1789 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Edmund Waller

Philip Neve, in Cursory Remarks on Ancient English Poets (1789) 61-62.



Of Chaucer his judgment is general and erroneous, and not like that of a man, who had read and studied him. His object, in mentioning him, was, to compare him to his own advantage. The praise, he gives him in one quality, he resumes immediately in another, by denying him that excellence, in which he knew his own greatest strength lay. He has borrowed the name of Gloriana [in Apology to Sleep], and a fine allusion to Prince Arthur's shield [in In Answer to One], from Spenser; but without mentioning him. Of his obligations to Fairfax enough has been shewn; yet he has given no word of praise, nor even acknowledgment, to his writings.