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Leigh Hunt's Relations with Byron, Shelley and Keats Part 23

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[449] _Recollections of Writers_, p. 19. Other accounts of these suppers are to be found in Hazlitt's _On the Conversations of Authors_; in the works dealing with Charles Lamb; and in the _Cornhill Magazine_, November, 1900.

[450] _The Life of Mary Russell Mitford_. Edited by A. J. K. L'Estrange, New York, 1870, I, p. 370, November 12, 1819.

[451] Sharp, _The Life and Letters of Joseph Severn_, p. 33.

[452] Notes, pp. 57-61.

[453] _Ibid._, pp. 62-68.



[454] Other controversies, such as the one with Antoine Dubost, show Hunt's aggressiveness. Dubost had sold a painting of Damocles to his patron, a Mr. Hope. The latter became convinced that the author was an imposter and tore the signature from the picture. In retaliation Dubost painted and exhibited _Beauty and the Beast_, a caricature of the whole incident. _The Examiner_ accused him of forgery and rank ingratitude. Hunt does not seem to have had any particular proof or knowledge on the subject, yet he employed scathing denunciation in writing of it. Dubost replied and asserted that Hunt was Hope's hireling, and that he had "ransacked the whole calendar of scurrility, and hunted for nick-names through all the common places of blackguardism." (Dubost, _An Appeal to the Public against the Calumnies of the Examiner_, London, n. d., p. 9.)

[455] He undertook a vindication of the Cockney School in a series of four articles, in which he pointed out the "mean insincerity," the "vulgar slander," the "mouthing cant," the "shabby spite," the falsehoods and the recantations of Blackwood's. The description of the conditions, under which Scott pictured the articles of his enemies to have been written, smacks of the mocking humor of _Blackwood's_ itself: "a redolency of Leith-ale, and tobacco smoke, which floats about all the pleasantry in question,--giving one the idea of its facetious articles having been written on the slopped table of a tavern parlour in the back-wynd, after the _convives_ had retired, and left the author to solitude, pipe-ashes, and the dregs of black-strap."

[456] Published in Edinburgh in 1820 and signed by "An American Scotchman."

[457] Published in Newcastle in 1821.

[458] The School was thus described in Blackwood's: "The chief constellations, in this poetical firmament, consist of led captains, and clerical hangers-on, whose pleasure, and whose business, it is, to celebrate in tuneful verse, the virtues of some angelic patron, who keeps a good table, and has interest with the archbishop, or the India House.

Verily they have their reward." In other words this group was composed of diners-out or parasites, and sycophants for livings and military appointments.

[459] Published in London, 1824.

[460] Published in London also in 1824.

[461] Keats, _Works_, IV, p. 66.

[462] C. C. Clarke, _Recollections of Writers_, p. 147.

[463] Keats, _Works_, IV, p. 66.

[464] _Life of Benjamin Robert Haydon_, p. 349.

[465] Dowden, _Life of Shelley_, II, p. 302.

[466] I, p. 133.

[467] _Keats_, p. 120.

[468] _Life in Poetry: Law in Taste_, pp. 21-23.

[469] _Age of Wordsworth_, p. 58.

[470] _Blackwood's_, November, 1820.

[471] _Ibid._, May, 1821.

[472] _Quarterly_, April, 1822.

[473] _Ibid._, January, 1823.

[474] _Blackwood's_, April, 1819.

[475] _Life, Letters and Table Talk of Benjamin Robert Haydon_, p. 69.

[476] _Blackwood's_, May, 1823, pp. 558-566.

[477] _Memoirs and Correspondence of Coventry Patmore_, I, p. 23.

[478] _Letters and Journals_, V, p. 588.

[479] _St. James Magazine_, XXXV, p. 387 ff.

[480] _Blackwood's_, December, 1821.

[481] _Letters and Journals_, V, pp. 587-590. March 25, 1821.

[482] _Ibid._, V, pp. 362-363. September 12, 1821.

[483] _Letters of Timothy Tickler, Esq._, July, 1823.

[484] September, 1824.

[485] Hunt, _Correspondence_, I, p. 136.

[486] Daniel Maclise, _A Gallery of Illustrious Literary Characters_ (1830-1838). London, n. d., p. 132.

[487] William Dorling, _Memoirs of Dora Greenwell_, London, 1885, p. 75.

[488] _Epistle to Barnes._

[489] This accusation has been made still more recently by Mr. Palgrave, who speaks of the "slipshod morality of _Rimini_ and _Hero_." _Poetical Works of John Keats_, p. 263.

[490] In 1844, however, he refashioned the whole poem, now representing Giovanni as deformed and as the murderer of his wife and brother, whereas in the version of 1816 Paolo had been slain in a duel and Francesca had died of grief. In 1855, he made a second change and went back to the 1816 version. The duel he preserved in the fragment, _Corso and Emilia_. Hunt's translation of Dante's episode appeared in _Stories of Verse_, 1855. In 1857 he made a third change and restored the version of 1844.

[491] The editor of _Blackwood's_ in a letter dated April 20, 1818, offered space to P. G. Patmore for a favourable critique of Hunt's poetry, reserving to himself the privilege of answering such an article. He stated further that if Hunt had employed less violent language towards the reviewer of _Rimini_ he might have been given a friendly explanation.

_Memoirs and Correspondence of Coventry Patmore_, II, p. 438.

[492] This charge was renewed in a review of Hunt's _Autobiography_ in 1850 in the _Eclectic Review_, XCII, p. 416.

[493] Byron greatly resented Southey's article: "I am glad Mr. Southey owns that article on _Foliage_ which excited my choler so much. But who else could have been the author? Who but Southey would have had the baseness, under the pretext of reviewing the work of one man, insidiously to make it nest work for hatching malicious calumnies against others?... I say nothing of the critique itself on _Foliage_; with the exception of a few sonnets, it was unworthy of Hunt. But what was the object of that article? I repeat, to villify and scatter his dark and devilish insinuation against me and others." (Medwin, _Conversations of Lord Byron_, p. 102.) Again Byron wrote of Southey in 1820: "Hence his quarterly overflowings, political and literary, in what he has termed himself 'the ungentle craft,' and his special wrath against Mr. Leigh Hunt, not withstanding that Hunt has done more for Wordsworth's reputation as a poet (such as it is), than all the Lakers could in their interchange of praises for the last twenty-five years." (_Letters and Journals_, V, p.

84.)

[494] _London Magazine_, October, 1823.

[495] September, 1823.

[496] Reprinted in the _Museum of Foreign Literature_, XII, p. 568.

[497] August, 1834, XXVI, p. 273.

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