1862 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Hughes

Thomas Arnold, in A Manual of English Literature (1862; 1885) 356.



John Hughes, the son of a London citizen, wrote in heroic verse The Triumph of Peace (1697) and The Court of Neptune (1699), and a Pindaric ode called The House of Nassau; all three are mere Orange puffs in honour of King William. He was, as we shall see, a contributor to the Spectator, and also to the Tatler and the Guardian. There is a pleasant, demure kind of wit in his Advice to Mr. Pope on his translation of the Iliad. Homer, he says, sang to an age which praised him but gave him nothing; do you proceed more prudently:

If Britain his translated song would hear,
First take the gold, then charm the listening ear;
So shall thy father Homer smile to see
His pension paid, though late, and paid to thee.