1799 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Sotheby

Thomas Green, 8 November 1799; Extracts from the Diary of a Lover of Literature (1810) 172.



Finished Sotheby's Translation of Wieland's Oberon: displaying an imagination highly poetical, voluptuous, and sublime; but of too aerial a fabric to bid fair for permanent fame. Supernatural machinery may have a good effect in an Epic Poem, when introduced to solve a difficulty arising out of probable circumstances; but cannot fail to cloy and disgust, when it forms, as here, the entire contexture of the piece. Course after course, of ragouts, would probably be too much for most palates; but what should we think of a banquet composed of the condiments alone with which such dishes are seasoned.