1828 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Hookham Frere

Leigh Hunt, in Lord Byron and some of his Contemporaries (1828) 133.



He [Byron] was so cautious of turning the public attention upon any body whom he considered as not in fashion, and at the same time so jealous of being thought indebted to any such person for a hint, that he was disconcerted at the mention I made, in The Liberal, of the Specimen of an intended National Poem, since called, The Monks and the Giants, the precursor of Beppo, and Don Juan. In vain had Don Juan avoided the mistake which hindered the Specimen from succeeding; in vain it was, in every sense of the word, a greater work: and in vain, great as it was, were the readers of Italian aware, that twenty poems existed in that language, which hindered it from being an original in point of style. He did not like that any thing should be mentioned, which deprived him of a particle of fame, well or ill grounded. A reference to the Specimen did not please him.