1824 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Medwin

John Wilson, et. al., in Blackwood's Magazine (November 1824); Noctes Ambrosianae, ed. Mackenzie (1854) 2:8-9.



MULLION. Ay, ay, some truth, and many lies, I do suppose.

NORTH. I don't mean to call Medwin a liar: indeed, I should be sorry to forget the best stanza in Don Juan. The captain lies, sir; but it is only under a thousand mistakes. Whether Byron bammed him, or he, by virtue of his own egregious stupidity, was the sole and sufficient bammifier of himself, I know not, neither do I greatly care. This much is certain, (and it is enough for our turn,) that the book [Conversations of Byron] is, throughout, full of things that were not, and most resplendently deficient quoad the things that were.

MULLION. A got-up concern entirely? — A mere bookseller's business?

NORTH. I wish I could be quite sure that some part of the business of the book is not mere "bookseller's" business — I mean as to its sins of omission. You have seen from the newspapers, that Master Colburn cancelled some of the cuts anent our good friend, whom Byron so absurdly calls "the most timorous of all God's booksellers." How shall we be certain that he did not cancel ten thousand things about the most audacious of all God's booksellers?