1832 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Boscawen

John Taylor Esq., in Records of my Life (1832) 1:388-89.



Having mentioned my friend Mr. William Boscawen, the translator of Horace, and who favoured me with the work, it is but justice to his memory to recur to him. He was one of the Commissioners of the Victualling Office, and, though so partial to the muses, he never suffered them to interfere with his public duty. He was one of the most active contributors to that truly admirable institution "The Literary Fund," having for many years supplied an annual tribute of verses in support of it, which he recited himself on the anniversary celebration, as long as his health permitted. He was the nephew of Admiral Boscawen, a naval hero, much and deservedly distinguished in his day; and though the triumph of the immortal Nelson in the battle of the Nile eclipsed the glory of all his professional predecessors, yet Mr. Boscawen was the first who came forward to pay poetical homage, in a very spirited ode, in honour of the glorious victor.

The last time I saw him, I met him in the Strand, on the very day of the annual celebration; but though he had sent a poem for the occasion, he was too ill to attend the meeting. I had previously expressed my regret that he had translated Horace's "Art of Poetry" in verses of eight syllables, and he assured me at this last meeting that he had taken my hint, and was proceeding to invest it with the heroic measure; but I believe his new version has never been published. He was a truly worthy man in his domestic life, as well as a scholar, a poet, and a gentleman.