1796 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Samuel Boyse

Anonymous, "Of Samuel Boyse" Massachusetts Magazine 7 (November 1796) 623.



Samuel Boyse was a man of great talents. He had a genius for poetry, painting, and music. By a series of extravagancies he was reduced to the want of necessary apparel; and having pawned whatever he could exist without, he was confined by his indigence to a bed without sheets. Here to procure food he wrote, sitting up in bed, his only covering a blanket, in which a hole was made to admit the employment of his arm. In the year 1742, while in a spunging house in London, he was driven to solicit the editor of the Gentleman's Magazine, commonly known by the name, Urban, to afford him some temporary relief, and to procure it, wrote the following horrible description ofhis situation.

INSCRIPTION FOR ST. LAZARUS' CAVE.
Hodie, teste coelo summo,
Sine pane, sine nummo,
Sorte positus infeste,
Scribo tibi, dolens moeste.
Fame, bile tumet jecur:
Urbane, mitte opera, precor;
Tibi enim cor humanum,
Non a malis alienum.
Mihi mens nec male grato,
Pro a te favore dato.
Ex gehenna debitoris,
Vulgo domo sponglatoria.