1781 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Ambrose Philips

Eugenio, in "Remarks on Johnson's Biography" Gentleman's Magazine 51 (July 1781) 318.



"AMBROSE PHILIPS in his conversation was solemn and pompous." This observation a friend of mine read some time ago in a MS of Dr. Jortin's, who added to it the following anecdote: "At a coffee-house he (Philips) was discoursing upon pictures, and pitying the painters who, in their historical pieces, always draw the same sort of sky. 'They should travel,' said he, 'and then they would see that there is a different sky in every country, in England, France, Italy, and so forth.' 'Your remark is just,' said a grave gentleman who sat by; 'I have been a traveller, and can testify what you observe is true; but the greatest variety of skys that I found was in Poland.' 'In Poland, Sir?' says Philips. 'Yes, in Poland; for there is Sobiesky, and Sarbrunsky, and Jablonsky, and Podebrasky, and many more skys.'"

Of the edition of Philips's works published by Tonson, the editor was Cooke, who wrote the dedication to the Duke of Newcastle. He is stiled "Deacon" by Pope in Art of Sinking, ch. v.