chapter  25
5 Pages

Leigh Hunt, from his unsigned review of Cantos I and II, Examiner

31 October 1819, pp. 700–2

Seeing Byron as an ally in the struggle against political and religious reaction, Leigh Hunt gave him partisan support in the Examiner. Praise from such a source tended to discredit Byron still further in the eyes of many conservative reviewers, as did his later, ill-fated co-operation with Hunt in the production of the Liberal. Some persons consider the finest work of Lord Byron, or at least that in which he displays most power. It is at all events the most extraordinary that he has yet published. His other poems, with the exception of that amusing satire Beppo, are written for the most part with one sustained serious feeling throughout,—either of pathos, or grandeur, or passion, or all united. There are set of prudish and very suspicious moralists who endeavour to make vice appear to inexperienced eyes much more hateful than it really is. Nature has made vice to a certain degree pleasurable, though its painful consequences outweigh its present gratification.