1787 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Dr. Mark Akenside

Sir John Hawkins, in Life of Johnson (1787) 247.



Akenside was a man of religion and strict virtue, a philosopher, a scholar, and a fine poet. His conversation was of the most delightful kind, learned, instructive, and without any affectation of wit, cheerful and entertaining. One of the pleasantest days of my life I passed with him, Mr. Dyson, and another friend, at Putney bowling-green house, where a neat and elegant dinner, the enlivening sunshine of a summer's day, and the view of an unclouded sky, were the least of our gratifications. In perfect good humour with himself and all around him, he seemed to feel a joy that he lived, and poured out his gratulations to the great dispenser of all felicity in expressions that Plato himself might have uttered on such an occasion.