chapter  38
4 Pages

Contemporary comments

(a) Extract from unsigned review of the first number of the Liberal (in which this poem appeared), in the Literary Gazette for 19 October 1822: Byron’s every energy, says the reviewer, ‘is directed to deteriorate and degrade humanity. It is truly shocking to contemplate this constant aim at debasing every sentiment which elevates man above the brute. Heaven has no sanctity, earth no refuge, which is not invaded in order to reduce the whole to one abominable equality;—the body, the soul, life, death, eternity, are, in all their fearful changes or awful elements, but themes for the buffoon jest, the depreciating satire. And the individuals guilty of these attacks upon all that constitutes the superiority and happiness of human nature, are, forsooth, Liberals, Philosophers, Advocates for our abstract Dignity. . . .’