1750 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Joseph Spence

Horace Walpole to Horace Mann, 20 September 1750; Letters, ed. Cunningham (1906) 2:228.



As I am in town, and not within the circle of Pope's walks, I may tell you a story without fearing he should haunt me with the ghost of a satire. I went the other day to see little Spence, who fondles an old mother in imitation of Pope. The good old woman wa mighty civil to me, and, among other chat, said she supposed I had a good neighbour in Mr. Pope. "Lord! Madam, he has been dead these seven years!" — "Alas! ay, Sir, I had forgot." When the poor old soul dies, how Pope will set his mother's spectre upon her for daring to be ignorant "if Dennis be alive or dead!"