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

Thomas Chatterton

Henry Mackenzie, Anecdotes and Egotisms, 1825 ca.; ed. Thompson (1927) 155.



I think it was in one of those magazines (the Town and Country, if I recollect rightly) that Chatterton, afterwards so well known in the literary world, then a mere boy, published his imitations of Ossian, given, however, not as imitations, but rather as antient poems newly discovered. So early did a species of literary forgery enter his mind. I was struck with the genius of those imitations, tho' not a dupe to their pretensions of originality, and wrote to London to learn who was the writer of them, when I discovered them to be Chatterton's.