1815 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Gifford

George Ticknor; Journal Entry, 19 June 1815; Life, Letters, and Journals of George Ticknor (1876) 1:58.



June 19. — Among other persons, I brought letters to Gifford, the satirist, but never saw him until yesterday. Never was I so mistaken in my anticipations. Instead of a tall and handsome man, as I had supposed him from his picture, — a man of severe and bitter remarks in conversation, such as I had good reason to believe him from his books, I found him a short, deformed, and ugly little man, with a large head sunk between his shoulders, and one of his eyes turned outward, but, withal, one of the best-natured, most open and well-bred gentlemen I have met. He is editor of the "Quarterly Review," and was not a little surprised and pleased to hear that it was reprinted with us, which I told him, with an indirect allusion to the review of Inchiquin. He very readily took up the subject, and defended that article, on the ground that it was part of the system of warfare which was going on at that time, — and I told him that it had been answered on the same ground, and in the same temper. As he seemed curious to know something about the answer, I told him I would send it to him; and, as he is supposed to be the author of the article in question, I could hardly have sent it to a better market. He carried me to a handsome room over Murray's bookstore, which he has fitted up as a sort of literary lounge, where authors resort to read newspapers and talk literary gossip. I found there Elmsley, Hallam, — Lord Byron's "Classic Hallam, much renowned for Greek," now as famous for being one of his lordship's friends, — Boswell, a son of Johnson's biographer, etc., so that I finished a long forenoon very pleasantly.