1803 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Helen Maria Williams

Francis William Blagdon, in Introduction to Flowers of Literature for 1801 and 1802 (1803) unpag.



Were we to listen to the enthusiastic but empty declamations of an English female writer, Miss HELENA MARIA WILLIAMS,* we should look upon FRENCH MORALS as rather regenerated than depraved by the revolution; but what confidence can be reposed in an author, who, though an eye witness of the most horrible barbarities, is the admirer and eulogist of almost every act of tyranny; the fulsome panegyrist and service sycophant of Buonaparte; and who, to prover her devotion to that monarch of the day, would, "like another Helen, fire another Troy?"

* Miss Williams began her literary career with a few poetical trifles, which were not only amusing but harmless: but having unluckily renounced her native land, and taken up her residence in that of unlimited licentiousness, she sends to England her mischievous effusions, which are destructive of every principle of religion, morality, and patriotism.