1822 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Charles Brockden Brown

William Dunlap, in Memoirs of Charles Brockden Brown, the American Novelist (1822) 194.



Though attached to the seclusion of the closet; though he would for hours be absorbed in architectural studies, measuring proportions with his compasses, and drawing plans of Grecian temples or Gothic cathedrals, monasteries or castles; though addicted to every kind of abstraction, and attached by habit to reverie; he would break off with the utmost ease from these favourite occupations of his mind, and enter into conversation on any topic with a fluency and copiousness which approached to the truest eloquence. He was never dictatorial or intrusive; and although pleased when holding discourse, and conscious of superior colloquial talents, he was among men of the world, or loud and long talkers, generally silent, though not perhaps a listener. Though not imposing in personal appearance, and with great simplicity of manners, he was winning in his address, and made friends of both sexes wherever he felt that the object was worthy.