1781 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

George Chapman

Thomas Warton, in History of English Poetry (1774-81; 1840) 3:358-59.



My copy [of Chapman's Homer] once belonged to Pope; in which he has noted many of Chapman's absolute interpolations, extending sometimes to the length of a paragraph of twelve lines. A diligent observer will easily discern, that Pope was no careless reader of his rude predecessor. Pope complains that Chapman took advantage of an unmeasurable length of line. But in reality Pope's lines are longer than Chapman's. If Chapman affected the reputation of rendering line for line, the specious expedient of choosing a protracted measure which concatenated two lines together, undoubtedly favoured his usual propensity to periphrasis.