1848 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Dr. John Armstrong

Leigh Hunt, in The Town (1848) 320.



Armstrong, another poet and physician and not unworthy of either class, for genius and goodness of heart, though he had the weakness of affecting a bluntness of manners, and of swearing, drew his last breath in this street. He is well known as the author of the most elegant didactic poem in the language, — the Art of Preserving Health. The affectations of men of genius are sometimes in direct contradiction to their best qualities, and assumed to avoid a show of pretending what they feel. Armstrong, who had bad health, and was afraid perhaps of being thought effeminate, affected the bully in his prose writings; and he was such a swearer, that the late Mr. Fuseli's indulgence in that infirmity has been attributed to his keeping company with the Doctor when a youth.