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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 1.djvu/421

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379
ENGLISH BARDS, AND SCOTCH REVIEWERS.

Waste useless thousands on their Phidian freaks,
Misshapen monuments and maimed antiques;1030
And make their grand saloons a general mart
For all the mutilated blocks of art:
Of Dardan tours let Dilettanti tell,

I leave topography to rapid[1] Gell;[2]
  1. [Sir William Gell (1777-1836) published the Topography of Troy (1804), the Geography and Antiquities of Ithaca (1807), and the Itinerary of Greece (1808). Byron reviewed the two last works in the Monthly Review (August, 1811), (Life, pp. 670, 676). Fresh from the scenes, he speaks with authority. "With Homer in his pocket and Gell on his sumpter-mule, the Odysseus tourist may now make a very classical and delightful excursion." The epithet in the original MS. was "coxcomb," but becoming acquainted with Gell while the satire was in the press, Byron changed it to "classic." In the fifth edition he altered it to "rapid," and appended this note:—"'Rapid,' indeed! He topographised and typographised King Priam's dominions in three days! I called him 'classic' before I saw the Troad, but since have learned better than to tack to his name what don't belong to it."]
  2. Mr. Gell's Topography of Troy and Ithaca cannot fail