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AMY GREY.

LETTIR TO THE EDITOR.

DEAR SIR,

In compliance with your wish for more of Amy Grey's letters, I send you several, in which further mention is made of Lord Byron's works.—My friend's vivid admiration of his genius led her to make his poetry, and the effects of it, a frequent theme in her communications to me; but as she interspersed her reflections upon him and other authors with family affairs and every day occurrences, I am obliged to give you but fragments of some of her letters, omitting such passages as would prove altogether uninteresting to your readers, yet endeavouring to preserve the context, as well as those omissions would permit. There are two or three letters of old date, which I send merely as envelopes to the lines on passing events which are to be found in them, and which my partiality leads me to think worthy of notice. Allow me to say, however, that when I entrusted you with the former letters, I supposed myself to have taken the best method to secure my friend from censure, detraction, and in short, from “all uncharitableness;" – I considered a Magazine to be literally, a safe deposit for public stores, and in this idea, by the way, I advise you to close your door against depradators.

I was not a little surprised, I confess, to find that you had given type to the uncandid criticism, and heartless banter of “ a Quiz.”–Upon his animadversions I shall make no further comment, than that, by supposing Amy Grey's letters to have been written in the spirit of irony, he has afforded something very like a proof of the imbecility which, in his zealous defence of the dulness of a certain Bishop, he ssserts to be the leading characteristic of mankind, but which, in this instance, as on other occasions, may be considered, I trust, as an individual distinction.

The most unpractised reader may perceive the sincere enthusiasm that dictated those letters,-availing myself of the words of a celebrated critic, I may fairly say, that the thoughts and feelings expressed by Amy Grey,“ have

an abstracted and unworldly character which belongs not to the sense “ of ridicule: they are drawn from conceptions of nature and poetry, “ undisturbed by the discord of contempt.”—That she was equally free from irreverence of intention, and was consequently incapable of penning “blasphemous passages," is also obvious from the general tenor of her let. ters. “It strikes me that the aspersions upon her, on this head, tend greally to vindicate Lord Byron.—Exaggerating calumny was not able to devise against him a stronger charge than is now made on the unpretending page of a well meaning Christian gentlewoman. What then is the inference?

It need not be pointed out that there is no ground for the charge with respeet to him, was indeed satisfactorily proved to his friends, not only by that passage in his admirable letter on Pope's works, in which he plainly asserts himself to be a Christian, but also by the following authentic statements of his opinions on religion, given in conversation with an intimate companion.

They were conveyed to me in the very last letter I received from A. G. and had

“I assure you I am very far from harbouring Deistical opinions; D'Alem“bert said, “ c'est un grand Peut étre,”—but we must not stop short at “scepticism,—we must believe,--I have never been for a moment without “religion. On this subject my imagination and my heart have always been “in unison; but I have not been well comprehended in my writings, or " rather my readers seek to interpret me, not to comprehend me ;-my “enemies are obstinate in thinking me irreligious, because they wish to “think me so.

“Several persons who have interested themselves warmly and kindly in my welfare, have expressed to me by letter their apprehensions that I was “not impressed by the truths of Christianity,--I have uniformly replied “ that I am a sincere Christian, and I really think I am,—You too may be“ lieve me when I say so, for I do not know how to tell a lie, I detest “ falsehood.”—On another occasion he said, “I am supposed to be an In“ fidel and a republican,-I assure you I could prove that I am neither ---“but my poetry has often been interpreied into meaning quite opposed to “the spirit in which it was written, and because I spoke candidly as to “political cant and dissimulation, I am considered to be a revolutionist. “ It is thought perhaps that I am going to Greece for the purpose of en“couraging democratic insurrection, but those who think so are mistaken ; “I can admire no form of government which does not combine a temper“ate monarchy, a virtuous aristocracy, and a liberal, but not factious “ representation of the people. Perhaps I shall be judged of more fairly "on my return from Greece, if I do return,---but I think it probable 1 never shall.”

