1795 ca. ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

James Beattie

Richard Hurd, 1795 ca.; Commonplace Book in Kilvert, Memoir of the Life and Writings of Richard Hurd (1860) 244.



The only Scotch writer that appears to have excelled in humour is Dr. Arbuthnot. I was acquainted with the late DR. BEATTIE of Aberdeen. He wrote English better than any other of his countrymen, and had formed his style and manner of composition on our Addison; but what he admired in him was his tuneful prose and elegant expression: He had no notion of that writer's original and inimitable humour.

I know not whether to impute this defect to the serious and argumentative turn of that people, or to the little acquaintance they seem to have with what we call life and manners.