1748 ca. ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

James Thomson

William Shenstone, in David Parkes, "Shenstone's Copy of Thomson's Works" Gentleman's Magazine 93 (March 1823) 226-27.



Mr. Thomson was at the Leasowes in the Summer of 1745, and in the Autumn of 1746, and promised, when he came again into the country, to make a longer visit; but at the time he was expected, came an account of his death. It seems he waited long for the return of his friend Dr. Armstrong, and did not chuse to employ any other physician.

He had nothing of the Gentleman in his person or address. But he made amends for the deficiency by his refined sense, spirited expressions, and a manner of speaking not unlike his friend Quin. He did not talk a great deal, but after a pause of reflection, produced something or other that accounted for his delay.

The Seasons would make a fine Poem in Latin. Its turgid phrases would lose their stiffness, and its vulgar idioms acquire a proper majesty. Its propriety and description shine the same.

W. S.