This poet was called Percy Bysshe Shelley, and of him I am going to tell you something in this chapter.
On the 4th of August, 1792, Percy Bysshe Shelley was born at Field Place, near the village of Warnham, in Sussex.
Of the early childhood of Bysshe we know nothing, except that at the age of six he was daily taught Latin by a clergyman.
"He could jut out his neck an ell," it was said, "and cast his venom about four rods; a serpent of countenance very proud, at the sight or hearing of men or cattle, raising his head seeming to listen and look about with great arrogancy." But if it was this same serpent it had lost its venom, and in the days when Bysshe and his sisters played about the garden, they looked upon it as a friend.
Sometimes, too, their games took them further afield, and led by Bysshe the children went on long rambles through woods and meadows, climbing walls and scrambling through hedges, and coming home tired and muddy.
His anxious parents would then send an old servant after him, who would return to say that "Master Bysshe only took a walk, and came back again." A very strange form of amusement it must have seemed to his plain matter-of-fact father.
But now these careless happy days came to an end, or only returned during holiday times, for when Bysshe was ten years old he was sent to school.
All the greatest of these writers were poets, wholly or in part, and they fall roughly into two groups: first, William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Robert Southey, and Walter Scott; and second, about twenty years younger, Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe
Shelley, and John Keats.
1797: Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, second wife of poet Percy Bysshe
Shelley and author, in 1818, of Frankenstein, was born in London.