1823 ca. ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Maginn

William Maginn to William Blackwood, 1823 ca.; Margaret Oliphant, William Blackwood and his Sons (1897) 1:397.



I of course heard an immensity of your Mag.; in London you are blamed for attacking obscure Londoners, most particularly Hazlitt. He is really too insignificant an animal. Make it a rule that his name be never mentioned by any of your friends; I for one will keep it. Croly is quite shocked at Tickler's attack on the gentlemen of the press, little suspecting that he was giving me a rap over the knuckles. He evidently has a vast veneration for the power of that company, and takes great credit to himself for suppressing the squib of B.'s blackguards. God help us! I dined with him in company with an insufferable wretch of the name of —, who knows everything of "Maga" that Croly knows, and who boasts of enjoying the confidence of L[ockhart]. I hope this is impossible, for the creature conducts some unheard-of paper in London, and is one of the press gang. He told me many other things, that he knew L. to be Z., for he had it from his own lips. Surely L. could not be such a spoony. I denied it flatly, saying that I had good reason to know that the gentleman who wrote Z. is now in Germany. He knew something about me, picked up among the pressmen, particularly my rumpus with Conway. The man is a cursed bore. I put your friends on guard against him. He speaks of Scott as if they had been pickpockets together at Calder Fair.