Percy Bysshe Shelley.

Review of Hogg's Memoirs of Prince Alexy Haimatoff by Percy Bysshe Shelley; together with an extract from Some early writings of Shelley online

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the mind." On being released from his prison,
HaimatofF is next required to set down in writing an
exactly truthful account of his past life ; and then,
and not till then, is he instructed in the secret
language spoken by the Eleutheri. Finely, when
the year of probation has expired, he is invited to
take the oath of obedience to the Eleutherarch and
Eleutheri in council. Its terms are so absolute that
he starts back in alarm, and in a sudden recoil of
horror is about to strike the venerable president of
the Society with his dagger. " With a serene coun-
tenance he bared his breast, and pointing to his
heart, said, ' Strike there, Alexy ; thy blow will
then be effectual.' I trembled in every limb. ' Nay, if
thy hand is unsteady, let me guide it/ he continued,
taking hold of my hand and raising it as if to strike.
The dagger fell to the ground." Alexy is banished
for twelve months to England. And here, while one
evenincr seeing Garrick in " Richard the Third,"


Alexy's attention is attracted by "a young female"
in the front row of the boxes — the daughter of Sir
Fulke Hildebrand, the Mary who saves him from
further thought of Eleutheri or Eleutherarchs, and
who, after various trials and difficulties have been
overcome, replaces his lost Aiir-Ahibah, and becomes
the consolation of his manhood, the support of his
old age. Mary's father has Tory prejudices, "strong
in proportion as they were irrational." The astute
Alexy, though a votary of liberty and equality, re-
solves rather to humour than to thwart the Baronet's
foibles : " I contrived to be invited to dine in company
with him. I always proposed the health of the
minister ; I introduced politics, and defended the
Tory party in long speeches. I attended clubs and

public dinners in that interest The stratagem

was innocent, which injured no one, and which pro-
moted the happiness of two individuals, especially of
the most amiable woman the world ever knew."
With the Prince's marriage to Mary Hildebrand, and
the death of Bruhle a few months later, the memoirs
come to a close. The fair daughter of the Tory
house does not please Shelley :

"The character of Mary, deserves, we think, to be con-
sidered as the only complete failure in the book. Every
other female whom the author has attempted to describe is
designated by an individuality peculiarly marked and true.
They constitute finished portraits of whatever is eminently


simple, graceful, gentle, or disgustingly atrocious and vile.
Mary alone is the miserable parasite of fashion, the tame slave
of drivelling and drunken folly, the cold-hearted coquette,
the lying and meretricious prude. The means employed to
gain this worthless prize corresponds exactly with its worth-
lessness. Sir Fulke Hildebrand is a strenuous Tory ; Alexy
on his arrival in England professes himself inclined to the
principles of the Whig party ; finding that the Baronet had
sworn that his daughter should never marry a Whig, he
sacrifices his principles, and with inconceivable effrontery

thus palliates his apostacy and falsehood An instance

of more deplorable perversity of the human understanding
we do not recollect ever to have witnessed. It almost
persuades us to believe that scepticism or indifference con-
cerning certain sacred truths may occasionally produce a
subtlety of sophism, by which the conscience of the criminal
may be bribed to overlook his crime."

" Aliquando bonus dormitat Homerus," wrote
Shelley in his letter to Hogg, of November, 181 3,
" and the swans and the Eleutherarchs are proofs that
you were a little sleepy." The swans of which
Shelley speaks thus disrespectfully are those slow-
sailing forms of white which Alexy beheld during his
midnight watch in the cathedral, birds trained by the
Eleutheri to test by their ghost-like apparition the
materialistic faith of the novice. In his account of
the Society of the Eleutheri, Hogg seems to be
indulging in a bad dream after having read a book
which was always perused with interest by Shelley
— Barruel's " M^moires pour servir a l'histoire du


