Excerpt from The Cavalier Poets: Their Lives, Their Day, and Their Poetry
Seldom has criticism been more false. Here the gruff old Doctor seized upon an idea found in Dry den's Discussion Concerning the Origin and Progress of Satire, where the father of English criticism decl... ares that Dr. Donne, who in part founded this school of singers, affects the metaphysics, and perplexes the minds of the fair sex with nice speculations of philosophy when he should engage their hearts and entertain them with the softness of love. Thereupon the cock-sure Samuel ex ploited this undoubted defect of Donne and his fol lowers as a salient characteristic, and stretched the name metaphysical until it covered nearly all the poets of the earlier seventeenth century who failed to lean toward the Dryden style of poetry.
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