1783 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Hayley

John Scott of Amwell to James Beattie, 30 March 1783; Forbes, Life and Writings of James Beattie (1806) 2:124.



I might often have been in fashion, but for a restive kind of disposition, that liked to write and print what pleased my own fancy, rather than what I had reason to think would please the readers of the day. I never could flatter the Bath-Easton establishment, nor be a candidate for their laureat-sprig of myrtle; nor can I now praise the flimsy, flowery, inane productions of the Hayleyian school. I love good poetry, but I cannot admire bad, how much ever it may be the "ton" to admire it.