1740 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Rymer

Lewis Theobald, in Preface to Shakespeare, 1740; in Beverley Warner, Famous Introductions to Shakespeare's Plays (1906) 79.



In short, as to Rymer, this is my opinion of him from his criticisms on the tragedies of the last age. He writes with great vivacity, and appears to have been a scholar: but as for his knowledge of the art of poetry, I cannot perceive it was any deeper than his acquaintance with Bossu and Dacier, from whom he has transcribed many of his best reflections. The late Mr. Gildon was one attached to Rymer by a similar way of thinking and studies. They were both of that species of criticks who are desirous of displaying their powers rather in finding faults, than in consulting the improvement of the world; the hypercritical part of the science of criticism.