1851 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Dr. Nathan Drake

Robert Pearse Gillies, in Memoirs of a Literary Veteran (1851) 1:167-68.



This theological penchant was in 1803 superseded by quite another. All of a sudden I turned what was called poetical. I became poet after a fashion, and this revolution was effected by a book which my instructor kindly gave me to read from his own stores, a bright new book, fresh from the press in those days, on which I still reflect with pleasure, namely Drake's Literary Hours. It became my favourite companion for years afterwards. I may indeed take this occasion to remark that, Like Trenck's memoirs, it produced an impression indelible for the rest of my life. The author, it is true, exhibits no great originality nor strength of mind, but in every chapter, be it critical or imaginative, he sets to work, and perseveres, cheerfully, sincerely, and lovingly. I believe every author of whom this can be said, will gain favour with an attentive reader. It was this work, more than all others, which at that early age fixed my affections on literary pursuits, also on quiet and retirement as being thereto indispensable.