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“We have said enough of both the poetry and the prosé of Mr. Landor. Nothing can so plainly exhibit his uncurable blindness as his losing his way towards us in so clear a daylight. If he had remonstrated with us, quietly, with due submission, and a little at a time, month after month, it would not only have answered our purpose, but would also have helped him, by however slow degrees, into popularity. He does not deserve it, and he never shall have it now. We could have told him fifty ways by which he might have pocketed his five hundred pounds in a season, as others do who (except in spelling) are little better than himself. Mum now; mum say we; mum for ever.
“We have brought him down from the ideal: we have got him into the Heart of Mid-Lothian. Booksellers will do wisely in not engaging him about anything. Indeed there is no danger of their burning their fingers with this firebrand. There are ashes enough over it to keep it as much from burning as from shining. It is said indeed that he is such an old-fashioned pedant, and conceited incorrigible prig, that he will accept no engagement, and he will write to please himself. If so, he must make up his mind and his mouth to dine by himself too. To prove on what a quagmire he builds his foundation, no two readers agree on his merits, when even two can be found to agree that he has any. The pedant says he excels (if the word may be used where there is no excellence at all) in representing the characters of the Greeks and Romans. We ask now, . whether he has done it with the sportive fidelity of a Cruikshanks ? or whether not rather (in the attempt at least) with the unworthy artifices of a Raffael and a Flaxman? Now we call this mere flim-flam : and we are ready to demonstrate from it his utter ignorance, of nature, of art, and of antiquity. We can tell him (for we know more of these matters than he or his grandmother, with her cracked spectacles, her singed garter, and her broken fore-tooth, the only one) that Homer shews his heroes 'eating and drinking; and neither he nor they are the worse for it. Milton too has a pretty, though somewhat spare lunch set out for his angels. We approve of this ; and we only regret that the poets, in their squeamishness, do not go on a few steps farther.”
The next sentence is too strong of Auld Reekie.
“ So much for his men. Now the ladies say that his female characters are his best-drawn : Hazlit too thought so. But are we to be guided through the nose by the Ann Dobbss and the William Hazlits ? What should a creature like Hazlit know about the matter? Did he ever see Lady Jane Grey ? or Anna Boleyne? or Lady Lisle ? or any of the other sad sour faces, which the Chaplain Landor, in full canonicals, leads so civilly up the ladder to the block and gallows? Such criticks as Hazlit would tell us that these women have all their own marks, and are all very different one from another. To be sure they are; and so are the dogs in the street. We should like to know what merit
there is in this, belonging to the writer, or the women, or the dogs. We ly believe be stole all his characters from some musty old books. We cannot, this month, lay our hands upon them, but we promise our readers they shall not be disappointed. Original indeed! what do the fools mean who call him so ? The greatest thief is always the most dexterous in the concealment of his thefts. But we have keys, and crow-bars too, if necessary. He is the most self-sufficient wretch that ever lived : he hardly ever quotes anybody, but lives, like other bears in hard weather, by sucking his own paws.
- This is all we have time to say at present. We began with goose-liver, and with goose-liver we will end : we have not done with the cook yet : there is grease enough in his pan for another fry, and we will have it.”
IBOTSON AND PALMER, PRINTERS, SAVOY STREET, STRAND.