1738 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Abraham Cowley

Anonymous, in "The Apotheosis of Milton" Gentleman's Magazine 8 (September 1738) 469.



My Guardian had scarce finished his moral Reflections, when I perceived a Personage about 40 Years of Age, of a delicate Complection and thoughtful Aspect, who took his Seat near Spencer; his fine Hair, which waved in Ringlets about his Shoulders, his flowing Robe and modest Air put me in mind of one of Plato's Disciples, as represented by the great Raphael in his School of Athens: and what still raised him in my Idea, was, that the most distinguish'd of the Company regarded him with a Mixture of Indulgence and Wonder. Only Ben with an arch stoln Look to the President, pointed at him, and then touched his own Forehead, as if he had said; "The Gentleman has it here." The Person you look at, said my Aerial Guide, is Abraham Cowley, of a different Cast of Genius from the Character just mentioned, and his reverse in private Life. In his natural Temper he was indolent and contemplative, but neither his Ease nor his Studies, hinder'd him being useful both to his Prince and his Friends, when they called for his Services.