1823 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Isaac D'Israeli

T. Crofton Croker to William Blackwood, 26 March 1823; Margaret Oliphant, William Blackwood and his Sons (1897) 1:517.



26 March '23.

Mr. D'Israeli was quite pleased by your account of his Curiosities of Literature. I happened to be at a little dance in his house the evening he received "Maga." He had been looking forward to your account of his book, and came up to me rubbing his hands and looking so pleased. "Well," said he, "I have a letter from Mr. Blackwood, and a copy of his Magazine — have you seen it? — he speaks of me really in too flattering a strain. I am quite overcome! and what is singular, there are particulars in that article which I know not how the writer could get at. Blackwood's Magazine was always to me incomprehensible, and 'tis even more so now than ever. It is the most puzzling mixture of information and humbug, of learning and absurdity, that I have ever met with; but for me I can only thank Mr. Blackwood for the greatest kindness."

"Blackwood's kindness," echoed a gentleman present, who, I suspect, was smarting under the lash of Christopher North, Esq. — "who can depend upon his kindness? To-day he will praise, and to-morrow abuse; and even his praise is not worth having, as he is laughing at you all the time!"