1821 ca. ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Percy Bysshe Shelley

Thomas Noon Talfourd, in "Modern Periodical Literature" New Monthly Magazine (1821 ca.); Talfourd's Miscellaneous Writings (1869) 44.



Mr. Keats — who now happily has attained the vantage-ground whence he may defy criticism — was cruelly used or wantonly held up to ridicule in the Quarterly Review; to his transitory pain, we fear, but to the lasting disgrace of his traducer. Shelley has less ground of complaining — for he who attacks must not be surprised if he is visited with a martyr's doom. All ridicule of Keats was unprovoked insult and injury — an attack on Shelly was open and honest warfare, in which there is nothing to censure but the mode in which it was conducted. To deprecate his principles — to confute his reasonings — to expose his inconsistencies — to picture forth vividly all that his critics believed respecting the tendencies of his works — was just and lawful; but to give currency to slanderous stories respecting his character, and above all, darkly to insinuate guilt which they forebore to develope, was unmanly, and could only serve to injure an honourable cause.