On March 24 1814, Lord Byron writes to James Hogg about Shakespeare, Milton, Southey, Wordsworth and Coleridge. He likes Milton but thinks: “Shakespeare’s name, you may depend on it, stands absurdly too high and will go down.” He also thinks Southey, Coleridge and Wordsworth are
… mere old wives. Look at their beastly vulgarity, when they wish to be homely; and their exquisite stuff, when they clap on sail, and aim at fancy. Coleridge is the best of the trio – but bad is the best. Southey should have been a parish-clerk, and Wordsworth a man-midwife – both in darkness. I doubt if either of them ever got drunk, and I am of the old creed of Homer the wine-bibber.
The complete letter reads:
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