1783 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. James Hervey

Hugh Blair, in Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres (1783) 2:385.



I cannot help thinking, that it reflects more honour on the religious turn, and good dispositions of the present age, than on the public taste, that Mr. Harvey's Meditations have had so great a currency. The pious and benevolent heart, which is always displayed in them, and the lively fancy which, on some occasions, appears, justly merited applause: but the perpetual glitter of expression, the swoln imagery, and strained description, which abound in them, are ornaments of a false kind. I would, therefore, advise students of oratory to imitate Mr. Havery's piety, rather than his Style; and, in all compositions of a serious kind, to turn their attention, as Mr. Pope says, "from sounds to things, from fancy to the heart."