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The dedicatory epistle that begins the more serious and rhetorically elaborate follow-up poem, The Rape of Lucrece, published the next year, suggests that the bid was successful. The association with Southampton had three key consequences. It transformed Shakespeare from jobbing playwright to courtly poet, marked him out as the crossover man who could appeal equally to penny- paying groundlings and powerful courtiers or even the queen herself. Politically, it brought him into the orbit of the earl of Essex, to whom young Southampton was devoted. This would have potentially dangerous consequences a few years later.
The plague of —94 provided an enforced sabbatical after which Shakespeare returned to the theater with a new-minted verbal art. Parents are supposed to die before their children, the old before the young. With plague, it is not always like that. The tragic irony of Romeo and Juliet is that the houses of both Capulet and Montague escape the plague, yet still the children die first. The classical poet Horace made a distinction between negotium social, mercantile, legal, and political transactions, the pursuit of wealth and power , always associated with the great city of Rome, and otium peace, pastoral idleness , found on his country farm.
English Bards, and Scotch Reviewers, by Byron : the-poem
Like a second Rome, London was synonymous with negotium, while the quiet town on the edge of the Forest of Arden represented otium. Plague was a key factor in determining the frequency of those journeys. Mewling and puking Even if you grow up to become the greatest writer the world has ever seen, you begin like every other baby, mewling and puking. But perhaps we should not attach too much significance to the choice of nurse as opposed to mother.
In The Comedy of Errors, when the confusion created by the unrecognized presence of two sets of identical twins becomes so intense that Antipholus of Ephesus is supposed to have gone mad, his wife, Adriana, says I will attend my husband, be his nurse,Diet his sickness, for it is my office,And will have no attorney but myself,And therefore let me have him home with me. In tragedy and history, we hear whispers of sterility and infanticide.
Given that she is a lady and a future queen of Scotland, the image of her doing her own breast-feeding, rather than relying on a wet nurse, is an additional startling detail to set beside the violence. The few babies that do appear—prop dolls, one assumes—are given a hard time.
But Leontes is convinced his wife has been unfaithful to him: This brat is none of mine. It is the issue of Polixenes. Hence with it, and together with the damCommit them to the fire! In the bloody Roman play Titus Andronicus, it looks for a moment as though the black baby born of the clandestine affair between villainous Aaron the Moor and Tamora, queen of Goths and empress of Rome, will also be dispatched at birth.
Is black so base a hue? A little while later, an army of Goths is marching toward Rome. This chap seems to have a taste for architectural ruins. But what is a ruined monastery doing in a play set in ancient Rome? Shakespeare is full of intentional anachronisms whereby the past illuminates the present and vice versa. Winter Mary Shakespeare, born Mary Arden in the village of Wilmcote on the fringes of the Forest of Arden, is pregnant for the third time.
John Shakespeare, her husband, is a busy man. His father had farmed in the village of Snitterfield, but he has moved into the town of Stratford-upon-Avon. His glove business is going well. He deals in wool on the side. And he is making an impression in local government. He weighed the bread and tasted the beer, ensuring the brew was good and wholesome.
Next he became constable. And then burgess, borough councillor. The Gild of the Holy Cross had been at the heart of Stratford life for three hundred years. The guild had maintained the free school and almshouses for the poor. Following the Protestant revolution, purgatory was abolished and prayers for the dead became redundant. The dead were either blessed and safe in heaven or damned and burning in hell, and that was that. And did not the Bible condemn graven images as idolatrous? The walls of the Gild Chapel had been covered in frescoes—there you could see St.
George and the dragon; the murder of Thomas Becket; local saints and English heroes; and, above the arch of the nave, a great cross, the risen Christ, and the Last Judgment, showing the souls of the saved on their way to heaven, the devil and the Seven Deadly Sins taking the damned to the other place, marching them via the primrose path of dalliance to the everlasting bonfire. With a bucket of whitewash, and a two-shilling bill to follow, workmen covered over all these images, obliterating the signs of a shared faith and folk memory.
