1809 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. William Dodd

Nathan Drake, in Essays Illustrative of the Rambler (1809-10) 2:348-49.



The conductor and chief author of this collection [The Visitor] was Dr. William Dodd, whose dissipated life and disgraceful death are sufficiently known to the public. The Visitor made its original appearance in The Ledger during the years 1760 and 1761; and, having acquired some popularity, a selection from it was republished in two volumes 12mo. in 1764. Dodd was assisted in the composition of these papers by several of his friends, among whom were Mr. Thompson and Mr. Duncombe.

The Visitor, as it appears in volumes, consists of eighty-five numbers, of which very few rise beyond mediocrity, either in style or matter. Many of the essays are on religious subjects; but the mode in which they are treated is frequently too vague and declamatory; the tendency of the whole, however, is unexceptionably good.