1810 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Samuel Jackson Pratt

Walter Scott, in "Living Poets" Edinburgh Annual Register for 1808 (1810) 2:442.



Bloomfield's success has had nearly the same effect in England which the celebrity of Burns produced among the Caledonians; and various self-educated geniuses have sprung forward in the race, most of them, as in the case of Bloomfield and Capel Lofft, with riders on, as the jockies phrase it. Even Pratt, dry-foundered himself, has, like the old lame Houynhynm of Gulliver, placed himself in a vehicle drawn by a certain Joseph Blackett, in order to be dragged into celebrity by the exertions of this oppressed animal. But the surprise, groundless as we think it, excited by the first instance of the kind, is at an end, when the world sees that it only requires encouragement to convert some hundred score of tolerable tailors, shoemakers, and lamp-lighters into very indifferent rhymers; — the wonder is at an end, and with the wonder ends the applause and the profit.