1828 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Percy Bysshe Shelley

Walter Savage Landor, in "Landor, English Visitor, and Florentine Visitor" Imaginary Conversations (1828) 3:440-41.



Innocent and careless as a boy, he possessed all the delicate feelings of a gentleman, all the discrimination of a scholar, and united, in just degrees, the ardour of the poet with the patience and forbearance of the philosopher. His generosity and charity went far beyond those of any man (I believe) at present in existence. He was never known to speak evil of an enemy, unless that enemy had done some grievous injustice to another: and he divided his income of only one thousand pounds, with the fallen and afflicted.

This is the man against whom such clamours have been raised by the religious a la mode, and by those who live and lap under their tables: this is the man whom, from one false story about his former wife, I had refused to visit at Pisa. I blush in anguish at my prejudice and injustice, and ought hardly to feel it as it blessing or a consolation, that I regret him less than I should have done if I had known him personally. As to what remains of him now life is over, he occupies the third place among our poets of the present age no humble station . . for no other age since that of Sophocles has produced on the whole earth so many of such merit . . and is incomparably the most elegant, graceful, and harmonious of the prose-writers.