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all authors to live in solitude, and exhorting them to conduct themselves as unlike men of sense as possible.
"Then we meet with these authors, and find them men of the world, conversant with its modes, favourites in its fashionable societies; pleasant companions, and putting a full value in conformity to its habits." p. 71.
Courting the fashionable, and living with the gay!" p. 80.
He, therefore, who can absolutely accommodate himself to the petty manners of the world, gives a proof that he is not a great genius. He may assume the tone of deep pathos in his writings; but it is all factitious." pp. 79, 80.
"Great poets have often spent their days alone, remote from the capital, and from the society of authors; and Milton seems to have mixed scarce at all with cotemporary wits." p. 16.
"I never yet saw, nor have read, any full and authentic account of any one of great literary genius, who had not intense sensibility, or who was entire master of himself." p. 79.
"Wordsworth does not run after the great, ply for the praises of reviews, write down to the taste of the mob for lucre; nor, while he is setting forth the beauties of nature, find enjoyment only in crowded cities, in dinners, drawing rooms, and theatres! He unites philosophy with poetry, and tises the stern and simple morals which he inculcates!" pp. 83, 84. Sir E. appears to think that people spend their whole lives at balls and routs but this we beg leave to assure him is not the case. We do not see why a poet who figures in a quadrille in the evening, should for that reason be considered unfit for writing a stanza in the morning. Indeed, all experience and biography (of which Sir E. says he is such a diligent reader) are against him. The best writers of all ages and nations have spent their lives in the very heart and current of society. To quote only English names, Chaucer, Spenser, Bacon, Dryden, Pope, Swift, were all men living in London and about court: and Milton (Sir E.'s exception) was a Secretary of State! Great writers too have always been men of the greatest good sense-and Horace's axiom is as true when applied to English authors, as to those of his own time. Lord Byron, Sir E.'s idol, lived in the midst of fashionable society: if he had not, could he have written Don Juan? As to Wordsworth, we deny all that Sir E. says. If he did not court the great, how did he get his stamp distributorship? Wordsworth is a man of genius: but is it not likely that he would have written better poetry if he had mixed like other men of genius in society?
Sir E., as we have said, is a great enemy to the payment of authors. We protest entirely against this, both on the ground of precedent and common sense. Authors are paid for the talent and time which they choose to employ in producing books, instead of employing these in painting, or agriculture, or any thing else, which would otherwise produce them money. Is the Stafford family debased by receiving money for canal carriages,-the Russell for fruit and cabbage stalls,-the Grosvenor for brick houses? Sir E. will not say this, but he says
"I consider him who prostitutes his mind for lucre to be far more criminal, more base, and more contemptible than the unhappy female who sells her person for a subsistence." pp. 10, 11.
"Authors now write principally for money, and that is far meaner than the vain desire of distinction. To write for money must debase the mind; because then an author becomes a slave to the opinions of the mob, and to the popular taste." pp. 55, 56.
"As literature is become a mercenary profession, authors write only for sale and lucre." p. 15.
"We have some English authors who partake something of the school of Madame de Genlis; such as Miss Edgeworth; but they have not her liveliness, her genius, nor her literature. A trite, dull, moral lesson, taught in the shape of a technical fiction, is time consumed in reading, which, while it is all labour unmixed with pleasure, produces no fruit. Such authors, however, if they will not be read by posterity, have at least a more solid rewardthe money in hand!! They who write for lucre, must necessarily write for the dull and ignorant!" p. 76.
Does Sir E. imagine that good authors, from Homer down to our own time, have ever written gratis? If so, he is completely deceived, and lamentably ignorant of his favourite "biography." All good authors have always, and justly, made money by their works-and Lord Byron enriched a poor title by his poems. Sir Egerton, we believe, gives his books away but would he do this if any bookseller would buy them? There is an example of this in Shakspeare, which is very edifying. Sir Coleville of the Dale gives himself away gratis to Falstaff, who says, "I know not how the rest sold themselves; but thou, like a good fellow, gavest thyself away gratis-and I thank thee for thee!" So might Sir E.'s bookseller say-though we do not think he has any reason to "thank Sir E. for him."