But the wash of lime blanking out the old world was a thin layer. Scratch away at the surface and the old ways are still visible. Always between two worlds he would be, this poet of double vision. William Shakespeare grew up to become the father of twins and a dramatist who mingled comedy and tragedy, low life and high, prose and verse.
He was a countryman who worked in the city, a teller of English folktales who was equally versed in the mythology of ancient Greece and Rome. His mind and world were poised between Catholicism and Protestantism, old feudal ways and new bourgeois ambitions, rational thinking and visceral instinct, faith and scepticism.
He lived between the two great cataclysms in English history: the break from the universal Roman Catholic Church and the execution of King Charles I. His plays were made possible by the first and helped to create the conditions that brought about the second. That is, the woods of Madeira trembled to a kiss; very much astonished, as well they might be, at such a phenomenon. Bowles, with reference to Pope. Whilst I was writing that publication, in and , Mr. Hobhouse was desirous that I should express our mutual opinion of Pope, and of Mr.
He did it. On reprinting the work, as I put my name to it, I omitted Mr. The lines supplied by Hobhouse are here subjoined:—. Pye has been at him too! I saw some letters of this fellow Jh. Cottle to an unfortunate poetess, whose productions, which the poor woman by no means thought vainly of, he attacked so roughly and bitterly, that I could hardly regret assailing him, even were it unjust, which it is not—for verily he is an ass.
He published a vindication of his work in He was assistant keeper of Mss. After all, the Bard of Sheffield is a man of considerable genius. Wordsworth, and Southey, it is natural to feel some disgust at the undistinguishing voracity which can swallow down these. He is remembered chiefly as the writer of some admirable hymns.
The first four lines of the above, which have been erased, are to be found on p. Lines — appear for the first time in the Fifth Edition. Jeffrey and Moore met at Chalk Farm. The duel was prevented by the interference of the Magistracy; and on examination, the balls of the pistols were found to have evaporated. This incident gave occasion to much waggery in the daily prints. It was first printed in the Fifth Edition:—].
Moore published at the time a disavowal of the statements in the newspapers, as far as regarded himself; and, in justice to him, I mention this circumstance. As I never heard of it before, I cannot state the particulars, and was only made acquainted with the fact very lately. November 4, It was to be apprehended, that the many unhappy criminals executed in the front might have rendered the Edifice more callous. She is said to be of the softer sex, because her delicacy of feeling on this day was truly feminine, though, like most feminine impulses, perhaps a little selfish.
His grandfather purchased Gight, the property which Mrs. This may have been an additional reason for the introduction of his name. Herbert is a translator of Icelandic and other poetry. At the time when Byron was writing his satire, he was M. Hallam is incensed because he is falsely accused, seeing that he never dineth at Holland House. Hallam will tell me who did review it, the real name shall find a place in the text; provided, nevertheless, the said name be of two orthodox musical syllables, and will come into the verse: till then, Hallam must stand for want of a better.
The article in question was written by Dr. Brougham, in No. The article, which appeared in Oct. A Goddess, therefore, has been called for the purpose; and great ought to be the gratitude of Jeffrey, seeing it is the only communication he ever held, or is likely to hold, with anything heavenly. However that may be, we know from good authority, that the manuscripts are submitted to her perusal—no doubt, for correction. He had written some eight or ten popular plays before he was twenty-one. Having made a large fortune, he finally retired from the stage in , and passed the last fifty years of his life in retirement, surviving his fame by more than half a century.
Reynolds, and prominent in his comedies, living and defunct. The text alludes to his endeavour to introduce the language of ordinary life on the stage. Was this worthy of his sire? Norton, and the Duchess of Somerset, was author of several plays. An amusing companion, and a favourite at Court, he was appointed Lieutenant of the Yeomen of the Guard, and examiner of plays by Royal favour, but his reckless mode of life kept him always in difficulties.
Siddons was worth them all put together. George afterwards Sir Lumley Skeffington — According to Capt. Greenwood is, we believe, scene-painter to Drury Lane theatre—as such, Mr. Skeffington is much indebted to him. Angelica Catalani circ. She remained in England for eight years — Her large salary was one of the causes which provoked the O.
