1824 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Richard Brathwait

Thomas Frognall Dibdin, in Library Companion (1824; 1825) 2:603-08.



The names of Braithwait and Peacham are dear to the "Young" and "Old Collector" of instructive and sound books; and although, about the same period, the literary world received occasional "shocks," from the rapid increase of cheap pamphlets (under the title of Merriments) to pervert and sometimes poison the main spring of public taste — especially among the lower classes of the people — yet did Braithwaite and Peacham — to whom may be added Gervase Markham, and Robert Burton, and Sir William Cornwallyes — to much to keep down all indications of a coarse, vulgar, and mischievous spirit. I love, honour, and respect, the memories of these excellent men. I forgive all their aberrations from a pure classical taste — common to the age; separate their excellences from their defects; and place their works, coated in gray calf, or pale russia, upon the most conspicuous shelf of my inner library.