1826 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Thelwall

Sumner Lincoln Fairfield, in "Four Months in Europe" New-York Literary Gazette and American Athenaeum 3 (21 October 1826) 73.



A Mr. Thelwal, who was tried for high treason about twenty years since, and acquitted, having been turned out of his editorship of the old Monthly, has established a new work called the "Panoramic Miscellany," which is a decent sort of thing — a dull, plodding, wearyaway periodical; much such a work as one has a right to expect from such a man as Mr. Thelwal; who, his cockney son proclaims about the streets, is the greatest living poet in Great Britain! The Lord save us! Master Thelwal! I suspect, however — for I know nothing about him personally — that he greatly resembles one Mr. Gamage in America; and that he, like that honest man, who philippized against imprisonment for debt, until he got himself into prison, and afterward forgot all good-breeding, if he ever knew what it was, and violated the sanctity of confidential trust in the most ungentlemanlike manner; is more indebted for his fame, such as it is, to his own and his son's systematic puffing than to any intrinsic merit. His Miscellany finds persons to praise it, as every thing does in London; but his pretensions are greatly ridiculed, as I have reason to think, they deserve to be. What his eventual success may be, it is impossible to guess; for almost any work will be supported in England, if it violently attacks, or as violently defends the government, and abuses, without mercy, those whom the public hold in esteem and veneration.