1756 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Joseph Warton

Elizabeth Montagu to her sister, 3 May 1756; Montagu, Letters (1809, 1813) 4:16.



You tell me I should always mention any new book worth reading; there is lately published, an Essay on the Genius and Writings of Mr. Pope, which I think one of the best pieces of criticism I ever read. I believe you will think the observations on Mr. Pope, just and candid; there are many good criticisms on other poets, pretty quotations of pieces not common, a general knowledge of poetry, and a great deal of vivacity in the manner of writing. You must excuse too high encomiums on some living authors: his just panegyric on Mr. [Gilbert] West pleased and pained me; I could not help sighing when I recollected, "Deaf's the praised ear, and mute the tuneful tongue." I hear the author is a Mr. Warton, who belongs to Winchester school. He does not write with the pedantry of a school master.