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dated Vissalonghi February 23+"1824.
L'univers est une espèce de livre, dont on n'a lu que la première page quand on n'a vu que son pays. J'en ai feuilleté un assez grand nombre, que j'ai trouve également mauvaises. Cet examen ne m'a point été infructueux. Je haissais ma patrie.' Toutes les impertinences des peuples divers, parmi lesquels j'ai vécu, mn'ont reconcilié avec elle. Quand je n'aurais tiré d'autre bénéfice de mes voyages que celui-là, je n'en regretterais ni les frais ni les fatigues.
Childers," &c., is used as more consonant with the
old structure of versification which I have adopted. (TO THE FIRST AND SECOND CANTOS.]
The “ Good Night,” in the beginning of the first The following poem was written, for the most part, canto, was suggested by “ Lord Maxwell's Good amidst the scenes which it attempts to describe. It Night,” in the Border Minstrelsy, edited by Mr. was begun in Albania ; and the parts relative to Spain Scott. and Portugal were composed from the author's ob With the different poems which have been publishserrations in those countries. Thus much it may ed on Spanish subjects, there may be found some be necessary to state for the correctness of the de- slight coincidence in the first part, which treats of the scriptions. The scenes attempted to be sketched are Peninsula, but it can only be casual ; as, with the exin Spain, Portugal, Epirus, Acarnania, and Greece. ception of a few concluding stanzas, the whole of this There, for the present, the poem stops: its reception poem was written in the Levant. will determine whether the author may venture to The stanza of Spenser, according to one of our conduct his readers to the capital of the East, through most successful poets, admits of every variety. Dr. lovia and Phrygia: these two Cantos are merely ex Beattie makes the following observation - Not perimental.
long ago, I began a poem in the style and stanza of A fictitious character is introduced for the sake of Spenser, in which I propose to give full scope to my giving some connection to the piece; which, however, inclination, and be either droll or pathetic, descripmakes no pretensions to regularity. It has been tive or sentimental, tender or satirical, as the humor suggested to me by friends, on whose opinions I set a strikes me ; for, if I mistake not, the measure which high value, that in this fictitions character, “ Childe I have adopted admits equally of all these kinds of Harold," I may incur the suspicion of having intend composition.”3_Strengthened in my opinion by such ed some real personage: this I beg leave, once for all, authority, and by the example of some in the highest to disclaim-Harold is the child of imagination, for order of Italian poets, I shall make no apology for atthe
purpose I have stated. In some very trivial par- tempts at similar variations in the following compositiculars, and those merely local, there might be grounds tion; satisfied that, if they are unsuccessful, their for such a notion ; but in the main points, I should failure must be in the execution rather than in the hope, none whatever.
design, sanctioned by the practice of Ariosto, ThomIt is almost superfluous to mention that the ap- son, and Beattie. pellation “Childe," as “Childe Waters,” “Childe London, February, 1812.
Par M. de Montbron, Paris, 1798. Lord Byron somewhere calls it "an amusing little volume, full of French
? [" Byron, Joannini in Albania. Begun Oct. 31st, 1809. Con cluded Canto 2d, Smyrna, March 28th, 1810. Byron.”-MS)
3 Beattie's Letters.
do more and express less; but he never was intended ADDITION TO THE PREFACE.
as an example, further than to show, that early per
version of mind and morals leads to satiety of past I have now waited till almost all our periodical pleasures and disappointment in new ones, and that journals have distributed their usual portion of criti- even the beauties of nature, and the stimulus of travel, cism. To the justice of the generality of their criti- (except ambition, the most powerful of all excitecisms I have nothing to object; it would ill become ments,) are lost on a soul so constituted, or rather me to quarrel with their very slight degree of censure, misdirected. Had I proceeded with the poem, this when, perhaps, if they had been less kind they had character would have deepened as he drew to the been more candid. Returning, therefore, to all and close ; for the outline which I once meant to fill up each my best thanks for their liberality, on one point for him was, with some exceptions, the sketch of a alono shall I venture an observation. Amongst the modern Timon, perhaps a poetical Zeluco." many objections justly urged to the very indifferent
London, 1813. character of the "vagrant Childe," (whom, notwithstanding many hints to the contrary, I still maintain to be a fictitious personage,) it has been stated, that besides the anachronism, he is very unknightly, as the times of the Knights were times of Love, Honor, and so forth. Now, it so happens that the good old times, when “ l'amour du bon vieux tems, l'amour antique" flourished, were the most profligate of all possiblo centuries. Those who have any doubts on this
TO IANTHE. subject may consult Sainte-Palaye, passim, and more particularly vol. ii. p. 69. The vows of chivalry were Not in those climes where I have late been straying, no better kept than any other vows whatsoever ; and Though Beauty long hath there been matchless the songs of the Troubadours were not more decent, deemid; and certainly were much less refined, than those of Not in thoso visions to the heart displaying Ovid. The * Cours d'amour, parlemens d'amour, ou Forms which it sighs but to have only dream’d, de courtésie et de gentilesse" had much more of love Hath aught like thee in truth or fancy seem'd : than of courtesy or gentleness. See Roland on the Nor, having soen thee, shall I vainly seek same subject with Sainte-Palaye. Whatever other To paint those charms which varied as they beam'dobjection may be urged to that most unamiable per To such as see thee not my words were weak; sonage Childe Harold, he was so far perfectly knight. To those who gaze on thee what language could they ly in his attributes" No waiter, but a knight tem
speak? plar.” By the by, I fear that Sir Tristrem and Sir Lancelot were no better than they should be, although Ah! mayst thou ever be what now thou art, very poetical personages and true knights“ sans peur," Nor unbeseem the promise of thy spring, though not “sans reproche.” If the story of the As fair in form, as warm yet pure in heart, institution of the “ Garter” be not a fable, the knights Love's image upon earth without his wing, of that order have for several centuries borne the badge And guileless beyond Hope's imagining ! of a Countess of Salisbury, of indifferent memory. So And surely she who now so fondly rears much for chivalry. Burke need not havo regretted Thy youth, in thee, thus hourly brightening, that its days are over, though Marie-Antoinette was Beholds the rainbow of her future years, quite as chaste as most of those in whose honors Before whose heavenly hues all sorrow disappears. lances were shivered, and knights unhorsed.
