1826 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Thomas Parnell

Richard Ryan, in Poetry and Poets: being a Collection of the choicest Anecdotes relative to the Poets of every Age and Nation (1826) 1:67-68.



Ruffhead, on the authority of Warburton, gives the following account of the cause which led to Parnell's intemperance.

"When Parnell had been introduced by Swift to Lord-Treasurer Oxford, and had been established in his favour by the assistance of Pope, he soon began to entertain ambitious views. The walk he chose to shine in, was, popular preaching: he had talents for it, and began to be distinguished in the mob-places of Southwark and London; when the Queen's sudden death destroyed all his prospects, and at a juncture when famed preaching was the readiest road to preferment. This fatal stroke broke his spirits; he took to drinking, became a sot, and soon finished his course."