1789 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Julius Mickle

Anonymous, in "Sketch of the late Mr. Mickle" New London Magazine 5 (February 1789) 63.



For several years before his death he had it in contemplation to collect and republish all his poems, with so many additional as to make one quarto volume at a guinea; and, from the specimens which the writer of this little memoir has seen, he ventures to say they would give additional honour to Mr. Mickle's name. — His manners were not of that obtrusive kind by which many men of the second or third order force themselves into notice. A very close observer might have passed many hours in Mr. Mickle's company without suspecting that he had ever written a line of poetry. A common physiognomist would have said that he had an unmasked face. Lavater would have said otherwise; but neither his countenance nor manners were such as attract the multitude. When his name was announced, he has been more than once asked if the translator of Camoens was any relation to him. To this he usually answered, with a good-natured smile, that they were of the same family. Simplicity, unaffected simplicity, was the leading feature in his character. The philosophy of Voltaire and David Hume was his detestation. He could not hear their names with temper. For the Bible he had the highest reverence, and never sat silent when the doctrines or precepts of the Gospel were either ridiculed or spoken of with contempt.