1808 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Richard Hole

Samuel Egerton Brydges, "Rev. Richard Hole" Censura Literaria 6 (1808) 215-16.



This poet was a native of Exeter; and educated at Exeter College, Oxford, where he took the degree of L.L.B. in 1771. In early life he published a versification of Fingal in flowing and elegant rhyme. In 1781 he gave the world a translation of Homer's Hymn to Ceres, in 8vo. In 1789 came out, Arthur, or the Northern Enchantment, a Poetical Romance, in Seven Books. By Richard Hole, L.L.B. London printed for Robinsons, 8vo. Upon this work his poetical fame must rest. He communicated several pieces to Polwhele's Devonshire and Cornwall Poems; and several also to the volumes of Essays published by the Literary Society of Exeter. In 1797 he published separately Remarks on the Arabian Nights Entertainments, in which the origin of Sinbad's Voyages, and other Oriental fictions is particularly considered. In 1762 he was presented by the Bishop of Exeter to the rectory of Faringdon in Devonshire; and held with it by dispensation the vicarage of Buckerell, which he exchanged for the rectory of Inwardleigh. He died at Exmouth in the flower of his age after a painful illness, May 28, 1803. To his numerous friends his premature death caused the deepest regret; as thy lost in him one not only of brilliant talents, and elegant and extensive learning; but of the most amiable character and greatest integrity. I will not attempt to characterize his Arthur; for it is long since I have read it with attention. I suspect that the tameness of the couplet is not quite consistent with the wildness of the subject; and the sort of charms with which the author wished to endue it. Romantic imagery and the combinations of enchantment seem better suited to his inclinations than his genius. But let it be remembered that this is a hasty opinion. Hole seems at least to have applied to the true fountains for inspiration.