A gentleman, with whom I am slightly acquainted, lost in the Argyle Rooms several thousand pounds at Backgammon. A pleasant thing for the wives and daughters of those who are blessed or cursed with such connections, to hear the Billiard—Balls rattling in one room, and the dice in another! That this is the case I myself can testify, as a late unworthy member of an Institution which materially affects the morals of the higher orders, while the lower may not even move to the sound of a tabor and fiddle, without a chance of indictment for riotous behaviour.
It was Billy Way who lost the money. I knew him, and was a subscriber to the Argyle at the time of this event. Greville, who has a small party at his private assembly rooms at the Argyle, will receive from 10 to 12 [p. He was a gallant and successful officer: his faults were the faults of a sailor—as such, Britons will forgive them. Some hireling in the papers forged a tale about an agonized voice, etc. On mentioning the circumstance to Mr. Powell on Feb. Powell of all blame; in this transaction I alone am culpable. He was M. He held a good social position, but his intimate friends were actors and playwrights.
Jordan as Augusta. I must naturally be the last person to be pointed on defects or maladies. It is to be hoped his Lordship will be permitted to bring forward anything for the Stage—except his own tragedies. Line Payne, —7. Lewis, and there were others. See note 1, p. He was brought into notice by S. Miss Milbanke, afterwards Lady Byron, wrote Sept.
I was yesterday in his company for the first time, and was much pleased with his manners and conversation. He is extremely diffident, his deportment is mild, and his countenance animated melancholy and of a satirical turn. His poems certainly display a superior genius and an enlarged mind. Robert Bloomfield was brought up by his elder brothers— Nathaniel a tailor, and George a shoemaker. The author was T. His elegance is really wonderful—there is no such a thing as a vulgar line in his book. His poems abound in such beauties as must impress the reader with the liveliest regret that so short a period was allotted to talents, which would have dignified even the sacred functions he was destined to assume.
His tendency to epilepsy was increased by over-work at Cambridge. It arrests the attention too often, and so prevents the rapidity necessary to pathos. The scenery is its sole recommendation. Lamb and Lloyd, the most ignoble followers of Southey and Co. An estrangement between Coleridge and Lloyd resulted in a quarrel with Lamb, and a drawing together of Lamb, Lloyd, and Southey.
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Besides, I do not step aside to vituperate the earl: no—his works come fairly in review with those of other Patrician Literati. I have heard that some persons conceive me to be under obligations to Lord Carlisle : if so, I shall be most particularly happy to learn what they are, and when conferred, that they may be duly appreciated and publicly acknowledged. What I have humbly advanced as an opinion on his printed things, I am prepared to support, if necessary, by quotations from Elegies, Eulogies, Odes, Episodes, and certain facetious and dainty tragedies bearing his name and mark:—.
The Rev. If this unfortunate young man would exchange the magazines for the mathematics, and endeavour to take a decent degree in his university, it might eventually prove more serviceable than his present salary.
English Bards, and Scotch Reviewers, by Byron
These have since been abundantly scurrilous upon the [town] of Newcastle, his native spot, Mr. Mathias and Anacreon Moore. What these men had done to offend Mr. Hewson Clarke is not known, but surely the town in whose markets he had sold meat, and in whose weekly journal he had written prose deserved better treatment. We recommend the young man to abandon the magazines for mathematics, and to believe that a high degree at Cambridge will be more advantageous, as well as profitable in the end, than his present precarious gleanings.
To the tune of Lachin y gair. In August, iii. There is no reason to doubt the truth of this assertion; the breed is still in high perfection. We see no reason to doubt the truth of this statement, as a large stock of the same breed are to be found there at this day. Lines , , are inserted in MS.
James T. Hodgson George Richards, D. When Byron meditated a tour to India in , Portland declined to write on his behalf to the Directors of the East India Company, and couched his refusal in terms which Byron fancied to be offensive. Fresh from the scenes, he speaks with authority. Gell conveys to the mind of the reader, as for the ability and research the respective works display.
