1809 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Oliver Goldsmith

Nathan Drake, in Essays Illustrative of the Rambler (1809-10) 2:347-48.



The periodical writings of Dr. Goldsmith are possessed of great, and marked, excellence. Their style is inferior to no compositions in the language; it is remarkably unaffected, easy, end elegant; whilst, at the same time, it is correct in its construction, and plastic in its powers of adaptation. Wit, humour, imagination, and pathos, by turns relieve and interest the reader of these essays, who experiences during their perusal a singular fascination, arising from the peculiar manner or naivete of the writer.

A selection from the periodical labours of Goldsmith, including his Essays and a considerable portion of his Bee and Citizen of the World, should be admitted, under the title which he first adopted, namely, that of The Bee, into the body of our Classical Essayists. Two volumes might thus be formed which, in point of style, interest, and moral tendency, would scarcely be exceeded by any in the collection.