1825 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Bryan Waller Procter

John Wilson, et. al., in Blackwood's Magazine (September 1825); Noctes Ambrosianae, ed. Mackenzie (1854) 2:98.



TICKLER. Too poetical? Why, that red champagne has stirred up all the ethereal particles that mysteriously constitute the soul; and, as Jeffrey said to Coleridge, "Why, sir, my whole talk is poetry."

NORTH. Whoever wishes to know what poetry is, to know it clearly, distinctly, and permanently, let him read Barry Cornwall's article thereon in the last number of the Edinburgh Review.

TICKLER. That young gentleman deserves a dressing at your hands or mine, North, for he often runs a muck now; not in the Malay, however, but Cockney fashion, and the pen must be wrested out of his lily hand.

NORTH. The image is not unamusing; a slight, slim poetaster mincing a muck among the great English bards! I love Barry; for he writes pretty — very pretty verses — and has a eye for the beautiful — but in the character of critic—

TICKLER. He courts the world's applause, by endeavouring to imitate Leigh Hunt, Hazlitt, Jeffrey, the London Magazine, himself, Johnny Keats, and the morning papers; and in such slang he jargons the characters of Shakspeare and Milton. It is, indeed, despicable to see the old Blue and Yellow reduced to such drivelling as this.