1802 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Melmoth

Anonymous, in "Memoirs of John Hawksworth" Universal Magazine 111 (October 1802) 236-37.



Mr. Melmoth had a few years before published, under the title of Fitzosborne's Letters, a very pleasing series of essays in the epistolary form, on some of the most agreeable topics in morality and criticism. Melmoth, in that volume, gave offence to some of the admirers of Herring [Archbishop of Canterbury], by a criticism, in which the instances of incorrectness in an extract out of one of that author's sermons were printed in Italic characters. Hawkesworth, in October 1754, sent a short paper of remarks to be inserted in the Gentleman's Magazine, in which, by introducing a passage out of Melmoth's own compositions, and printing also the inaccuracies in Italics, he showed that critic's style to be not less exceptionable than the style of the great prelate, whom he had presumed in this respect to censure. Several persons were pleased with this check offered to Melmoth's pride of criticism. Mr. Duncombe observes of Hawkesworth's article, in one of his Letters to archbishop Herring — in the words of the Roman poet,

—Ne lex justior ulla, est,
Quam necis artifices arte perire sua.