1807 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

James Ralph

Robert Southey, in Specimens of the Later English Poets (1807) 2:288.



Silence ye wolves! while Ralph to Cynthia howls
And makes Night hideous, — answer him ye owls!

Pope's note upon this passage is a compound of abuse and falsehood. Ralph was not an illiterate man; and he was undoubtedly the best political writer of his day. The Ministry silenced him by Sir Robert Walpole's usual method, which upon such occasions was more effectual, more politic and probably on the whole less expensive, than a system of coercion and terror.