chapter  19
6 Pages

Hazlitt, from his unsigned review, Yellow Dwarf

2 May 1818

William Hazlitt, critic, essayist and journalist, combined radical politics with an admiration for Napoleon. This review from the Yellow Dwarf is reprinted in The Complete Works of William Hazlitt, Centenary Edn., ed. P. P. Howe. Childe Harold is a spoiled child of the Muses—and of Fortune. He looks down upon human life, not more with the superiority of intellect than with the arrogance of birth. In the present instance, the poet has not invoked the genius of the place in vain: it represents, the workings of his own spirit,—disturbed, restless, labouring, foaming and hid in labyrinths and plunging into the gloom of night. Lord Byron, in this the fourth and last Canto of Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, seems to have worn out the glowing fervour of his genius to a calx, and to have exhausted the intense enthusiasm of his favourite topics of invective.