1797 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Samuel Wesley

William Mason to Richard Hurd, 4 March 1797; in Correspondence of Hurd and Mason, ed. Pearce and Whibley (1932) 152.



For my Part, he ranks with me, as an Epic Poet, full as high as your favorite Cowley does, and would certainly have excelled him, had it not unfortunately been the fashion of the time to imitate him, which Wesley, then a very young Man in a state of Penury and, I believe, a Lincolnshire fen curate, thought the best road to celebrity. I have heard Dr. Warburton speak of his notes in his Life of Christ with approbation, and they are certainly both Learned and oddly entertaining.