1824 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. William Mason

Bryan Waller Procter, in Effigies Poeticae, or, the Portraits of the British Poets (1824) 105.



From a Picture by Doughty, in the Collection of the Earl of Haresurt.

MASON, the editor of Gray, and author of "Elfrida," and "Caractacus," &c. has an unpleasant physiognomy. It is sleek, ill-tempered, important, and has the look of a solemn coxcomb. What resemblance his character bears to his countenance, the readers of his biography must determine. While he lived, he shone like the satellite of Gray, whose favor and friendship he courted. He is the person, we believe, who proposed passing through Oxford by night, from a needless apprehension, lest the students should take the horses from his carriage, and draw him through that learned place in triumph. He should have known better; for he upon whom the Muse shines,

non equus impiger
Curru ducet Achaico
Victorem, neque res * * * Deliis
Ornatum foliis ducem,
Ostendet Capitolio:

or did he doubt — we rather think he did not — the favor in which he stood with Apollo and the sisters?