1853 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Bp. Richard Hurd

John Mitford, in Correspondence of Thomas Gray and William Mason, ed. John Mitford (1853) 82n.



"I asked Mr. Gray, what sort of a man Dr. Hurd was; he answered, 'The last person who left off stiff-topped gloves.'" — NORTON NICHOLLS. Hurd, in the later editions of his Commentary on Horace, suppressed his criticisms of the Chinese drama, which he had printed at the end of his Commentary on the Epistle to Augusts, 1751. I am not aware of Hurd, in any passage of his various works, having praised Gray, except once, when he is, I presume, alluded to, in Hurd's usual manner, without mentioning a name, in his Essay on the Marks of Imitation, p. 218, "a certain friend of ours, not to be named without honour, and therefore not al all on so slight an occasion;" which was, that this friend conjectured that Milton's expression of "Grinn'd horrible a ghastly smile," was taken from Spenser's "Grinning griesly." Hurd speaks also of some "late Odes" in terms of praise. In Dr. Wooll's Life of J. Warton there is a letter from Hurd to Mr. Thomas Warton, in which he thus mentions the Installation Ode: "It is much above the common rate of such things, and will preserve the memory of the Chancellor, when the minister is forgotten." Lett. LXXXIX. p. 348.