1750 ca.
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sonnet XIII. To the same [Daniel Wray]. Written in a fit of Sickness.

The Canons of Criticism and Glossary, being a Supplement to Mr. Warburton's Edition of Shakespear ... The Sixth Edition.

Thomas Edwards


A Spenserian sonnet, posthumously published in 1758 in the appendix to Edwards's Canons of Criticism. Daniel Wray (1701-83) was a childhood friend of Thomas Edwards, an antiquarian, and a trustee of the British Museum; there is a portrait and memoir by George Hardinge in Nichols, Illustrations (1817-58) 1:3-168. His circle of acquaintance included John Dyer, Thomas Birch, and Philip Yorke. "Amoret" remains unidentified.

Daniel Wray: "My expedition has been to Turrick, where I found Edwards much improved by the air of his vale. He was busy in erecting a fabric to keep his winter-fuel dry, and proposed to adorn the end of it with a Doric portico in the original taste before the invention of sculpture, with real sculls of sheep, and bones instead of triglyphs, in the frieze" 30 July 1750; in Nichols, Illustrations (1817-58) 1:102-03.

George Hardinge: "There are two Sonnets, addressed by Mr. Edwards, to Mr. Wray; written, as all his other Sonnets were, in a vein of unaffected elegance, and classical simplicity. They mark the affection, which had united them from youth to age; and, if I am not mistaken, well deserve a record in your work" Nichols, Illustrations (1817-58) 1:16.

Austin Dobson: "Daniel Wray ... he had known from childhood, and Wray must have been a notable man. He was not only the Deputy Teller of the Exchequer to Philip Yorke, later second Earl of Hardwicke, but he was a learned archaeologist who became a Trustee of the British Museum. What is more, he was one of the contributors to those famous Athenian Letters of 1741-3, which were once regarded as the best existing commentary on Thucydides. And Edwards seems to have known several of the other contributors. Charles Yorke, Philip's brilliant younger brother, whom he apostrophizes familiarly as 'Charles' in Sonnet xv, wrote the Preface to the work; and Edwards addresses sonnets to three others of the company — to Philip Yorke himself, to the Rev. J. Lawry, and Dr. William Heberden, the 'ultimus Romanorum' of Johnson and the 'virtuous and faithful HEBERDEN' of Cowper. For Heberden, also Richardson's doctor, Edwards had a sincere affection. Heberden it was, he says, who caused him to exchange the 'crouded Town' and the valley of the Brent for the "purer air" of the Chiltern Hills. It is possible, also, that Sonnet xlii, 'To Miss —,' discreetly veils the shrinking delicacy of Miss Catherine Talbot, the bosom friend of Eliza Carter of Deal, afterwards the translator of Epictetus. For Miss Talbot, young as she was in 1740, was one of the Athenian correspondents" "Edwards's Canons of Criticism" in Later Essays, 1917-20 (1921) 19.

Raymond Dexter Havens: Edwards had the "distinction of being the first of the revivers of the sonnet to print his verses in book form" "More Eighteenth-Century Sonnets" MLN (February 1930) 82.



Trust me, Dear Wray, not all these three month's pain,
Though tedious seems the time in pain to wear,
Nor all those restless nights, through which in vain
I've sought for kindly sleep to lull my care;
Not all those lonely meals, and meagre fare,
Unchear'd with converse of a friendly guest;
This close confinement, barr'd from wholesome air
And exercise, of medicines the best;
Have sunk my spirits, or my soul oppress'd:
Light are these woes, and easy to be born;
If weigh'd with those, which rack'd my tortur'd breast
When my fond heart from Amoret was torn:
So true that word of Solomon I find—
"No pain so grievous as a wounded mind."

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