1812 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Richard Flecknoe

Robert Southey, in "Richard Flecknoe" Omniana (1812) 1:105-06.



Flecknoe has these excellent lines addrest to a miser.

Money's like muck, that's profitable while
'T serves for manuring of some fruitful soil;
But on a barren one, like thee, methinks,
'Tis like a dunghill that lies still and stinks.

What was the cause of Dryden's enmity to this poor author? so far from having provoked it, Flecknoe has even written an epigram in his praise: this tribute, and his religion (for he was a Catholic) it might have been thought, would have saved him. Perhaps Dryden was offended at his invectives against the obscenity of the stage, feeling himself more notorious, if not more culpable than any of his rivals, for this scandalous and unpardonable offence.

Flecknoe is by no means the despicable writer that we might suppose him to be from the niche in which his mighty enemy has placed him. These stanzas are well turned in their way.