1789 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Tobias Smollett

Anonymous, in Bell's Classical Arrangement of Fugitive Poetry (1789-97) 12:173.



The Author of this admirable Ode [to Mirth] was born, about the year 1720, on the banks of the Eden. Having been bred to the practice of surgery, he served some time on board a ship of war, and in that capacity was present at the siege of Carthagena. On the peace of Aix-la-Chapelle, he quitted the navy, and obtaining a diploma, repaired as a physician to Bath. His success however in this situation falling short of his hopes, he at once relinquished the profession, and devoted himself entirely to the pen, upon which he depended for his future subsistence. His novels were popular and his history productive, but his travels written in ill-humor and ill-health decreased his reputation. Of all his works this Ode is his best. He died on a second excursion to Italy for the recovery of his health at Leghorn, October 21, 1771.