1778 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Edward Jerningham

Horace Walpole to Edward Jerningham, 13 February 1778; Lewis Bettany, Edward Jerningham and his Friends (1919) 44.



If I was Speaker of both Houses and of all Houses, I would return you the thanks of the Public for the new volume of your Poems. To thank you for your present to myself is too cold and too selfish. Gratitude is a return to a mark of friendship; but a private Individual can no more pay the Debts of the Public than can pay — any of its own. Nay, I cannot, like the Nation, pay you interest by a poetic annuity; so I must call your gift by that long obsolete, but now revived, term a Benevolence.