1877 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Allan Cunningham

Bryan Waller Procter, in Procter: An Autobiographical Fragment (1877) 206-07.



Allan Cunningham, a stalwart man, very Scotch in aspect, was always ready to do a kind turn for anyone. He was, in prose, a voluminous writer. His Scottish songs — some of which are excellent, and indeed not very unlike those of Burns — are by far his best gifts to the world. His other productions were not so good. He wrote long prose tales about Scottish life, which had not much interest for the English reader; and he took very extensive surveys of general literature and art. He did not fail in any of these subjects, for he took care to make himself sufficiently acquainted with his theme before he entered upon it. But his opinions appeared to be collected from others, rather than to have been formed by his own meditation. He was an excellent song-writer, and a kind and honourable man, and one could not help liking him better than authors of greater name and far greater pretensions.