1778 ca. ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Elijah Fenton

Samuel Pegge, 1778 ca; in Anonymiana, or Ten Centuries of Observations on various Authors and Subjects (1809) 344-45.



CENTURY VIII. XI.
Mr. Fenton, speaking of Chaucer and the Earl of Surrey, says,

Both now are prized by few, unknown to most,
Because the thoughts are in the language lost.

On which Charles Howard, Esq. (afterward Duke of Norfolk) criticises, by saying, the judicious Reader "will find the Earl's language not so obscure as Mr. Fenton intimates:" but, with submission, obscurity is not the charge; but obsoleteness, on account of the few people, he thinks, will be at the pains of reading them.