Sir Richard Blackmore (1660?-1729) was educated at Westminster School, St Edmund Hall, Oxford, and Padua. Spenser appears, though in distinctly Miltonic guise, in Blackmore's epic Eliza (1705).
(a) From The Preface to Prince Arthur. An Heroick Poem. In Ten Books (1695), sig. b2; repr. J.E. Spingarm, Critical Essays of the Seventeenth Century (Oxford 1908-9), III. 238:
But Ariosto and Spencer, however great Wits, not observing this judicious Conduct of Virgil, nor attending to any sober Rules, are hurried on with a boundless, impetuous Fancy over Hill and Dale, till they are both lost in a Wood of Allegories. Allegories so wild, un-natural, and extravagant, as greatly displease the Reader. This way of writing mightily offends in this Age; and 'tis a wonder how it came to please in any.
(b) From Essays upon Several Subjects (1716), pp. 41-2:
But an allegory is sometimes taken in another Sense, that is, when Vertues and Vices are represented as Persons either Humane or Divine, and proper Passions and Manners are ascrib'd to their respective Characters: Of this are several examples in Homer's Ulysses, and too many in the modern Epick Writers, and there is one Instance of this sort in the sixth Book of King Arthur…. In the second Sense, the modern Epick Poets, especially Ariosto and Spencer, have ran too far into Allegory. This sort of allegorical Imaging resembles the emblematic Draughts of great Painters, where Vertues are represented as Goddesses, and Vices as Furies; and where Liberty, Peace, Plenty, Pleasure, and various Qualities of the Mind are exhibited in Humane Forms, with peculiar Properties and Marks of Distinction. An elegant