1814 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Gilbert Cooper

Isaac D'Israeli, in Quarrels of Authors (1814) 1:121-22.



But WARBURTON'S rage was only a part of his Secret Principle; for, can any thing be more witty than his attack on poor COOPER, the author of the Life of Socrates? Having called his book "a late worthless and now forgotten thing, called the Life of Socrates," he adds, "where the head of the Author has just made a shift to do the office of a camera obscura, and represent things in an inverted order, himself above, and Rollin, Voltaire, and every other author of reputation, below." When COOPER complained of this, and of some severer language, to WARBURTON, by a friend WARBURTON replied that COOPER had attacked him, and that he had only taken his revenge "with a slight joke." COOPER was weak and vain enough to print a pamphlet, to prove that this was a serious accusation, and no joke; and if it was a joke, he shews it was not a correct one. In fact, COOPER could never comprehend how his head was like a camera obscura! — COOPER, who was of the Shaftesburian school, who of philosophers pride themselves on "the harmony" of their passions, but strike too often in discords at a slight disturbance, equalled the virulence of WARBURTON'S joke, though he could not the wit.