1820 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Lord Byron

Charles Lamb to Joseph Cottle, 26 May 1820; Works of Charles Lamb, ed. Lucas (1903-05) 6:540-41.



It was quite a mistake that I could dislike anything you should write against Lord Byron, for I have a thorough aversion to his character, and a very moderate admiration of his genius — he is great in so little a way — To be a poet is to be the man, the whole man — not a petty portion of occasional low passion worked up into a permanent form of humanity. Shakespear has thrust such rubbishy feelings into a corner — the dark, dusky heart of Don John, in the Much Ado about Nothing. The fact is, I have not seen your Expostulatory Epistle to him. I was not aware, till your question, that it was out. I shall inquire, and get it forthwith.