Great spirits who on earth are sojourning!
But Leigh Hunt is not guilty, in the above paragraph, of shocking levity alone,—he is guilty of falsehood. It is not true, that he learns for the first time, from that anonymous letter (so vulgar, that we could almost suspect him of having written it himself) what charges were in circulation against him. He knew it all before. Has he forgotten to whom he applied for explanation when Z.’s sharp essay on the Cockney Poetry cut him to the heart? He knows what he said upon those occasions, and let him ponder upon it. But what could induce him to suspect the amiable Bill Hazlitt, “him, the immaculate,” of being Z.? It was this,—he imagined that none but that foundered artist could know the fact of his feverish importunities to be reviewed by him in the Edinburgh Review. And therefore, having almost “as fine an intellectual touch” as “Bill the painter” himself, he thought he saw Z. lurking beneath the elegant exterior of that highly accomplished man.
Dear Hazlitt, whose tact intellectual
That it seems to feel truth as one’s fingers do touch.
But, for the present, we have nothing more to add. Leigh Hunt is delivered into our hands to do with him as we will. Our eyes shall be upon him, and unless he amend his ways, to wither and to blast him. The pages of the Edinburgh Review, we are confident, are henceforth shut against him. One wicked Cockney will not again be permitted to praise another in that journal, which, up to the moment when incest and adultery were defended in its pages, had, however openly at war with religion, kept at least upon decent terms with the cause of morality. It was indeed a fatal day for Mr. Jeffrey, when he degraded both himself and his original coadjutors, by taking into pay such an unprincipled blunderer as Hazlitt. He is not a coadjutor, he is an accomplice. The day is perhaps not far distant, when the Charlatan shall be stripped to the naked skin, and made to swallow his own vile prescriptions. He and Leigh Hunt are
Et cantare pares—