July 14, Byron saw him win his walk against Wood at Newmarket. In July, , Barclay completed his task of walking a thousand miles in a thousand hours, at the rate of one mile in each and every hour. Our St. George is content to draw status with a very different kind of animal.
See Letter to Hodgson, August 6, , and suppressed stanza stanza Ixxxvii. English Bards and Scotch Reviewers. Slave of my thoughts, obedient to my will, Torn from thy parent bird to form a pen, That mighty instrument of little men! What Wits! How frequent is thy use, how small thy praise! Such is the force of Wit! I but not belong To me the arrows of satiric song; The royal vices of our age demand A keener weapon, and a mightier hand. I, too, can scrawl, and once upon a time I poured along the town a flood of rhyme, A schoolboy freak, unworthy praise or blame; I printed—older children do the same.
A man must serve his time to every trade Save Censure—Critics all are ready made. And shall we own such judgment? Time was, ere yet in these degenerate days 15 Ignoble themes obtained mistaken praise, When Sense and Wit with Poesy allied, No fabled Graces, flourished side by side, From the same fount their inspiration drew, And, reared by Taste, bloomed fairer as they grew. Like him great Dryden poured the tide of song, In stream less smooth, indeed, yet doubly strong.
Yet to such times our lingering looks are cast, When taste and reason with those times are past. The Cow-pox, Tractors, Galvanism, and Gas, 19 In turns appear, to make the vulgar stare, Till the swoln bubble bursts—and all is air! Next view in state, proud prancing on his roan, The golden-crested haughty Marmion, Now forging scrolls, now foremost in the fight, Not quite a Felon, yet but half a Knight. The time has been, when yet the Muse was young, When Homer swept the lyre, and Maro sung, An Epic scarce ten centuries could claim, While awe-struck nations hailed the magic name: The work of each immortal Bard appears The single wonder of a thousand years.
Not so with us, though minor Bards, content, xvi On one great work a life of labour spent: With eagle pinion soaring to the skies, Behold the Ballad-monger Southey rise! Immortal Hero! Well might triumphant Genii bear thee hence, Illustrious conqueror of common sense! A bard may chaunt too often and too long: As thou art strong in verse, in mercy, spare! A fourth, alas! Shall gentle Coleridge pass unnoticed here, 37 To turgid ode and tumid stanza dear? If Inspiration should her aid refuse To him who takes a Pixy for a muse, 38 Yet none in lofty numbers can surpass The bard who soars to elegize an ass: So well the subject suits his noble mind, xvii He brays, the Laureate of the long-eared kind.
Grieved to condemn, the Muse must still be just, Nor spare melodious advocates of lust. For thee, translator of the tinsel song, To whom such glittering ornaments belong, Hibernian Strangford! Mend, Strangford! Moravians, rise! Luke, xxiii And boldly pilfers from the Pentateuch; And, undisturbed by conscientious qualms, Perverts the Prophets, and purloins the Psalms.
Where all discoveries jumbled from the flood, Since first the leaky ark reposed in mud, By more or less, are sung in every book, From Captain Noah down to Captain Cook. Nor this alone—but, pausing on the road, The Bard sighs forth a gentle episode, 49 xxx And gravely tells—attend, each beauteous Miss! Another Epic! Who inflicts again More books of blank upon the sons of men? Lines forty thousand, Cantos twenty-five! Condemned to make the books which once he sold.
Oh, Amos Cottle! When thus devoted to poetic dreams, Who will peruse thy prostituted reams? The petrifactions of a plodding brain, That, ere they reach the top, fall lumbering back again. With broken lyre and cheek serenely pale, Lo! Why do the injured unresisting yield The calm possession of their native field? Health to immortal Jeffrey! With hand less mighty, but with heart as black, With voice as willing to decree the rack; Bred in the Courts betimes, though all that law As yet hath taught him is to find a flaw,— Since well instructed in the patriot school To rail at party, though a party tool— Who knows?
