1833 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Godwin

Allan Cunningham, in "Literature of the Last Fifty Years" The Athenaeum (November-December 1833) 774.



It seems his desire [is] to put us out of temper with our species by putting us out of sympathy with their actions; he wishes to induce, like Job, to curse the day of our birth, the hour in which a man-child was conceived. He will not for a moment permit us to indulge in the belief that honesty and candour exist on the earth: a surgeon dissects to teach — Godwin mangles to expose; we rise from the perusal of his work, marvelling at his powers, but sorrowing for the sad use he has made of them; and we speedily seek, in other works, to forget his splendid, but unnatural creations.