1755 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. John Duncombe

William Mason to Thomas Gray, 25 December 1755; Correspondence of Thomas Gray and William Mason (1853) 45.



I see in the papers Dodsley has published an Ode on the Earthquake at Lisbon, with some Thoughts on a Churchyard. I suppose you are the author, and that you have tagged your Elegy to the tail of it; however, if I do not suppose so, I hope the world will, in order that people may lay out their sixpences on that rather than on Duncombe's flattery to Fobus, and the old horse. What a scribbling humour am I in! I will relieve you, however, by adding only my love to Mr. Brown, Tuthill, and all our friends, and assuring you that I am yours with the greatest sincerity,

SCRODDLES.

[Note by John Mitford: See Bell's Fugitive Poetry, vol. xviii. p. 91, for the Ode by J. Duncombe, M.A. to his Grace the Duke of Newcastle. A life of him may be found in Nichols Literary Anecdotes, vol. viii. p. 271-78. He died at his living of Herne, near Canterbury, in Jan. 1786, aged 56. Fobus was the name by which the Duke of Newcastle is usually designated by Gray; and the "old horse" is George the Second, who is also praised in this ode.]