1817 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. George Crabbe

Mary Leadbeater to George Crabbe, 1 December 1817; Leadbeater Papers (1862) 2:353.



"Try and write a tale thyself," said one of my friends. I tried, and took a circumstance which I had heard in my young days from a Welsh clergyman who knew the fact. My tale was finished, and ready to read to my eldest daughter on her return from a visit, as "a new Tale of Crabbe's." It was read, and well read, aloud. My daughter listened, and gave it all due commendation. "But it is not Crabbe's, — it wants the spirit, the terseness, the raciness, the painting of Crabbe. — Crabbe never wrote that tale," says my discerning Elizabeth!