1807 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Thomas Warton

Samuel Egerton Brydges, in Censura LIteraria 4 (1807) 92.



Warton must be considered as one, who much employed himself in investigating the curiosities of literature. His pursuits therefore and his productions were of a less popular kind than those, which consisted of less research. Those minute facts, those pictures of manners, sentiments, and language, which he loved to discover and communicate, require minds of more than common cultivation to appreciate them. While therefore the simple productions of Goldsmith made instantly their way among all ranks of people, and the unadorned energy of his sentiments and imagery found an echo in every bosom, the more laboured and highly wrought compositions of Warton, illuminated by a richly cultivated fancy, and polished by all the artifices of style, were little relished by the generality of readers.