Jacobinisme " — let the reader look into the chapters on
Spartacus Weishaupt, the founder of Illuminism, and
he will see grounds for this conjecture ; and Bruhle,
in capturing and preparing Alexy for the Society,
plays the part of the Abbe" Barruel's illumind, bearing
the title of "le Frere insinuant ou l'Enroleur." A
year later than his letter to Hogg, Shelley, when
writing his article for the Critical Revieiv, was still
of the same opinion respecting the swans and the
Eleutherarch : —

" Towards the conclusion of this strange and powerful
performance it must be confessed that aliquando bonus
dtrmitat Homerus. The adventure of the Eleutheri,
although the sketch of a profounder project, is intro-
duced and concluded with unintelligible abruptness. Bruhle
dies, purposely, as it should seem, that his pupil may
renounce the romantic sublimity of his nature, and that his
inauspicious union and prostituted character might be exempt
from the censure of violated friendship."

Summing up his judgment upon the romance as
a whole, Shelley writes, at the close of his review : —

" Numerous indications of profound and vigorous thought
are scattered over even the most negligently compacted
portions of the narrative. It is an unweeded garden, where
nightshade is interwoven with sweet jessamine, and the most
delicate spices of the East peep over struggling stalks of
rank and poisonous hemlock.

" In the delineation of the more evanescent feelings and
uncommon instances of strong and delicate passion we


conceive the author to have exhibited new and unparalleled
powers. He has noticed some peculiarities of female
character with a delicacy and truth singularly exquisite. We
think the interesting subject of sexual relations requires for
its successful development the application of a mind thus
organised and endowed. Yet even here how great the
deficiencies ; this mind must be pure from the fashionable
superstitions of gallantry, must be exempt from the sordid
feelings which, with blind idolatry, worship the image and
blaspheme the deity, reverence the type and degrade the
reality of which it is an emblem.

" We do not hesitate to assert that the author of this
volume is a man of ability. His great though indisciplin-
able energies, and fervid rapidity of conception embodies
scenes and situations and of passions (sic) affording inex-
haustible food for wonder and delight. The interest is deep
and irresistible. A moral enchanter seems to have conjured
up the shapes of all that is beautiful and strange to suspend
the faculties in fascination and astonishment."

The general verdict on Hogg's romance was not
reversed by Shelley's extravagant eulogy, and Hogg
himself probably accepted the general verdict as just.
Shelley, in 18 14, was far from being a trustworthy
critic of books or men. A person, a poem, or a tale
which stimulated his imagination and moved his
feelings was at once idealised by Shelley, and was
viewed through a golden vapour which magnified the
object it half concealed. It was indeed so with
Shelley to the close, but as his mind matured, he
conferred its splendour more and more often upon


things which are in themselves truly admirable and

Shelley was at work on his review of " Prince Alexy
Haimatoff" on November 16, 1814, and did not cease
to write until long past midnight. He resumed his
work early next day, and then turned for relief to
Brockden Brown's romance, "Edgar Huntly." The
December number of the Critical Review was
published at the end of the month. On January 3,
181 5, Shelley received from Hookham a copy of the
number containing his article. On the evening of
that day Hogg called at Shelley's lodgings, and very
pleasantly sped by the evening hours.


I HAVE been asked in what way I was able to
identify the article on Hogg's novel in the Critical
Review as by Shelley. It was thus : in the unpublished
journal kept now by Shelley, now by Mary, I read —
under the date Wednesday, Nov. i6[i8i4] — "Shelley
writes his critique till half-past 3 [i.e. at night] " ; and
again, — "Nov. 17 — Shelley writes his critique, and then
reads Edgar Huntly all day." This made me curious.
I read again: "Jan. 3rd [18 15]. A parcel comes
from Hookham — the Critical Review which has the
critique of Prince Alexander Haimatoff \x\ it. . . Hogg
comes. A very pleasant evening." Putting the two
passages together I guessed that this was the critique
written by Shelley in November. I noticed the
resemblance between the passage in Shelley's letter
to Hogg of Nov. 26, 18 1 3, 1 " * Aliquando bonus dor-
mitat Homerns ' ; and the swans and the Eleuther-
archs are proofs that you were a little sleepy," and
the passage in the Review:' 1 "Towards the conclusion

