1732 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Lewis Theobald

Anonymous, "A Recipe to make a Modern Dramatick Poet. To C— B—, Esq." Grub-Street Journal (21 January 1732).



Since a Bard to commence, you are fir'd with a passion,
And write in Dramaticks — because 'tis the fashion;
Since dire Heathen Greek ne'er puzzled your noddle,
Nor Precepts antique from old ARISTOTLE;
A few modern ones take, which will teach you much better,
To dictate a Play, tho' you can't write a letter.

Take of learning a grain for the Critics in Pit;
Of good Humour a scruple, and a dram of good Wit;
An ounce of good sense far too much will be found;
Half will do: but of Laureate-Assurance a pound.
Five Double-Entendres in your Epilogue put,
To leave in the Ladies an impression of Smut.

These precepts can't fail a gay Modern to raise,
As fam'd for Dramatick at T—d or BAYS.