1784 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Samuel Wesley the Younger

Samuel Badcock, in "Curious Anecdotes of the Family of John Wesley" Westminster Magazine 12 (Supplement, 1784) 696.



Samuel was a man of wit and learning; a High Churchman and a noted Jacobite. Sir Robert Walpole was the principal object of his political satires; many of which remain unpublished, on account of their treasonable tendency; for, in the rage of Jacobitism, he was not scrupulous in the selection of characters, but poured out the very dregs of it on Royalty itself. He, however, published enough to render himself obnoxious to the Ministry; so that little was left him but that penitence which, arising from mortification, only vents itself in abuse. Time, however, had so far gotten the better of his fury against Sir Robert, as to change the satyrist into the supplicant. I have seen a copy of verses addressed to the great Minister in behalf of his "poor and aged parent" addressed to his son Samuel, in which he gratefully acknowledges his filial duty in terms so affecting, that I am at a loss which to admire most, the gratitude of the parent or the affection and generosity of the child. It was written when the good old man was nearly four-score, and so weakened by a palsy as to be incapable of directing a pen unless with his left hand. I preserve it as a curious memorial of what will make Wesley applauded when his wit is forgotten.