1814 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Dr. Henry Stubbe

Isaac D'Israeli, in Quarrels of Authors (1814) 1:37-39.



The extraordinary character of STUBBE naturally produced as uncommon a history. STUBBE had originally been a child of fortune, picked up by the favour of Sir HENRY VANE the younger, at Westminster School, who sent him to Oxford, where this effervescent genius was, says Wood, "kicked, and beaten, and whipped." But if these little circumstances marked the irritability and boldness of his youth, it was equally distinguished by an entire devotion to his studies. Perhaps one of the most anomalous of human characters was that of his patron, Sir HENRY VANE the younger (whom Milton has immortalized in one of the noblest of sonnets) the head of the Independents, who combined with the darkest spirit of fanaticism, the clear views of the most sagacious politician. The early gratitude of STUBBE lasted through the changeful fortunes of the chief of a faction — a long date in the records of human affection! STUBBE had written against Monarchy, the Church, the University, &c. for which, after the Restoration, he was accused by his antagonists. He exults in the reproach; he replies with all that frankness of simplicity, so beautiful amidst our artificial manners! He denies not the charge, but never trims, nor glosses over, nor would veil, a single part of his conduct. He wrote to serve his patrons, but never himself.