vers’d in Human Nature, and the Manners of that insinuating Place. The Allegorical Characters are finely describ’d, and as well sustain’d; The Fabrick of the Whole, I believe, entirely his own, and, not improbably, may have the Honour to be a Hint, even to the inimitable Spencer; But, as his Poems have been lately reprinted, I shall only annex the Prologue and submit this Conjecture to the Correction of better Judges.
How, or by whose Interest He was made Laureat, or whether ‘twas a Title He assum’d himself, I cannot learn. —Neither is his Principal Patron any where nam’d; but, if his Poem of the ‘Crown of Lawrell’, before mention’d, has any Covert-meaning, He had the Honour to have the Ladies for his Friends, and the Countess of Surrey, the Lady Elizabeth Howard, and many others united their Services in his Favour.
[Quotes first 126 lines of ‘Bouge of Court’.]
From A History of the Language included in ‘A Dictionary of the English Language’ (1755), I, p. 9, by Samuel Johnson (1709-84), the poet, critic and lexicographer.
At the same time with Sir Thomas More lived Skelton, the poet laureate of Henry VIII. from whose works it seems proper to insert a few stanzas, though he cannot be said to have attained great elegance of language.
[Quotes lines 1-34 of the ‘Bouge of Court’.]