1810 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Bp. Richard Mant

Robert Southey to Neville White, 11 March 1810; Life and Correspondence (1849-50) 3:278.



I got hold of the Simpliciad the other day, and wrote as a motto to it these lines, from one of Davenant's plays which I happened to have just been reading:—

Libels of such weak fancy and composure,
That we do all esteem it greater wrong
To have our names extant in such paltry rhyme
Than in the slanderous sense.

The manner in which these rhymesters and prosesters misunderstand what they criticize, would be altogether ludicrous, if it did not proceed as often from want of feeling as from want of intellect.