1780 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Gray

Thomas Davies, in Life of Garrick (1780) 2:200-02.



The dainty Mr. Grey was extremely offended that Colley Cibber, a player, should presume to write an essay on the character and conduct of Cicero: he seems to think it very unhappy, that reason and truth should be bedizen'd in the tattered fringe, dirty furbelows, false jewels, and frippery of a stroller's wardrobe. Seriously, this was a terrible misfortune; and I hope the distressed writer called for his lavender drops, to relieve him in his exquisite feelings.... All lovers of genius and friends of learning will pay due homage to the criticisms of Mr. Grey; but will his remains, though embalmed by his friend the elegant Mason, be longer admired than some of the comedies of Colley Cibber?