1781 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Samuel Jackson Pratt

James Beattie to Samuel Jackson Pratt, 29 June 1781; The Monthly Magazine 49 (February 1820) 38-39.



The late amiable author of SYMPATHY used to shew the following letter, as one of his proudest trophies. The original he gave, as a token of his sincerest affection, to the writer of this paragraph.

London 29 June 1781.

Sir. — Be pleased to accept of my grateful acknowledgements, for the honour you have done me in sending me your excellent poem on Sympathy: which I have read with attention and very great pleasure. The language is elegant, and the numbers are harmonious; the images discover a happy talent for the observation of nature: and the general tenor of the invention and sentiments must to every reader of taste convey the most favourable idea of the heart and imagination of the Author.

Permit me also to thank you, Sir, for the kind partiality with which you have looked into my attempts in the poetical way. The compliments you pay me, and my poor minstrel, are indeed far beyond our merit: but however much they may remind me of my imperfection, it is still a most pleasing circumstance to be approved and applauded by such a man and such a muse as the author of Sympathy.

I am sorry you took the trouble to send a copy to my house in Scotland. I have been from home these three months. Next week I set out on my return. But wherever I am, I shall always be, with the greatest respect and esteem

Sir, your most obliged and most faithful servant,

J. Beattie.