1783 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Gerard Hamilton

Edmond Malone, 1783; Maloniana, in Sir James Prior, Life of Edmond Malone (1860) 343.



Mr. Hamilton, in conversation with the late Bishop Warburton, asked him, what his opinion was of Eikon Basilike? That he was almost afraid of delivering his own sentiments of that work, but that really it appeared to him, notwithstanding all the noise made about it and all the editions it had gone through, to have very little merit. "You are very right," said the bishop; "it has mostly been supported by the cry of party." "Well," said Mr. Hamilton, "since I find I have the sanction of your lordship's concurrence so far, I will venture to go a little further, and own that I cannot see any very extraordinary merit in another much talked of and much admired work — Lord Clarendon's History of the Civil Wars." "Ah, now you have undone yourself with me," replied the bishop. "It is one of the finest compositions that was ever written. I have read it at least a dozen times, and filled every leaf with manuscript observations."