1755 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. John Jortin

William Warburton to Richard Hurd, 30 December 1755; in Letters of a Late eminent Prelate (1808) 153.



December 30th, 1755.

Who they are of Jortin's friends you have met with, I don't know; but they must be dirty fellows indeed who can think I have no reason to complain of his mean, low, and ungrateful conduct towards me; or that the pamphlet, which expresses so much resentment of it, was of my writing. Jortin is himself as vain as he is dirty, to imagine I am obliged to him for holding his hand. And perhaps, if the truth were known, it was to this insolence he must ascribe the seventh Dissertation. No body has yet written against me but at their own expence; and if he be a gainer, I will forgive him. The profusion of compliment in the Dissertation is so great, that he must be very malignant who can suppose I gave it myself; and, at the same time, so warm, that he must be very dull, not to see it came from a generous and zealous friend. Whoever he be, I envy him, that he has got the start of me; and that it was not my good fortune to do that for him, which he has done for me; that is to say, "Give a seasonable reproof to little low envy under the mask of friendship." And I wish you would take an opportunity to say all this, from me, and in my name, to those friends of Dr. Jortin. — I am, &c.