1797 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Parsons

William Gifford, in Baviad and Maeviad (1797) 9-12 & n.



P. See Parsons while all sound advice he scorns,
Mistake two soft excrescences for horns;
And butting all he meets, with aukward pains,
Lay bare his forehead, and expose his brains:
I scarce can rule my spleen—

F. Forbear, forbear:
And what the great delight in learn to spare.

P. It must not, cannot be; for I was born
To brand obtrusive ignorance with scorn;
On bloated pedantry to pour my rage,
And hiss preposterous fustian from the stage.

Well and wisely singeth the poet: — "Non unus mentes agitat furor." Yet while I give an involuntary smile to the oddity of Mr. Parsons' disease, I cannot but lament that his friends (and a gentleman who is said to belong to more clubs than Sir Watkin Lewis, must needs have friends) I cannot, I say, but lament that on the first appearance of those knobs, those "excrescences," as I call them, his friends did not have him cut for the simples!