1825 ca. ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Richard Cumberland

Henry Mackenzie, Anecdotes and Egotisms, 1825 ca.; ed. Thompson (1927) 203.



CUMBERLAND, vain man. He sent to me at London his novel entituled Henry, and asked my impartial opinion of it. When he called on me for that purpose, I told him, truly, that I was much pleased with it; but there were passages rather of a luscious sort, which I could not venture to read to a lady. "Good God!" and he (almost in the words which Sheridan has put into his mouth in The Critic). "You do not say so! I read it to Mrs. Cumberland, to my daughter, to Lady —, to the Countess of —, none of whom found the least impropriety in it. You must, my dear Sir, have confounded it with some other book, as I know you are a great reader." I was fain to eat up my words, owned my defect of memory, and that it was not unlikely that I had confounded it with some other less virtuous novel.