Skilled to condemn as to traduce mankind, This cord receive! Heaven preserve his life, To flourish on the fertile shores of Fife, And guard it sacred in its future wars, Since authors sometimes seek the field of Mars! Oh, day disastrous! The Tolbooth felt—for marble sometimes can, On such occasions, feel as much as man— The Tolbooth felt defrauded of his charms, If Jeffrey died, except within her arms: 64 Nay last, not least, on that portentous morn, The sixteenth story, where himself was born, His patrimonial garret, fell to ground, And pale Edina shuddered at the sound: Strewed were the streets around with milk-white reams, Flowed all the Canongate with inky streams; This of his candour seemed the sable dew, That of his valour showed the bloodless hue; And all with justice deemed the two combined The mingled emblems of his mighty mind.
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First in the oat-fed phalanx 65 shall be seen The travelled Thane, Athenian Aberdeen. Known be thy name! Whatever blessing waits a genuine Scot, In double portion swells thy glorious lot; For thee Edina culls her evening sweets, And showers their odours on thy candid sheets, Whose Hue and Fragrance to thy work adhere— This scents its pages, and that gilds its rear. Long, long beneath that hospitable roof xxxvii Shall Grub-street dine, while duns are kept aloof.
Now to the Drama turn—Oh! Have we no living Bard of merit? While poor John Bull, bewildered with the scene, Stares, wondering what the devil it can mean; But as some hands applaud, a venal few! Rather than sleep, why John applauds it too. Such are we now.
Degenerate Britons! Reforming Saints! By whose decrees, our sinful souls to save, No Sunday tankards foam, no barbers shave; And beer undrawn, and beards unmown, display Your holy reverence for the Sabbath-day. Or hail at once the patron and the pile Of vice and folly, Greville and Argyle! Talk not to us, ye starving sons of trade!
As for the smaller fry, who swarm in shoals From silly Hafiz up to simple Bowles , Why should we call them from their dark abode, In Broad St. Yet at their judgment let his Lordship laugh, lii And case his volumes in congenial calf; Yes! With you, ye Druids!
One common Lethe waits each hapless Bard, And, peace be with you! Crispin quits, and cobbles for the Muse, Heavens! Hear, then, ye happy sons of needless trade! Burns and Bloomfield , nay, a greater far, Gifford was born beneath an adverse star, Forsook the labours of a servile state, Stemmed the rude storm, and triumphed over Fate: Then why no more? While punctual beaux reward the grateful notes, And pay for poems—when they pay for coats. To the famed throng now paid the tribute due, lv Neglected Genius!
And thou, melodious Rogers! Are there no fools whose backs demand the scourge? Stalks not gigantic Vice in every street? Nor blaze with guilty glare through future time, Eternal beacons of consummate crime? Arouse thee, Gifford! Yes, she too much indulged thy fond pursuit, She sowed the seeds, but Death has reaped the fruit. Yet let them not to vulgar Wordsworth stoop, The meanest object of the lowly group, Whose verse, of all but childish prattle void, Seems blessed harmony to Lamb and Lloyd : Let them—but hold, my Muse, nor dare to teach A strain far, far beyond thy humble reach: The native genius with their being given Will point the path, and peal their notes to heaven.
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Yet not with thee alone his name should live, But own the vast renown a world can give; Be known, perchance, when Albion is no more, And tell the tale of what she was before; To future times her faded fame recall, And save her glory, though his country fall. Shall hoary Granta call her sable sons, Expert in science, more expert at puns? Shall these approach the Muse?
For me, who, thus unasked, have dared to tell My country, what her sons should know too well, lxxv Zeal for her honour bade me here engage lxxvi The host of idiots that infest her age; No just applause her honoured name shall lose, As first in freedom, dearest to the Muse. Then, hapless Britain! Yet once again, adieu! The Waiter only can escape their lungs.
I shall think of him oft when I buy a new hat; There his works will appear. With hand less mighty, but with heart as black With voice as willing to decree the Rack, With tongue envenomed, with intentions foul The same in name and character and soul. Still less that such should woo the graceful nine; Parnassus was not made for lords and swine.
And hang a calf-skin on those recreant limbs.