1749 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Richard Bentley

William Warburton to Richard Hurd, 19 August 1749; in Letters of a Late eminent Prelate (1808) 7-8.



Your generous concern for the character of a truly great and much injured man, Dr. Bentley, charms me. Part of the false judgment passed upon him, which I complain of, is, that he was esteemed a "Dunce among wits," which he was as far from being as any man. The wits I meant, were Dr. Garth, Dr. Swift, Mr. Pope, who were all in the interests of a cabal against him, and not the Oxford men, whom I think, with you, he beat at their own weapons. On this subject I must tell you a story. — The only thing the Oxford people hit off was Bentley's plagiarism, from Vizzanius. And when they had done, they could not support it against Bentley's defence: who solemnly denies it, avers it with a calumny, and gives this proof of his innocence, that the Greek passage quoted by him from Iamblicus, on which both he and Vizzanius had founded their discoveries, is differently translated by them.