1807 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Park

Samuel Egerton Brydges, in Censura Literaria 4 (1807) viii-ix.



To many ingenious correspondents I am indebted for various and continued assistance: but to my friend Mr. Park in particular, whose acquaintance with curious libraries, and astonishing extent and accuracy of bibliographical knowledge, more especially on the subject of old English poetry, are far beyond my powers of praise, I feel it a duty to make this acknowledgment. To him I owe a numerous and rich series of articles, most of which nobody but himself could have communicated, and all of which must be received, by those whose curiosity is excited to congenial researches, and constant and unabated interest. On these I may confidently rely to secure a permanent value to my work: and when it is known that they have been furnished with never-ceasing regularity and copiousness amid the most constant and fatiguing undertakings of his own; while with a fidelity and industry seldom equalled, and never exceeded, he was carrying through the press his augmented and rich edition of Lord Orford's Royal and Noble Authors, which has just made its appearance; collating the text for Sharpe's beautiful Collection of English Poets; and aiding the inquiries of a large literary acquaintance, who are in the habit of applying for his aid; the simple statement will exhibit traits of character, which do not require any comment. I know the diffidence of my friend will shrink from this acknowledgment with hesitation, and perhaps with momentary anger: but it is thus that I am resolved to prove my consciousness of what I owe him, and not to assume to myself the merits which belong to another. To him I am happy to say, that the public may now look for a new edition of Warton's History of English Poetry, to which he will bring a perfect and intimate acquaintance with the recondite materials used by that ingenious and powerful, but sometimes too hasty, critic, and an accuracy of collation, and congeniality of feeling, eminently fitted for so arduous and important a task.