1 See Hogg's Life of Shelley, vol. ii. p. 481.— T. J. W.

2 See ante, p. 26.— T. J. W.


of this strange and powerful performance it must be
confessed that aliquando bonus dormitat Homer us.
The adventure of the Eleutheri ... is introduced
and concluded with unintelligible abruptness ; " and
the inference was that the writer of the letter and
the writer of the article must be one and the same.
Other pieces of internal evidence {e.g. the reference
to Alfieris Life, see pp. 19 and 43, a book which Shelley
finished reading on Oct. 22), and the general style
of the article left no doubt on my mind. Perhaps
it is right to add that in giving an account of Hogg's
novel in the Contemporary Review I glided lightly
past the voluptuous scenes in the seraglio ; and in
quoting from Shelley's article I omitted one of the
most remarkable passages — that in which he speaks
with horror and detestation of the hired pleasures of
sensual appetite.


Feb. 17, 1886.

You are invited to join


The Yearly Subscription (which constitutes Membership)
is One Guinea, due every first of January, beginning
January 1st, 1886, and should be paid to either the Chairman
of Committee,

William Michael Rossettt, Esq.,

5, Endsleigh Gardens, Euston Road, London, N.W.,

or to the Honorary Secretary,

Sydney E. Preston, Esq.,
88, Eaton Place, London, S.W.

This Subscription entitles a Member to one copy of all
the Publications of the Society during the current year; to
attend, and introduce a friend to, all the Society's Meetings ;
and to admission for himself and (at least) two friends to the
Society's yearly performance of Shelley's Cenci or Hellas.

The Society's Inaugural Meeting will be held in the
Botany Theatre of University College, Gower Street, London,
W.C., on Wednesday evening, March 10th, 1886, at 8 p.m.,
when an address on Shelley will be delivered by the Rev.
Stopford A. Brooke, M.A.

The Facsimile Reprint of Shelley's Adonais (4 to, Pisa, 1821),
the Reprint of Shelley's Review of Hogg's Memoirs of Prince
Alcxy Haimatoff, 1814 (never before reprinted), with Prof.
Dowden's sketch of Hogg's book, and Part I. of Mr. H. Buxton

DO '

Forman's Shelley Bibliography, will be issued before the Meeting
to those Members who have paid their Subscription.



William E. A. Axon.

Miss Mathilde Blind.

Kev. Stopford A. Brooke, M.A.

Bertram Dobell.

Alfred Forman.

H. Buxton Forman.

Fredk. J. Furnivall, M.A., Ph.D.

( Treasurer.)
Rev. W. A. Harrison, M.A.
Prof. A. S. Napier, M.A., Ph.D.
Hon. Sec. Sydney E. Preston,

Robert Alfred Potts.
William Michael Rossetti.

Gabriel Sarrazin.
William Bell Scott.
Henry Sweet, M.A.
Wm. Bernhard Tegetmeier.
John Todhunter, M.D
A. W. Verrall, M.A.
Thomas J. Wise.
88, Eaton Place, London, S.W.


Hackney : E. Berdoe, Tyneniouth House, Victoria Park Gate.
Manchester : T. C. Abbott, Eastlegh, Queen's Road, Bowdon.
Massachusetts, U.S.A. : Prof. J. M. Pierce, 4, Kirkland Place, Cambridge.
Neio York : Charles W. Frederickson, 741, Lexington Avenue.
Oxford: Grey H. Skipwitu (Trinity Coll.), 26, Holywell Street.
Heading : J. J. Rossiter, 12, Abbot's Walk, Forbury Gardens.
Uxbridge : Alfred Fountain, Higbfield, Hillingdon.

Bank : London and County, Holborn Brancb, 324, High Holborn, W.C.

The Society's Meetings and Papers during its First Session, 1886,
will be at University College, Gower Street, at 8 p.m. on Wednesdays

March 10. Inaugural Address on "Shelley," by the Rev. Stopford A.
Brooke, MA.

