1821 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Fitz-Greene Halleck

Anonymous, Review of Halleck, Fanny; New Monthly Magazine NS 3 (November 1821) 579.



This is one of the numerous imitations of Don Juan with which the press has been lately overrun. "Fanny" might as well have any other name, for the story is a mere nothing. Some of the stanzas possess wit, but it is wire-drawn, and wants originality. As a transatlantic performance, however, we wish not to judge it fastidiously: and if we censured it at all, it would be on the ground of a suspicion, which the extreme poverty of the story inspires, that the poem is rather an ill-natured satire on a couple of individuals, than a mere effusion of the imagination, or, as the author modestly expresses it,

A fairy vision
Of some gay creatures of the element!

We are sorry that the Americans are so early beginning to indulge in a propensity for this kind of satire, of which we have unfortunately had too much of late in our own country. It is not the happiest vehicle in which the Muse is to be wooed, for the purpose of refining the taste, or amending the heart. An undue propensity to it has ever been the vice of polished nations, and therefore we should not yet look for it in America.