1752 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Dr. Nathaniel Cotton

James Hervey, 1752 ca.; in Collection of Letters of James Hervey (1760) 2:39-40.



Shall I beg you to tell Dr. ***, that his beautiful Visions were, by Dodsley the Bookseller, put into the Hands of a very pious and ingenious Friend of mine, who purposes an Alteration in the ninth Line of the sixty ninth Page of the fifth edition, where he would read "Jesus" instead of "Virtue."

At that important Hour of Need,
Jesus shall prove a Friend indeed.

But I am not of his Opinion, unless an uniform Vein of evangelical Doctrine had run through the whole. This, I must confess, I could have been glad to have seen in so elegant a Poem, where Spenser's Fancy, and Prior's Ease, are united: And I hope, if the Doctor should ever write any more Poetry, he will take this important Hint into his Consideration. Indeed he ought; for even in his Vision on Death, he has not paid the least regard to Christ our Redeemer, the Conqueror of Death. I presume they fell according to our Wishes. May they, under the Blessing of a most gracious God, impart good to the World, and bring Gain to the Author!