1784 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Chatterton

William Jackson of Exeter, in Thirty Letters on Various Subjects (1784) 1:75.



A few affected antiquated spellings have been thought, by one half of the world, sufficient to weigh against modern phraseology, modern manners, and even modern facts. Surely it requires no great discernment to discover that what has existed may be imitated, but nothing less than the gift of prescience can dive into futurity. If it is improbable that an uneducated boy should be able to produce what are called Rowley's poems, it is impossible that Rowley could write in a style and allude to facts of after times.