1799 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Bp. Joseph Hall

An Old Englishman, in Whitehall Evening Post (25 July 1799).



The ingenious Dr. Farmer, of Manchester, has proved beyond dispute what great obligations Sterne had in his Sermons, and in his Tristram Shandy, to the writings of this learned Divine, and how much he borrowed from his energetic language, and strength and singularity of thought. His works are not sufficiently known. Indeed, his ore is often melted down into modern coin, and it is so sterling, that it requires very little alloy to make it current.

Mr. Pope has said, "A Youth of follies, and an age of cards." Our good Bishop says, more strongly and pointedly, "There is nothing more odious than a fruitless old age. Now, (for that no tree bears fruit in autumn, unless it blossom in the spring,) is to the end that my age may be profitable and laden with ripe fruit, I will endeavour that my youth be studious and flowered with the blossoms of learning and observation."