1803 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

David Mallet

Anonymous, "Anecdote of Mallet the Poet" Scots Magazine 65 (January 1803) 17.



Mallet had dined with a company of Literati, and the bottle passed pretty freely. Having got into good spirits, he was taking the whole conversation almost upon himself. A Scotch Gentleman present, did not relish this; and wishing to stop him, he addressed Mallet by name, and pronounced the word "tollatur." Mallet was so struck, that he was silent all the evening.

Mallet was once Janitor of the High School of this city: the word "tollatur" is given by the Master to the Janitor, when a boy is to be flogged, who instantly takes up the boy upon his back. Mallet did not expect that this part of his history was known to any of the company.