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1 Cottle says, ‘The sale was so slow and the severity of most of the reviews so great that its progress to oblivion seemed to be certain.’ But the notices in the Monthly and Critical Reviews (then the most influential) were fair, and indeed favorable, especially to Wordsworth's share in the volume. The Monthly says, ‘So much genius and originality are discovered in this publication that we wish to see another from the same hand.’ The Critical, after saying that ‘in the whole range of English poetry we scarcely recollect anything superior to a passage in Lines written near Tintern Abbey,’ sums up thus: ‘Yet every piece discovers genius; and ill as the author has frequently employed his talents, they certainly rank him with the best of living poets.’ Such treatment cannot surely be called discouraging.
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