1848 ca. ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Isaac D'Israeli

Edgar Allan Poe, "Marginalia CLXXVII" 1848 ca; Works (1853) 3:567.



One of the most singular styles in the world — certainly one of the most loose — is that of the elder D'Israeli. For example, he thus begins his Chapter on Bibliomania: "The preceding article [that on Libraries] is honorable to literature." Here no self-praise is intended. The writer means to say merely that the facts narrated in the preceding article are honorable, etc. Three-fourths of his sentences are constructed in a similar manner. The blunders evidently arise, however, from the author's pre-occupation with his subject. His thought, or rather matter, outruns his pen, and drives him upon condensation at the expense of luminousness. The manner of D'Israeli has many of the traits of Gibbon — although little of the latter's precision.