1759 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Edmund Burke

Elizabeth Montagu to Elizabeth Carter, 1759; Montagu, Letters (1809, 1813) 3:211.



I shall send you a treatise on the Sublime and Beautiful, by Mr. Burke, a friend of mine. I do not know that you will always subscribe to his system, but I think you will find him an elegant and ingenious writer. He is far from the pert pedantry and assuming ignorance of modern witlings; but in conversation and writing, an ingenious and ingenuous man, modest and delicate, and on great and serious subjects full of that respect and veneration which a good mind and a great one is sure to feel, while fools rush behind the altar at which wise men kneel and pay mysterious reverence.