1812 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Dennis

Charles Caleb Colton, in Hypocrisy, a Satire (1812) 1-2 &n.



Two things there are confound the Poet's lays,
The Scholars censure, and the Blockhead's praise:
That glowing page with double lustre shines,
When Pope approves, and Dennis* damns the lines.

* John Dennis, the dull, but relentless adversary of Pope and Addison; the self importance of this man is worthy of being recorded. Having published a Tragedy which contained an Invective against the French Nation, he waited on the Duke of Marlborough, after the Treaty of Utrecht, to request his Grace would use his influence that he might not be delivered up to the French King. The Duke gravely told him, he had not as yet taken any such precautions with regard to himself, although he must conceive he had done that Nation almost as much mischief as Mr. Dennis.