One word more of Amy Grey.---Such readers as take an interest in her letters will derive satisfaction from the assurance (which I hereby give) that there is little or nothing fictitious about them but the names which I have substituted for her’s, and those of her young companions --- not one of whom had read Lord Byron's works till they had reached the respective age specified; their reading being always under the superintendance of their anxious friend, whose uniform practise it was, to direct them to “chuse the good, and reject the evil," instead of learling them censoriously to dwell on what was exceptionable. I shall conclude by requesting that, since I am too remote from Cork to superintend the printing of Amy Grey's letters, you will be so kind as to revise the proof sheets carefully;---some mistakes of the printer's in the former letters have done injustice to the correct, though unstudied style of my friend. I should have prepared a volume of her correspondence with myself and others, under the auspices of a London publisher, but that I know her nationality---(which by the way may well account for her panegyric on Mr. Moore, as “ Ireland's Bard.”--- She knew him in no other character)---would have led her to prefer the Irish press --and with every good wish for the success of your public spirited exertions.

I am, dear Sir,

Your obligel, &c. &c.

LETTERS OF AMY GREY.-IV.

February 3rd, 1824.

* * *' she

As I foresaw, Belle “preached quadrille,”—and dancing, singing and talking prevailed for two or three days; but on the fourth evening, the girls voted unanimously for the recontinuance of our readings. Belle, however, on hearing that Lord Byron was our author, started from her seat, and said, she must instantly Hy! The girls stared, - I looked wondrous wise,' and Belle, darting one of her dazzling glances upon us, (you may remember the eblouissance of her countenance) proceeded to say,that she found herself under the sad necessity of shunning our society, for that she was under a vow to several “ potent, grave and reverend signors," never to read a line of Lord Byron's writings. She had been at said, 'when . Caiu' was published, and that the anathemas then issued, still rung in her ears. I asked, if the sage friends above mentioned had read that poem, or whether they condemned it “unread.” • Two or three of them.' she replied, “had really looked it over, and that the rest of the company, with such Sir Oracles for guides, waived the trouble of forming opinions for themselves.' Here, Clara asked,---(I must tell you, I had read * Cain' for her one evening that I found her to be in a mood of mind when the deep and touching moral of the strain' could not fail to have good effect,)-Clara asked, "if she (Belle) had not got a letter from her on the subject at that time.' 'She received it duly,' she said, “and mentioned to one of her venerable friends, that she had heard from a young lady who had just read · Cain,' and admired it extremely. He raised his hands and eyes devoutly, and ejaculated that he hoped the after life of that unfortunate young lady might not demonstrate the evil consequences of such a pernicious study.'— To those who know Clara, low needless will those pious wishes for her welfare appear !---I can only return the prayer, by one quite as fervent and well meaning,—that the wives and daughters of * and of all the damnatory gentlemen of their way of thinking, may be as purely virtuous, as steadfastly Christian, and as practically pious, as is the young lady who “admirerl Cain' extremely,”—who did not require to have the moral of Hiat great poem given primer-like in a few prosey lines at the close, but could discover rationally, to what even the most specious arguments of the . evil power must tend, -namely,---crime, remorse, and anguish, involving in the wide ruin, all those connected with the fatal perpetrator of these decds of darkness, to which pride, discontent, and infidelity so frequently prompt. Clara observed too, ihat Lord Byron had avoided the dangerous, though mighty example of exciting interest and respect, for that “spirit of evil who saith nay to all," as the insidious Lucifer is duly hated by those who have hearts to feel for Adah, the admiration that woman in her priwe al perfection was calculated to inspire, or who have imagination enough to conceive the profound horrors of Cain's remorse. I cannot help wishing that the many superficial readers who so intolerantly and rashly condemn Cail' as a dangerous and immoral work, could arrive at the knowledge of the sori i impression it leaves upon the minds of those, who living in retreat and tranquility, are comparatively free from prejudice, rancour and cart. I should have particular pleasure, were 1 of the world of letters, in bearing

testimony to the admirable effects produced by this work on the young and candid ; ---I would state that the most exemplary wife and mother I ever had the happiness and honour of knowing, who is considered by all acquainted with her, as a model of Christian perfection, assembled her lovely children around her, for the purpose of confirming them in Faith, Hope, and Charity, by the perusal of--- Cain.' To name her, were I writing for the press, would give authority to my words, and distinction to my page, but “ her virtues open fairest in the shade,"---and in the shade she will live and die: ---die ! no,---there is no death for such ;--

Rise, muses rise! wake all your tuneful breath,

These shall not sleep in darkness and in death!" I refer you to Pope's immortal • Temple of Fame,' where, through the allanticipating powers of genius, my esteemed and valued friend has a niche secure.

