1772 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Campbell

Anonymous, in "Catalogue of the most celebrated Writers" Letters concerning the present State of England (1772) 347-48.



CAMPBELL. Equally famous for his candour, intelligence and precision: he may be ranked among the greatest politicians of this age: and no one can hesitate to allow, that his writings in that class have enlightened the whole kingdom. The share he had in the Universal History alone made that work succeed, for the part he composed in it shines like a diamond in a dunghill. But in nothing is he more useful or original, than in ascertaining dubious points in maritime history; of which his Lives of the Admirals are an inferior instance to the observations he has given on various voyages in Harris's collection; and in the Modern Universal History, in the part which treats of the the East Indies. This writer has also the uncommon felicity of being able to speak with candor of political personages now alive; which is perhaps the most difficult task of all others in a free government.