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"To do something to instruct, but more to undeceive, the timid and admiring student; -
to excite him to place more confidence in his own strength, and less in the infallibility of
great names;-to help him to emancipate his judgment from the shackles of authority;-to
teach him to distinguish between showy language and sound sense ;-to warn him not to pay
himself with words;-to shew him that what may tickle the ear or dazzle the imagination,
will not always inform the judgment;-to dispose him rather to fast on ignorance than to
feed himself with error."

Fragment on Government.







Printed for the EDITOR, by GEORGE SMALLFIELD :



Monthly Repository.



JANUARY, 1825.

DR. EVANS on LORD BYRON'S Infidelity.

December 20, 1824.
ANY years ago, I published


the Infidelity of EDWARD GIBBON, Esq." Looking over its pages, I am surprised to find that the causes there assigned are applicable to the infidelity of LORD BYRON. The Historian and the Poet were in many respects similarly circumstanced. They lost either one or both their parents at an early period; they came in contact with fanaticism; and, passing much of their time on the Continent, witnessed the disgusting mummeries of Popery. Add also their thirst for fame, which was absolutely inextinguishable. It absorbed every other passion; and, by running counter to what they deemed the religious prejudices of civilized society, they adopted a never-failing means of wafting their names to the ends of the earth. But justice demands that I should mention, one trait in LORD BYRON is not to be found in EDWARD GIBBON -a love of dissipation and profligacy. The Historian was a learned recluse, whilst the Poet was immersed in all the licentiousness of the fashionable world.

"At this period of his life, (1809,)" says his friend Dallas, "his mind was full of bitter discontent. Already satiated with pleasure, and disgusted with those companions who have no other resource, he had resolved on mastering his appetites. He broke up his harams, and he reduced his palate to a diet the most simple and abstemi ous. But the passions of the heart were too mighty; nor did it ever enter

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[Vol. XX.

his mind to overcome them. Resentment, anger and hatred held full sway at that time was in overcharging his over him, and his greatest gratification pen with gall, which flowed in every direction-against individuals, his country, the world, the universe, creation and the Creator! He might have become-he ought to have been-a different creature; and he but too well accounts for the unfortunate bias of his disposition in the following lines: "E'en I, least thinking of a thoughtless throng,

Just skill'd to know the right and choose the wrong,

Freed at that age when Reason's shield is lost,


fight my course through Passion's

countless host,

Whom every path of Pleasure's flowery


Has lured in turn, and all have led astray.'"

of the first-rate talents, moving in the What a deplorable picture of a man highest ranks of society! *

between GIBBON and BYRON in the Another similarity may be traced attempts made to recover them from volence of our natures must excite their infidelity. The common beneings of that compassion which is the pity for their state, besides the workpeculiar offspring of our holy religion.

* LORD BYRON at this time having published his maiden piece, entitled Hours of Idleness, which was roughly handled by the Edinburgh Reviewers, amply resented it by his satire, English Bards and Scotch Reviewers. He, however, now went abroad-returned, and published his Childe Harold, with the success of which he was intoxicated. Soon after, he contracted his unfortunate marriage; left the country for Italy, whence he never meant to come back; and, finally, migrated to Greece, where he died last Easter, in the 37th year of his age. He was on the eve of achieving deeds of glory by assisting the noble-minded Greeks, engaged in throwing off the galling and degrading yoke of the Turks, who for centuries past have proved the disgrace of the Eastern world.

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