More genius is displayed in this work than we have seen in any other single volume since the publication of Childe Harold. Although entirely different in form, it is, like that magnificent poem, a discursive philosophical essay; but, while Byron cast his glowing thoughts in the mould of Spenser, our anonymous author has clothed his ideas in the nervous prose of the best old English writers. Unfortunately, at the same time that he emulates the power of his prototypes, he does not abate a jot of the prolixity which has caused their works to be less frequently read than they are quoted. Precious literary fragments, like samples of rich ore, are seen and admired, but mankind in general are too busy or too idle to explore the mines from which such brilliant specimens are extracted....
—The Court Magazine and Monthly Critic, Vol. X., January-June 1837, p. 40