1806 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. William Mason

William Hayley to Samuel Egerton Brydges, 25 October 1806; Brydges, Autobiography (1834) 2:287-88.



Both Mason and Gray had the infirmity of being too often out of humour with the world. When the former favoured me with a visit at the house of my friend Romney, it grieved me to observe the morbid appearance of his mind concerning censure and praise. He told me that the malignity of public criticism teazed and vexed him; and that public applause gave him little or no pleasure. His countenance confirmed what his discourse discovered, that in the declining period of his life his nervous system was cruelly disordered, and exhibited in a deplorable manner the opposite extremes of apathy and irritation.