1797 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Richard Farmer

Anonymous, in The Monthly Magazine 4 (October 1797) 315.



Indolence, and love of ease, were his chief characteristics, and hence the want of propriety in his external appearance, and in the usual forms of behaviour belonging to his station. The prevailing features of his character distinguished themselves by several oddities: there were three things, it was said, which the master of Emanuel loved, viz. old port, old clothes, and old books; and three things which no one could persuade him to perform, viz. to rise in the morning, to go to bed at night, and to settle an account. — When in Cambridge, if an old house were pulled down, the master of Emanuel was always there, in an old blue great coat, and a rusty hat. When in London, he was sure to be found in the same garb, at an old book-stall; or standing at the corner of a dirty lane, poring through his glass at an old play bill. The Doctor was no less notorious for his violent attachment to the war with America, than he has been to that against France; during the former, he was the determined enemy to John Jebb — during the present war, he has been conspicuous for his violent effusions against every man whom he chose to call a republican and a leveller. He was, in the fullest sense of the word, a Tory, and an enemy of every proposition in the university, which had improvement in study for its object. With these singularities and blemishes, Dr. Farmer, notwithstanding, possessed that species of generosity which results rather from inattention, than from a knowledge of the use of wealth. As he obtained money easily, so he parted with it easily: — and to his honour be it spoken, many a person in distress has experienced his liberality, and his bounty was frequently bestowed in the patronage of learned men and learned publications.