1834 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Thomas Warton

John Wilson, in "Spenser" Blackwood's Magazine 36 (1834) 412-13.



All honour to the memory of Tom Warton — all honour and all love. He was a poet as well and an antiquary, and he understood Spenser far better than he thought; and had he not had the fear of Aristotle before his eyes, and an awe in his soul, not too profound, for that was impossible, but habitual rather than reflective, for the Greek and Roman genius — the Classics — he would have left unsaid many questionable, many important, and many untrue sayings, (yet he has said many that are most true) about the Faerie Queen. He was in his day, and is now, one of the brightest ornaments, the greatest glories of Oxford, of her whom Lord Brougham (not in the Edinburgh Review) rightly calls that "old, renowned, and famous university."