1757 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Ambrose Philips

Edward Young, 1757; in Spence, Anecdotes, ed. Singer (1820) 375-76.



Ambrose Phillips was a neat dresser, and very vain. — In a conversation between him, Congreve, Swift, and others, the discourse turned on Julius Caesar. After many things had been said to the purpose, Ambrose asked what sort of a person they supposed Julius Caesar was? He was answered, that from medals, &c. it appeared that he was a small man, and thin-faced. — "Now for my part," said Ambrose, "I should take him to have been of a lean make, pale complexion, extremely neat in his dress, and five feet seven inches high:" an exact description of Philips himself. Swift, who understood good breeding perfectly well, and would not interrupt anyone while speaking, let him go on, and when he had quite done said; "And I, Mr. Philips, should take him to have been a plump man, just five feet five inches high; not very neatly dressed, in a black gown with pudding-sleeves."