1798 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir James Bland Burges

Thomas James Mathias, in Pursuits of Literature (1798) 78-79 & n.



I could, like Seward, if for scraps you call,
Turn publick bag-man, train'd in Walpole's stall;
Or to Cythaeron, from the Treasury, move,
And, like Sir James Bland Burgess, murmur love....

I allude to Sir James Bland Burgess's Poem, entitled The Birth and Triumph of Love, accompanied by the prettiest little designs of the "Amoretti alati" by one of the fairest, most ingenious, and most illustrious hands [H.R.H. The PRINCESS ELIZABETH] in the kingdom. Sir James, late Under Secretary of State, is very properly, (as all Under Secretaries of State, or Chief Secretaries in the Treasury, should be,) attentive to his character, and is particularly afraid of the smallest Cupid "without a muzzle." Sir James says, "That boy and that boy's deeds shall not pollute my measure." St. 1. Now when I consider what Virgil and Tasso have said and sung of "that boy and that boy's deeds," it is a little prudish in Sir James Bland Burgess, Baronet and Poet, on such a subject to have such fears. A poet may be a little playful. But Sir James Bland Burgess is right after all: there certainly should be none but the "most virtuous" persons about Secretaries of State, and in the precincts of the Treasury, though now and then a straggler of another description will be found, notwithstanding the unremitted diligence and undiverted attention of George Rose, Esq.