1806 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Abel Evans

William Lisle Bowles, Note in Works of Alexander Pope, ed. Bowles (1806) 8:54n.



Dr. Evans, the well-known Epigrammatist, was of St. John's College, Oxford. I think it probable that Pope's acquaintance with this Gentleman, and also Mr. Digby, commenced on his journey to Oxford, from Lord Harcourt's, to consult the Libraries for Notes to his Homer. It appears from the Letters in the British Museum, that Evans was much in the confidence of Pope; as indeed so were all who "looked up" to him. The Epigram made on Evans, on cutting down the trees before his College, when he was Bursar, is well known; the two last lines of which are,

The rogue, the gallows, as his fate, forsees,
And bears the like antipathy to trees.

This was made by Dr. Tadlow, a person remarkable for corpulency; upon which Evans wrote what has been so often quoted,

When Tadlow treads the streets, the paviors cry,
"God bless you, Sir!" and lay their rammers by.

Such were the nugae scholasticae in those days at Oxford.