The poet Gray writes thus in a letter to a friend : ” For my part I read Aristotle, his poetics, politics, and morals ; though I do not know well which is which. In the first place he is the hardest author by far I ever meddled with. Then he has a dry conciseness that makes one imagine one is perusing a table of contents rather than a book : it tastes for all the world like chopped hay, or rather like chopped logic ; for he has a violent affection for that art, being in some sort his own invention ; so that he often loses himself in little trifling distinctions and verbal niceties ; and what is worse, leaves you to extricate him as well as you can. Thirdly, he has suffered vastly from the transcribers, as all authors of great brevity necessarily must; Fourthly and lastly, he has abundance of fine, uncommon things, which make him well worth the pains he gives one.”
From John Gillies, Aristotle’s Ethics and Politics, Comprising His Practical Philosophy, London, 1797 (vol. 1, p. 155) — what would prove to be the leading 19th century translation of those works into English.