1814 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Dr. Robert Anderson

Robert Southey, in Review of Chalmers's English Poets; Quarterly Review 11 (July 1814) 503-04.



Upon comparing Mr. Chalmers's collection with Dr. Anderson's, the advantage appears at first sight to be greatly on the side of the former. The type and paper are materially better, — they are as good as could be desired, and the text is far less incorrect. But the quantity of additional matter is by no means so great as the additional number of volumes might seem to promise, and the omission of Sackville occasions a grievous deficiency, while it affords the most undeniable proof of the editor's unfitness for his task. It is scarcely possible to conceive two persons performing the same work with feelings more different than Dr. Anderson and Mr. Chalmers. The former a thorough lover of poetry, indulgent to the artist for the sake of the art: the latter a thorough-paced professional critic, so entirely ignorant of his subject as to fancy that Glover used no trochees in his verse, and to class Prior, Gray, and Akenside in the school of Spenser, and talk of their writings in the Spenserian stanza!