1796 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Chatterton

Crito, "Coleridge's Monody on Chatterton" The Monthly Magazine 2 (October 1796) 695.



SIR,

In common life, when a stranger enters a large circle, and pronounces a compliment to one man or woman present, at the expence of all the rest, it is thought but a very bungling sort of politeness; and the person complimented will be, perhaps, the most pained person in the room.

This reflection arose from reading in your last Number a note dated from Bristol, seeming to correct an error of fancy in a monody on Chatterton, written by Mr. Coleridge, but really only to tell the vast circle, the world, that no one else had written a monody "worthy of the subject."

Perhaps, the public will be far from joining in this matter with B. from Bristol. It is possible, that there is not another man to be found, who will think as he seems to think.

There were, at least, two monodies written on CHATTERTON, superior to the poem in question, in the the three great requisites of FEELING, DESCRIPTION, and HARMONY; and these were written by two of the best poets this century has given birth to.

CRITO.

Bath, Oct. 10.