1729 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Cooke

Richard Savage, in An Author to be Lett (1729); Works of Richard Savage (1775) 2:259-60.



Mr. Thomas Cooke, the translator of Hesiod, is the son of a Muggletonian-teacher, who kept a little obscure alehouse at Braintree in Essex. Though this author has no more genius for poetry than a snail, nay, less than Mr. Ambrose Philips, or Mr. Welsted; and though he would, consequently, have wanted spirit enough for his father's tapster, yet his enemies confess him not without merit. To do this man justice, he might have made a tolerable figure as a taylor. It were too presumptuous to affirm he could have been a master in any profession; but, dull as I allow him, he would not have been despicable for third, or a fourth-hand journeyman. Then had his wants been avoided; for he would, at least, have learned "To cut his coat according to his cloth."