1738 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir William Davenant

Anonymous, in "The Apotheosis of Milton" Gentleman's Magazine (October 1738) 521.



Ha! continued he with a pleasing Kind of a Surprize, I am glad of this: The Person in that military Habit, large Boots, and long Sword, who is so familiar with Dryden, is one for whom I have a particular Regard; his Name is Sir William Davenant; he has a Right to a Seat here, but upon some Disgust at his not meeting with the Respect he thinks he deserves, has not appear'd in the Assembly of a long Time. I guess what brings him this Night. You must know, that he was once discovered by Cromwell to be in a Plot for restoring the King, but Milton obtained his Pardon. Upon the Restoration, Sir William performed the same Piece of Service to Milton. Thus far, they were on a Level; but it seems my Friend is resolved to conquer in Gratitude. See with what Earnestness he solicits, because he knows a strong Opposition will be made, by some, to Milton's Admission on account of his Principles. I am glad Sir William has not deceived me in the good Opinion I always had of him.