1854 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Edward Quillinan

Robert Shelton Mackenzie, Note in Noctes Ambrosianae, ed. Mackenzie (1854) 1:141n.



Poems by Edward Quillinan (who was successively the son-in-law of Sir Egerton Brydges and Wordsworth,) were reviewed, in Blackwood, by Captain Hamiliton, who, because their author was or had been in the army, treated them as if written by a Heavy Dragoon. The critique was so personal as to be offensive, and Captain Quillinan went to Edinburgh to challenge the reviewer, whoever he might be. Accidentally sitting next Hamilton at dinner, Quillinan was so much pleased with him as to accept his invitation to have a cigar and walk home together. In the course of their conversation Quillinan mentioned how difficult he found it to ascertain the authorship of an article in Blackwood, and mentioned his own particular grievance of the critique. Hamilton smiled, and said, "My dear fellow, there was no private spleen in the matter. I, who wrote the article, knew nothing of the author I was quizzing, and am sorry that, by accident, I annoyed you." There was no more enmity nor anger, and they remained warm friends through life.