1834 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Percy Bysshe Shelley

Samuel Egerton Brydges, in Autobiography (1834) 1:322.



What a wild and captivating, though mysterious, memoir would Shelley have written if he had left an account of himself! Ridiculed and neglected while alive, and represented in most of the literary journals as a bye-word of absurdity, charlatanism, and incomprehensibility; — now he is gone, he is lauded up to the skies as a supernatural genius! He was a genius, often pursuing a wrong direction and chasing ignes fatuos: but the present encomiums of him are extravagant.