1828 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Joseph Spence

Leigh Hunt, in Lord Byron and some of his Contemporaries (1828) 372.



But there were three books I read in whenever I could [at Christ's Hospital], and that have often got me into trouble. These were Tooke's Pantheon, Lempriere's Classical Dictionary, and Spence's Polymetis, the great folio edition with plates. Tooke was a prodigious favourite with us. I see before me, as vividly now as ever, his Mars and Apollo, his Venus and Aurora, which I was continually trying to copy; the Mars, coming on furiously in his car; Apollo, with his radiant head, in the midst of shades and fountains; Aurora with her's, a golden dawn; and Venus, very handsome, we thought, and not looking too modest, in "a slight cymar."... Our Lempriere was a fund of entertainment. Spence's Polymetis was not so easily got at. There was also something in the text that did not invite us; but we admired the fine large prints. However, Tooke was the favourite.