1815 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

James Hogg

Richard Alfred Davenport to Mary Russell Mitford, 29 January 1815; L'Estrange, Friendships of Mary Russell Mitford (1882) 79-80.



Have you heard that I am to encounter a rival [to the Poetical Register]? It is even so. There are certain persons at Edinburgh who, I know not for what reason, have always regarded my work with an evil eye. Long ago, these gentry, of whose names even I am ignorant, announced a volume, which, however, never appeared. They are now going to publish in good earnest. The editor is Mr. Hogg, the Ettrick Shepherd, and I am told that he has procured pieces from Walter Scott and others of name in the poetical world. He means to publish a volume half-yearly, and his plan excludes, I am told, everything but original poetry. I should never have dreamed that his book was meant in direct hostility to mine had I not been apprised of it by a gentleman of Edinburgh, who has a most extensive knowledge of the Scottish literati. As long as they do not personally attack me, I shall neither strive to do nor even wish them ill. If they think proper to cry me down, I hope to show them that I have something of their own thistle about me.