See headnote to No. 100.
(a) From The Preface to Sylvae: or, the Second Part of Poetical Miscellanies (1685), sig. a6; repr. Works, ed. Walter Scott (1808), rev. George Saintsbury (Edinburgh, 1882-93), XII. 298:
Even his Dorick Dialect has an incomparable sweetness in its Clownishness, like a fair Shepherdess in her Country Russet, talking in a Yorkshire Tone. This was impossible for Virgil to imitate; because the severity of the Roman Language denied him that advantage. Spencer has endeavour'd it in his Shepherds Calendar; but neither will it succeed in English, for which reason I forbore to attempt it.
(b) From the Dedication to the Right Honourable Charles Earl of Dorset and Middlesex in The Satires of Decimus Junius Juvenalis. Translated into English Verse (1693), p. r; repr. Scott-Saintsbury, XIII. 117:
I consulted… Milton… I found in him 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 I found not there neither for which I look'd. At last, I had recourse to his Master, Spencer, the Author of that immortal Poem call'd the Fairy Queen; and there I met with that which I had been looking for so long in vain. Spencer had studi'd Virgil to as much advantage as Milton had done Homer. And amongst the rest of his Excellencies had Copy'd that.
(c) From the Dedication of the Aeneid, To the Right Honourable John, Lord Marquess of Normanby, Earl of Mulgrave in The Works of Virgil…