1882 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Ambrose Philips

Epes Sargent, in Harper's Cyclopaedia of British and American Poetry (1882) 126.



The word "namby-pamby" was introduced into the language through its having been first applied to Ambrose Philips (1671-1749) by Harry Carey, author of Sally in our Alley, etc. Pope snatched at the nickname as suited to Philips's "eminence in the infantine style;" so little did he appreciate the simplicity and grace of such lines as those To Miss Georgiana Carteret." But Pope had been annoyed by Tickell's praise of Philips praise of Philips's Pastorals as the finest in the language. Philips won some little success as a dramatic writer; but as he advanced in life he seems to have forsaken the Muses: he became a Member of Parliament, and died at the ripe age of seventy-eight; surpassing, in longevity at least, most contemporary poets.