1789 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Henry Lawes

Hannah More to her sister, 1789; in Memoirs of Hannah More (1835) 1:332.



I should have contrived to make my pilgrimage to the shrine of Sarum [Salisbury Palace] at a quieter season, for we have great dinners, and concerts, and oratorios, it being the music meeting. At their evening amusements, however, they are so good as to dispense with my attendance, and they are all gone to the festivity of the night, having left me solitary queen of this venerable palace. Indeed I had but too plausible a pretence for keeping close, having suffered a painful and perilous extraction of a tooth since I came hither; and here I am sitting with an original picture of Henry Lawes, the friend of Milton, and the composer of Comus, looking down upon me, very angry I suppose, though he does not tell me so, at the disrespect I pay to his art, in deserting all this fine music.