1871 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Jeremiah Holmes Wiffen

S. C. Hall, in A Book of Memories: Great Men and Women of the Age, from personal Acquaintance (1871) 182.



I knew another Quaker-poet — JOSEPH WIFFIN, the translator of "Tasso." He spent the whole of his later life in easy and comfortable retirement, in the palatial dwelling, and among the patrician woods, of Woburn Abbey, as secretary and librarian to the Duke of Bedford. Here he enjoyed all that wealth could give, without its drawback of responsibility. The richest stores of literature and art were fully and freely his; and men of letters, whose daily toil is for daily bread, may be pardoned if they envied him the luxury of repose among the books and pictures that successive Russells had gathered together. He was a handsome, unassuming man, of peculiarly suave and gentle manners, seemingly one who neither courted the honours nor encountered the struggles of an outer world. He died in 1836. His sister is the widow of another esteemed and popular poet — Alaric A. Watts.