1776 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Jonathan Swift

James Beattie, in "Essay on Poetry and Music" Essays (1776) 387.



The parts of nature that attract his [James Thomson's] notice are those which an impious or hardhearted man would neither attend to nor be affected with, at least in the same manner. In Swift we see a turn of mind very different from that of the amiable Thomson; little relish for the sublime or beautiful, and a perpetual succession of violent emotions. All his pictures of human life seem to show, that deformity and meanness were the favourite objects of his attention, and that his soul was a constant prey to indignation, disgust, and other gloomy passions arising from such a view of things.