1762 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Thomas Warton

Anonymous, Headnote to Robert Lloyd's The Poetry Professors, The North Briton No. 26 (27 November 1762) 80-81.



As the season is now approaching, when the learned universities are to offer up their sacrifice of thanksgiving, and pay their poetical tribute to the throne, we shall, for their benefit, present the public with the remainder of that poem, the beginning of which was so favourably received some time since. We have long lamented, and in all probability, shall have fresh cause of lamenting, the wretched figure those ingenious societies make in poetry. That the muses should droop at Cambridge, where they are despised, where they have not even a professor to keep them in countenance, and where every method ha been illiberally taken to drive them into banishment, cannot be matter of surprize; but, that Oxford should fall so very short in this respect, justly creates astonishment. There, the polite arts meet with that encouragement they deserve, and the muses are treated with particular civility. The truly ingenious Mr. WARTON hath repeatedly set an example, which, if it had been followed, this poem would have been wholly unnecessary. But, since that gentleman hath in vain pointed out, by his own writings, in what manner they ought to write to merit praise, the design of these lines (and I hope they will meet with better success) is to point out a remedy for their faults, by which, at least, they may escape censure.