As we have again alluded to Lord Byron, we may as well mention that Sir Egerton is haunted by a notion of his lordship's having been basely traduced after his death. "On Lord Byron's death," says he, "I said, the cowards will now come forward to insult the dead lion!" &c. "Well done, most forcible Feeble!" But you are a little wrong, notwithstanding. There was not one review or magazine, Whig or Tory, which did not sound his praises as soon as he was no more. Indeed, since his death, we do not know where there is half so much abuse of Lord Byron's character and poetry to be found, as, between pages 57 and 70 of Sir E.'s own Note Book.
We are tired of quoting this stupid pamphlet-but we must extract one curious paragraph more:—
"I have dedicated a long and unrewarded life to literature. I began early; and I have gone on through good and through evil report: and have been enabled to do so, because I loved the pursuit intensely for itself; and not for its worldly advantages. I know that the way to be successful in life is to boast; and not to be querulous!-Mankind always shun the unfortunate! my opinions are not formed in the fashion of the present day; and I shall have the spirit and the clamorous or intriguing interests of very opposite organized bodies against me:-the tories, the whigs, the liberals, the sectaries, the fashionable poets, the fashionable book-makers, and the fashionable critics! Tremendous associations, who carry every thing by tactics,—and when they cannot succeed by reason, succeed by numbers!"
We do not think any human being ever troubled himself about Sir Egerton or his writings so much as to abuse him: nor should we have troubled our readers with this notice of his pamphlet, but in the hope of saving ourselves any farther notice of the "Memoirs," of which it is a sample. But let us take the matter on Sir E.'s own word. Surely there must be something extremely odious or absurd about this ancient gentleman, when tories, whigs, liberals, poets, prosers, and critics, are all his enemies!
Enough of Sir Egerton Brydges. A man who thinks Mrs. Barbauld and Mrs. Smith great writers-who calls Horace Walpole a geniusand who says that the finest parts of Dante and Milton are their plain. est--who asserts that the circulation of knowledge is poison, and that the age is ignorant, because we do not discuss Choriambic Alcaics and Ionics, and longs and shorts, and whose ignorance of the matters about which he pretends to write we have exposed,-is a very fit person indeed to decide upon the literature of his own or any other age! What has Sir E. done to qualify himself for such an office? He has redeemed from "defrauded pies" some of the trash of ancient days, about which we were formerly in a state of happy ignorance-and he has dosed the public with a copious exhibition of his own weak prose and weaker poetry--and this is all. Let him take our advice--let him make a second auto-da-fe of his second "Memoirs," and stick to his Stemmatu Illustria, a folio which he says he is now compiling, and which, with a just knowledge of its value, he intends to give away!
LINES ON A NAVAL OFFICER BURIED IN THE ATLANTIC.
THERE is in the wide lone sea
Down, down within the deep,
That oft in triumph bore him,
He sleeps a sound and pleasant sleep,
He sleeps serene, and safe
From tempest and from billow,
Where the storms that high above him chafe,
The sea and him in death
They did not dare to sever;
It was his home while he had breath,
Sleep on, thou mighty dead!
A glorious tomb they've found thee;
No vulgar foot treads here,
No hand prophane shall move thee;
And though no stone may tell
And when the last trump shall sound,
Like the morning sun from the wave thou 'It bound
Ir is asserted by the Spaniards, who wrote the history of the Conquest, that in the kingdom of Guatemala alone, before the arrival of Don Pedro Alvarado, thirty different nations of Indians existed. If we believe this account, and contrast that immense population with the 700,000 poor and degraded Indians who are now living in solitary dispersion throughout the vast extent of that republic, a sentiment of horror cannot but pervade every bosom, resulting from the conduct of the superstitious court of Madrid, which, under the pretext of extirpating human sacrifices, immolated to the fiend of intolerance so many innocent people. But even supposing the assertion to be devoid of reality, there is little doubt that the lamentations which the pious Las Cazas has transmitted to posterity in favour of the Indians, are too well founded, as are also the observations made by the philosopher Raynal, while treating of the same subject, upon fanaticism and religious intolerance: and it must be confessed, if this be an exaggerated account of the Spanish historians, that the conquerors of South America are even worse than the Turks, inasmuch as they boast of having occasioned more evil and committed more direful ravages than they actually did commit; a thing unknown to these eastern fanatics, who lay waste with fire and sword, but never vaunt of being more cruel than necessity warrants, by increasing the amount of the slaughtered victims belonging to the nations which they have subjugated. Without, however, entering into a minute calculation of the massacres committed by the Spaniards in that part of America, it cannot be denied that they were the original spoliators of the country, and the destroyers of the many cities which existed prior to the conquest. To prove this, it will be sufficient to quote the description given by Don Francisco de Fuentes, the historian of the kingdom of Guatemala, of the city of Utatlan, in former times the residence of the King of Quiché, and by far the most splendid which the Spaniards met with in that country.
