1735 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Laurence Eusden

Anonymous, in The Poet finish'd in Prose, being a Dialogue concerning Mr. Pope and his Writings (1735) 33-34.



A. Methinks Humanity and good Nature has but little Share in this Amusement. But let us go on to the next Line;

"Is there a Parson much bemus'd in Beer?"

Pray who may this Parson be?

B. Mr. Lawrence Eusden.

A. What Quarrel has Mr. Pope with him? Surely his Character in the Dunciad was a sufficient Revenge for any ordinary Offence.

B. Why there there was Quarrel enough. He had the Impudence to accept of a Place Mr. Pope had a Mind to himself, and which he thought he deserv'd much better.

A. But is he not dead?

B. Yes.

A. How comes it to pass then that Mr. Pope's Resentment follows the poor Man into the other World? But perhaps this might be wrote before this Gentleman's Decease.

B. None of your Sneers, Sir, I beg you, if you intended we should continue Friends. If I had acquiesc'd, and came into this Excuse, you would have answered, that if this was not wrote, it was at least published after Mr. Eusden was no more; and therefore the Passage which related to him might have been struck out. But I am not such a Gudgeon; I don't bite so readily. No, Sir, Mr. Pope, I dare say, would have been the last Man alive that should pursue the Enemy beyond the Grave, had he remembered Mr. Eusden's Death; because he must be sensible that all Ages and Nations have agreed in detesting such a mean Insult.

A. It seems then he sacrifices his Memory, as well as every Thing else, to his Wit.

B. Z—ns, Sir, make the worst you can of it. I don't see why a Poet is oblig'd to lose a good Jest out of too scrupulous a Regard to Morality and Religion; especially when there is a Reflection upon a Parson in it.