1818 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Horace Walpole

William Beloe, in The Sexagenarian: or Recollections of a Literary Life (1817; 1818) 1:276-77.



As far as verbal communication went, or communication of what he retained in his memory, availed, all his stores were at the service of literary men, and many of our modern popular books owe much of their zest and interest to this sort of assistance received from Lord [Orford]. Among others, Pennant's London was very particularly indebted to his Reminiscences. The Messrs. Lysons will doubtless not deny their obligations of a similar kind, nor Mr. Nichols; nor would the late Mr. Gough, nor Michael Lort, nor Michael Tyson, nor a great many others. Further than such communication, with perhaps the exception of a scanty dinner at Strawberry-hill, there is no instance on record of his liberality having proceeded. He certainly was proud of being considered as a sort of patron of literature, and a friend to literary men, but he did not choose to purchase the pre-eminence at a higher price than a little flattery and praise, and a pudding neither over large nor over solid.