1844 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Melmoth

Robert Chambers, in Cyclopaedia of English Literature (1844; 1850) 2:243.



The refined and classical taste and learning of WILLIAM MELMOTH (1710-1799) enriched this period with a translation of Pliny's Letters, which Warton, a highly competent judge, pronounced to be one of the few translations that are better than the original. Under the assumed name of Fitzosborne, Melmoth also published a volume of Letters on Literary and Moral Subjects, remarkable for elegance of style. The same author translated Cicero's Letters to several of his friends, and the treatises De Amicitia and De Senectute, to which he appended large and valuable annotations. Melmoth was an amiable, accomplished, and pious man, and his character shines forth in all his writings. His translations are still the best we possess; and his style, though sometimes feeble from excess of polish and ornament, is generally correct, perspicuous, and musical in construction.