1848 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Julius Mickle

John Forster, in Life and Times of Oliver Goldsmith (1848; 1871) 2:261n.



William Julius Mickle, — originally a compositor for the press, and a man of real merit, of some of whose imitations of the old ballad Walter Scott held that they were better than the ballads themselves, — in his Dissertation prefixed to the Lusiad, after adding Dr. Johnson to the number of those whose kindness for the man and good wishes for the translator call for the sincerest gratitude, says, "Nor must a tribute to the memory of Doctor Goldsmith be neglected. He saw a part of this version, but he cannot now receive the thanks of the translator." In the brief memoir of Mickle, in which I find this passage quoted, it is also said that both Johnson and Goldsmith had contemplated translating the Lusiad, but that "other avocations prevented." Mickle got into an unfortunate dispute with Garrick about a tragedy recommended by Boswell, and not worth the heart-burnings it caused. Life of Johnson, v. 91.