" On the Vicissitudes of Queen Mab," by H. Buxton

" On the Primitiveness of Shelley's View of Nature, its
Parallelism with that of the Vedas, and its Contrast with that
of Shakspere and other Poets," by Hy. Sweet, M.A.
"Shelley's View of Nature contrasted with Darwin's," by
Miss Mathilde Blind.
15. "A Study of Prometheus Unbound" by William Michael






The Society's Performance of THE CENCI,

Beatrice Cenci Miss Alma Murray,

Lucretia, Countess Cenci Miss Maude BrennaN,

Count Cenci Mr. Hermann Vezin,

Orsino Mr. Leonard S. Outram,

will te held at a London Theatre on some afternoon early in May, 1886.

If sufficient Subscriptions are received, the Committee will organize a
performance of Shelley's Hellas, with Dr. W. C. Selle's music, in November,


This Society is started to gather the chief admirers of the
Poet into a body which will work to do his memory honour, by
meeting to discuss his writings, qualities, opinions, life, and
doings ; by getting his plays acted ; by reprinting the rarest
of his original editions; by facsimiling such of his MSS.
as may be accessible ; by compiling a Shelley Lexicon
or Concordance ; by getting a Shelley Primer published ; by
generally investigating and illustrating his genius and per-
sonality from every side and in every detail ; and by extending
his influence.

The charm and power of Shelley as poet, essayist, letter-
writer and man, are too widely acknowledged to need dwelling
on here. No more attractive figure than his beams from
the gallery of our literature. The present age is beginning
to do justice to the high qualities of his genius, and it is but
natural that those men and women who appreciate it should
desire to band themselves into a Shelley Society, in which they
can commune together and take steps to reach ends which,
individually, they could not attain.

One of these is the performance of Shelley's plays. He
himself wanted to have his Ccnci on the stage, with Miss O'Neil
as Beatrice. Macready, after he had retired from the boards,
declared he would come back to them if he had the chance of
playing Count Cenci. Now the Shelley Society can get the
play acted early next May. M iss Alma Murray, whose charming
performances of Constance and Colombo in Browning's In a
Balcony and Colombo s Birthday have so delighted the Browning
Society, has kindly promised to play Beatrice Cenci, and Mr.
Hermann Vezin and Mr. Outram have been good enough to
undertake Count Cenci and Orsino. They will use their influence
with other good actors to volunteer for the other parts. Hellas
may perhaps follow The Cenci in November, 188G, or in 1887,
as Dr. W. C. Selle" is kindly setting its choruses to music for the

Many points to 1m- discussed in Shelley's works and life, his


religion, politics, sociology, views of nature and art, mythology,
metre, revisions, development, &c, &c, will occur to even-
student, as also the need of a reprint of his first editions, of old
articles on him, and the facsimiling of his MSS. No one
doubts that when a set of Shelley students get together, they
will find plenty of work for their Shelley Society to do, and
that their Papers and Discussions can be kept clear of any of
the old odium Iheologicum and the like. Dispassionate treat-
ment of all Shelley topics is now easy, and is consistent with
the entire frankness of expression which the Society will
always allow in its Meetings and publications.

It is proposed that the Presidency and Vice-Presidency of
the Society be left vacant for the present; but that the
Committee consist of Shelley workers, Messrs. W. M. Rossetti,
H. Buxton Foi:man, Todiiunter, B. Dobell, T. J. Wise, and
other students of Shelley, like the Rev. Stopford A. Brooke,
the Rev. W. A. Harrison, Mr. Alfred Forman, Mr. Henry
Sweet (who suggested the formation of a Shelley Society) and
Dr. Fuknivall (the founder of the Society), whose father knew
and liked Shelley, as Shelley liked him. The number of the
Committee will be twenty. This Committee will manage the
Society till December 1886, and then suggest to Members the
future Rules and Officers of the Society. (The Society is
constituted for ten years only.) The Society's publishers
are Messrs. Reeves and Turner, of 196, Strand, London,
W.C. ; its printers, Messrs. R. Clay and Sons, of Bread Street
Hill, E.C., and Bungay, Suffolk.

