chapter  31
3 Pages

Hazlitt, from his unsigned review of Marino Faliero, London Magazine

May 1821

Lord Byron sympathizes readily with Dante, who was a poet, a patriot, a noble Florentine, and exile from his country: he can describe the feelings of Dante, for in so doing, he does little more than describe his own: he makes nothing out of Marino Faliero, Doge of Venice, and cares nothing about him, for he himself is neither a warrior, a statesman, nor a conspirator. Lord Byron can gaze with swimming eyes upon any of the great lights of Italy, and view them through the misty, widespread glory of lengthening centuries: that is, he can take a high and romantic interest in them, as they appear to us and to him; but he cannot take an historical event in her annals, transport us to the time and place of action, give a real, living interest in the scene, and by filling the mind with the agonizing hopes, and panic-fears, charm us out of ourselves.