1765 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Tobias Smollett

Cuthbert Shaw, in The Race (1765; 1766) 13-14.



Next Smollet came. What author dare resist
Historian, critic, bard, and novelist?
"To reach thy temple, honour'd Fame, he cry'd,
Where, where's an avenue I have not tryed?
But since the glorious present of to-day
Is meant to grace alone the poet's lay,
My claim I wave to ev'ry art beside
And rest my plea upon the Regicide.
———*———*———*———*———
But if, to crown the labors of my muse
Thou, inauspicious, should'st the wreath refuse,
Whoe'er attempts it in this scribbling Age,
Shall feel the Scottish pow'rs of Critic rage;
Thus spurn'd, thus disappointed of my aim,
I'll stand a bugbear in the road to Fame;
Each future minion's infant hopes undo,
And blast the budding honors of his brow."

He said — and grown with future vengeance big,
Grimly he shook his scientific wig.