1822 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Godwin

James Harley, in The Press, or Literary Chit-Chat. A Satire (1822) 14 &n.



HOCUS.
There's Lady — I forget her name-who wrote
Glenarvon—

POCUS.
(That book held its antidote.
Though 'twas a tender tale, yet 'twas so wild,
Where was the brain that could be so beguiled?)

HOCUS.
And many more, Godwin and Byron both
Deal out excitement with a hand not loth.

JOCUS.
First of the former: there in Godwin's works
Is something to draw feeling out of Turks;
Their tendency, alas! I cannot praise,
'Tis to teach man to curse his lengthen'd days.*
Byron demands a longer notice—

* Godwin is a complete veteran in literary annals. His Caleb Williams appears like an old friend, and recalls a thousand thoughts to the imagination; and his St. Leon — who can read it unmoved? His last production of the novel species, Mandeville, is an able description of the disorder of a diseased mind. But who is there that does not regret that powers of such first-rate order should be devoted to such worse than unprofitable subjects?