chapter  40
4 Pages

Some minor reviewers on Don Juan

1819–23

(a) In an anonymous review of Mazeppa in the Eclectic Review for August 1819, the writer comments on ‘a subsequent publication of notorious character’—Don Juan, Cantos I and II: ‘Poetry which it is impossible not to read without admiration, yet, which it is equally impossible to admire without losing some degree of self-respect; such as no brother could read aloud to his sister, no husband to his wife;—poetry in which the deliberate purpose of the Author is to corrupt by inflaming the mind, to seduce to the love of evil which he has himself chosen as his good; can be safely dealt with only in one way, by passing it over in silence. There are cases in which it is equally impossible to relax into laughter or to soften into pity, without feeling that an immoral concession is made to vice. ...