The Society's Meetings will be held at University College,
Gower Street, W.C, at 8 p.m., on the second Wednesday
in March, April, May, November and December, 1886, &c.
The performance of The Cenci will be at a London theatre,
on some afternoon early in May, 1886.

The Annual Suhscriplion, which constitutes Membership, is One-
Guinea, due every 1st of January. Members' Names and Sub-
scriptions should be sent at once to W. M. Rossetti, Esq.,
5, Endsleigh Gardens, London, N.W., or to Sydney E. Preston,
88, Eaton Place, London, S.W.
Sth December, 1885.


The Society's Publications will be issued in Four Series: —

Series I. will consist of the Papers read before the Society, and an
Abstract of any which are not printed in full, together with Reports of
the Discussions at the Society's Meetings. The Abstract will be edited by
the Hrnorary Secretary, and will contain Shelley " Notes and Queries " and
' News,' for both of which, contributions from Members are desired.

Series II. will be a set of Facsimile Eeprints of all the rarest works
of Shelley, with full bibliographical Notices. Of these a list will be
found on page 6.

Series III. will consist of Reprints of the most important Magazine
Articles on Shelley and his Works :

§ 1. Biographical, beginning with Hogg's seven important articles on
" Shelley at Oxford," &c, in The New Monthly Magazine, 1832 and 1833.

§ 2. Contemporary Criticisms of Shelley's Works. (The abusive tone
of most of these constitutes their main interest to Shelley students.)

§ 3. Critical Articles in later periodicals on Shelley and his Works.
Though these will be mainly from journals of the last ten years (see the
list on page 8), yet such Reviews as those of Shelley's Posthumous
Poems in The Edinburgh Review of July 1824 (vol. xl. pp. 494-514, by
Hazlitt), in the Quarterly of June 182b' (vol. xxxiv. pp. 148-153), in the
Metropolitan Quarterly Magazim (No. 3), 1826, and The Mirror (vol. vii.
pp. 215-217), 1826, and on Shelley in The Censor, 1829 (pp. 38-9,49-51, 86),
will not be excluded.

(The reproduction of Copyright Articles will of course depend on the
consent of the copyright owners being obtained. The Committee trust that
the generosity usual in like eases will be extended to the Shelley Society.)

Series IV. will be a Miscellaneous one, and will include an edition of
The Cenci for the Society's performances of the play; Shelley's Auto-
biography; a Shelley Primer; a Concordance to Shelley's Poetical Works,
a Word- and Subject-Index to his Prose Works and Letters, and such other
works as may hereafter be decided on.

The Committee wish to get a large number of Branch Shelley Societies
and Local Shelley Reading Clubs started out of London, and in its suburbs.
They will be glad to appoint as Local Honorary Secretaries in any district
such persons as will undertake to do what they can to promote the study
of Shelley in their different localities.

The Committee also desire that all the effort and cost of getting up the
performance of The Cenci in May next should not result in only one
representation of this the greatest tragedy of modern drama. _They have
therefore opened a Subscription to secure at least one repetition of tin-
performance, and they have received promises to the amount of Fifteen
Guineas. Twice this sum would make the repetition certain ; and the
Committee accord in^lv ask for further donations to the Fund.

The Committee
formance of Shell

'•lionises to musk'

are also prepared to receive Subscriptions for a per-
ev's Hellas, of which Dr. W. C. Soil.- is setting the


Series I. Papers.
Parti. The Inaugural Address of the Rev. Stopford A. Brooke, M. A.,
and other Papers of the Session 1886, with Abstracts of the Discussions,
Shelley " Notes and Queries" ' News,' &c.

Series II. Facsimile Reprints of Shelley's Original Editions.

1. Adonais. 4to. Pisa, 1821. » Edited by Thomas J. Wise.

[No a- ready.

2. Shelley's Review of Hogg's Memoirs of Prince Alexy Haimatoff
in the Oritiriif llrr'iew for December 1814 (not in facsimile), with Prof.
i).>\\ den's Article on it. Edited by Thomas J. "Wise. [Now ready.

