But as Nature produces a few optimists and misanthropes, and circumstances many more, so we find certain poets whose verses are naturally optimistic or melancholy, and a greater number – of a lesser grade, be it said – whose verses, purporting to be results of their own experience, are evidently studied pictures of the utmost of cheerfulness or Timonism that can be evolved from the material around them.
Men are stuffy little fellows. Their manliness bores me—it is almost universal, and humanity is very rare. [...] the poor things keep on struggling in a web of phantoms. They play with dolls all their lives. It's no good talking to them about wisdom and beauty. They have a complete system. There's even a doll Hell. This is not Timonism, I am an optimist. They are saved, most of them by their guts. A doll has no guts.
Cynicism is often contrasted with "Timonism" (cf. Shakespeare's Timon of Athens). Cynics saw what people could be & were angered by what they had become; Timonists felt humans were hopelessly stupid & uncaring by nature & so saw no hope for change.
^Signed "C.", "Fiction: Timon, But Not of Athens [review of the same-titled book by James Sedgwick (pseud. Timologus), London: Saunders & Otley, 1840]", Westminster Review, Vol. 34, No. 67, September 1840, "Critical and Miscellaneous Notices", p. 501; repr. in Vol. 34 (Nos. 66-67, June–September 1840), No. 2 (orig. 67), London: H. Hooper (C. Reynell, printer), 1841, p. 501 at Google Books.
^Unsigned, "Mulchinock's Poems [review of The Ballads and Songs of William Pembroke Mulchinock, New York: T. W. Strong & Co.]", The American Review, No. 80, August 1851, p. 118; repr. in The American Whig Review: New Series, Vol. VIII–Whole Vol. XIV, New York: Wiley and Putnam (John A. Gray, printer), 1851, New Series Vol. VIII, No. 2 (orig. 80), p. 118 at Google Books.
^Prof. Walter Raleigh (1861–1922), letter to linguist John Sampson, Oxford, 1 January 1906; pub. in The Letters of Sir Walter Raleigh (1879-1922), 2 vols. ed. by Lady Raleigh, Vol. 1, London: Methuen (1st ed.), London: Macmillan (2nd ed.), 1926; repr. in The Letters of Sir Walter Raleigh 1879 to 1922, Kessinger Publishing, 2005, ISBN 9781417924769, p. 293 at Google Books. (Note: letter popularized in various other works, including by poet and critic Herbert Read in The Anthology of English prose (1931, aka The London Book of English Prose and English Prose Style, p. 252), and by Philip Wayne in The Personal Art: An Anthology of English letters (1949, p. 226).)
^Benjamin Putnam Kurtz, The Pursuit of Death: A Study of Shelley's Poetry, Oxford university press, 1933, p. 77 at Google Books.
^Fred B. Wahr (aka Frederick Burkhart), "The Timon Mood and Its Correctives in Gerhart Hauptmann", The Germanic Review, Vol. 16, No. 2 (April 1941), p. 128 at Google Books.