chapter  51
2 Pages

A comment on Rochester from the Edinburgh Review July 1806

While France has to blush for so many tomes of Poésies Erotiques we have little to answer for, but the coarse indecencies of Rochester and Dryden; and these, though sufficiently offensive to delicacy and good taste, can scarcely be regarded as dangerous. There is an antidote to the poison they contain, in the open and undisguised profligacy with which it is presented. If they are wicked, they have the honesty at least to profess wickedness. The mark of the beast is set visibly on their foreheads; and though they have the boldness to recommend vice, they want the effrontery to make her pass for virtue. In their grossest immoralities, too, they scarcely ever seem to be perfectly in earnest; and appear neither to wish nor to hope to make proselytes. They indulge their own vein of gross riot and debauchery; but they do not seek to corrupt the principles of their readers; and are contented to be reprobated as profligate, if they are admired at the same time for wit and originality.