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tutor often sought other occasions of meeting the individuals of his class than those of set exercises and formal college discipline. Might not an arrangement of this kind, carried out by a more minute subdivision of classes, meet a want, which many parents, that have sons in college, deeply feel, and of which the young men themselves have a vague and dreamy consciousness? According to this plan, there should be assigned to every member of the faculty his quota of students. With them it should be his duty to make himself acquainted, to study their characters, to watch over the formation of their habits, to give them advice on all subjects of importance, as to recreation, reading, and modes of study, and to act as their special moral guardian, in pointing out sources of danger and of evil, and in shewing to his pupils, both by precept and example, the more excellent way.” An

arrangement like this would supersede in a great degree the severer, sterner portions of college discipline, would strike the axe at the root of reigning evils and abuses, and would go far towards establishing that sacred regard for moral obligation, without which mere literary attainments are empty and worthless.

We have thus passed in review the condition and wants of our University. We have done this in the spirit of sincere reverence and love. It has our warmest wishes, -it has had and shall still have our earnest, however feeble, efforts, for its enlargement and prosperity. We regard it as the chief hope of American scholarship. We forget not its early consecration, “ Christo et Ecclesiæ; and though, in the present distracted state of the New England church, we wish that there were no theological organization within its walls, we trust that its motto will be verified in all coming time, as it has been in days that are past, by the severe sanctity of manners and morals, and the unfeigned piety of heart, of those who guide its counsels and impart its instructions.

ART. III.-The Works of LORD BYRON in Verse and

Prose, including his Letters, Journals, doc., with a Sketch of his Life. New York : A. V. Blake. 8vo. 1843.

The revolution in the character of imaginative literature, which has taken place in the present century, had its most violent and convulsionary manifestation in Lord Byron. In an article on Wordsworth in our last number, we referred to some of the external influences which stimulated the genius of the great poets of the age, and laid particular stress on spiritual philosophy and the French Revolution.

These two agencies, of course, were modified by the individual peculiarities of the poets they influenced. Wordsworth, in whose temperament the thoughtful element predominated over the impulsive, impressed on them the qualities of his own nature ; and their effect on him is seen in the preëminence given in his writings to spiritual things and to humanity, to the imagination and the affections. On Byron, whose mind was naturally more under the dominion of sensibility, and rendered almost chaotic by suffering and error, the radical influences flowing from the French Revolution operated with more power, and were controlled by less moral and humane feeling

Indeed, if any person can be pointed out as the mouthpiece of the harsher revolutionary spirit of his time, it is assuredly Lord Byron. The extraordinary popularity of his poems, and the notoriety of his life, have led to various essays on his character and writings, differing in object and mode of treatment, and all more or less one-sided. Denunciation and panegyric have both been lavished upon his

Those who represent him as a fiend, seizing with a sort of diabolical instinct on all that is bad and impious, and overthrowing with a kind of ferocious energy all that is good and holy, and those who represent him as little less than a saint, seem equally to err; and the error of both arises in a great degree from an attempt to delineate a character which shall be consistent with itself. Byron may almost be said to have had no character at all. Every attempt to bring his virtues or his vices within the boundaries of a theory, or to represent his conduct as guided by any


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predominant principle of good or evil, has been accompanied by blunders and perversions. His nature had no simplicity or unity. He seems an embodied antithesis,

a mass of contradictions, - a collection of opposite frailties and powers. Such was the versatility of his mind and morals, that it is hardly possible to discern the connection between the giddy goodness and the brilliant wickedness which he delighted to exhibit. His habit of mystification, of darkly hinting remorse for sins he never committed, of avowing virtues he never practised, increases the difficulty. From his actions, his private journals and correspondence, his poems, from all those sources whence we derive a consistent idea of other writers, - it is hard to obtain a harmonious notion of him. It is quite easy to sustain any theory of his character, good, bad, or indifferent, by numerous extracts from his writings and undoubted events of his life. Friends or enemies need not droop for lack of materials to justify either blame or eulogy. Nothing can be more simple than to prove, that all in character and life which is ennobling and humane, and all that is debasing and inhuman, from writing hymns to parodying the ten commandments, found in him an able champion ; and that crime and goodness both glittered with new attractions, when seen through the dazzling medium of his diction. From his life and works we obtain the impression, that he was a glutton, and an ascetic ; a spendthrift, and a miser ; a misanthrope, and a cosmopolite ; an aristocrat, and a radical; an infidel, and a believer ; a debauchee, and a mystic ; a cynic, and a sentimentalist; a foul libeller of his species, and an eloquent defender of its rights, and a more eloquent mourner over its wrongs ; bewailing and denouncing the literary revolution which made his own writings popular ; pandering to a public which he despised; pilfering from authors whom he ridiculed ; lashing his own bosom sins when committed by others; in short, a man continually busy in giving the lie to his thoughts, opinions, tastes, and conduct.

