1798 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Chatterton

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, "Mr. Coleridge on his Monody" The Monthly Magazine 5 (January 1798) 9.



SIR,

I hope, that this letter may arrive time enough to answer its purpose. I cannot help considering myself as having been placed in a very ridiculous light, by the gentlemen who have remarked, answered, and rejoined concerning my monody on Chatterton. I have not seen the compositions of my competitors (unless indeed the exquisite poem of Warton's, entitled "The Suicide," refer to this subject) but this I know, that my own is a very poor one. It was a school exercise, somewhat altered; and it would have been omitted in the last edition of my poems, but for the request of my friend, Mr. COTTLE, whose property those poems are. If it be not in your intention to exhibit my name on any future month, you will accept my best thanks, and not publish this letter. But if Crito and the Alphabet-men should continue to communicate on this subject, and you should think it proper, for reasons best known to yourself, to publish their communications, then I depend on your kindness for the insertion of my letter; by which, it is possible, those your correspondents may be induced to expend their remarks, whether panegyrical or vituperative, on nobler game than on a poem which was, in truth, the first effort of a young man, all whose poems a candid critic will only consider as first efforts.

Your's, with due respect,

S. T. COLERIDGE,

Shrewsbury.