1818 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Shenstone

William Hazlitt, in Lectures on the English Poets (1818; 1909) 158.



How different [is Gray] from Shenstone, who only wanted to be looked at — who withdrew from the world to be followed by the crowd, and courted popularity by affecting privacy! His Letters show him to have lived in a continual fever of petty vanity, and to have been a finished literary coquet. He seems always to say, "You will find nothing in the world so amiable as Nature and me: come, and admire us." His poems are indifferent and tasteless, except his Pastoral Ballad, his Lines on Jemmy Dawson, and his Schoolmistress, which last is a perfect piece of writing.