1786 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Bp. Richard Hurd

James Beattie to Richard Hurd, 21 July, 1786; in Francis Kilvert, Memoir of the Life and Writings of Richard Hurd (1860) 368.



Aberdeen, 21 July, 1786.

I was very anxious to see your Lordship's Sermons preached at Lincoln's Inn, of which I had heard such an account as greatly raised my curiosity. But even the best books find their way slowly into this remote corner. I have read the book once and again with great delight, and it will be my own fault if I am not the better for it as long as I live. My approbation can add nothing to its fame; yet I must beg to say that I particularly admire your happy talent in expounding different texts, and the perspicuity, conciseness, and elegance of your style, which I look upon as the perfection of pulpit eloquence, being equally captivating to the learned, and intelligible to the simple.