1837 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. John Langhorne

William Wordsworth to S. C. Hall, 15 January 1837; in Peacock, Critical Opinions of William Wordsworth (1950) 298.



I must say how much I was pleased with your notice of our Westmoreland Poet, Langhorne — the critique is very judicious, both as to his merits and his faults — I do not wonder that you are struck with his Poem of the Country Justice — You praise it, and with discrimination — but you might have said still more in its favour. As far as I know, it is the first Poem, unless perhaps Shenstone's Schoolmistress be excepted, that fairly brought the Muse into the Company of common life, to which it comes nearer than Goldsmith, and upon which it looks with a tender and enlightened humanity — and with a charitable, (and being so) philosophical and poetical construction that is too rarely found in the works of Crabbe.