1819 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Dr. Robert Anderson

George Ticknor to Elisha Ticknor, 15 February 1819; Life, Letters, and Journals of George Ticknor (1876) 1:274.



I began this morning, recollecting that the longer I suffer myself to defer it, the longer I must be kept from you. The first person I went to see was Mrs. Grant.... I had not yet seen her, but when she knew why I did not call, she sent me a note which touched me very deeply.... The hour I passed with her was very pleasant to me....

Afterwards I called on Dr. Anderson, "the good old Doctor Anderson," as the "Quarterly Review" calls him, and as everybody must think him to be who has seen him even once. He is the person, perhaps, of all now alive, who best knows English literary history, to say nothing of Scotch, which was, as it were, born with him. He received me with all the kindness I had been taught to expect from him, and to-morrow morning I am to breakfast with him and explain to him all I want to do and learn here, and get what information he can give me. He is a kind of literary patriarch, almost seventy years old, and I certainly could not have put myself in better hands. You see, my dear father, that I have already begun to do what you desired, and I shall go on until it is finished. In five weeks, I think nothing will remain to be done in Edinburgh, and then I shall go, by the way of Oxford, to London, finish what I have to do there, and embark on the first good ship.... Farewell.

GEORGE.