1834 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. John Duncombe

Samuel Egerton Brydges, in Autobiography (1834) 1:52.



John Duncombe, the translator of Horace, was about this time Six-preacher at Canterbury, and rector of Herne. He was a sort of general litterateur, — very multifarious in his erudition, but not very exact; neglected and uncouth in his person, and awkward in his manner; a long face, with only one eye, and a shambling figure; his pockets stuffed with pamphlets; his manner hurried, and his articulation indistinct. He reached a certain point in everything, but in nothing went beyond mediocrity. The translations of Horace by himself are miserably dull. Nothing was alleged against him, unless perhaps that he was mean in pecuniary matters; but he had not the art of making himself respected. He married a daughter of Highmore the painter, who was one of Samuel Richardson's blue-stocking circle, and survived him many years, leaving an only daughter, also since dead. He himself died about 1786, aged 55.