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Percy Bysshe Shelley, Commentary


from Percy Bysshe Shelley Walter Bagehot (1856)
The peculiarity of his style is its intellectuality; and this strikes us the more from its contrast with his impulsiveness ... So in his writings; over the most intense excitement, the grandest objects, the keenest agony, the most buoyant joy, he throws an air of subtle mind. His language is minutely and acutely searching; at the dizziest height of meaning the keenness of the word is greatest ... In the wildest of ecstasies his self-anatomising intellect is equal to itself.

from Charles Lamb (source not provided)
For his theories and nostrums, they are oracular enough; but I either comprehend 'em not, or there is 'miching malice' and mischief in 'em, but, for the most part, ringing with their own emptiness.

Shelley I saw once. His voice is the most obnoxious squeak I ever was tormented with, ten thousand times worse than the Laureate's, whose voice is the worst part about him, except his Laureateship.

from William Hazlitt (source not provided)
..he has a fire in his eye, a fever in his blood, a maggot in his brain, a hectic flutter in his speech. . . . He is sanguine-complexioned, and shrill-voiced. . . . His bending, flexible form appears to take no strong hold of things, does not grapple with the world about him, but flows from it like a river.


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