1800 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Thomas Warton

Thomas James Mathias, in Pursuits of Literature (1800) 89 & n.



In Theron's form, mark Ritson next content,
Fierce, meagre, pale, no commentator's friend;
Tom Warton last, Agriodos acute,
With Labros Percy barks in close pursuit....

Agriodos signifies a dog with a sharp tooth.... I always regret the loss of THOMAS WARTON: in his various writings he is amusing, instructive, pleasant, learned, and poetical. I never received information so agreeably from any modern writer. His edition of Milton's Smaller Poems (an exquisite specimen of classical commentary, and worthy of his former observations on Spencer) leaves it a matter of unceasing regret, that he never published the Paradise Lost and Regained. The want of the last volume of the History of English Poetry, must forever be lamented. I despair of any artist able to finish such a work, with so few imperfections, and with such various erudition. Tom Warton had rather a kindly affection for the jovial memory of Archdeacon Walter de Mapes of the 11th century, mentioned for his drinking ode in a former note. Mr. W. tells us, (with a warm panegyric) in his 2d Dissert. to the Hist. of E. P. that this divine Anacreon wrote also a Latin ode in favour of married priests, concluding with these spirited lines:

Ecce pro Clericis multum allegavi;
Nec non pro Presbyteris multem comprobavi;
Pater noster pro me quoniam peccavi,
Dicat quisque Presbyter cum sua SUAVI!

I quote this for my own sake, "quoniam peccavi," and am inclined to hope that every "Presbyter cum sua SUAVI," will be as kind to the author of this poem on THE PURSUITS OF LITERATURE. Requiescat!