1843 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Joseph Warton

Edward Quillinan to Henry Crabb Robinson, 25 August 1843, Robinson, Diary, Reminiscences, and Correspondence (1870; 1872) 2:244.



My love of Pope was so notorious among my schoolfellows, that when any malicious boy chose to put me into a fever for fun, he would point his popgun at Pope. When Lisle Bowles made money of Pope's brains, by publishing (in my boyhood) an edition of him, in which he had the face to deny that Pope was a poet of a high order, I thought the same Lisle a mean coxcomb. I had been almost as much dissatisfied with Joseph Warton for the first volume of his Essay; but Dr. Joe's feeble elegance as a versifier was in some sense explanatory of his principles of taste, as well as of the mediocrity of his own talents (for poetry). I had written "genius," but thumbed it out, for he had none. My admiration for Pope, the man, the son, the friend, as well as the poet, in no degree diminished as I grew older, and is as vivid now as ever.