1757 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Thomas Warton

Robert Bedingfield to Thomas Warton, 3 March 1757; Wooll, Biographical Memoirs of Joseph Warton (1806) 244-46.



March 3d, 1757,

Dear Warton,

I am extremely obliged to you for your two letters: I own I never had so clear a notion of the "Fronte licet gemina," as you have given me, though I always imagined it related to the different collections of Latin and English poems being bound up in one volume. I was almost certain that I had seen the Ode in manuscript, tho' your being of a contrary opinion, when in town, somewhat staggered me. I think that you are mistaken in imagining that this Ode was first printed by Tonson in his edition of all Milton's Poetical Works, for I have seen it in the collection of Milton's Poems, which, as it came out during his life, Milton I take for granted printed himself in the year 73 or 74, where it is inserted with some others not to be found in Mosely's edition of 1645, which I have now before me.

Perhaps ere this comes to hand, you will see by the newspapers that poor More, whom we met so lately at Dodsley's, is dead. I read it this morning in the papers. It was scarcely a fortnight ago, that Gataker came to me in his name to propose my being engaged with him in his intended Magazine. When the proposal was made I could not help smiling, as I recollected his telling you and Joseph in confidence that he wanted a dull plodding fellow, of one of the Universities, who understood Latin and Greek.

You will think me a man of no curiosity (whatever I may be for Latin and Greek) when I assure you with great truth that I have not yet seen Mr. Foote's comedy (as he calls it) of the Author. I hear every body that goes laughs very much, but with me

"Non satis est risu diducere rictum."

Besides, the character of Cadwallader is not, I am told, so diverting as it was when you heard it read.

When you write next to your brother, give my compliments, and tell him that I fancy he has forgot to send me (as he promised to do) the Visions of Quevedo in Spanish, and another book. I see every day advertised an Oratiuncula spoken in the Convocation House, with critical Notes, &c. I have ask'd more than one Oxford man the meaning of it, but find nobody who knows any thing of the matter; if it is worth knowing, I should be glad to hear it, or any thing else from you which will help to continue our correspondence. I am,

Dear Sir,

Yours most affectionately,

ROB. BEDINGFIELD.