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cused me of having caricatured, is not have awaked raving, and subject to ununcaptivating. What with your “ivy couth peals of hysterical and sardonic crown” “ shed nodding over both laughter. That clever actress, Mrs eyes," as it was fixed there by the Bartley, could not have recited Col. delicate hand of young Mister Keats, lins's Ode to the Passions with greater -what with “ your ripe locks and variety of action and gesticulation, fair light limbs," and the “ yellow with more “ whisks and whirrings” breeches” celebrated by me in my of frenzied emotion, than did Leigh first address, and which, to better Hunt peruse my Critique. Anger, pity, eyes than mine, may, for any thing I fear, and revenge, alternately ruled know, “ seem sky-blue scarlet,”-your that royal bosom, Majesty must be a most formidable
le “ Exulting, trembling, raging, fainting, personage to the Maids of Honour
Possess'd beyond the Muse's painting. about court; and such bodily accomplishments and attractions are
What a fine subject for a series of quite sufficient to justify that harm- pictures ! “ Collins's Ode to the Pasless personal vanity which “ the many sions, illustrated by a series of views men so beautiful” have in general ex- of Leigh Hunt in appropriate costume. hibited, whether fate have kept them, Engraved by Landseer, from the orithroughout life, in a private station, ginal paintings by R. Haydon;" with or elevated them, like Leigh Hunt, to this motto, a throne.
Millc habet ornatus, mille decenter habet. That I may not feel myself too These you might have framed, and much constrained, however, by this by image of royalty regularly carried on
$ hung up in that magnificent chamber
of yours at Lisson Grove, where, amithroughout, I propose now to address able but infatuated bardling, Mister you sometimes as plain Leigh Hunt, John Keats, slept on the night when sometimes as the editor of the Exa- he composed his famous Cockney Poem miner newspaper, sometimes as the inn author of the incestuous “ Story of Rimini,” sometimes as the gatherer of “Him of the rose, the violet, and the spring, sometimes as the potent and august
sakc,” King of the Cockneys. And if, in and other mighty masters of the lyre, following out this method, I occasions that often as you are sickened with ally depart from that respectful lan- the follies and sins of mankind, (a guage which the vulgar prejudices of complaint to which, you weekly inform the ignorant may think due to ma- us, you are lamentably subject, as well jesty, I hope that the Cockney King as to bad headaches, proceeding from will extend to me his gracious pardon, bile and indigestion,) you may withwhile he calls to mind his own youth draw to the holy contemplation of ful imprudences in that sort, and those your own divine perfections, and there many melancholy prison hours, when “perk up with timid mouth” “ and he sought to beguile the punishment lamping eyes,” (so you have it) upon inflicted on him for the outrage he what to you is dearer and more glohad committed against his sovereign, rious than all created things besides, by the whisper of that Italian Muse till you become absorbed in your own who “ visited his slumbers nightly," identity,- motionless, mighty, and and breathed into his ear all the ago- magnificent, in the pure calm of Cocknies and all the transports of an in, neyism. cestuous passion.
Does your Majesty remember, how, It appears then that you, Leigh during the paroxysms of your passion, Hunt, after ten years' unintermitted you kept fearfully crying out for Z.! abuse of your sovereign and of the Nothing would pacify you but the apgovernment of your country, and after pearance of that gentleman. A mesthe publication of many hundred libels, sage was accordingly sent to him, and, both of a public and private kind, have being a good-natured man, he was suddenly fallen into convulsions at about to visit the patient, when, all at the first frown of a “ poor creature," once, you“ stayed your hand, and whom, nevertheless, you pretend to changed your measure," and threatendespise; and after having lain in a ed the very person whom, in the same speechless state for some weeks, you breath, you had invited to visit you, with
all the terrors of the law, if he should concealing or avowing one's self to be venture to set foot within the Cocke the castigator of your wicked and perney King's dominions. Not wishing nicious tale of incest? To fear Leigh to be brought into any unnecessary Hunt, is beyond the power of human titrouble by a lunatic, I contented my- midity. But while I despise you and your self with quoting the following rhymes, noisy impotence, I choose freedom from which you may find in Cambden: the molestation of your abuse. You • Were I in my castle of Bungay,
are the coward. You bawled upon a Beside the river of Waveney, :
man, who, yoụ clearly saw, held you I would ne care for the King of Cockney.” in derision, to offer himself to the comIn spite and in pity of your wild yells bat. You are like some puny drunk. of“ Coward ! Coward !” I am, at this ard at a village-wake, “shewing fight” present moment, writing incog. And to a sober man; and, in the midst of I purpose doing so, till it may suit my all his vapouring, well aware, first. own convenience to affront, “ in ang that the muscular object of his slaa ry parle," the offended majesty of vering curses would be satisfied with Lisson Grove. But, meanwhile, let merely holding up his fist; and, seme open your eyes, if possible, to the condly, that his own gang would prefoolishness of this expression—" Cow- vent him from fighting, and were his
challenge accepted, cry out for a conYou, Leigh Hunt, allow your rage stable. and conscious guilt (for you know that « Then see what thou’lt do: · Rimini is an incestuous poem) to Woul't weep ? WOUL'T FIGHT? woul't
drive you into the stupidest incon- . fast ? woul't tear thyself ? sistency of speech. You tell us that Woul't drink up easil ? eat a crocodile ?
