1754 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Thomas Warton

Joseph Warton to Thomas Warton, 8 May 1754; Wooll, Biographical Memoirs of Joseph Warton (1806) 220-21.



May 8th, 1754.

Dearest Tom,

We returned home but last night, and the first thing I saw was your letter, which gave me the highest joy and pleasure. I make no doubt at all but you will sell the 500 speedily, and would have you attack a second edition. What if you struck Fletcher while the sale is hot, and sold him the copy for 100 guineas? or will you keep it still — judge yourself. Guess what a hurry I write in, for May gives me but six minutes, as he calls in passing. Shall I carp at a word or two in your Spenser? When you speak of Johnson, you say, this "Disquisition" will be "discussed"; it is surely "Subject" — to discuss a Disquisition cannot be right — You use "lesser," p. 173, speaking of Milton; a word Johnson blames — Is it not Raleigh's and not Sidney's Sonnet on Spenser? In the translation of Du Bos, have you rightly translated esprit, p. 238, by understanding — esprit is the most equivocal word in the French language, and here signifies applying to the imagination. So I believe, but am not quite sure. See how free I make! I will at more leisure go thro' the whole — for I am sure you'll be glad of any observations, and to have the whole as correct as possible. I shall ardently expect you the 27th in the evening. We are all well.

I am most affectionately yours,

J. WARTON.