Archive for the ‘criticism’ Category

Thomas Carlyle saw red when he saw Swinburne. (Swine-born as Punch would characterize him). He refused to receive the poet on the grounds, he was ‘sitting in a sewer and adding to it.’ The poet thin and unsteady with a face all curves with a weak chin and topped with a carrot mop wildly spread out called to mind, one who was addicted to drink if not laudanum. He had a secret vice, of flagellation. Perhaps corporal punishment administrated to him in his school days stuck with him in later life. He got back on Carlyle by this comment: ‘That very sorry pair of phenomena,Thomas Cloacina and his Goody.’
On Charles Lamb Carlyle said thus: ‘Charles Lamb I sincerely believe to be in some considerable degree insane . A more pitiful,rickety,grasping,staggering stammering Tomfool I do not know. ‘. He didn’t spare Coleridge whose work he dismissed as thus:’ A weak,diffusive,weltering,ineffectual man…Never did I see such apparatus got ready for thinking,and so little thought. He mounts scaffolding,pulleys and tackle,gathers all the tools in th neighborhood with labor, with noise,demonstration,precept,abuse, and sets-three bricks.
On Charles Darwin:
I have no patience whatever with these gorilla damnifications of humanity.

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