1812 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Dennis

Isaac D'Israeli, in Calamities of Authors (1812; 1881) 52.



As a critic in his own day, party for some time kept him alive; the art of criticism was a novelty at that period in our literature. He flattered some great men, and he abused three of the greatest; this was one mode of securing popularity; because, by this contrivance, he divided the town into two parties; and the irascibility and satire of Pope and Swift were not less serviceable to him than the partial panegyricks of Dryden and Congreve. Johnson revived him, for his minute attack on Addison; and Kippis, feebly voluminous, and with the cold affectation of candour, allows him to occupy a place in our literary history too large in the eye of Truth and Taste.