1789 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Dryden

Philip Neve, in Cursory Remarks on Ancient English Poets (1789) 108.



He is the writer, from whom the greatest masters in his art have since taken example. And, though a partial reader may find him (from the hurry and distraction of a necessitous situation) now and then obnoxious even to vulgar censure, the great extent of his knowledge, his unbounded fertility, his careful industry in improving and establishing versification and poetical diction, his ability and will to teach, and, the crown of all, as a poet, the first example the language boasts, in the sublimest style of composition, will make every lover of English poetry, upon thorough knowledge and intimate acquaintance, end in admiring and honoring him.