1789 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Bp. Richard Hurd

Anonymous, in "Literary and Biographical Anecdotes of Dr. Hurd" New London Magazine 5 (February 1789) 90-91.



Of Dr. Hurd's character little need be said. Where calumny has not even ventured to insinuate a fault, and where respect and reverence are the constant attendants on any person, surely it will be unnecessary to expatiate on his good qualities. Were any evidence wanting, the testimony of Mr. Mason would be sufficient. It was long ago said by that gentleman, That though his friend was graced with every liberal art, yet that in morals and in the virtues of the heart he had still more excellence. As a writer, his taste, learning, and genius, are universally confessed. His Sermons are read with more advantage than they are delivered, his manner being cold and unanimated, not calculated to make much impression on his hearers. With his friends and connections he has obtained the best eulogium, their constant and warm attachment; and with the world in general a kind of veneration, which, in times like the present, could neither be acquired nor preserved but by the exercise of great virtues.

Besides the pieces already mentioned, Dr. Hurd has been suspected of being the author of some anonymous performances; particularly "Discord: A Satire," 4to. 17—; a republication of Dr. Jeremy Taylor's "Moral Demonstration of the Truth of the Christian Religion," 8vo. 1776; and he has also published a Charge to the Clergy of his Diocese, and some single Sermons.

Several of the above efforts of Dr. Hurd's genius and undoubted abilities, will remain monuments of his taste, erudition, and critical knowledge; for, we may venture to say, they contain more judgment, accurate diction, and perspicuity, than perhaps has fallen to the share of any of our present writers. He convinces with strength, and instructs with spirit.