Characters of Shakespeare’s Plays By William Hazlitt PDF
Taylor and Hessey [the booksellers] told him subsequently that they had sold nearly two editions in about three months, but after the Quarterly review of them came out they never sold another copy. ‘My book,’ he said, ‘sold well–the first edition had gone off in six weeks–till that review came out. I had just prepared a second edition–such was called for–but then the Quarterly told the public that I was a fool and a dunce, and more, that I was an evil disposed person: and the public, supposing Gifford to know best, confessed that it had been a great ass to be pleased where it ought not to be, and the sale completely stopped.
The review, when examined, is seen to be a smart essay in detraction with its arguments ad invidiam very deftly inserted. But as a piece of criticism it misses even such points as might fairly have been made against the book; as, for example, that it harps too monotonously upon the tense string of enthusiasm.