3. Alastor. 1816. [Now ready.

4. An Address to the Irish People. 8vo. 1812. {At press. Presented

' I . W M.l BB B. Ki.ATKU.)

."). Epipsychidion, 8vo. 1821.

6. A Refutation of Deism. 8vo. 1814.

7. CEdipus Tyrannus. 8vo. 1820.

8. A Proposal for putting Reform to (he Vote. 8vo. 1817.

9. The Necessity of Atheism. 8vo. (Not dated, but 1811.) (To be
presented by Mr. Thomas J. Wise.)

10. Proposals for an Association of Philanthropists. 8vo. (Not dated,
but 1812.)

11. Posthumous Fragments of Margaret Nicholson. 4to. 1810. 3

12. A Vindication of Natural Diet. 12mo. 1813. 4

13. A Letter to Lord Ellenborough. 8vo. (Not dated, but 181 2. 5 )

14. Hellas, a Lyrical Drama. 1822.

Series III. Magazine Articles.
Section 1. — Biographical.
(Many of the most important contributions to Shelley Biography are to
be found in Periodical Literature. The following are those chiefly needed
to fill up the gaps in the story of the Poet's life, and to correct the many
inaccuracies of Hogg, Medwin, and other of his earlier biographers.)
Part I. — Statements bv writers personally acquainted with Shelley.

1. "Percy Bysshe Shelley," in Stochdalds Budget, 1826-7. [At press.

2. Hogg's "Shelley at Oxford," 6 in Hie New Monthly Magazine,
January, February, April, July, October, and December, 1832, pp. 90-96,
131)144, 343-352,' 65-73, 321-330, 505-513. [A t press.

3. Hogg's " The History of Percy Bysshe Shelley's Expulsion from Ox-
ford," in The New Monthly Magazine, for May, 1833, pp. 17-29. [At press.

4. "A Newspaper Editor's Reminiscences," in Eraser, No. exxviii.,
•lime, 1841, pp. 699-710.

5. Peacocks "Memoirs of Shelley," in Fraser, No. cccxlii., June, 1858,
pp. 643-659 ; No. ccclxi., January, I860, pp. 92-109 ; No. ccclxiii., March,
I860, pp. 301-319 ; No. ccclxv., May, 1860, p. 738 ; and No. ccclxxxvii..
March, 1862, pp. 343-346.

6. " Shellev, bv One who Knew Him," by Thornton Hunt, in The
Atlantic Monthly, February, 1863, pp. 184-204.

1 Fur this, as much as £60 has been paid.

'' From "Some Early Writings of Shelley," in The Contemporary Review, September, 1884.
8 A. " cut " copy of this in poor condition brought £53 in the Gardyne sale a few months since.
■* A reprint of this tract has been published by the Vegetarian Society, Manchester.

5 A penny reprint of this letter can be had of the Progressive Publishing Company, 28, Stone-
cutter Street, London. E.C.

6 The six articles under this title ("Shelley at Oxford"), and the supplementary article
recounting the Expulsion of Shelley and himself from Oxford, contributed by Hogg to The New
.Monthly Magazine in 1832 ami 1833, form perhaps the most valuable portion of the two volumes
which Hogg afterwards issued in f-58.


Part II. — Statements by later writers.
1. " Notes on Shelley's Birthplace," by W. Hale White, in Macmillan'u
Magazine, No. 233, vol. xxxix. pp. 461-465.

2 " On the Drowning of Shelley," by R. H. Home, in Fraser, Nov. 1870,
pp. 618-625.

. 3. " Shelley in 1812—13 : An Unpublished Poem," by W. M. Rossetti,
'n The Fortitiyhtly Review, January, 1871, pp. 67-85.

4. "Shelley's Last Days," by Dr. Garnett, in The Fortnightly Reviciv,

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Online LibraryPercy Bysshe ShelleyReview of Hogg's Memoirs of Prince Alexy Haimatoff by Percy Bysshe Shelley; together with an extract from Some early writings of Shelley → online text (page 3 of 4)