1740 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Milton

William Shenstone to Richard Jago, 6 February 1740; Works (1769) 3:14.



Comus [in John Dalton's adaptation] I have once been at, for the sake of the songs, though I detest it in any light: but as a dramatic piece, the taking of it seems a prodigy; yet indeed such-a-one, as was pretty tolerably accounted for by a gentleman who sate by me in the boxes. This learned sage, being asked how he liked the play, made answer, "He could not tell — pretty well, he thought — or indeed as well as any other play — he always took it, that people only came there to see and to be seen — for as for what was said, he owned, he never understood anything of the matter." I told him, I thought a great many of its admirers were in his case, if they would but own it.