1820 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Richard Brathwait

John Payne Collier, in Poetical Decameron (1820) 2:54-55.



BOURNE. He was an imitator of George Wither, and by no means equal to his prototype. His title is this: Times Curtaine drawne or the Anatomie of Vanitie with other choice Poems, entituled Health from Helicon; by Richard Brathwayte Oxonian, 1621.

MORTON. I have seen the title before, but in what way do you trace the imitation of Wither?

BOURNE. In the general style of the satires, and in the manner in which the work is disposed. Wither's Abuses stript and whipt, had attracted much notice, and Brathwayte, early in his production, professes great admiration for him. In one place he says, in allusion to the punishment Wither had met with,

Tutch not Abuses but with modest lipp
For some I know were whipt that thought to whip,

adding in the margin the note, "One whom I admire, being no lesse happie for his native invention than for his proper and elegant dimension." The latter part of the compliment refers to Wither's finely proportioned figure.

ELLIOT. Does Brathwayte take warning by the sufferings of Wither, and "touch abuses but with modest lip?"

BOURNE. I think not; but Wither had been liberated, as some suppose, almost on a repetition of his offence — his satire to the king; and this, if true, perhaps made his follower more bold: he is even coarser than Wither in some places.