1807 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Thomas Warton

X., in "Miscellaneous Anecdotes" European Magazine 52 (July 1807) 30.



Warton is said to have lost his election to the headship of Trinity College, Oxford, in a very singular way. As one of the fellows of that society, by no means remarkable for an uncommon share of wisdom, was reading prayers, he came to that verse in the Psalms, "Lord, thou knowest my simpleness." — "Why," said Warton, "that is known to everybody." — When the headship was vacant, Warton asked his friend for his vote, which happened to be the casting one. — "No, no," replied he, "I am not so simple as that;" and Warton lost his election. Such is the curse of wit!