To Benjamin Bailey (Fragment from an outside sheet: postmark London, November 5, 1817)
Fragment from an outside sheet:
postmark London, November 5, 1817
… I will speak of something else, or my spleen will get higher and higher—and I am a bearer of the two-edged sword.—I hope you will receive an answer from Haydon soon—if not, Pride! Pride! Pride! I have received no more subscription—but shall soon have a full health, Liberty and leisure to give a good part of my time to him. I will certainly be in time for him. We have promised him one year: let that have elapsed, then do as we think proper. If I did not know how impossible it is, I should say—“do not at this time of disappointments, disturb yourself about others.”
There has been a flaming attack upon Hunt in the Endinburgh Magazine. I never read anything so virulent—accusing him of the greatest Crimes, depreciating his Wife, his Poetry, his Habits, his Company, his Conversation. These Philippics are to come out in numbers—called “the Cockney School of Poetry.” There has been but one number published—that on Hunt—to which they have prefixed a motto from one Cornelius Webb Poetaster—who unfortunately was of our party occasionally at Hampstead and took it into his head to write the following,—something about “we’ll talk on Wordsworth, Byron, a theme we never tire on;” and so forth till he comes to Hunt and Keats. In the Motto they have put Hunt and Keats in large letters—I have no doubt that the second number was intended for me: but have hopes of its non-appearance, from the following Advertisement in last Sunday’s Examiner:—“To Z.—The Writer of the Article signed Z., in Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine for October 1817 is invited to send his address to the printer of the Examiner, in order that Justice may be Executed on the proper person.” I don’t mind the thing much—but if he should go to such lengths with me as he has done with Hunt, I must infallibly call him to an Account if he be a human being, and appears in Squares and Theatres, where we might possibly meet—I don’t relish his abuse….