1830 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Richard Bentley

Thomas De Quincey, in Review of Monk's Bentley, Blackwood's Magazine 28 (October 1830) 673.



In conclusion, we shall venture to pronounce Dr. Bentley the greatest man amongst all scholars. In the complexion of his character, and the style of his powers, he resembled the elder Scaliger, having the same hardihood, energy, and elevation of mind. But Bentley had the advantage of earlier polish, and benefited by the advances of his age. We should pronounce him, also, the greatest of scholars, were it not that we remember Salmasius. Dr. Parr was in the habit of comparing the Phalaris dissertation with that of Salmasius De Lingua Hellenistica. For our own parts, we have always compared it with the same writer's Plinian Exercitations. Both are among the miracles of human talent: but with this difference, that the Salmasian work is crowded with errors; whilst that of Bentley, in its final state, is absolutely without spot or blemish.