1800 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Henry Fielding

Thomas Green, 11 February 1800; Extracts from the Diary of a Lover of Literature (1810) 198-99.



Finished Fielding's Amelia. There is a still stronger and more disgusting taint of vulgarity, in this Novel, than in Joseph Andrews. The author's grand agent in all his women, but his heroines, seems the "furor uterinus"; whose prurience, when insufficient for his purpose, he elegantly and ingeniously contrives to exasperate by cordials and philters! — Fielding, after all, is but a Dutch painter of manners: he cannot soar higher than the lowest scenes of high life; and he appears to descend, "con amore," into the vilest and most blasted depths of low life. — Yet, whilst I deliver this censure, I must forget (for its other merits) Tom Jones.