1812 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Christopher Pitt

John Nichols, in Literary Anecdotes of the XVIII Century (1812-15) 2:260-61n.



Christopher Pitt (son of Robert Pitt, M.D.) was born at Blandford, in Dorsetshire, in 1699; educated at Winchester school, 1714; removed to New college, 1719; chosen Poetry Professor in 1722; M.A. 1724. He was one of the most eminent poets of his time, and published a volume of Juvenile Poems on several Occasions, 1727, 8vo; a Translation of Vida's Art of Poetry, 12mo; and of Virgil's Aeneis, 2 vols, 1740, 8vo. and 12mo. On his removal to New college, he presented to the electors a complete Version of Lucan's Poem, which de did not know had been translated by Rowe. The suppression of such a work of early diligence is to be regretted. If we compare his translation of the Aeneid with that of Dryden, perhaps the result would be that Dryden leads the reader forward by his great vigour and sprightliness, and Pitt often stops to contemplate the excellence of a single couplet; that Dryden's faults are forgotten in the hurry of delight, and that Pitt's beauties are neglected in the hurry of a cold and listless perusal; that Pitt pleases the critics, and Dryden the people; that Pitt is quoted, and Dryden read.