1781 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. John Marston

Thomas Warton, in History of English Poetry (1774-81; 1840) 3:450-51.



It is Marston's misfortune that he can never keep clear of the impurities of the brothel. His stream of poetry, if sometimes bright and unpolluted, almost always betrays a muddy bottom. The satirist who too freely indulges himself in the display of that licentiousness which he means to proscribe, absolutely defeats his own design. He inflames those passions which he professes to suppress, gratifies the depravations of a prurient curiosity, and seduces innocent minds to an acquaintance with ideas which they might never have known.