1813 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Edward Thurlow

Anonymous, in Anti-Jacobin Review 45 (1813) 72.



To write so as to be understood, is the infallible mark of a plebeian mind. Aristocratic genius aspires to distinction of a different nature; and is never so successful or so satisfied, as when it eludes the reader's penetration, and sets his sagacity at fault. In a pursuit of this kind, grammar is a very unsafe guide, and sense a very unfit companion; and they are, therefore, both, very prudently, dismissed for assistants more congenial with the mind, taste, feeling, and capacity, of the poet. His lordship may, we think, flatter himself with the pleasing hope of becoming the founder of a new school of poetry, subjected to rules, and governed by laws, of its own; and we would seriously advise him to publish, with as little delay as may be, for the benefit of his pupils and followers, who will no doubt be numerous, the elementary principles of his art.