1764 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Sheffield

David Erskine Baker, in Companion to the Play-House (1764) 2:Sig. D6.



As to his personal Character, it is impossible to say any Thing in it's Vindication, for tho' his severest Enemies acknowledge him to have possess'd great Vivacity and a Quickness of Parts, peculiarly adapted to the Purposes of Ridicule, yet his warmest Admirers have never attributed to him a single Virtue. — His Generosity was Profuseness, his Wit Malevolence, the Gratification of his Passions hi sole Aim through Life, his very Talents Caprice, and even his Gallantry the meer Love of Pleasure. — But it is impossible to draw his Character with equal Beauty, or with more Justice than in that given of him, by Dryden, in his Absolom and Achitophel, under the Name of Zimri, which is too well known to authorize my inserting it here, and to which therefore I shall refer my Readers.