chapter  5
1 Pages

Unsigned notice, Monthly Review, May 1766

Through the whole course of our travels in the wild regions of romance, we never met with any thing more difficult to characterize, than the Vicar of Wakefield; a performance which contains beauties sufficient to entitle it to almost the highest applause, and defects enough to put the discerning reader out of all patience with an author capable of so strangely under-writing himsel£--With marks of genius equal, in some respects, to those which distinguish our most celebrated novelwriters, there are in this work, such palpable indications of the want of a thorough acquaintance with mankind, as might go near to prove the Author totally unqualified for success in this species of composition, were it not that he finds such resources in his own extraordinary natural talents, as may, in the judgment of many readers, in a great measure, compensate for his limited knowledge of men, manners, and characters, as they really appear in the living world.-In brief, with all its faults, there is much rational entertainment to be met with in this very singular tale: but it deserves our warmer approbation, for its moral tendency; particularly for the exemplary manner in which it recommends and enforces the great obligations of universal BENEVOLENCE: the most amiable quality that can possibly distinguish and adorn the WORTHY MAN and the GOOD CHRISTIAN!