1795 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. William Lipscomb

Ralph Griffiths, Review of Lipscomb, Canterbury Tales of Chauder; The Monthly Review NS 18 (November 1795) 355.



The admirers of the merry and witty old Bard will, no doubt, hold themselves much obliged to Mr. L. for having completed the celebrated Canterbury Tales in a modern version. The lovers of decency will likewise think themselves, as well the public in general, farther indebted to the ingenious editor, for "pruning away the indelicacies and offensive passages of his author" [The Miller's Tale and the Reeve's Tales are both wholly omitted]: — but, from a due regard to the memory of the venerable Chaucer, we would not close this little article without reminding our readers, as Mr. L. very properly does, tha the poet's grossness is, in a great measure, justly chargeable on THE TIMES in which he lived, and which "extended their coarse influence to writers much posterior to him;" nor can we wonder, as Mr. L. adds, that "the stream which took such a length of time to depurate, should be turbid at its very source."