1795 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Philips

Robert Anderson, in Works of the British Poets (1795) 6:535.



In 1703, he published The Splendid Shilling, a burlesque poem, which struck the public attention with a mode of writing, in which the opposition between the style and the sentiment was unexpected; and the application of Milton's phraseology to familiar incidents, gave the words and things a new appearance. It has the uncommon merit of being an original specimen of burlesque, that has lost nothing by time, the peculiar manners of which it did not, like Hudibras, represent, and therefore will be longer intelligible than that celebrated poem; which is not built on observations on nature. This performance raised his reputation so high, that he was employed by Mr. St. John, afterwards Lord Viscount Bolingbroke, and the Tories, to write a poem on the Victory of Blenheim, probably in opposition to Addison, who was employed upon the same subject by Halifax and the Whigs.