John Greenleaf Whittier.

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Since the publication of Moore's Life of Byron it has become fashionable to avow an enthusiastic reverence for the genius character of the noble bard. The most unqualified censure heaped upon those who have spoken freely against Lord Byron's infidel principles; - who have dared to lift their voices in solemn warning against the baleful fascination of his licentious numbers. This practice is unjust - -uncharitable and dangerous - dangerous because it confounds all creeds and all practices,- - because in its enthusiastic admiration of genius - --its idolatry of poetry- - the allurements to vice and loathsome debauchery, the awful impiety and the staggering doubt of the unbeliever, are either forgotten or passed over as the allowable aberrations of an --intellect, - which had lifted itself above the ordinary world, had broken down the barriers of ordinary mind: and which revelled in a creation of its own-world, over which the sun of imagination lightened at times with an almost ineffable glory, - to be succeeded by the thick blackness of doubt and and misanthropy, relieved only by the lightning -flashes of a terrible and unholy passion.

Byron was an infidel - wretched infidel. The blessings of a mighty intellect - the prodigal gift of Heaven, became in his possession a burthen and a curse. He was wretched in his gloomy unbelief; and he strove, with that selfish purpose, which the miserable and unprincipled feel, to drag his fellow beings from their only abiding hope - to break down in the human spirit the beautiful altar of its faith; and to fix in other bosoms the doubt and despair which darkened his own. We pity him for his early towards infidelity; but we condemn him for his attempts to lead is readers - -the vast multitude of the beautiful, the pure, and the gifted, who knelt to his genius as to the manifestations new divinity - into that ever-darkened path, which is trodden only by the lost to Hope - --the forsaken of Heaven - and which leads from the perfect light of holiness, down to the regions of eternal Death.

If ever man possessed the power of controlling at will the passions of his readers that man was Byron. He knew-he felt of this power--and he loved to exercise it--to in a thousand bosoms was Byron. He knew - he felt - the mightiousness of this power - and he loved to exercise it - to kindle in a thousand bosoms the strange fire which desolated his own. He loved to shake down with a giant's strength the strongest of human confidence; to unfix the young and susceptible from its allegiance to virtue, and to the dearest ties of nature. No man ever drew finer and more enchanting pictures of the social virtues; and Love and Friendship never seem more beautiful than when made the subject of his vivid and heart-touching sketches. But a cold sneer of scepticism - an unfeeling turn of expression - or a vulgar and disgusting comparison associated with images of purity and loveliness, like a foul satyr in the companionship of angels - breaks in upon the delicious reverie of the enthusiastic reader, and the holiness of beauty departs - the sweet spell is broken forever, and the sacred image of virtue is associated with disgust and abhorrence. It seems as if the mighty magician delighted in adorning with the sun-like hues of his imagination the Paradise of Virtue, in order to discover more fully the fell power which he possessed of darkening and defacing the fair vision,- of sending the curse of his own perverted feelings to brood over it like the wing of a destroying angel on his errand of desolation.

What for instance can be more beautiful - more deeply imbued with the genuine spirit of pure and holy love than the epistle of Julia to her lover in Don Juan? Yet to whom are these holy sentiments attributed? To a vile and polluted paramour - an adultress; to a bosom of glowing not with the etherial principle of love, but with the fires of a consuming and guilty passion. They should have emanated from a heart as pure, as unsullied, as the descending snow-wreath, before one stain of earth has dimmed its original purity. Yet it was Lord Byron's glory- - the very acme of his triumph - to bring the virtues and the vices of our nature to a common level - to put into the mouths of the criminal and the licentious the words of truth, and holiness, and love.

We are not insensible to the surpassing power of Byron's genius. He was the master spirit of his time. We feel that we are not competent to sit in critical judgment upon the outpourings of his lofty mind; - but we thank God for having given us a perception, faint and imperfect it may be in comparison with that of others, but still to us a valuable perception, of the pure and beautiful in nature and intellect. And, governed as we are in our remarks by this perception, we feel that we are only acting the part of our duty, in warning the young and uncontaminated against an enthusiastic reverence for the productions of Lord Byron.

Essex Gazette, Haverhill, Mass., May 8, 1830.