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The observation related, not to the poet, but the critic, whose pompous and pedantic criticism rather injured than promoted the cause of him it was intended to serve.
I only wish that the hand of patronage could be further extended. There are many men of genius and talents, whose daily bread is steep'd in tears. Let me here mention the name of Pennie, who has wristen a sublime poem, on a sacred subject. The name of the poem is the Royal Minstrel.”
I might here also mention a poor Somersetshire weaver, with a wife and three children, who has written many far from indifferent poems, and whose affecting music is heard in half the parish churches, and half the dissențing places of Worship, in England. His name is Shoel, and I was enabled some years ago to get a large subscription for him. Your insinuation, Mr. Gilchrist, that my attentions are directed to the great and affluent, is as heartless as it is unjust. There are some persons who know us both, who would tell you, that the poor man's cottage, is to him, whom you call the wealthy rector, as welcome as the rich man's palace.
Your insinuation, and, indeed, direct charge, that because I think it a public duty to expose your falsehood and injustice, in criticism, I am so sensitive a plant, as to criticism in general, that nothing can content me,” is equally untrue;
me,” is equally untrue; as is your assertion, that it was on account of criticism I once addressed a letter to the
a Editor of tậe Champion.
Mark, how a plain tale sball put you down. I have been a writer occasionally, upwards of thirty years. Whatever criticisms my writings may have encountered, and they have encountered severity as well as they have received praise, I never wrote one word in reply in my life, to criticisms, merely as criticisms.
The letter I wrote to the editor of the newspaper, was not on the account of the criticism you allude to. It was indifferent to me, whether I was represented as going to the fountain of Aganippe, or mistaking any other stream for it, as long as it was not the muddy pool at Stamford. As you, Mr. Gilchrist, have brought the story forward, when it had been so long forgotten, with the friendly' feelings of showing my “sensitiveness” to criticism, I must set you right.
I wrote to the editor of the paper where the criticism appeared, because the newspaper which contained it, with ingenious refinement, lest I or my friends should be ignorant of the contempt in which I was held, was sent down by a frank,directed to Mrs, Bowles!!! I thought this mode of giving pain to those, whom it would hurt, far more than it did me, was immanly and ungenerous. seem to know so much about a circumstance so trivial, I may
at last have found out the generous disposition who suggested this little piece of spite.
It was, on this account, thinking the writer might be the editor of the paper in which it appeared, I wrote to that editor, not on account of the criticism, though I took the opportunity, then, undoubtedly, to refer, having been treated with such disdain, to the editions of my poems.
The editor of the paper, of whom I then knew nothing, will telt you the same.
I do not recollect whether my letter to him was intended to be published.
The other instance, in which I controverted mistake, was in the case of Mr. Campbell. I had been held up by so popular a writer, as having confined all my ideas of poetry to the description of external nature'; if you will, to out of door nature. Mr. Campbell believed this on the authority of the Edinburgh Review, as Lord Byron, on the same authority,quoted a line in a perverted
1 never replied to the Edinburgh. I never replied to the Quarterly, where I have before been spoken of harshly.
It would grieve your heart were I to extract a sentence from Mr. Southey's letter, on the article so often spoken of.
In one instance, I confess, you have the greatest advantage over me, as the critic in the Quarterly has also; it is in turning against me, by your quotations, the strength of Lord Byron.
Your name is not in the English Bards and Scotch Reviewers, but, perhaps, this, in the lucid language of your coadjutor, may be “The Triumph OF THE FUTURE!"
In the mean time I must succumb; for, with Lord Byron turned against me, I have no chance. How blithly do you and your brother ring the changes and chimes” on the MOUTH OF CANDOR, AND THE HEART OF GALL;" on him,
66 who Did for hate what Mallet did for hire!" on the very wolves being directed to be silent, because,
“ Bowles to Cynthia howls, Making night hideous; answer him, YE OWLS!" Now, though I never attempted being at all “too gentyl,” to " smack the Satiric thong," I am obliged to do what I can, in this way, and though“ beginning late," I am sure I cannot possibly have a fairer subject. I therefore hereby promise, that, for every twentyfour lines, quoted by you or your friend, from Lord Byron, I will greet you with as many from my unpublished poem of the “Gilchri- . siad.” I cannot call my poem a“Rowland for an Oliver ;" yet, you
* The reader will see the reason why the anecdote of Lord Byron was introduced. Some incidental remarks were made on the letter to Sir J. Mackintosh.
will accept it as a first offering of my muse, in this line, of “in-door nature ! My “gentyl” verses, it seems, are little to your taste, and therefore,“ Sicilides Musæ, paulo majora canamus!" we must “ begin, and somewhat loudly strike the string !" Listen, then, Oh Gilchrist! and let the “ owls" of Stamford, or the Quarterly Review, some of whom have unaccountably roosted there, “ answer!”
What! shall the dark reviler cry,“ oh shame,”
Ye dark inquisitors, a monk-like band,
But chiefly Tues, whose manLY, GENEROUS mind,
Thee, whose coarse fustian, strip'd w'ch tinsel phrase,
Who, with sagacious nose, and leering eye,
See observations on Pope's detestable lines about Lady Mary. 2 See criticism and letter in his own name, in the London Magazine. VOL. XVII. Pam. NO. XXXIV.
2 A 2
GILCARIST, proceed, to other hearts impute,
PRODUCTION OF WEALTH,
INFLUENCE, WHICH THE VARIOUS CLASSES OF SOCIETY
HAVE, IN CARRYING ON THAT PROCESS :
“The more various the classes, the richer they are all; that is, the community in general."
Third Leading Principle of Circulation.
Pam. NO, XXXIV.