Review of M. De Florian's "Estelle, with an Essay upon Pastoral" (1798)
"Review of M. De Florian's Estelle, with an Essay upon Pastoral. Translated from the French." [signed 'V. V.']. Translation by Mrs. Susanna Cummins. 2 vols. Wright. Analytical Review 27 (January 1798), 203.
After poring upon the dark hues which dash with deep shade the real picture of human society, we with pleasure suffer our imagination to recreate itself in the fabled scenes of the golden age; when love and innocence sported carelessly in the shade; when sorrow dignified by virtue, and softened by tenderness, was more grateful to the soul, than "the broadest mirth unfeeling folly wears," blending fortitude with the milder graces, and amending the heart it wounded. The selection of this little elegant pastoral does credit to the taste of it's youthful translator, as does the execution of her undertaking to her abilities. The translation of the introductory essay, or dissertation upon pastorals, has, perhaps, somewhat more merit than that of the tale, in which the style, according to the french idiom, is a little too constantly inverted; yet the whole is entitled to praise; the poetry more especially, which is well translated, easy, and flowing.
This little work, in which the imagination may be exercised without corrupting the heart, is particularly calculated for the youth of both sexes.