‘Would it please you very much,’ asks Warrington
of Pendennis, ‘to have been the author of Hayley
was, in his day, as Southey
testifies, ‘by popular election the king of the English
poets;’ and he was held so important a personage that he received, what probably no other author ever has won, a large income for the last twelve years of his life in return for the prospective copyright of his posthumous memoirs.
Miss Anna Seward
, writing in 1786, ranks him, with the equally forgotten Mason
, as ‘the two foremost poets of the day;’ she calls Hayley
's poems ‘magnolias, roses, and amaranths,’ and pronounces his esteem a distinction greater than monarchs hold it in their power to bestow.
But probably nine out of ten who shall read these lines will have to consult a biographical dictionary to find out who Hayley
was; while his odd protege
, William Blake
, whom the fine ladies of the day wondered at Hayley
for patronizing, is now the favorite of literature and art.
So strong has been the recent swing of the pendulum in favor of what is called realism in fiction, it is very possible that if Hawthorne