erable for every thing you are answerable for every thing
I'LL DO'T.” in your inflammatory and unprinci- In the midst of your fury, you pled newspaper, and that therefore would fain be jocular. You tell me every man who writes against you, that I think the “green leaves black," ought to give his name to the pub- and am ignorant of “all noble theolic. There is no logic in this—it is ries.” Truly if I were to form my a non-sequitur. You may unblush- opinion of “ leaves" from your system ingly expose yourself and your name of “ Foliage," I should have singular to the scorn and disgust of the wise notions both of their shape and col, and the good-you may endeavour to our. A tree in the hands of Leigh sap the foundations of civil society and Hunt is a very odd affair. No such of social life, you may, as you have tree as he is in the habit of describing often done in prose, eulogise prosti- grows in the British isles ; nor is any tutes and kept-mistresses, and sneer description of it to be found in Eve at that dull thing a wife--you may, lyn's Silva. I am sorry it is not in as you have done in something that is my power to admire what I never saw. not prose, hold up to the love, and But how is this my insensibility to pity, and admiration, and worship of the colour of leaves, or rather the disvirgins, the incestuous and adulterous eased state of my optical nerves, conwretch, who took to her polluted em- nected with that hatred and disgust braces her husband's brother, for no which I, in common with every body other cause than because he was a else, entertain for indecent and ima handsome man, and “ more lightmoral compositions in verse, more parsomely dropt in his lordly back”- ticularly the “ Story of Rimini?” And you may, as you have done, abet mur- can it indeed be, that no one can adder and assassination, by blaming the mire, or even see, the beauties of nageneral principle, and yet applauding ture, without also admiring that most or extenuating each particular in- artificial of all objects, Mr Leigh stance of it and to all these enor- Hunt? mities you may affix, with an im- With respect to my ignorance “ of perial flourish, the sign-manual of all noble theories,” there again breaks Leigh HUNT-67. But is that any forth the vanity of the Cockney King. reason why Z., or any other man, You think that “all noble theories" should voluntarily offer himself to the are contained in your own writingsfilthy abuse of a crew of Jacobins and for of those alone did I speak. And I incendiaries? How can courage or presume, that the “ideal beauty of all cowardice be in any way shewn, by those noble theories" is to be found
in the “ Story of Rimini.” Noble man being against another, and conas those theories are, let me hope that cludes with a threat of assassination, they may never be carried into prac- either idiotically unmeaning, or satice. Let me hope that wives may vagely wicked. Prince John is in high continue to love their husbands, and glee at the sarcasms of this lurking asto remain faithful to their bed, though sassin ; he delights to think that Mr they may chance to see finer men at Canning allowed himself to be dischurch and market, -that a holier turbed by them; a single unguarded power guards the sanctity of the mar- expression of an animated orator, duriage-couch, than whim, fancy, caprice, ring the warmth of discussion, is judge passion, and shameless desire,-thated by him worthy of death and a conexecration and hatred shall for ever juration of murderers; for the sake of pursue the memory of the unprincipled one word, an accomplished gentleman, adultress,-thatinstead of flowers being rhetorician, scholar, and poet, ought, sprinkled, and annual hymns chaunted according to this moralist, to be outover the mingled dust of incestuous lawed from human society, and denied paramours, weeds may grow there, the common attributes of a human and toads undisturbed engender; and being; and, at the fancied idea of his that all low-minded and paltry men, humiliation, a shout is raised by the who, in folly, or in wickedness, shall royal brothers, that shakes the whole seek, like Leigh Hunt, to versify vice kingdom of Cockney, from Lisson into virtue, may meet with some just Grove to No 18, Catherine Street, infliction, as severe as that which makes Strand. him at this moment to wince, wail, and Your Majesty seems to be sensible tremble, and in his heart to feel all of the extraordinary style of your roythe agonies of remorse, without the al edicts, and you seek to preserve softening of repentance, at having de your own consistency by the sacrifice dicated to a licentious muse the pri- of Prince John. How hard the hearts son-hours that were doomed to be of kings! There, alas, generosity is the punishment of his sedition. not to be found. You, forsooth, think,
But it seems that Leigh Hunt now that the author of the letter to Mr denies having had any thing to do with Canning ought to come forward ; these pot-valiant denunciations of ven- though you also think, that he may geance against Z. You sat still and have good reason for not doing so; and silent,
with these clashing opinions of your “ As the female dove,
own, you give your royal brother a Or ere her golden couplets are disclosed," sort of awkward lecture on his absurd You are still “ he of the rose and the
and contending principles. But still
you admire the author of the letterviolet,
hint that he is your friend-and the “ A fool of sweetness, crispness, ease, friend of man-talk of enduring “ peCompound of lovely smallnesses.”
