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NEW MONTHL Y
NOVEMBER 1, 1820.
MEMOIR OF THE REV. WM. LISLE BOWLES.
(WITH A PORTRAIT.) To the lovers of poetry, that is, to all Family connection early determined who have the smallest share of taste or that Winchester should be the place of feeling, the life of a poet is always in- his education ; to which school he was teresting. Like other lives of private sent in 1776. "An uncle of his father's mnen, it may produce no striking inci- had long been a fellow of that college, dents, no reinarkable turns or vicissi- contemporary with Lowth, and other tudes of fortune ; yet will it exhibit the distinguished men; of whose kind athistory of a fertile mind, and of a pe- tention to himself, with some pleasing riod in which the production of cele- 'account of the singularities of his chabrated works will form the distinguish-racter, Mr. B. has gratefully spoken in ed æras. The life of Mr. Bowles, as far a very late publication.t Bowles was as poetry is not concerned, will be that not to be overlooked, even where he of a private clergyman, attentive to the had so many competitors as at Winchesduties of his ministry, studious of the ter, and he was soon particularly noticed welfare of his flock, and watchful to pre- by Dr. Warton. By the year 1781, he vent the inroads of fanaticism among had risen to be the senior boy of that them; making it at the same time, his illustrious seminary. In that situation, pleasure and amusement to do justice to he would infallibly have succeeded to the rural beauties of his parsonage, and New College, having been sent first on to improve them by tasteful embellish- the roll, to the two foundations, had it ments. Even this picture of tranquil not happened that no vacancy occurred usefulness and simple pleasures is not in his year, excepting what were of without its charms, bui is not suffici- necessity reserved for the founder's kin. ently varied to command the continued He was entered therefore at Trinity attention of the reader; it is as a poet college, Oxford, ) where his master's that Mr. B. demands the pen of a bio- brother, the celebrated Thomas Wargrapher, though finally his least con ton, was fellow and tutor. These were spicuous labours may prove to have auspicious beginnings for a poetical been the most truly valuable.
mind; and they certainly produced their Mr. Bowles's family has been clerical due effect upon (B. (who, in his first for at least three generations ; his father, year, obtained the chancellor's prize, for William Thomas Bowles, being the a Latin composition on the siege of only son of Dr. Bowles, vicar of Brack- Gibraltar I, which was accordingly reley in Northamptonshire. But, though cited in the theatre. It is still extant moved by preferment into different situ- in the collection of Oxford Prize Poems, ations, the family is originally of Wilts, published by Mr. Valpy; and in the and ancient in that county. The Rev. second volume of the author's poems. William Thomas Bowles married Brid- It is a composition of extraordinary get, one of the three daughters of Dr. merit, and classical beauty, for so young Grey, author of Memoria Technica and a writer. other well-known works. By her he Mr. Bowles was already a scholar of had seven children, of whom the eldest Trinity, for which foundation as well as son was William Lisle* Bowles, for Winchester, like every worthy pupil the subject of the present memoir. of a worthy seminary, he has felt through
life a constant and increasing affection; The name of Lisle was given to him, strongly expressed, with respect to the in honour of that ancient family of Everley, Wilts, into which Dr. Bowles, his grand t. Vindiciæ Wykehamicæ, further noticed father, married : a family originally of Nor- below. thumberland, but now, we believe, extinct. I Calpe obsessa. New MONTHLY MAG. No. 82. VOL. XIV.
latter, in one of his most recent pro- a testimony, from such a man, is truly ductions. The poetical spirit being valuable, and we have peculiar pleasure strong within him, Mr. Bowles very in recording it. early appeared before the public as an Mr. Bowles took his degree of masauthor, in his native . language. His ter of arts 'in 1792 ; and, on the death first publication, consisting of Seventeen of his father, who was rector of Uphill Sonnets, appeared in 1789; his Verses and Brean in Somersetshire, he quitted to Howard, on his account of Lazarettos, Oxford, entered into orders, and soon in the same year; inscribed to his after went to serve à curacy in Wiltworthy master Dr. Warton. In 1790 shire. In the second part of his sonhis muse wept over the Tomb of How. nets, there are traces of disappointed ard, whose merits he had so lately cele- hope, from the death of a beloved sebrated. His Verses to the Philanthropic male, most eloquently and pathetically Society followed ; and a Monody written lamented. Time, however, appears to at Matlock. All of which were well have produced its natural effect; and in received by the public. The sonnets in 1797 he formed a union, most fortunate particular were so much distinguished, in its influence upon his happiness, with that they had gone through five editions a sister of the former object of his affecbefore the end of 1797.