Before the days of Bayard, and down to those of Young Perie of the West !-'tis well for mo Sir Joseph Banks, (the most chaste and celebrated of My years already doubly number thine ; ancient and modern times,) few exceptions will be My loveless eye unmoved may gaze on thee, found to this statement; and I fear a little investiga And safely view thy ripening beauties shine; tion will teach us not to regret these monstrous inum Happy, I no'er shall see them in decline ; meries of the middle ages.
Happier, that while all younger hearts shall bleed, I now leave “ Childe Harold” to live his day, such Mine shall escape the doom thine eyes assign as he is; it had been more agreeable, and certainly To those whose admiration shall succeed, more easy, to have drawn an amiable character. It But mix'd with pangs to Love's even loveliest hours had been easy to varnish over his faults, to make him
1" Qu'on lise dans l'Auteur du roman de Gérard de 4 [It was Dr. Moore's object, in this powerful romance, Roussillon, en Provençal, les détails très-circonstances dans (now unjustly neglected,) to trace the fatal effects resulting lesquels il entre sur la réception faite par le Comte Gérard from a fond mother's unconditional compliance with the à l'ambassadeur du roi Charles; on y verra des particularitas humors and passions of an only child. With high advan. singulières, qui donnent une étrange idée des murs et de tages of person, birih, fortune, and ability, Zeluco is reprela politesse de ces siècles aussi corrompus qu'ignorans." sented as miserable, through every score of life, owing to Memoires sur l'Ancienne Chevalerie, par M. de la Curne de the spirit of unbridled self-indulgence thus painpered in inSainte-Palaye, Paris, 1781, loc, cit.]
fancy.] 2 The Rovers, or the Double Arrangement.--[By Canning 5 [The Lady Charlotte Harley, second daughter of Edand Frere ; first published in the Anti-jacobin, or Weekly ward fifth Larl of Oxford, (now Lady Charlotte Bacon,) in Examiner.)
the autumn of 1812, when these lines were addressed to 3 [In one of his early poems—" Childish Recollections," her, had not completed her eleventh year. Mr. Westall's Lord Byron compares himself to the Athenian misanthrope, portrait of the juvenile beauty, painted at Lord Byron's reof whose bitter apothegms many are upon record, ihough quest, is engraved in " Finden's Illustrations of the Life no authentic particulars of his life have come down to us ; and Works of Lord Byron."]
6 [Peri, the Persian term for a beautiful intermediate “Weary of love, of life, devour'd with spleen, I rest a perfect Timon, not nineteen," &c.)
order of beings, is generally supposed to be another form of 'ir own word Fairy.]
Nor florid prose, nor honey'd lies of rhyme,
Oh! let that eye, which, wild as the Gazelle's,'
To one so young my strain I would commend,
Such is thy name with this my verse intwined;
Such is the most my memory may desire ;
less require ?
CHILDE HAROLD'S PILGRIMAGE.
CANTO THE FIRST.
Childe Harold bask'd him in the noontide sun,
Then loathed he in his native land to dwell,
And spoil'd her goodly lands to gild his waste,
With pleasure drugg'd, he almost long'd for wo, And e'en for change of scene would seek the shades below."
And monks might deem their time was come agen,
Save concubines and carnal companie,
A species of the antelope. “You have the eyes of a 3 [This stanza is not in the original MS.) gaz'le, is considered all over the East as the greatest Curopiment that can be paid to a woman.)
4 (* Childe Buron."--MS.) : The little village of Castri stands partly on the site of (In these stanzas, and indeed throughout his works, we Du sh. Along the path of the mountain, from Chrysso, are must not accept too literally Lord Byron's testiinony against the remains of sepulchres hewn in and from the rock. himself-he took a morbid pleasure in darkening every ** Oze," said the guide, "of a king who broke his neck hunt shadow of his self-portraiture. His interior at Newstead ing." His majesty had certainly chosen the fittest spot for had, no doubt, been, in some points, loose and irregular di an achevement. A little above Castri is a cave, sup- enough ; but it certainly never exhibited any thing of the posei the Pythan, of immense depth; the upper part of it is profuse and Satanic luxury which the language in the text pered, and now a cowhouse. On the other side of Castri inight seem to indicate. In fact, the narrowness of his unds a Greek monastery ; some way above which is the means at the time the verses refer to would alone have preCe the rock, with a range of caverns difficult of ascent, cluded this. His household economy, while he reinamed al aparently leading to ihe interior of the mountain ; at the abbey, is known to have been conducted on a very put to the Corycian Cavern mentioned by Pausanias. moderate scale ; and, besides, his usual companions, though Fornitus part descend the fountain and the “Þews of Cas far from being averse to convivial indulgences, were not We te were sprinkled," says Mr. Hobhouse," with only, as Mr. Moore says, " of habits and tastes ou intel. toisteprar of the immorial rill, and here, if anywhere, should lectual for mere vulgar debauchery," but assuredly, quite Hart les he retic inspiration: we drank deep, too, of the incapable of playing the parts of Matterers and parasites ] i ring but I can answer for myself)- without feeling I berstle or any extraordinary effect.”) i