trefaction" before you disclose his name But your brother, who appears to be -breathe not a syllable of displeasure the drudge at the printing-office in with his ferocity and avowed detertown, while your Majesty resides at mination, under supposeable circumHampstead, was, you say, the oracle stances, to commit murder-and deon that occasion. Really the King of light in the universal odium against the Cockneys must himself be sensible Mr Canning, which, according to you, of the imprudence of Prince John. That his atrocious epistle has excited. unhappy prince must needs have two Prince John can have no hopes of separate readings of his creed. He calls the succession, for you have often told upon 2. to come forward with his the world, that your throne is surname, and declares him to be a coward rounded by a numerous progeny, but for withholding it, though all that 2. you ought to drill him into the appeardid was to expose the wickedness of ance of consistency with himself and an immoral poem. By and by the his elder brother; so that he may not Examiner publishes, with high praise drive you into the necessity of again and commendation, a letter to Mr speaking of the “ poor creature whom Canning, which, whatever may be its you last week dismissed ;” as if Z. character as a literary composition, is, could be said to be dismissed from a beyond doubt, the most malignant and mind which his image for ever haunts fiendish curse ever uttered by one hun like an avenging shadow, and from
which it wrings out delirious and pas- had the sense and fortitude at least sionate outcries at the very moment to endure punishment with decent when you are lauding your coolness composure. But your whole mind and magnanimity.
seems to be one universal sore of vaniAnd now, before parting with you ty, and the pinch of a finger and for a month, allow me to return you thumb causes you to shriek out, as if my best thanks, for the very kind and you were broken on the wheel, and to condescending permission which, in a burst into insane invectives with the late Number of the Examiner, you very avowal of silence on your pale gave me to come forward and avow quivering lips. Silent you cannot remyself. This was more than kind main ; and when you speak out against it was generous. I need fear nothing me, what is it you say? Nothing. from you so you inform me. But it Your abilities, which on some subjects would seem as if there were some are considerable, then utterly desert other formidable Champion into whose you; and instead of rousing yourhands you would wish slyly to deliver self from your lair, like some noble me. Of him, as of you, my contempt beast when attacked by the hunter, is perfect. As you got him to praise you roll yourself round like a sick you and your verses in the Edinburgh hedge-hog, that has crawled out into Review, so may you get him at small the “ crisp" gravel walk round your cost to defend you in a Sunday News- box at Hampstead, and oppose only paper. But let him have a cooling the feeble prickles of your hunch'd-up draught before he enters the lists. I back to the kicks of one who wishes observed him lately breaking all the less to hurt you, than to drive you inlaws of chivalry, by using foul lan- to your den. guage to some humble squire who had The question at issue between Leigh spied a pimple on his nose. Give him Hunt and Z. is not to be decided by a visor and send him forth to the bat. raving on your side, or contempt on tle. Choose for his shield-bearer the mine. It is to be decided by that flower of the Cockney youth. Have portion of the public who have read warm possets and salves ready against your works, and, if need be, the his return from the combat, and one charges I have brought against them. or two of your own “ Nepheliads "* You alone, of all the writers in verse to bring some “ bubbling freshness” of the present day, of any pretensions, to his green wounds. Let this man real or imaginary, to the character of of steel come at his leisure. You poet, have been the secret and invidiat least are disposed of. True that ous foe of virtue. No woman who you called out as a foul blow,” but it has not either lost her chastity, or is dehas been decided against you by im. sirous of losing it, ever read "The Story partial umpires, and it is evident that of Rimini” without the flushings of you have not weighed your metal shame and self-reproach. A brother before you rushed into the battle. would tear it indignantly from a sis. Your imprudence has been great; had ter's hand, and the husband who saw it not been the offspring of so much his wife's eyes resting on it with any conceit I should have disdained to other expression than of contempt or punish it. The die is cast. It is now disgust, would have reason to look too late to talk of retreating.
