1808 ca. ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Roscoe

Richard Hurd, 1808 ca.; in Commonplace Book; Moulton, Library of Literary Criticism (1901-05) 5:118.



He writes in an easier style (though not without affectation), and is more decent in his narrative, than Gibbon; still he is of that school, and appears to have taken him for his model, so fine a thing it seems to our present compilers of history to have and to profess to have no religion. As to politics, he outruns his original, and is for liberty in its widest range, or what the French call Jacobinical. But what then? The abundant crop of orators, statesmen, and heroes that spring up in a (mob) government, such as that of Florence and of Athens, the study of the fine arts, and a paganized or atheistic philosophy, are to make amends for all further defects, and to put us out of conceit with order, plain sense, and Christianity.