1711 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Bp. Francis Atterbury

Thomas Hearne, 16 January, 1711; Reliquae Hearniae, ed. Bliss (1869) 1:215.



Though Dr. Atterbury be a man of a very sharp pen, and of very quick parts, yet I do not look upon him to be a man of extraordinary depth. He has not a true genius to the study of antiquities; nor has he taken much pains to make himself a master of our English history. He may be cryed up for a master of style, and 'twill not be denyed; yet this however must be granted withall, that affectation of wit and satyr does not become a grave subject, and Mr. Hooker, bishop Sanderson, and others, are rather to be followed in such sort of writing; whilst the study of witty expressions is to be looked upon as levity, and more proper for juvenile essays.