1824 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Dr. Frank Sayers

Anonymous, in Review of Sayers, Collective Works in The Monthly Review S2 104 (August 1824) 406.



This gentleman was the well-known author of Dramatic Sketches of Northern Mythology, and several critical and philosophical dissertations, deservedly eulogized when they first appeared, and still worthy of an elevated rank in English literature. His life was literary, social, and cheerful; — flowing away in an inaudible current of calm meditation and lettered ease, undisturbed by envy, and unembittered by faction. Habitual cheerfulness smiled in his features: no one more enjoyed the pleasures of society and of a tempered gentlemanly conviviality: none ever assented more readily to the merits of another; or when they were obscured or unnoticed, contributed more to give them light and reputation. His friendships, slowly formed, were durable: it was only the death of one of the parties that could break them; and they were not disturbed by the fitful alternations of coldness and fondness which interrupt vulgar association. Occasionally, a tinge of sarcasm gave piquancy to his conversation, but not a particle of ill nature. He was not a man of the world in one sense of the word: but, notwithstanding his retired habits, an instinctive native good sense supplied the place of experience; and, though he lived in a provincial town, his mind had never been bounded by its little horizon. He practised benevolence, without the ostentatious display of it; and, in fine, he was an accomplished, learned, and good man.