1851 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Dr. Robert Anderson

Robert Pearse Gillies, in Memoirs of a Literary Veteran (1851) 1:178-79.



In 1803, partly in imitation (very modest this) of Alexander Pope, and partly of Dr. Tytler, I perpetrated, as already said, divers rhymed translations; after which, as a matter of course, came bold attempts at original ode, elegy, and sonnet; all execrable, no doubt, yet considered so marvellous that some of them were forwarded to the then well-known Dr. Robert Anderson, of Edinburgh, who acted as editor-general to all incipient poets; but that learned doctor sapiently opined that it would be better for the author to wait a year or two longer — he would not say "nine years" but he had better work and wait a little longer before he ventured into public. What a pompous dictator about trifles was good old Doctor Anderson, to whom, malgre cela, the late Thomas Campbell, it may be said, owed his great reputation, for without the doctor's help the author of The Pleasures of Hope would probably never have struggled into public notice at all!