chapter  13
12 Pages

Jeffrey, from his unsigned, review, Edinburgh Review

Dated December 1816, issued February 1817, XXVII, 277–310
WithAndrew Rutherford

Lord Byron, however, it should be observed, like all other persons of a quick sense of beauty, and sure enough of their own originality to be in no fear of paltry imputations, is a great mimic of styles and manners, and a great borrower of external character. He and Mr. Walter Scott are full of imitations of all the writers from whom they have ever derived gratification; and the two most original writers of the age might appear, to superficial observers, to be the most deeply indebted to their predecessors. Lord Byron's poetry, in short, is too attractive and too famous to lie dormant or inoperative; and therefore, if it produces any painful or pernicious effects and ought to be suggestions of alteration. The great success of the singular production, indeed, has always appeared to an extraordinary proof of its merits; for, it does not belong to a sort of poetry that rises easily to popularity.