1818 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

George Ellis

William Beloe, in The Sexagenarian: or Recollections of a Literary Life (1817; 1818) 2:111-13.



In earlier life he had attached himself to that party of which Mr. Fox was the head, and he exercised his satirical vein at the expence of the leading members of administration, in the miscellaneous volume of poetry known by the name of The Rolliad. His first, however, and greatest delight, was in old English poetry, which in the manner of Headley, he collected, illustrated, and it may be said, adorned. His biographical sketches are remarkable for neatness, precision, and accuracy. He abounded in anecdote, which, when required, he detailed with great felicity.... His health continuing to decline, Mr. [Ellis] found himself obliged to withdraw from the different societies of which he was a member, and altogether resided at an elegant retirement within twenty miles of the metropolis. Here he died very prematurely, leaving behind him a strong impression of some of the best and most pleasing qualities, which can and which ought to characterize the English gentleman.