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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 1.djvu/379

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337
ENGLISH BARDS, AND SCOTCH REVIEWERS.

And classic Hallam,[1] much renowned for Greek;
Scott may perchance his name and influence lend,

And paltry Pillans[2] shall traduce his friend;

    Edinburgh Review. His Letters on the Catholicks, from Peter Plymley to his brother Abraham, appeared in 1807-8.]

  1. Mr. Hallam reviewed Payne Knight's "Taste," and was exceedingly severe on some Greek verses therein. It was not discovered that the lines were Pindar's till the press rendered it impossible to cancel the critique, which still stands an everlasting monument of Hallam's ingenuity.—[Note added to Second Edition.] The said Hallam is incensed because he is falsely accused, seeing that he never dineth at Holland House. If this be true, I am sorry—not for having said so, but on his account, as I understand his Lordship's feasts are preferable to his compositions. If he did not review Lord Holland's performance, I am glad; because it must have been painful to read, and irksome to praise it. If Mr. Hallam will tell me who did review it, the real name shall find a place in the text; provided, nevertheless, the said name be of two orthodox musical syllables, and will come into the verse: till then, Hallam must stand for want of a better.

    [Henry Hallam (1777-1859), author of Europe during the Middle Ages, 1808, etc. "This," said Byron, "is the style in which history ought to be written, if it is wished to impress it on the memory" (Lady Blessington's Conversations with Lord Byron, 1834, p. 213). The article in question was written by Dr. John Allen, Lord Holland's domestic physician, and Byron was misled by the similarity of sound in the two names (see H. C. Robinson's Diary, i. 277), or repeated what Hodgson had told him (see Introduction, and Letter 102, note 1).

    For a disproof that Hallam wrote the article, see Gent. Mag., 1830, pt. i. p. 389; and for an allusion to the mistake in the review, compare All the Talents, p. 96, and note.

    "Spare me not Chronicles and Sunday News,
    Spare me not Pamphleteers and Scotch Reviews."

    "The best literary joke I recollect is its [the Edin. Rev.] attempting to prove some of the Grecian Pindar rank nonsense, supposing it to have been written by Mr. P. Knight."]

  2. Pillans is a [private, MS.] tutor at Eton. [James Pillans (1778-1864), Rector of the High School, and Professor of Humanity in the University, Edinburgh. Byron probably assumed that the review of Hodgson's Translation of Juvenal, in the Edinburgh Review, April, 1808, was by him.]