1799 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Hoole

Thomas Green, 22 March 1799; Extracts from the Diary of a Lover of Literature (1810) 127-28.



Finished Tasso's Jerusalem, in Hoole's Translation; comparing it occasionally with the Original, and with Fairfax's version, which on many occasions is more just and spirited. The extravagant machinery of Enchantment, though it suggests some very beautiful scenery — though it gives birth to the voluptuous and entrancing loves of Armida and Rinaldo — is certainly an inexpiable blemish in this noble Poem; which might have been rendered very fine, and a very interesting composition, without it. — Tasso often appears studiously to copy Homer and Virgil, where he could well have done without them; and with an apparent intention that the imitation might be remarked: — as if to throw a reflex splendour from their immortal labours on his own.