1747 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Melmoth

Elizabeth Montagu to the Duchess of Portland, 1747; Letters (1809, 1813) 3:47.



I had before read a French translation of these letters [of Pliny], but I think, Mr. Melmoth's preferable to it: and I was pleased to see the noble Roman in a good English habit. The generality of our English translators work merely for bread, and bring a great writer down to their homely rank; Mr. Melmoth is a gentleman; he was bred to the law, but was too much an admirer of the Muses and polite letters, and left an honourable and gainful profession to retire into the country. But, I suppose, that the world might not think it was done merely through a principle of idleness, he has given them a proof that he has been conversing with the fine geniuses of antiquity.