1891 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Francis Hodgson

Samuel Smiles, in A Publisher and his Friends: Memoir of John Murray (1891) 2:34.



The Rev. Francis Hodgson, the friend and correspondent of Byron, published a poem entitled The Friends, which was favourably noticed by the reviewers, but was soon forgotten. Hodgson afterwards said it should have been called "Foes" instead of "Friends." In a letter to Murray (30th May, 1818) he wrote:—

"They have come late into the world, but with this you have nothing to do, and I (if possible) still less. In proportion to the slow arrival of a guest at a fashionable party, he should be loudly announced by the people at the stair-head. In plain English, every exertion will be necessary to prevent this last comer from dropping dead from the press."

Few of the poems when published reached a second edition, and not unfrequently the unsuccessful poets blamed their publisher rather than themselves for the failure of their works.