1798 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Dr. Erasmus Darwin

David Rivers, Literary Memoirs of Living Authors (1798) 1:145--46.



An excellent Scholar and a most eminent Botanist of the town of Derby. His publications are A translation of Linnaeus's Vegetable System, in four volumes octavo; The Botanic Garden, a poem, in two parts, with philosophical notes, in quarto, published in 1791; Zoonomia or the laws of Organic Life, in two volumes quarto, the first of which was published in 1794; and the second in 1796; and A Plan for the Conduct of Female Education in Boarding Schools, a quarto pamphlet, published in 1797. That the poetry of Dr. Darwin has been but too happily characterised by

—flimsy, gausy, gossamery lines,

and

—sweet tetrandryan, monogynian strains,

no reader can deny; yet that it abounds with passages most striking and most beautiful, what classical scholar and what man of true taste shall dare to controvert? The high esteem in which Dr. Darwin is held as a man of letters, a professional man, and an amiable character in private life, is the most gratifying testimony of his merit, and the most flattering panegyric which his feelings can experience.