1769 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Charles Cotton

James Granger, in Biographical History of England (1769; 1824) 5:253.



This ingenious and accomplished gentleman was son of that Charles Cotton whose portrait is so finely drawn by Lord Clarendon, in his excellent group of his friends, in the Memoirs of his own Life. He was educated at Cambridge, where he was esteemed one of the ornaments of that university. He was a great master of the modern languages, particularly of the French; from which, among other things, he has translated the Horace of Corneille, the Life of the Duke of Espernon, and Montaigne's Essays. the last of these translations was deservedly applauded. He also translated several of Lucian's dialogues into English, and some poems from Horace, Catullus, &c. He was author of a poem The Wonders of the Peak, and other original pieces. The most celebrated of his works is his Virgil Travestie, in which he so far succeeded, as to be deemed next to Butler in burlesque; but the reader, upon comparing these two authors, will find a very great disparity in their characters. He was sociable, hospitable, and generous; but as he was far from being an economist, he, in the latter part of his life, was much involved in debt, and perpetually harassed with duns, attornies, and bailiffs.