tion, a daughter of Dr. Wake, then preOf these Sonnets, the fame has been bendary of Westminster; and a lineal so widely spread, and so firmly establish- descendant of the archbishop of that ed, that they have operated soinewhat name. In the same year, by favour of to the injury of Mr. Bo's general charac- the late Lord Somers, he was presented ter as a poet; causing him, by careless to the living of Dumbleton, in Gloupersons, to be considered merely as a cestershire. In 1803, he was installed writer of sonnets; whereas these poems,
a prebendary in the church of Salisbury; excellent as they are in their kind, form and soon after received from Archbishop but a very small and comparatively in- Moore the valuable rectory of Bremhill, considerable part of Mr. B.'s composi- Wilts, his present, and from that time tions; and his larger poems are, in his constant residence. A debt of gramany instances, full as much distin- titude to Dr. Grey,* the maternal grandguished, in their respective classes, as father of Mr. B. was thus repaid by the any of his sonnets. Justice has, in one archbishop; and the gift has proved case, been done to his merits, but cer- auspicious, both to the object of it and tainly not always in the other. The to the place. sonnets, however, have had the pecu It is not necessary, in such a sketch liar good fortune to correct the taste and as the present, to follow up the exact animate the exertions of another poet, series of the author's productions, in who has thus, gratefully, acknowledg- regular order. Suffice it to say, that ed his obligations. Having said that they have gradually increased to fire they were first presented to him by a volumes of poetry, of which the last particular friend, he adds : “ It was a consists entirely of The Missionary, a double pleasure to me, and still remains poem in heroic couplets, comprised in a tender recollection, that I should have eight books, or cantos
. The subject of received, from a friend so reveredt, the this is the successful resistance of the first knowledge of a poet, by whose natives of Chili, to the Spanish general, works, year after year, I was so enthu- Valdivia; and it is treated with a spirit siastically delighted and inspired.” Con- and felicity which place it very high fessing, then, some mental errors into among poems of that class. The sonwhich he had been in danger of falling, nets occupy less than half of the first he proceeds : " But from this danger I volume, the rest are chiefly, poems of was chiefly withdrawn, by the genial in- moderate extent, and in various styles; Auence of a style of poetry, so tender, but in general upon well-chosen sub. and yet so manly; so natural and real, jects, treated with the skill and feelings and yet so dignified and harmonious, as of a genuine poet. Dr. Warton, whose the sonnets, &c. of Mr. Bowles.”I Such kindness encouraged his early disposi
tion to poetry, was gratefully celebrated
by Mr. B. in a Monody, which at once * Vindiciæ Wykehamicæ, 1818. + Dr. Middleton, now the revered Bishop
* The eldest daughter of Dr. Grey, was of Calcutta.
married to Dr. Lloyd, Dean of Norwich, and Coleridge's Bingraphia Literaria, vol. i.
was justly celebrated for her skill in painting, needle-work, &c.
does honour to the master and the burgh Review.* He has also defendpoet. This appears
in the second vo ed his own alma mater, Winchester, lume; but is preceded by what we against the attacks of Mr. Brougham; consider as the most beautiful descrip- as we have already had occasion to mentive poem in the language, entitled St. tion. An edition of Pope's works, pubMichael's Mount. The truth and preci- lished in 1806, which he was induced sion of the description, the brilliant to superintend, has involved him in clearness with which it is presented to some controversies, in which he has the mind of the reader, the natural shewn, at least, that he is well able beauty of the sentiments, together with to defend his opinions; and has supportthe harmony and classic purity of the ed them by reasons which are not likely language, place it, in our opinion, be- to be refuted. In consequence of this yond all chance of competition. We publication, he has also been accused of might expatiate also, with great justice, endeavouring to lower the poetical and on his smaller, as well as his larger moral character of Pope. li is our firm poem, on The Spirit of Discovery by Sea; conviction, that both were very remote but as the object of this slight account from his intention. To the poetical is rather to relate facts, than to record rank of that author he has certainly opinions, we forbear; having said thus assigned a much 'higher station than - much, chiefly to confirm our former as was allowed him 'by a former editor, sertion, that the general fame of this the acute and learned Dr. Warton ; and author has rather been obstructed than if he has not placed him in the highassisted, by the prevalent celebrity of his est, it is in conformity with principles juvenile productions, the Sonnets. which he has clearly 'stated, and ably
Mr. Bowles, with the genuine relish defended. We ought thence in canof a poet for rural scenes, has made dour to conclude that such was his it, as already hinted, his amusement in real, not assumed, opinion; and he is the retirement of his parish, to embel- not a writer to be suspected of lowering lish the garden and other grounds be- another poet to exalt himself. With longing to the rectory. Its situation, respect to the moral character of Pope, on the southern slope of a gentle hill
