1795 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Walsh

Robert Anderson, in Works of the British Poets (1795) 6:564.



With Dryden, in particular, he was a great favourite; for in the postscript to his Virgil, he calls him "the best critic of our nation." He was not, however, merely a critic and a scholar, but a man of fashion, ostentatiously splendid, it is said, in his dress; and a courtier, distinguished by the friendship of the Duke of Shrewsbury, and Gentleman of the Horse to Queen Anne, under the Duke of Somerset. He was likewise a member of Parliament, having been several times chosen knight of the shire for the county of Worcester, and once the representative of Richmond in Yorkshire. He appears, from his writings, to have been a zealous friend of the Revolution; but without rancour or animosity against the opposite party; for he continued his reverence and kindness for Dryden, after he was dispossessed of the laurel by King William, and discountenanced by the public, for his mean compliance and conversion to Popery in the preceding reign.