1741 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Samuel Butler

Anonymous, in London Magazine 10 (1741) 500.



We have had in our own Country at least as many original Writers as our Neighbours, neither have they fallen short of them in Esteem. Hudibras may be called the Manna of Wit, which is alike agreeable to all Tastes. A great French Critick, not over lavish of his Praises, frankly confesses, that he never met with any Book written with equal Spirit. To speak sincerely, we never had so unrival'd a Genius as that of Mr. Butler: Those who complain of his Obscurity, do not so properly complain of him, as of themselves, for they ought to be well acquainted with the History of their own Country, especially of the Age immediately preceding their own; and tolerable Acquaintance therewith enables a Man to read, with equal Pleasure and Satisfaction, this poetical Picture of Men, as much Originals in their Way, as their Poet in his.