1818 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Robert Southey

William Hazlitt, in Lectures on the English Poets (1818; 1909) 218.



Of Mr. Southey's larger epics, I have but a faint recollection at this distance of time, but all that I remember of them is mechanical and extravagant, heavy and superficial. His affected, disjointed style is well imitated in the Rejected Addresses. The difference between him and Sir Richard Blackmore seems to be, that the one is heavy and the other light, the one solemn and the other pragmatical, the one phlegmatic and the other flippant; and that there is no Gay in the present time to give a Catalogue Raisonne to the performances of the living undertaker of epics.