, certain facts appearing to be by more tecommanding a prospect eminently di- search established, the natural concluversified and beautiful, highly favoured sions from them could not well be supand encouraged this blameless gratifica- pressed, without evincing a partiality tion. Like Shenstone he has scattered which must have defeated itself. It is verses in his paths, and the shades of certainly more useful to the world to Bremhill will long testify that they were
shew men as they really were, than to once the retreat and solace of a poet.*
throw a false gloss over their lives, beBut poetry has by no means monopo
cause they were distinguished by their lized the attention of Mr. Bowles. genius. Doubtful accusations, of men Finding the religious steadiness of his who can no longer defend themselves, parish endangered, by the unceasing should certainly be avoided; but truth, efforts of dissenting preachers and when it comes to light, should not be supteachers, he has deeply studied the pressed ; unless we would have it congenuine tenets of our church, and par- cluded, that great talents confer an exticularly in iheir purest source, the emption from all common rules of action; Scriptures; with a penetrating and ori- —an opinion which too many have taken ginal view, he has also plunged into up, even before their title to the privilege many forgotten volumes of controver- has been proved, to any one but themsial divinity, and traced to their origin selves. This, at least, we can assert, some of the prevailing modern errors of that the feelings thus attributed to Mr. enthusiasm. These enquiries have led Bowles are inconsistent with the whole him to publish sermons, and other tenor of bis original writings, and, to works, of plain but sound divinity; and our certain knowledge, with his nature have enabled him to teach it with un
and disposition. usual success, by oral instruction,
The character of Pope, with respect He has entered also into other con
to some few points of morality, still troversies, and has inost happily de an agitated question. In this, if Mr. fended Pullic Schools, in a reply to the buffoonery and calumnies of the Edin * Classical Journal, vol. viii. pp. 187,
441, and vol. ix. p. 1. Republished with * See a slight description of them in the Dr. Vincent's and others, by Valpy, in 1817. Gent. Mag. Sept. 1814.
Bowles, as a commentator, has taken duties. Of late years, he has borne his the unfavourable side, we are convinced part in the magistracy of the county of that it was from the unbiassed operation Wilts.; and his retirement, though rural, of his judgment. To vindicate one poet, is far from being secluded. Much literary it is by no means necessary to slander and elegant society, at the house of a disanother; and, however this question tinguished nobleman in his neighbourmay be ultimately decided, they who hood, and occasionally, at his own, really know Mr. Bowles will remain together with an annual visit to the assured, that what he asserted he be- metropolis, enables him to keep pace lieved ; and what he thought himself with the world, in all that is worth obliged to censure, he censured with observing of its proceedings or its manregret.
With all his studious occupations,
ALI PACHA OF JANINA, AND THE SULLIOTS.
Much has been recently said and It was now his aim to obtain part of written concerning the Pacha of Janina, the possessions of the former republic of formerly called Ali Pacha, and his ty- Venice. To these belonged, besides ranny. As connected with the fate of the islands, the towns of Butrinto (the Parga, his name has become familiar to ancient Buthrotum), Parga, Prevesa, the British public, who will probably and Vonnizza, situated on the main be gratified with the following particu- land. He is now master of them all. lars respecting him, which are but little Prevesa, Vonnizza, and Butrinto, fell known, and will not prove uninterest- into his hands during the campaign of ing:
the French in Egypt, when, after the Ali has all the qualities which cha- total destruction of their fleet at Abouracterize the robber :—for some time, kir, the Russian and Turkish squadrons indeed, he followed that profession. came to reduce the Ionian islands, most Other circumstances, and a different of which were not in a state of defence, education, would, perhaps, have de- and to blockade Corfu, which was veloped in him the virtues of the hero. obliged to surrender for want of proviRare personal bravery, extraordinary sions. Prevesa was the only place the boldness, and great firmness in his reso- capture of which cost him any trouble. lutions, cannot be denied him ; but he Six hundred French defended themis at the same time vain, cruel, ava- selves there without fortifications, against ricious, false, faithless, and revengeful. thirty thousand Arnauts, with a courage Ambition is his predominant vice, and which will
never be forgotten in that the main-spring of all his actions. The country. They were not far from Therstates which he governs, that is to say, mopylæ, and they were not surpassed by which he oppresses and desolates, com- the Spartans who fought there under prehend Epire and Thessaly. In the Leonidas.. This defence will, perhaps, commencement of his power he often not be noticed in history, but it deserves said, “ You shall see that Ali Pacha, the a place among the most glorious achievesuccessor of Pyros (Pyrrhus), will sur
