1820 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir Walter Raleigh

Anonymous, in Retrospective Review 2 (1820) 329.



Nature made him acute — misfortune, cautious — and experience, wise; but his wisdom rather resulted from distrust than confidence. He had naturally "high thoughts seated in a heart of courtesy," but care fretted against it and wore away its softer fibres. His wariness was, indeed, warranted by the events of his life, and it is no wonder that his feelings retired into the centre of his own heart, as the flower which expands in the sunshine of a fair day, closes its bosom at the night-fall when the air breathes cold and chill. Hence his wisdom is rather calculated to teach us to eschew evil, than to sail placidly into the haven of felicity.