1826 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Dr. Nathaniel Cotton

Herbert Barton, in Mirror of Poesy (1826) 240.



Nathaniel Cotton was bred to the profession of physic, in which he took the degree of Doctor. He settled as a physician at St. Albans, in Hertfordshire, where he acquired great reputation in his profession. In the latter part of his life, he kept a house for the reception of lunatics. He died at St. Albans, at an advanced age.

His moral and intellectual character appears to have been, in the highest degree, amiable and respectable. His writings are distinguished by the strongest marks of piety, learning, taste, and benevolence. They are characterized by an elegant simplicity, derived from a diligent study of the best classical models.

As a poet, his compositions are distinguished by a refined elegance of sentiment, and a correspondent simplicity of expression. He writes with ease and correctness, frequently with elevation and spirit. His thoughts are always just, and religiously pure, and his lines are commonly smooth and easy. As piety predominated in his mind, it is diffused over his compositions. Under his direction, poetry may be truly said to be subservient to religious and moral instruction.