I collected the particulars of it pass that monarch in all that he thinks upon the spot; they are related by the fit to undertake.” He was at that time Greeks with transport and sorrow; but brooding over plans of rebellion against they could not sufficiently express their the Porte, and had, perhaps, even con- admiration when they spoke in particuceived the possibility of carrying his lar of an officer named Gabori, a native arms to Constantinople itself. The of Nantes. All his soldiers had fallen, events of the French revolution, and and he alone was left in one of the pubthe war in Italy in particular, gave a dif- lic places, surrounded by slain. Supferent direction to his thoughts. When ported against the tree of liberty, and the lonian islands were reduced by the assailed by innumerable enemies, he French, he hoped to derive advantage killed seven with his own hand; and from their proximity, and to make tliem when he at length sunk from exhaustion a point of support
. "The French, on the and fatigue, he still continued to strike other hand, were sensible that he might terror into all those who ventured forbe of service to them, and kept up an ward for the purpose of dispatching him. amicable understanding with him. Three hundred of the French never
theless survived the conflict. Shall I twice as great as that which I give to relate with what barbarity they were the Arnauts, because I know that your treated? We should not find a parallel valour surpasses their's. I will not, to it even among cannibals. Condemned therefore, go out to battle till your arto the torture of seeing the heads of rival, and trust I shall see you soon. their comrades struck off before their This is enough. I salute you." faces, flayed and pickled, they were com- On the receipt of this flattering letter, pelled to take these horrible trophies the chiefs held a consultation. Captain upon their shoulders, and carry them to Bogia, and the majority of the soldiers, Constantinople, where they were all regarded the proposal of the Pacha as a made slaves. Among these unfortu. stratagem to make himself master of nates were a general and another officer them and their mountains. Bogia acof high rank, who shared the fate of the cordingly returned for answer, that he rest. He who ordered these atrocious had received the Pacha's letter with executions was the same tyrant from great respect and submission, and for whom the Parganiots fled.
his own part was ready to obey his comThe possessions of Ali Pacha on the mands : but that he had not been able main land have not been increased to prevail upon the soldiers to accompamerely by what formerly belonged to ny him, and therefore it would be useless the Venetians. Nearly in the centre of for him alone to comply with the invi. his government there was a tribe which tation. Giavella, less circumspect, or, still maintained its independence. These perhaps, hoping to share with the Pacha people were called Sulliots, from the the booty he might take, acceded to mountain of Sulli, where they lived for- his proposal. He repaired to him with tified, as it were, by nature against all his troops, and was received with the attacks. The Sulliots prized their liberty strongest demonstrations of friendship. above every other possession. Ali Pacha For six days nothing occurred to give has contrived to subdue them, but not the lie to these assurances. Some till after many fruitless attempts, and by feigned attacks on Argirocastro confirmhis usual means, faithlessness and trea- ed Giavella in his delusion. On the chery. Nothing can furnish a better seventh, however, at a moment when it criterion for the character of this rob- was least expected, and when all his ber than the account of one of those companions were dispersed in the Turkattempts.
ish camp, they were secured and thrown Argirocastro, a Mahomedan town, into chains. "Three only, who had time about twelve leagues from Janina, had to seize their arms, died manfully dehoisted the banner of insurrection, and fending themselves; the others were refused to recognize an agent whom he sent to Janina, and imprisoned in the had sent thither. Under the pretext of small island in Lake Acherus, on the reducing it to obedience, he wrote to bank of which Janina is situated ; and the captains Bogia and Giavella, the Giavella was placed under a guard in the two most powerful chiefs of the Greek camp. The Pacha then hastened his inhabitants of Mount Sulli. He re- march to Sulli, and reached the mounquested them to join him with all their tain the following day. The Sulliots, men, and to support him in his expedi- accustomed to be upon their guard, and tion. His letter to Bogia was in mo- rendered more distrustful than ever by dern Greek; the following is a literal the suspicion which had prevented translation of it:
Bogia from accepting the Pacha's invi. “My dear friends, Captain Bogia and tation, were apprised of Ali's approach, Captain Giavella,” (the Greeks are ac- and of the fate of their countrymen, six customed to call all their chiefs cap- hours before his arrival. They. imtains) “I, Ali Pacha, salute you and mediately assembled to consult what kiss your eyes, because I am thoroughly was to be done, and to appoint a comacquainted with your courage and your mander, to which office they elected heroic sentiments. I consider myself as Bogia, with whose skill and prudence standing greatly in need of your assist- they were sufficiently acquainted. ance, and therefore intreat you, as soon The mountain of Sulli may be conas you shall receive my letter, to as- sidered as impregnable. A beautiful semble all your heroes, and to join me, plain of about six leagues, which exthat I may conquer my enemies. This tends to the eastward, and has an unis the hour and time when I want you. commonly fertile soil, constitutes the I expect the proofs of your friendship principal wealth of the inhabitants. and love for me. Your pay shall be Here they have built four villages, to