1819 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Hookham Frere

George Ticknor, Journal Entry, 1819; Life, Letters, and Journals of George Ticknor (1876) 1:267.



Frere is a slovenly fellow. His remarks on Homer, in the "Classical Journal," prove how fine a Greek scholar he is; his "Quarterly Reviews," how well he writes; his "Rovers, or The Double Arrangement," what humor he possesses; and the reputation he has left in Spain and Portugal, how much better he understood their literatures than they do themselves: while, at the same time, his books left in France, in Gallicia, at Lisbon, and two or three places in England; his manuscripts, neglected and lost to himself; his manners, lazy and careless; and his conversation, equally rich and negligent, show how little he cares about all that distinguishes him in the eyes of the world. He studies as a luxury, he writes as an amusement, and conversation is a kind of sensual enjoyment to him. If he had been born in Asia, he would have been the laziest man that ever lived.