1718 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Leonard Welsted

John Hughes to Earl Cowper, 15, 12 August 1718 [sic]; Duncombe, ed. Letters by Several Eminent Persons (1772; 1773) 1:194, 199-200.



Having just met with the inclosed verse, which have been but lately dispersed, I think them so good, that I could not deny myself the pleasure of sending them to your lordship, who perhaps may not yet have seen them. In am informed they were written by Mr. Welsted, a gentleman I have heard mentioned by Sir Richard Steele, as a promising genius; and who has written some few short poems before, but is little known....

The person your lordship has heard of, though a man of "wit in conversation," will not be suspected, among those who know him, for panegyrics of this kind; his sentiments and principles being of a different turn. What I have heard of this gentleman is, that he is a young man whom Sir Richard Steele some time ago professed to patronise and encourage, and used to recommend among his acquaintance. I find the "verses on the duke of Marlborough" are hitherto very little dispersed; and I wish the author were acquainted with your lordship's very just remark on the 3d and 4th stanzas. Perhaps placing the 3d stanza after the 4th might obviate the objection.