1829 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Wilson Croker

Duke of Wellington to John Wilson Croker, 8 November 1829; The Croker Papers, ed. Louis J. Jennings (1884) 1:443.



Regent's Park, November 8th, 1829.

MY DEAR SIR,

Johnson's Latin poetry has received the just condemnation of every classical scholar. I confess that I am not disposed to exempt the verses of his later years from that censure; perhaps, however, his "Insula Kenneth" might be spared from the rod. It is certainly more tolerable than any other of his compositions in Latin verse. I concur in your opinion respecting the different readings in the "Ode from Skye"; some of them are unintelligible, others absolute nonsense. I do not, however, wish to have my name quoted as a censurer of Johnson's Latin poetry. I feel that I have no just pretensions to the weight which you are so kind as to ascribe to my opinions on such subjects; and I have so great a general reverence for Johnson that I should be sorry to appear among those who have censured any part of his works.

Believe me always, dear Sir, yours most sincerely,

WELLESLEY.