Shelley

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Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822), the famed English Romantic poet, was among the most impractical of men, often lost in his own world, noted during his lifetime for his peculiar notions about a variety of topics and commonly suspected not to be entirely sane. After his death his wife lamented his influence on their children. At the suggestion that she should send their son to a school where he would be taught to think for himself, she replied ruefully,

"Oh my, teach him to think like other people."

When Shelley was a very young man he was once on a short coach journey through rural England and had the coach to himself. After some time the coach stopped to admit a very large elderly woman with two equally large packages containing apples and onions.

The stuffy coach with the smell of apples, onions, and his overheated fellow-traveler was too much for Shelley. Seating himself on the floor he fixed his unwanted companion with a wild glare and began to recite Richard II's lament from Shakespeare's play,

"For God's sake let us sit upon the ground ..."

When he reached the words, "All murder'd," the old woman's nerve could endure no more. Calling to the coach driver, she demanded to be let off and duly exited.

Shelley was thus left to enjoy his journey in comfort.

---------------A Final Thought ...

"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 (1792-1822), English Romantic poet