1819 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Tobias Smollett

Leigh Hunt to Percy and Mary Shelley, 20 September 1819; Correspondence of Leigh Hunt (1862) 1:148.



You know, I suppose, that Smollett was buried at Livorno. There were some things about his writing very unpleasant, but he was an honest man, and an independent one, and is understood to have done immense good to the poor wounded sailors in naval fights, by those pictures of pitiless surgery and amputation in Roderick Random. It is a curious coincidence that our other chief novelist, Fielding, lies buried at Lisbon. We have no poet out of our own green earth. But Chaucer, as well as Milton, paid a visit to Italy; — so did Gray, so did Drummond, Donne, and the Earl of Surrey.