1800 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Thomas Vaughan

Robert Southey to John Rickman, 3 February 1800; Selections from the Letters, ed. Warter (1856) 1:94.



This morning I picked up a book upon alchemy, poetry and prose, text and comment: all the other books in this rare science that I had seen were pure dulness, but this soars into the sublime of nonsense, — kings and queens, and deaths and resurrections, and gate after gate, — a perfect book of revelations. Eugenius Philalethes, the author, alias, if I mistake not, Thomas Vaughan, one of the last-century quacks, who were a little more decent than the present generation, and contented themselves with driving people mad, instead of poisoning them.