1798 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

George Chalmers

David Rivers, in Literary Memoirs of Living Authors (1798) 1:95-96.



The author of some valuable political pieces, as well as several other works. His productions are in general characterized by a quaint, patch-work, pedantic style, which it had been much better if he could have avoided, though it seems habitual to him. He published, in 1779, a quarto volume, entitled, Political Annals of the united Colonies: about about three years afterward a quarto pamphlet, entitled, The comparative Strength of Britain during the present four preceding Reigns. In 1786, he published an Estimate of the comparative Strength of Great Britain, in one volume, octavo: a year or two previous to which, he circulated a three-penny pamphlet, entitled, Opinions on subjects arising from American Independence. His subsequent publications have been an edition, in one volume, quarto, of Daniel de Foe's History of the Union between England and Scotland, to which Mr. C. prefixed the author's Life; this life was handsomely reprinted in an octavo volume, in 1790, and though sold separately, was designed to be prefixed to Mr. Stockdale's splendid edition of Robinson Crusoe: A collection of Treaties between Great Britain and other Powers, in two volumes, octavo, published in 1790: the Life of Ruddiman, keeper for almost fifty years of the library belonging to the faculty of advocates at Edinburgh, with new Anecdotes of Buchanan, in one volume, octavo: a volume in which the author has to a ridiculous extravagance neglected no opportunity of sporting a Johnsonian period: and a tedious, plump octavo, Apology for the Believers in the Shakespeare MSS. Mr. Chalmers is also the writer of two very good papers in the Looker-on, the one on Illicit Hopes, the other on the Equalization of Follies and Diseases, both of which, but especially the latter, abound with much genuine humour.