1828 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Robert Southey

Anonymous, in Blackwood's Magazine 23 (March 1828) 399.



Byron recklessly insulted Southey, and Southey bearded him in all his anger and all his pride. He owed it to himself and to his high name, not only to repel the unprovoked and unjustifiable aggression, but after warding off, and receiving all blows on an undinted shield, to act on the offensive; and since he had before him a foeman well worthy of his steel, to show him that he knew how to wield it well, nor feared to turn the edge of the blade of "ethereal temper." It was like a combat between a Christian and a Paynim Knight — and the event was not such as could bear trumpeting in Heathenesse.