1824 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir John Mennes

Bryan Waller Procter, in Effigies Poeticae, or, the Portraits of the British Poets (1824) 47-48.



From a Picture by Vandyke, in the Collection of Lord Clarendon.

Whether the merit be in the air of this head, the drapery, the expression of the face, or otherwise, we know not; but that this portrait is excellent and even beautiful, no one, we think, who looks upon it for a moment, will refuse to acknowledge. The painter and engraver indeed seem to have conspired, for once, to do high justice to a man. At the first glance, the head of SIR JOHN MENNIS (though far more handsome and more chivalrous) reminds one of some of the portraits of Cromwell. There is, however, a gentler expression in his face. It has neither the fierte, nor perhaps quite the thought which is usually seen lying, like a cloud, on the brow of the great Protector. The scarf flows across the breast of our knight like a river, and his armour is worthy of the forge of Mulciber. Sir John Mennis was the poet laureat of Suckling, and celebrated his Horatian virtues.