THE VOGUE OF SCOTT AND BYRON
concerned. His theory would go far towards making Lamartine s and Jié Vigny's out of such purely orthodox types as Beets and Van Lennep. So, it seems to me that, while he states his case at impressive length, he is far from proving it satisfactorily. Zoo verstaan wij onder Byronisme", he says, de uitdrukking van de bitterheid en de droefheid, die veroorzaakt is door werkelijk of vermeend leed; de uiting der droefgeestige stemming, ontstaan door de gedachte aan de vergankelijkheid van al het aardsche en de onzekerheid omtrent 's menschen lot na den dood, een stemming, die aan Byron geëigend was; het uitdrukken van de onvoldaanheid, die men tenslotte gevoelt, wanneer men aan zijn hartstochten den vrijen teugel heeft gegeven, en van het ijdele verlangen naar wat het leven nimmer kan geven." 1 All this may be very true; but, nevertheless, it has singularly little application to Holland. This moody Apollo out of the West the young poets there also saw as the very type of romantic wanderer; but they were far less interested in his poetry as such, than as a determinedly personal revelation. The lack of beauty, the loose and tawdry abundance, the vain vehemence — all that constitutes his semifailure as a poet — struck less unkindly on their ears as foreigners; with the best of motives they accepted a great deal of what was bad, if not the worst, in Byron; and before they could discover what passion, sincerity, strong sense, could often lie beneath his fripperies, the enormity of his ill-conceived attempt to assert the claims of personality in an artificial and largely corrupt environment was brought home to their rabidly Calvinistic minds, and automatically deterred them from any further imitation or admiration. To men of such hide-bound morality the qualities that we now regard as characteristically Byronic could only be repugnant in the end; they had not the discernment to see that the Briton had imbibed some of their own ideas of predestinarianism and divine vengeance and actually sinned often out of a 1 Op. cit., p. 112.