1680 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Shadwell

Earl of Rochester, in "An Allusion to Horace" Poems on Several Occasions (1680) 42.



Of all our Modern Wits none seems to me,
Once to have toucht, upon true Comedy,
But hasty Shadwel, and slow Wicherley.
Shadwells unfinish'd works do yet impart,
Great proofs of force of Nature, none of Art;
With just bold strokes he dashes here, and there,
Shewing great Mastery, with little Care;
And scorns to varnish his good Touches o're,
To make the Fools, and Women, praise 'em more.
But Wicherley, earnes hard, what e're he gains,
He wants no judgment, nor he spares no pains;
He frequently excells, and at the least,
Makes fewer faults, than any of the best.