1806 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Philips

John Aikin, in Letters to a Young Lady (1806) 143.



While the Miltonic style is fresh in your memory, it may entertain you to peruse one of those writers who professed to copy it with the greatest assiduity. Take up, then the volume containing the works of JOHN PHILIPS. The first of his poems, entitled The Splendid Shilling, is a noted piece of burlesque, in which the great poet's diction is happily employed in that grave humour, which consists in clothing a ludicrous subject in lofty terms which have already acquired associations of an opposite kind. It is unnecessary to point out the passages in which this comic resemblance is successfully supported: you will readily discover them, and will enjoy the harmless mirth this trifle was intended to excite.