1782 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Nicholas Rowe

Anonymous, in Biographia Dramatica (1782; 1812) 1:609.



Whence then has Rowe his reputation? From the reasonableness and propriety of some of his scenes, from the elegance of his diction, and the suavity of his verse. He seldom moves either pity or terror, but he often elevates the sentiments; he seldom pierces the breast, but he always delights the ear, and often improves the understanding. Being a great admirer of Shakespeare, he gave the public an edition of his plays; to which he prefixed an account of that great man's life. But the most considerable of Mr. Rowe's performance, was a translation of Lucan's Pharsalia, which he just lived to finish, but not to publish; for it did not appear in print till ten years after his death.