When we reflect upon this assemblage of clashing qualities, these odd irregularities of opinion and action, we are prone to consider him as what somebody calls Voltaire, “a miraculous child.” He appears a mere collection of veering fancies and impulses, making the voyage of life aimless and rudderless, blown about by every breeze of desire, tossed about on every wave of passion. We can find in him no fixed principle of good or evil ; no thorough-going worship of god or devil. Yet this comfortable conclusiou seems only to lead us deeper into the dilemma. Though apparently without any settled aim, no public man of his time could display a stronger will, could adhere to a purpose with more fixed and sullen obstinacy, could act out or write out with more power whatever he deemed fit. No poet ever stamped upon his writings a deeper impress of personality, or viewed outward objects in a manner more peculiar to himself. Every thing about him is intensely subjective, individual, Byronic, - whether writing “Childe Harold” or “Don Juan,” — whether sipping the waters of Hippocrene, or the stronger waters of Holland and the Rhine.

In his relations with the public we perceive the same consistent inconsistency. He does not appear to have formed any distinct notions of the dignity or the importance of the poet's vocation. It would be difficult for the most acute analyst to find in his writings what was his theory of human life. Some of his works were published merely, as he expresses it, to make a row.” Others were reflections of his moods, rather than his opinions. The volatile libertinism of Lucio, and the gloomy fierceness of Timon, he adopted at pleasure. Self is ever uppermost in his mind. The whole world is called upon to listen to a recital of the joys and agonies of George Gordon, Lord Byron. Amidst this most bewildering confusion of qualities and attributes, we are still conscious that one personality circles through and pervades them all. In his coquetry with the public, he seems at once a despot and a slave. He tells his thousands of readers, that they are formed of more vulgar clay than he is, that he despises them from his inmost heart, that their life is engaged in a bustling oscillation between knavery and folly, and that all mankind is but a “ degraded mass of animated dust." Yet he demands their sympathy for all his idiosyncrasies, sins, and errors, and bends his stern pride to follow whatever path of popularity changing circumstances may point out. His mouth is ever at the public ear, though it pour forth nothing but expressions of contempt and hatred. In whatever attitude he places himself, he evidently intends it to be one which shall excite admiration or horror. He could

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bear hatred, calumny, the imputation of profligacy, the denunciation of the powerful, the censures of the good, - any thing which carried with it fuel for his sensibility ; but he could not bear neglect or indifference. An expression of contempt for any one of his works excited his ire more than the most hyperbolical expression of horror. The cool cockney, who said that “Don Juan" was all Billingsgate,” was lifted immediately into importance by the remark. This dependence on the world, even on the weakest

portion of it, by one who professed, in his towering misanthropy, to be superior to its praise or blame, is in marked contrast with the self-reliance of Wordsworth and Shelley. It was one of Byron's maxims, that the censure of the meanest of mankind is more painful, than the applause of the highest is pleasing. This was a singular opinion to be held by one who strove hard to rank himself among those “gigantic minds,"

" Whose steep aim
Was, Titan-like, on daring doubts to pile
Thoughts which should call down thunder and the flame

Of Heaven." The unsettled condition of Byron's mind and character may be traced, in a great degree, we think, to the errors and calamities of his life. His misfortunes, however, enabled him the better to reflect the revolutionary spirit of his time. Suffering was his inspiration, and he gave utterance to the thousand and one miseries of his day. The poet

of restlessness and impulse, his verse found an echo in many a heart whose unhappiness was voiceless. There was a great amount of passionate radicalism in the community, to which his poetry afforded strength and nutriment. He laid bare the cant of English society, and the corruption of the aristocracy, and lashed them with a whip of scorpions. He illustrated and denounced the social tyranny, by which thousands are driven into crime and prevented from returning to virtue. The arrows of his scorn fell fast and thick among the defenders of political abuses. The renegade, the hypocrite, the bigot, were made to feel the full force of his merciless invective. Wielding an uncontrolled dominion over language, and profusely gifted with all the weapons of sarcasm, hatred, and contempt, he battled fiercely in the service of freedom, and knew well how to overwhelm its adversaries

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