1803 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Alexander Fraser Tytler

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



We may now congratulate the young student in history, on the appearance of a judicious system of universal history, written, in a style clear without diffusion, and correct without too much ornament, from the pen of Mr. TYTLER. In his compendium, he has borrowed as much of the chronological order as was necessary to mark the progress of society and the state of civilization in the different periods, but he has paid far more attention to connection of subject than to connection of time, in recording the fate of empires. His compendium contains concise, but comprehensive and separate views of religion, literature, government, and manners. It furnishes to the instructors of youth a course of historical studies for their pupils; as also a proper plan of study to those, who, having collected from various historians a considerable portion of historical knowledge, are desirous to methodize and enlarge that information by the help of chronology and the light of order. Mr. TYTLER'S speculations are not only ingenious in themselves, but admirable in their tendency, and equally sound and just in their conclusions. We have only to regret, that he has stopt short at the end of the seventeenth century, and been, perhaps, deterred from pursuing his general sketch, by a difficulty which would certainly have vanished before the pencil of this rapid and able artist, the difficulty of treating on recent events, and exhibiting views of cotemporary characters.