1830 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Dr. John Wolcot

Richard Warner, in Literary Recollections of the Rev. Richard Warner (1830) 2:105n.



Dr. Wolcot, or Peter Pindar, as he was commonly called, had often pressed me to visit him, when I went to London. I called on him, in company with a friend, at his chambers in (I believe) New Inn. As we entered the room, a dirty drab rose from the table, (for the poet was breakfasting at one o'clock,) and glided into an inner apartment. Pindar himself wore a greasy night-cap on his head, and was involved in a flannel mantle, marvellously discoloured; on his foul table-cloth were spread, plates of sausages and ham, eggs and muffins; tea in a pot without a spout; and a bottle, sending out the strong odour of British spirits. Around on the dusty and dingy carpet, lay a mingled mass of pamphlets and manuscripts, muddy shoes, a hat with a hole in it, and two old wigs! We talked for an hour. Peter said some strong, but coarse and offensive things. He was very indignant at the execution of Coigly, for sedition, which had just taken place. "Sir," said he, "it was a murder, and nothing else. It was the devil bringing his action, and trying the cause in h-ll."