Sir Thomas Pope Blount (1649-97) was privately educated by his father. His major compendium of literature, the Censura Celebrorum Authorum (1690), contains no mention of Spenser. The extended account in De Re Poetica is, as he acknowledges, wholly derivative. See also No. 177.
(a) From De Re Poetica: or, Remarks upon Poetry…with Characters and Censures of the most Considerable Poets (1694), II. 135-7:
Dryden tells us That in Epique Poetry, the English have only to boast of Spencer and Milton; neither of whom wanted either Genius or Learning, to have been perfect Poets; and yet both of them are liable to many Censures…. His (Milton's) Antiquated Words were his Choice, not his Necessity; for therein he imitated Spencer, as Spencer did Chaucer. And tho', perhaps, the love of their Masters, may have transported both too far, in the frequent use of them; yet in my Opinion, says Dryden, Obsolete words may then be laudably reviv'd, when either they are more Sounding, or more Significant than those in practice: And when their Obscurity is taken away, by joyning other words to them which clear the Sense; according to the Rule of Horace, for the admission of New words…. Dryd. Dedic: before the Translat. of Juvenal, pag. 8, 9.
I consulted (says Dryden) a greater Genius than Cowley, (without offence to the Manes of that Noble Author) I mean Milton, for the Beautiful Turns of Words and Thoughts. But as he endeavours every where to express Homer, whose Age had not arriv'd to that fineness, I found in him (says Dryden) a true Sublimity, lofty Thoughts, which were cloath'd with admirable Grecisms, and Ancient Words, which he had been digging from the Mines of Chaucer, and of Spencer, and which, with all their Rusticity, had somewhat of Venerable in them: But, says Dryden, I found not there what I look'd for, viz. any Elegant Turns,
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Publication information: Book title: Edmund Spenser, the Critical Heritage. Contributors: R. M.Cummings - Editor. Publisher: Routledge. Place of publication: London. Publication year: 1995. Page number: 304.
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