1770 ca. ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Dr. John Armstrong

Horace Walpole, "Walpoliana" 1770 ca.; The Monthly Magazine 6 (August 1798) 117.



Dr. Armstrong's Poem on Health is very well. I was induced t' other day to glance at his own collection of his works in two small volumes. His pride is most disgusting. If you believe him there was no judge of poetry in England — except himself. An author should either know, or suppose, that there are in this enlightened country thousands of readers, who might perhaps write as well as himself, on any topic; but who, at any rate, may be superior judges, tho' they be too lazy to call their taste into active exertion. His prose is quaint and uninteresting; often puerile. — I only remember his objection to the phrase "subject matter," which is just. His tragedy has no incidents, and the language is all in a flutter. His Winter, in imitation of Shakspeare, deserves to be better known.