1794 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Alexander Gerard

Robert Alves, in Sketches of a History of Literature (1794) 163-64.



Drs. Campbell and Gerard, besides having distinguished themselves in the controversy against Mr. Hume; are particularly eminent as orators and philologists. The Philosophy of Rhetoric of the former; and the Essay on Taste, as well as that of Genius, of the latter; do them real honour, and are equal to any works of the kind in any language. "Dr. Campbells Sermons, in point of eloquence and good composition, are, perhaps, among the best of the age; and superior even to Dr. Blairs" [Francis Garden].

Dr. Gerard, besides his fine taste in the arts, is one of the most able scripture-critics; and has thrown a new light on many passages hitherto but ill understood. I have heard his discourses with much pleasure. His distinct and extensive memory, his great erudition, knowledge of the world, and communicative temper render him one of the most agreeable men in conversation. And when it is known how studious has been his life; and what a world of time it has cost him to have accumulated such a mass of knowledge, it is not a little uncommon and surprising to find him so social and conversable.