1809 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Charles Brockden Brown

Anonymous, in "Perambulator" The Rambler's Magazine [New York] No. 3 (1809) 151.



During my short stay in Pennsylvania, I had a violent inclination to pay a visit to Arthur Mervin Brown, to observe how far his genius was exalted or debased by frosts or fogs; but I learned that he secluded himself altogether from society, for the completion of a voluminous work, proving beyond contradiction that human nature is very miserable; that it never was more happy than it now is, and never will be; and that the most delightful thing on earth is conjuring up ideas of wretchedness, and wetting at least three napkins every night with the tears which "refined sentiment" and "philanthropy" must naturally excite. It gave me satisfaction however to hear, inadvertently, that Mr. B's genius is completely defended from the effects of the atmosphere by a dense vapor eternally floating between the skull and pericranium, which becomes heavier and more tenacious whenever his fingers come in contact with a goose-quill.