When I see the wretched comments upon Lord Byron which issue from the daily press, but which, like the insect ephemera, have no visible effect but that of proving the strength of the light and warmth that called them forth, I am forcibly inclined to wish that the manner in which his works are received and understood by the large unbiassed portion of the community to which we belong, was made public;- mean the effect produced by them upon the numerous host of well educated literary gentlemen and gentlewomen,"dwellers in the provinces,” who reside in tranquil retireinent, surrounded by the young, the lovely, the unsophisticated, and the unprejudiced. There, I will venture to say, wit and genius, under all their Protean forms, are more fairly appreciated than in the great Babel:"--party-spirit and literary-pique being there comparatively weak. I wish

-my“ wisest, virtuousest, discreetest, best!" that you would say so in print." I do not know any one so well qualified. Why, why do you not raise your voice,-a voice as powerful as it is sweet, -to silence those mistaken dullards who dole out their stupid spleen against genius and liberty, so indefatigably? Why not? Because you are a woman, and a recluse.” Aye—but women have eyes in their heads, and recluses have hearts in their bosoms.-As for me, if I had but a spark of the immortal fire which gives such radiance to the writings / so vividly admire, I would use it in an endeavour still further to illuminate them. But, to admire, is all that I am capable of "c'est tout mon talentje ne sois s'il suffit !"

my dear

You know, though I can write hy the quire to you, and a few of the few; I never could arrange myself for print, so as powerfully to prove to the town-taught public, the manner in which the provincial public think of Lord Byron's works.---The little mouse who bit the nets set to entrap the lion, had sharper teeth than I have, so I may quietly leave it to the mighty monarch's own easy strength to accomplish, which nothing less powerful perhaps could effect,--. 1. C.---the putting down of those moral coxcombs, who would regulate the muses by the court of King's Bench,---send their officers of the watch with search-warrants to nout Parnassus, and lay taxes ou the waters of Helicon and Castalia ! --O vare ones! who have excited women and children to advocate genius and liberty ;---yet why not--.“ Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings hast thou ordainer strength!"

To return to them---my little ones---Rose canght Belle as she was sportively running away from our profane society, and, after a playful struggle, she humourously acknowledged that when she had given the extorted promise to her sage ds; never to read a line of Lord Byron's, she had, statesman-like, made “a mental reservation,” by which she was free to hear his works read! She then seated herself next me, and I read · Cain' in my best manner. That “pure thoughts, wise thoughts, high thoughts," were the consequences, you will readily believe. You will agree with me in thinking, that a jury of twelve well educated young gentlewomen, carefully brought up in religious principles and moral habits, were tolerably qualified to award poetical justice; and never was a more favourable verdict given to a defendant. I, “moi petite femme !" audaciously oppose it to that of the Lord Chancellor; at least until he has read the work, when his better judgment will not fail, I think, to confirm our decision.--- Never do I deprecate party-spirit so much as when it touches upon authors. O!!, let there be fetters and warders for aught, but Genius; but as its very mistakes and wanderings may lead eventually to unexplored paths of truth and wisdom, it can scarcely be expedient to tie down with our Liliputian cords the giant stranger.

How our friend * would smile at my strictures, particularly as he said lately, when speaking of me,---" that from living constantly in the society of children, I had got an habitual mental stoop.” It is true indeed, that I cannot, like the brilliant foreigners he so much admires, “

carry myself upon myself, like a crane;"but may I not, like the homely wren, mount on the eagle's back, and thus attain to a desirable elevation. At 'all events, he may rank me amongst the grubs who sometimes assume shape and form; get wings, acquire colours, bask in the light, and die in the bun !---In short, allow me to be, “ c'est toujours quelque chose !"

Un Papillon de Parnasse,"

A. G.

LETTERS OF AMY GREY.-Y.

February 5th, 1824.

With delight, exultation, and in short, “mille affetti insieme, tutti raccolti al cor,” we heard of Lord Byron's safe arrival at Missolonghi. The horrible fear that he might be seized upon by the barbarians on his passage, had taken such possession of my mind, that the relief from this alarm has elated me into unusual good spirits, and I ventured to go out to-day for some hours.

That the warrior-bard should distinguish himself by his benevolence, still more gloriously than by his genius, is a consummation that absolutely satisfies the imagination, and even fancy and the muse are wrapt in admiration

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