, or to attempt to nothingness of our attainments, they describe, to your Lordship, wherein strove, by shewing us what we might your productions and your spirit differ be and what we had been, to make us from those of the great poets that have what we should be. They drew the preceded you. I am not of the opinion portraits of wrath, jealousy, and haof certain modern sophists, who affect tred, only that we might appreciate to try every thing in poetry by the more justly the kindly feelings which rules of logic. I feel, and so does every these fierce passions expel from the man of common understanding, that rightful possession of our bosoms. if you were born with the elements of They took our nature as it is, but it heroic growth within you, your stature was for the purpose of improving it: has been stunted; and that, when they sung of our miseries and our brought into contact with those whom tumults in noble strains,

“ Not wanting power to mitigate and swage The interest which you have found With solemn touches troubled thoughts, and means to excite for the dismal crea

chace Anguish, and doubt, and fear, and sorrow,

tions of your poetry, is proof abundant and pain,

of the vigour of your genius, but

should afford small consolation to your From mortal or immortal minds."

conscience-stricken mind. You are a With the names of SPENSER, Shake skilful swordsman; but you have made SPEARE, Milton, we associate the use of poisoned weapons, and the idea of our nature in its earthly per- deadliness of your wound gives no adfection, -of love, pure, tender, and dition to your valour. You have done ethereal,-of intellect, serene and con- what greater and better men despised templative,---of virtue, unbending and to do. You have brought yourself sublime. As the Venus, the Apollo, down to the level of that part of our and the Theseus, are to our bodies, erring and corrupted nature, which it the memories of these men are to our was their pride and privilege to banish minds, the symbols and the standards from the recollection and the sympaof beauty and of power. The con- thy of those to whom they spake. In templation of them refines and enno- the great struggle between the good bles those who inherit their language. and the evil principle, you have taken 'The land that has given birth to such the wrong side, and you enjoy the ministers of patriotism and of virtue, worthless popularity of a daring rebel. fears not that the sacred flame should But hope not that the calm judgment expire upon her altars. We are proud of posterity will ratify the hasty hoof England because she produced nours which you have extorted from them, and we shrink from degrada- the passions of your contemporaries. tion, lest their silent manes should Believe me, Men are not upon the reproach us.

whole quite so unprincipled,---nor WoHad it been your destiny to live two men quite so foolish,-nor Virtue so centuries ago, and in the place of these useless, -nor Religion so absurd,--nor illustrious spirits, to form the national Deception so lasting,-nor Hyprocrisy poetry of England, how miserably dif- so triumphant,--as your Lordship has ferent had been, with regard to you been pleased to fancy. A day of terand to themselves, the feelings of your rible retribution will arrive, and the countrymen! In all your writings, punishment inflicted may not improhow little is there whose object it bably consist of things the most unis to make us reverence virtue, or welcome to a poet's view

the scorn love our country! You never teach of many, and the neglect of all. Even us to despise earthly sufferings, in now, among the serious and reflective the hope of eternal happiness. With part of the Men and the Women of respect to all that is best and great, England, your poetry is read, indeed, est in the nature and fate of man, and admired, but you yourself are you preserve not merely a sorrowful, never talked of except with mingled but a sullen silence. Your poetry emotions of anger and pity. With need not have been greatly differ- what pain do the high spirits of your ont from what it is, although you virtuous and heroic ancestors contemhad lived and died in the midst plate the degradation of their descendof a generation of heartless, vicious, ant. Alas ! that the genius which and unbelieving demons. With you, might have ennobled any name, should heroism is lunacy, philosophy folly, have only assisted you to stamp a more virtue a cheat, and religion a bubble. lasting stain upon the pure, the geYour Man is a stern, cruel, jealous, nerous, the patriotic, the English name revengeful, contemptuous, hopeless, of Byron. solitary savage. · Your Woman is a Any other poet might complain with blind, devoted, heedless, beautiful justice, should he see remarks of a minister and victim of lust. The past personal nature mixed up with a is a vain record, and the present a criticism upon his writings. You, fleeting theatre, of misery and mad- my Lord, can scarcely flatter yourself ness: the future one blank of horrid that you have any right to expect such darkness, whereon your mind floats forbearance. If the scrutiny of the and fluctuates in cheerless uncer- world be disagreeable to you, either in tainty, between annihilation and de- its operation or in its effects, you need spair

blame no one but yourself. We were

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