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LONDON: PRINTED FOR J. M. DENT & CO., AND PUBLISHED BY THEM AT ALDINE HOUSE, 69 GREAT EASTERN STREET, MDCCCXCII.
In his prose writings Walter Savage Landor seems to have soon found the manner best suited to his thoughts. The Commentary on Trotter's “Life of Fox” is written in the same language as that used by him in later life. “It contains," says Mr Colvin, “ his views on men, books, and governments, set forth in the manner that was most natural to him, that is, miscellaneously and without sequence, in a prose, which ... is at once condensed and lucid, weighty without emphasis, and stately without effort or inflation.” This is a description of his prose style in the year 1812, and the words might apply to all the prose that he wrote during his life.
Where he fails in prose, he fails not in style, but in temper and in discretion; sometimes harping on one topic until the reader is driven to believe in Canning's perfection from weariness of abuse, sometimes displaying an absence of any critical power, startling in a man who had made criticism part of the business of life. But whatever the defects of matter and treatment may be, the language bears the same stamp. It would be easier