1855 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Hector Macneill

Charles Rogers, in Modern Scottish Minstrel (1855-57) 1:80-81.



During his latter years, Macneill was much cherished among the fashionables of the captial. He was a tall, venerable-looking old man; and although his complexion was sallow, and his countenance somewhat austere, his agreeable and fascinating conversation, full of humour and replete with anecdote, rendered him an acceptable guest in many social circles. He displayed a lively, but not a vigorous intellect, and his literary attainments were inconsiderable. Of his own character as a man of letters, he had evidently formed a high estimate. He was prone to satire, but did not unduly indulge in it. He was especially impatient of indifferent versification; and among his friends, rather discouraged than commended poetical composition. Though long unsettled himself, he was loud in his commendations of industry; and, from the gay man of the world, he became earnest on the subject of religion.