1772 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

David Hume

Anonymous, in "Catalogue of the most celebrated Writers" Letters concerning the present State of England (1772) 376.



HUME. Penetrating and ingenious: all his works abound with the true critical acumen, and are full of taste and spirit: the greatest fault is the affectation of philosophy: the world should give a writer the character of a philosopher, not himself. Much the best of his works are the Essays on money, credit, commerce, &c. which are equally original, elegant, and profound. His History of England, from the beginning to the end of the reign of Elizabeth, is a work of great abilities, tho' with some passages that mark a prejudice; but after that period it is rather a party pamphlet, full of most ingenious and useful observations. Perhaps the most valuable parts of his histories are the deductions of manners, arts, and literature, which are drawn up with great ingenuity and justness.