["The Critic" February 15, 1850. Attributed in W. M. Rossetti's 1901 "Preface" to Edward Cox. The review is printed here as it appears in the "Preface."]

We depart from our usual plan of noticing the periodicals under one heading, for the purpose of introducing to our readers a new aspirant for public favour, which has peculiar and uncommon claims to attention, for in design and execution it differs from all other periodicals. The Germ is the somewhat affected and unpromising title given to a small monthly journal, which is devoted almost entirely to poetry and art, and is the prodcution of a party of young persons. This statement is of itself, as we are well aware, enough to cause it to be looked upon with shyness. A periodical largely occupied with poetry wears an unpromising aspect to readers who have learned from experience what nonsensical stuff most fugitive magazine-poetry is; nor is this natural prejudice diminished by the knowledge that it is the production of young gentlemen and ladies. But, when they have read a few extracts which we propose to make, we think they will own that for once appearances are deceitful, and that an affected title and an unpromising theme really hide a great deal of genius; mingled however, we must also admit, with many conceits which youth is prone to, but which time and experience will assuredly tame.

That the contents of The Germ are the productions of no common minds the following extracts will sufficiently prove, and we may add that these are but a small portion of the contents which might prefer equal claims to applause.

"My Beautiful Lady," and "Of my Lady in Death," are two poems in a quaint metre, full of true poetry, marred by not a few affectations-- the genuine metal, but wanting to be purified from its dross. Nevertheless, it is pleasant to find the precious ore anywhere in these unpoetical times.

To our taste the following is replete with poetry. What a picture it is! A poet's tongue has told what an artist's eye has seen. It is the first of a series to be entitled "Songs of One Household." [Here comes Dante Rossetti's poem, "My Sister's Sleep," followed by Patmore's "Seasons," and Christina Rossetti's "Testimony."] We have not space to take any specimens of the prose, but the essays on art are conceived with an equal appreciation of its meaning and requirements. Being such, The Germ has our heartiest wishes for its success; but we scarcely dare to hope that it may win the popularity it deserves. The truth is that it is too good for the time. It is not material enough for the age.