1739 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Nathaniel Lee

Anonymous, in "The Apotheosis of Milton" Gentleman's Magazine 9 (January 1739) 20.



I saw John Dennis running up to the Place where the Members sat, in a great Fright: He was pursued by a Figure dressed after a very extraordinary Fashion, not with regard to the Form and Materials of his Habit, which were as proper and rich as what most of the Company wore; but they were miserably torn in many Places, and seemed made for a Man three times his Size: His Air appeared frantick, but at the same Time he had an Enthusiasm in his Eye that struck me rather with Awe than with Horror: He brandished in his Hand a Whip, made in Form of the antient Flagella; with which he gave Mr. Dennis very severe Discipline. In the mean Time, I observed Mr. Dryden arise in some Haste, and step up to this Stranger, whose Rage, immediately subsided, and he went to his Seat, without any Opposition; tho' most of the Members shew'd a visible Uneasiness in their Countenances. I had no Need of an Interpreter to let me know that this must be Nathaniel Lee, whose Imagination got the Superiority of his Reason so far as to deprive him his Senses.