1765 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Robert Dodsley

Cuthbert Shaw, in The Race (1765; 1766) 12-13 & n.



Next Dodsley spoke — "A bookseller and bard
May sure with justice claim the first regard.
A double merit's surely his, that's wont
To make the fiddle, and then play upon't;
But more, to prove beyond a doubt my claim,
Behold the work on which I build my fame!
Search every tragic scene of Greece and Rome,
From ancient Sophocles, to modern Hume;
Examine well the conduct, diction, plan,
And match, then match Cleone if you can.
A father wretched — husband wretched more—
A harmless baby welt'ring in its gore;
Such dire distress as ne'er was seen before!
Such sad complaints and tears, and heart-felt throes,
Sorrows so wet and dry, such mighty woes,
Too big for utt'rance e'en in tragic ohs!"

In pursuing the above piece, the readers may observe the different effects of grief here mentioned, where one character complains of being drowned in tears, and another that he cannot shed any.