HEAVEN AND EARTH. 28 1 had come up for debate owing to the recent appearance of a translation of the Book of Enoch (by Richard Laurence,LL.D., Oxford, 1821) ; and Moore, by way of safeguarding himself against any suspicion of theological irregularity, is careful to assure his readers (" Preface" to Loves of the Angels, 1823, p. viii. and note, pp. 125-127) that the " sons of God "were the descendants of Seth, and not beings of a supernatural order, as a mis-translation by the LXX., assisted by Philo and the "rhapsodical fictions of the Book of Enoch," had induced the ignorant or the profane to suppose. Nothing is so dangerous as innocence, and a little more of that em fieiria of which Goethe accused him, would have saved Byron from straying from the path of orthodoxy. It is impossible to say for certain whether Laurence's translation of the whole of the Book of Enoch had come under Byron's notice before he planned his new " Mystery," but it is plain that he was, at any rate, familiar with the well-known fragment, "Concerning the ' Watchers'" Diepl der 1E-ypyrrfpotri, which is preserved in the Chronographic; of Georgius Synt......us, and was first printed by J. J. Scaliger in Thes. temp. Euseb. in 1606. In the prophecy of the Deluge to which he alludes (vide post, p. 302, note 0, the names of the delinquent seraphs (SemjAzi and Azazel), and of the archangelic monitor Raphael, are to be found in the fragment. The germ of Heaven and Earth is not in the Book of Genesis, but in the Book of Enoch. Medwin, who prints (Conversations, 1824, pp. 234-238) what purports to be the prose sketch of a Second Part of Heaven and Earth (he says that Byron compared it to Coleridge's promised conclusion of Christabel—" that, and nothing more ! "), detects two other strains in the composition of the " Mystery," an echo of Goethe's Faust and a " move-ment" which recalls the Eumenides of ./Eschylus. Byron told Murray that his fourth tragedy was "more lyrical and Greek" than he at first intended, and there is no doubt that with the Prometheus Vinctus he was familiar, if not at first hand, at least through the medium of Shelley's rendering. But apart from the " Greek choruses," which " Shelley made such a fuss about," Byron was acquainted with, and was not untouched by, the metrical peculiarities of the Curse of Kehama, and might have traced a kinship between his "angels" and Southey's " Glendoveers," to say nothing of their collatcrals, the " glumms " and " gawreys" of Peter Wilkins (see notes to Southey's Curse of Kehama, Canto VI., Poetical Works, 1838, Ville 231-233). Goethe was interested in Heaven and Earth. " He pre-ferred it," says Crabb Robinson (Diary, 1869, ii. 434), "to
Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 5.djvu/309
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