1814 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. John Jortin

George Dyer, in History of the University and Colleges of Cambridge (1814) 2:81-82.



We have few critics that combine more elegance of taste with extensive reading, and liberality of sentiment, than Dr. John Jortin. He was elected Fellow of this college [Jesus College] in 1721. His writings are various, and all possess merit: the most considerable being his Remarks on Ecclesiastical History, and his Life of Erasmus, published in 1758. It is founded on Le Clerc's French Life of Erasmus, published in 1758; and, indeed, though with considerable additions, is a translation of it. Jortin owed much to those indefatigable critics, and his Life of Erasmus is one of the most useful pieces of biography in the English language. Jortin took his M.A. degree in 1722; and in 1755 his friend Archbishop Herring conferred on him the degree of D.D.

Jortin's Lusus Poetici, being Latin poems, much and very justly admired, were first published in 1722. To an abusive poem, written against them by some person of Sidney College, Jortin replied as follows—

Angry reformer of the times,
The Lord have mercy on thy rhimes:
Thy verses have an ague got,
They are so very cold and hot.