Hogg's account of Shelley’s career at Oxford first appeared in the form of a series of articles contributed to the New Monthly Magazine in 1832 and 1833. It was afterwards incorporated into his Life of Shelley, which was published in 1858. It is by common consent the most life-like portrait of the poet left by any of his contemporaries.
ad hitherto seen by the glimmering light of translations.
It is upon such scanty data that young men reason; upon such slender materials do they build up their opinions. It may be urged, however, that if they did not discourse freely with each other upon insufficient information--for such alone can be acquired in the pleasant morning of life, and until they educate themselves--they would be constrained to observe a perpetual silence, and to forego the numerous advantages that flow from frequent and liberal discussion.
I inquired of the vivacious stranger, as we sat over our wine and dessert, how long he had been at Oxford, and how he liked it? He answered my questions with a certain impatience, and, resuming the subject of our discussion, he remarked that, "Whether the literature of Germany or of Italy be the more original, or in a purer and more accurate taste, is of little importance, for polite letters are but vain trifling; the study of languages, not only of the modern tongues, but of Latin