1742 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Leonard Welsted

Alexander Pope, in The Dunciad (1728; 1742); Works, ed. Warton (1796-97) 5:197-98 & n.



Flow Welsted, flow! like thine inspirer, Beer,
Tho' stale, not ripe; tho' thin, yet never clear;
So sweetly mawkish, and so smoothly dull;
Heady, not strong, o'erflowing, tho' not full.

Flow, Welsted, &c.] Of this author see the Remark on Book ii. ver. 209. But (to be impartial) add to it the following different character of him:
Mr. Welsted had, in his youth, raised so great expectations of his future genius, that there was a "kind of struggle" between the most eminent in the two universities, which should have the "honour" of his education. To "compound" this, he ("civilly") became a member of both, and after having passed some time at the one, he removed to the other. From thence he returned to town, where he became the "darling Expectation" of "all" the polite Writers, whose encouragement he acknowledged in his occasional poems, in a manner that "will make no small part of the Fame" of his protectors. It also appears from his Works, that he was happy in the patronage of the most illustrious characters of the present age. — Encouraged by such a "Combination" in his favour, he — published a book of poems, some in the Ovidian, some in the Horatian manner, in both which the most exquisite Judges pronounce he even "rival'd his masters" — In his Translations, he has given us the very soul and spirit of his author. His Ode — his Epistle — his Verses — his Love-tale — all, are the "most perfect things in all poetry." WELSTED of Himself, Char. of the Times, 8vo, 1728, p. 23, 24. It should not be forgot to his honour, that he received at one time the sum of 500 pounds for secret service, among the other excellent authors hired to write anonymously for the Ministry. See Report of the Secret Committee, &c. in 1742. Warburton.
An ode of merit on the Duke of Marlborough by Welsted, was inserted in Dodsley's Miscellanies, at the desire of Dr. Akenside, who, I remember, much commended it. The simile of Beer is exactly copied from Addison in the Freeholder, No. 20. Warton.