1768 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Christopher Smart

Frances Burney, 12 September 1768; The Early Diary of Frances Burney (1889) 1:24.



Mr. Smart the poet was here yesterday. He is the author of the "Old Woman's Magazine" and several poetical productions; some of which are sweetly elegant and pretty — for example: "Harriet's Birthday," "Care and Generosity," — and many more. This ingenious writer is one of the most unfortunate of men — he has been twice confined in a mad-house — and but last year sent a most affecting epistle to papa, to entreat him to lend him half-a-guinea! — How great a pity so clever, so ingenious a man should be reduced to such shocking circumstances. He is extremely grave, and has still great wildness in his manner, looks, and voice; but 'tis impossible to see him and to think of his works, without feeling the utmost pity and concern for him.