1749 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Lauder

William Warburton to Richard Hurd, 23 December 1749; in Letters of a Late eminent Prelate (1808) 22.



I have just read the most silly and knavish book I ever saw; one Lauder on Milton's Imitations. An observation at the bottom of 44 and the top of 45, proves him either the one or the other with a vengeance. If there are those things in Masenius, why did he not produce them? They are of more weight to prove his charge than all he says besides. If they are not, he is a knave. — I think he has produced about half a dozen particular thoughts that look like imitations. — But the matter of imitation is a thing very little understood. However in one view the book does not displease me. It is likely enough to mortify all the silly adorers of Milton, who deserve to be laughed at.