1871 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Henry Francis Cary

S. C. Hall, in A Book of Memories: Great Men and Women of the Age, from personal Acquaintance (1871) 61.



Many will remember that estimable man and most accomplished scholar, when discharging his daily duty at the British Museum. I recall him to memory as very kindly, with a most gracious and sympathising expression; slow in his movements, as if he were always in thought, living among the books of which he was the custodian, and sought only the companionship of the lofty spirits who had gone from earth-those who, though dead, yet speak. I remember Ugo Foscolo (and there could have been no better authority) telling me he considered Cary's translation of Dante not only the best translation in the English language, but the best translation in any language. There have since been several translations of the mighty Florentine, but they can be tolerated only by those who have not read that of the Rev. F. H. Cary.