1780 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Scott of Amwell

James Beattie to the Duchess of Gordon, 2 June 1780, Forbes, Life and Writings of James Beattie (1806) 2:83-84.



I delivered your message to Dr. Livingston, with whom I dined the other day, in company with three sensible and cheerful Quakers. I spoke to them of my friend, and their brother, Mr. Scott (the author of the "Eclogues," which your Grace liked so much) whom the Londoner very well knew; and I diverted them with the history of a dinner, with which I was once entertained by ten or twelve of their fraternity, on the King's birth-day, at one o'clock, near the confluence of the Thames and Fleet-ditch, the very spot where Pope makes his Dunces jump into the mud, in the second book of the "Dunciad." These Quakers were all men of learning and sense; and their manners, polite though peculiar, were to me a very entertaining novelty. Indeed, the affection they showed me, deserved, on my part, the warmest returns of gratitude.