The Annual Review (among whose contributors were Southey and possibly Coleridge—see The Letters of Charles and Mary Lamb, ed. Edwin Marrs Jr, 3 vols, Ithaca, NY, 1975-8, vol. 3, p. 12) was generally more liberal in its politics and more catholic in its tastes than Thomas Zouch (No. 84). The unnamed reviewer counters Zouch’s protest at the 3rd Earl of Leicester’s support for regicides: the Sidneys acted ‘as Sir Philip would himself have done’ (p. 233; compare Lamb’s sentiments, No. 90).
Like Zouch, Annual Review insists on the importance of Greville’s ‘water bottle’ story. ‘Often as this circumstance has been related, it would be wronging the memory of Sidney not to repeat it here’ (p. 229).
Dr Zouch perceives some of the beauties of this work [Arcadia], but he concedes too much to the despicable criticisms which have been passed upon it, if those persons can be said to criticise who pass censure upon what they have not perused. Lord Orford [No. 77] calls it a tedious, lamentable, pedantic, pastoral romance! No man who had read this romance would have called it a pastoral. It is an heroic romance with pastoral interludes, but not pedantic;—not tedious, not lamentable. Never was there a story in which the light and shade were more happily blended and proportioned, nor one which more delightfully excited interest, or more irresistibly maintained it. The fable is wound up with such consummate skill, the events follow so naturally, and yet the issue is so well concealed, that the suspense of the reader almost amounts to pain. They who admire Shakespear, and despise the Arcadia, admire they know not what, and only because such admiration is the fashion. Dr Zouch is just in his commendations: we differ from him only in the censure