1821 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Cornelius Webbe

John Wilson, in Review of The Literary Pocket-Book; Blackwood's Magazine 10 (December 1821) 581.



On looking with a steady and spectacled eye on these six Sonnets, now that they are transferred into the pages of immortality, we suspect that in bidding them thus live for ever, we have been merciful rather than just. We suddenly discern that our old friend Cornelius Webbe is the man. We have been credibly informed, that we most irreverently laughed at this gentleman some years ago, — calling him Corney and Cockney, and other naughty names. As some satisfaction to his injured feelings, we have now printed his Christian name at full length — Cornelius. Did he ever read in Pierce Egan of one Whitaker, a pugilist, whose cognomen was the Jaw-breaker? Now Cornelius Webbe is a Jaw-Breaker. Let any man who desires to have his ivory dislodged, read the above Sonnet to March. Or shall we call Cornelius, the Grinder? After reading aloud these 14 lines, we called in our Odontist, and he found that every tooth in our head was loosened, and a slight fracture in the jaw. "My dearest Christopher," said the Odontist, "beware of the Ides of March." So saying, he bounced up in our faces, and disappeared.