1730 ca. ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Philips

Theophilus Leigh, 1730 ca.; Spence, Anecdotes, ed. Osburne (1966) 1:333.



Mr. Addison [was] not good natured and very jealous of rivals. One evening with Philips (Blenheim=The Campaign) he made it his business to run down blank verse. Mr. Philips never spoke till between eleven and twelve, nor even then could do it in his own defence. 'Twas at Jacob Tonson's, and a gentleman in company ended the dispute by asking Jacob what poem he ever got most by. Jacob immediately named Milton. (This may in some degree show our national taste.)