1798 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Alexander Geddes

David Rivers, in Literary Memoirs of Living Authors (1798) 1:203-05.



Rev. Alexander Geddes, L.L.D., a native of Scotland, and a Roman Catholic. In the year 1786, he published the Prospectus of a new Translation of the Bible, and in the following year, a Letter to the Bishop of London, on the same subject. To this translation, although a work undertaken by a Roman Catholic Clergyman, the Bishops, Clergy, Nobility, and Gentry most liberally subscribed. The first volume when it made its appearance, did not perhaps altogether answer the sanguine expectations preconceived of it; the second volume was published in the summer of 1797. Previously to this work, Dr. Geddes had published a Paraphrastic Translation of select Satires of Horace, a performance which quickly reached its merited obscurity. In 1786, he published a Letter to a Member of Parliament on the Case of the Dissenters, and in the following year, a Letter to Dr. Priestly on the Divinity of Christ. Since this time Dr. Geddes has furnished the world with some striking specimens of his Wit and Humour. In 1790, he published Epistola Macaronica ad fratrem de iis que gesta sunt in nupero dissentientium Conventu, Londini habito prid: Id: Feb: 1790: also Carmen Saeculare pro Gallica Gente tyrannidi aristocratica crepta: L'Avocat du Diable: and A Norfolk Tale. He has likewise published a Translation of Ver-Vert, or the Parrot of Nevers, a Poem from the French of Gresset; a facetious Letter to Bishop Douglas, who with ohters had published a Pastoral Letter, prohibiting the use of Dr. G's translation of the Bible; and is supposed to be the author of The Battle of Bangor, an excellent satirical poem. The Doctor's political principles are confessedly democratical.