1796 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Dr. John Wolcot

William Wordsworth to William Mathews, 21 March 1796; Letters of the Wordsworth Family, ed. Knight (1907) 1:107.



Not however entirely to forget the world, I season my recollection of some of its objects with a little ill-nature, I attempt to write satires; and in all satires, whatever the authors may say, there will be found a spice of malignity. Neither Juvenal nor Horace were without it, and what shall we say of Boileau, and Pope, or the more redoubted Peter? These are great names, but to myself I shall apply the passage of Horace, changing the bee into a wasp to suit the subject.

Ego apis Matinae
More modoque, &c. &c.

I hope you have preserved the catalogue of my books left at Montagu's.