1806 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Churchyard

Samuel Egerton Brydges, in Preface, Censura Literaria 2 (1806) ix-x.



I believe Mr. Malone somewhere calls Churchyard a poetaster; but surely he had some merits above those of a poetaster. It is true that his poverty seems to have urged him to write a great deal too much; and sometimes too meanly; and whoever has an opportunity of inspecting the greater part of his very rare publications will probably find many trifles, and much contemptible trash among them; but the writer of The Legend of Jane Shore was certainly not deficient in genius, and amongst his other pamphlets I have no doubt that there will at least be found many curious notices of the times. The same remarks may be made on Wither, who lived half a century after him; but Wither's pretensions to genius are still less doubtful.