Don Francisco de Fuentes took up his abode expressly in Quiché, anxious to investigate its alleged antiquity by an accurate survey of the ruins or manuscripts which his assiduity might discover. According to his narrative, that capital was built nearly on the site of the present city of Santa Cruz del Quiché, which leaves room to conjecture that the latter might have been a suburb to the former. It was surrounded by a precipice, which served it as a fosse, and left no access to the city but by two very narrow entrances, defended by the castle of Resguardo in this situation it was considered impregnable. In the centre of the capital was the royal palace, inclosed by the houses of the nobility, it being the usage for the plebeians to reside at the extremities of the city. Its streets were extremely narrow, and the place was so populous that the king collected from it alone seventy-two thousand soldiers to dispute the entrance of the Spaniards. It was a most wealthy capital, and adorned with numerous sumptuous edifices, the most celebrated of which was the seminary, where five or six thousand young men were fed, clothed, and instructed, at the expense of the royal treasury, and where sixty directors and preceptors were
* Continued from Vol. xiv. p. 578.
employed in the various labours of education. Besides the extensive castles of Atalaga and Resguardo, which were both capable of containing a vast number of defenders, the grand alcazar, or palace of the King of Quiché, was immense and beautiful in the extreme; and, according to Terquemada, its opulence competed with the palace of Montezuma in Mexico, and that of the Incas in Cuzco. Its front from east to west measured 376 geometrical paces, and its sides 728. It was built of divers-coloured stones, was elegant and magnificent in its proportions, and was divided into seven departments. The first served as quarters for a numerous band of spearmen, archers, and other expert soldiers, whose duty it was to guard the royal person. The second was destined for the habitation of the princes and relatives of the king, who during celibacy were treated with royal magnificence. The third was the abode of the king himself, wherein were apartments set apart for morning, after dinner, and evening. In one of these chambers, under four canopies of feathers, stood the splendid regal throne, the ascent to which was by a grand flight of steps. In this part of the palace were the royal reasury, the tribunal of the judges of the people, the armoury, the gardens, the cages of the birds and wild beasts, and a great variety of offices. The fourth and fifth departments were amazingly extensive, and occupied by the palace of the queens and concubines of the king. It contained an assemblage of suites of apartments requisite for the accommodation of thirty females, who were treated as queens; and was provided with gardens, orchards, baths, and places for the birds that furnished the feathers in use among the natives of the country. Contiguous to the last was the sixth department, which was the college of the young ladies, where the princesses of the blood royal were educated.
To those who are of opinion that the natives of America derive their origin from the Asiatics, the description of that immense capital might furnish evidence conclusive in support of their doctrine; inasmuch as, without taking into account the idolatrous worship, the analogy of colour and form, and the pusillanimity common to both these people, it might rationally be inferred from the use of harems, from the plurality of wives, from the baths, from the narrowness of the streets, and from various other circumstances, that the two nations are descendants of one family.
Before the conquest, many large cities of nearly equal note existed in the kingdom of Quiché, and in the other Indian countries; such as Xelahu, Chemequeña, Patinamit, the famous city of Atitlan, and the fortress of Mizco; but, as has been already observed in the preceding article, nothing now remains of these spacious places but distant records, or a few uncertain traces.
In return for so much destruction, the Spaniards founded here and there, and not unfrequently on the ruins of the ancient, some new cities, which deserve no particular notice either for the beauty of their construction or the magnitude of their population. The magnificent and grand was found by the Spaniards; and, like the Turks, they have substituted on its wreck meanness and deformity! The greater part of the cities founded by the Castilians are dedicated to a saint; but, notwithstanding the patronage of these celestial patrons, their inhabitants remain invariably in a state of poverty and ignorance.