1821 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Brown

Anonymous, in Blackwood's Magazine 10 (October 1821) 332.



Tom Brown, the Aretine of the last century, is now almost forgotten. The wit of his writings is so essentially allied to indecency, and the gaiety of his humour to profligacy, that, by pandering to the bad taste of a licentious aera, he has completely forfeited his claim to exist beyond his day. Yet certainly he was a writer of no ordinary talents. When we consider that the greatest part, if not all, of his productions, were written to supply his immediate necessities, and written, too, after the intoxication of the debauch, or in the sadness of returning reflection, we must be fastidious indeed to withhold a certain portion of praise. He was a scholar of no mean or inconsiderable standing, and wrote Latin with great elegance and facility. With his brother wit, D'Urfey, he contributed continually to the amusement of the town, not less by his various writings, than by his convivial powers of entertainment.