Refinement from "Preface To Poetry"

Warburton's sneer at Francis Peek the antiquary is typical of the attitude of many eighteenth-century readers:

'. . . he is at present busy upon a collection of all our ancient English ballads; which, I understand, he intends to give with notes and emendations. With all this he thinks he is serving the world. May it always be thus served! its neglect of merit, its ingratitude, and universal corruption, deserving no other devotees' (J. Nichols, Literary Illustrations, ii. 28).

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