1821 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. William Lisle Bowles

John Cam Hobhouse to John Murray, May 1821; Smiles, A Publisher and his Friends: Memoir of John Murray (1891) 1:421.



May, 1821.
I hear Parson Bowles goes about abusing me, relying on my forbearance, or on what he may think his vast capacity for satire. The dirty dog crouches and creeps to Lord Byron, but thinks he may safely attack me. He may find himself mistaken one day or the other. In the meantime, as he is fond of parody, he may have something in that shape which you will find overleaf.

Should Parson Bowles yourself or friend compare
To some French cut-throat, if you please, Santerre—
Or heap, malignant, on your living head
The smut and trash he pour'd on Pope when dead,
Say what reply — or how with him to deal—
Sot without shame and fool that cannot feel?
You would not parley with a printer's hack—
You cannot cane him, for his coat is black;
Reproof and chastisement are idly spend
On one who calls a kick a compliment,
Unwhipp'd, then, leave him to lampoon and lie,
Safe in is parson's guise and infamy.

Truly yours,
JOHN C. HOBHOUSE.