with perplexing agony on the counAnd now, for the present, I know not tenances of his children. that I have much more to add. That You may, henceforth, endeavour to you have been irritated to a state of remain silent, and it may be well for lunacy by my Critiques on the Cock- you that you do so. But I shall hereney School of Poetry, of which you after have much to say to you. Your are the founder, is proved by your vulgar vanity, your audacious arro. raving and incoherent denials. You, gance, your conceited coxcombry, who have libelled so many men, ought your ignorant pedantry, -all the mannot to have considered yourself sacred ifold sins and iniquities of Cockneyfrom the hand of vengeance. Above ism lie spread before me as in a all persons living, you, the Editor of map; and I will not part with your the Examiner, who have so often run Majesty till I have shewn your crown, a muck, stabbing men, women, and which you imagine is formed of diachildren, should, if unable to defend monds and pearls, to be wholly comyourself when the avenger came, have posed of paste and parchment, and glass-beads; your robes to be worth- in those scenes of wickedness, where less as old rags from St Giles' ; your alone, unhappy man, your verses find sceptre to be a hollow-hearted and sap- willing readers, there occur many moless broom-stick, which no hawker ments of languor and remorse, wherecould vend without dishonesty; and in the daughters of degradation themyour throne itself, though glittering selves, toss from their hands, with with gew-gaws, to be no better than a angry loathing, the obscene and traibroken-armed kitchen-chair, and wore torous pages of your Rimini. In those thy to be the seat of that “ Washer who have sinned from weakness or woman,” whose charms you, in the levity, the spark of original conscience “ Round Table,” have, like a fitting is not always totally extinguished. To knight, so chivalrously celebrated. your breast alone, and to those of
I shall probe you to the core. I others like you, the deliberate, and shall prove you to be ignorant of all pensive, and sentimental apostles of you pretend to understand. I shall profligacy, there comes no visiting of shew that you have written verse for purity, no drop of repentance. Your these ten years without ever having souls are so hardened, that the harlot had one glimpse of what true poetry deity, who is worshipped by others with is; that you have been a weekly bab- their senses alone, claims and receives bler about patriotism and freedom, from you the prostration and slavery and yet, all the while, the most ab- of intellect. Alas! that where pity is ject slave that ever bowed himself to so much the predominant feeling, I clear the path before the idol-chariot should be forced, by the stubbornness of anarchy. I shall shew the world of the offender, to array myself in the to what a low pass the spirit of Eng- externals of severity. Confess only land is reduced, when any of her that you have done wrong, -make a children can stoop to be instructed by clear breast of it,-beg pardon of your one who has not a single iota of the . God and of your country for the iniEnglish character within him; one quities of your polluted muse, and the who is in his religion as base and cold last to add one pang to the secret as a second-hand sceptic of the Palais throbbings of a contrite spirit, shall Royal ; who, in his politics, mingles be the vulgar insolcnce of a Paine with the weakness of a mountebank and theatrical notable; whose perceptions of moral truth have been embalmed FRAGMENT OF A FIFTH CANTO OF in strains that might be cheered from CHILDE HAROLD'S PILGRIMAGE. a Venetian Gondola, but which have had no effect in England, except that
Dedicated to Mr H. of heaping an already contemptible name with the blackest infamy of vo
I STOOD, Edina, on thy Bridge of Sighs,
For who that passes but has sighed or bann'd, luntary pandarism and coveted humi
To see from out the loch that structure rise, liation.
As from the touch of dark enchanter's wand? The advantage which I have over
A thousand years shall its dull rays expand you, Mr Hunt, is indeed a very con- Around thee? Doth a dying glory smile siderable one. You should have re- O'er that fair princely street, with house and flected better before you thus compelled and invited me to make my most I'ronting the Scottish lions castle pile, of its power. I have the established Fronting Auld Reekie, thron'd on stinking sentiments of national honour on my
closes vile ? side. There is not a man or a woman She looks like old Cybele on mount Ida, around us, who venerates the memory Rising with her tiara of proud towers, of a respectable ancestry, or the in- At airy distance, with majestic pride, a terests of a yet unpolluted progeny, Mother of lawyers, writers' clerks, and that will not rejoice to see your poison
whores : neutralized by the wholesome chemis
And such she was her daughters had their
dowers try of 2. There is not a single mo
From spoils of clients nor her casements ther of a seduced daughter, or a single
ceased father of a profligate son, or a single To pour into her lap their yellow showers. repentant victim of sophistical vice, Gilding her robe and of that fragrant feast that does not lavish the foulest of exe- Monarchs partook, nor turned their noses crations on your devoted head. Even
up, the least. VOL. III.