1796 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Dr. John Aikin

Thomas Green, 3 October 1796; Extracts from the Diary of a Lover of Literature (1810) 7-8.



Looked over the last Monthly Magazine. Though conducted with considerable ability, this miscellany declines in general interest. The medical, mathematical, and agricultural departments, encroach; and there is little of literary anecdote or disquisition, the most tempting bait to such sort of reading. It is tainted, too, with the bigotry of party; so far as to induce (which is unpardonable) a misrepresentation, by heightenings and softenings, even in the narrative department. — A narrow, virulent, heady zeal, usually infests the underlings, it rarely pervades the chiefs and leaders, of any respectable party: they see too much on both sides; and are often compelled, I believe, to affect greater acrimony than they feel. — The European Magazine, though less ably conducted, and not without a bigotry of an opposite cast, has considerable attractions from its literary anecdote; with which it is principally supplied by Mr. Reed, whose mind is a rich quarry of such matter.