1835 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Francis Beaumont

Leigh Hunt to J. F., 1835; Correspondence of Leigh Hunt (1862) 1:282-83.



Will you let Vincent bring me another volume of Beaumont and Fletcher? for I have read two thirds of the one I have, and suspect I shall not be able to resist going all through them. Am astonished at what they would have said to you, had you been at their side, insisting upon advance of story, non superfluities, &c. Am more astonished (ever) at the amazing coarseness they mingle with their delicacies, and the true love they mingle with the false; am delighted with their wit, poetry, and high gentlemanly style, &c. &c. But Lord! what a gentleman, after all, was Shakspeare, even to their gentlemen! &c. &c. &c. The wool-stapler's son, by some divine right of love on the part of father and mother, or whatsoever mystery it was, was a born prince compared with the bishop's and judge's sons.