1824 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas D'Urfey

Bryan Waller Procter, in Effigies Poeticae, or, the Portraits of the British Poets (1824) 71-72.



From an original Picture, in the Collection of the Dutchess of Dorset.

We never saw a human countenance which so entirely resembled a mask as this, and yet it is a strong resemblance of the author. "D'URFEY of the forlorn aspect," was fit to have lived at the courts of King Artaxominous, or the Prince of Brentford, or to have presided at the revels of Amoroso, King of (little) Britain. There never before, perhaps, was such a face inflicted upon an animal with two legs; and the unhappy proprietor of this physiognomy was so aware of this, that the present likeness was obtained only by stealth. It is a face for a knocker; or a cornice; or the top of a stick; or a letter box (if the mouth were open); or a snuffbox (if it were less grave); or, were it more reasonably proportioned, it might perhaps be admitted to figure as one of those libels on Highlandmen which are planted at the doors of tobacconists and snuff-shops as decoys to unwary (if there be any unwary) Scots. A wit in want of a butt, or the manager of a country company whose clown was sick, or a man whose peas were daily disappearing in the sparrow season, would covet such a head; but, we apprehend, no one else. It is like a satire upon human beauty, curious from its enormity.