1709 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Bp. Francis Atterbury

Richard Steele, Tatler No. 66 (10 September 1709).



He has so much regard to his Congregation, that he commits to his Memory what he has to say to them; and has so soft and graceful a Behaviour, that it must attract your Attention. His Person, it is to be confessed, is no small Recommendation; but he is to be highly commended for not losing that Advantage, and adding to the Propriety of Speech, which might pass the Criticism of Longinus, an Action which would have been approved by Demosthenes. He has a peculiar Force in his Way, and has many of his Audience who could not be intelligent Hearers of his Discourse, were there not Explanation as well as Grace in his Action. This Art of his is used with the most exact and honest Skill; he never attempts your Passions till he has convinced your Reason. All the Objections which he can form are laid open and dispersed, before he uses the least Vehemence in his Sermon; but when he thinks he has your Head, he very soon wins your Heart: and never pretends to show the Beauty of Holiness, till he hath convinced you of the Truth of it.