Reference > Quotations > John Bartlett, comp. > Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. > 5284. Samuel Taylor Coleridge
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John Bartlett (1820–1905).  Familiar Quotations, 10th ed.  1919.
 
 
NUMBER:5284
AUTHOR:Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772–1834)
QUOTATION:Reviewers are usually people who would have been poets, historians, biographers, if they could; they have tried their talents at one or the other, and have failed; therefore they turn critics. 1
ATTRIBUTION:Lectures on Shakespeare and Milton, p. 36. Delivered 1811–1812.
 
Note 1.
Reviewers, with some rare exceptions, are a most stupid and malignant race. As a bankrupt thief turns thief-taker in despair, so an unsuccessful author turns critic.—Percy Bysshe Shelley: Fragments of Adonais.

You know who critics are? The men who have failed in literature and art.—Benjamin Disraeli (Earl Beaconsfield): Lothair, chap. xxxv. [back]
 

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