Behold, a chosen band shall aid thy plan,
And own thee chieftain of the critic clan.
First in the oat-fed phalanx shall be seen
The travelled Thane, Athenian Aberdeen.
Herbert shall wield Thor's hammer, and sometimes
In gratitude, thou'lt praise his rugged rhymes.511
- [Line 508. For "oat-fed phalanx," the Quarto Proof and Editions 1-4 read "ranks illustrious." The correction is made in MS. in the Annotated Edition. It was suggested that the motto of the Edinburgh Review should have been, "Musam tenui meditamur avenâ."]
- His Lordship has been much abroad, is a member of the Athenian Society, and reviewer of Gell's Topography of Troy. [George Gordon, fourth Earl of Aberdeen (1784-1860), published in 1822 An Inquiry into the Principles of Beauty in Grecian Architecture. His grandfather purchased Gight, the property which Mrs. Byron had sold to pay her husband's debts. This may have been an additional reason for the introduction of his name.]
- Mr. Herbert is a translator of Icelandic and other poetry. One of the principal pieces is a Song on the Recovery of Thor's Hammer: the translation is a pleasant chant in the vulgar tongue, and endeth thus:—
"Instead of money and rings, I wot,
The hammer's bruises were her lot.
Thus Odin's son his hammer got."
[William Herbert (1778-1847), son of the first Earl of Carnarvon, edited Musæ Etonenses in 1795, whilst he was still at school. He was one of the earliest contributors to the Edinburgh Review. At the time when Byron was writing his satire, he was M.P. for Hampshire, but in 1814 he took Orders. He was appointed Dean of Manchester in 1840, and republished his poetical works, and among them his Icelandic Translations or Horæ Scandicæ (Miscellaneous Works, 2 vols.), in 1842.]
- The Rev. Sydney Smith, the reputed Author of Peter Plymley's Letters, and sundry criticisms. [Sydney Smith (1771-1845), the "witty Canon of St. Paul's," was one of the founders, and for a short time (1802) the editor, of the