1792 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

James Beattie

Anonymous, "Biographical List of Living English Poets" Gentleman's Magazine 62 (June 1792) 505.



James Beattie, LL.D. a native of Scotland, the elegant author of that most exquisite poem The Minstrel, published about 1767, a Collection of Poems, in which there appear to me few prognostics of that delightful genius, which has since displayed itself, though the little elegant, plaintive, and popular song of The Hermit is among them, as well as the charming Ode on Retirement, which has since been so much altered, as to be almost re-written. But why has that inspired voice been so many years closed in silence? Why do only prose essays come from his pen? Dr. Beattie should recollect he is a poet by nature, a philosopher only by study. His is Professor of Moral Philosophy in the Marischal College of Aberdeen, where he probably resides; though he sometimes spends summers in England, with his early patroness Mrs. Montagu.