1797 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Robert Merry

William Cobbett to William Gifford, 29 October 1797; Smiles, Memoir of John Murray (1891) 1:136-37.



As Merry appears to be one of your favourite heroes, it may, perhaps, be agreeable to you to be informed of his fate in this country [the United States]. I believe you know that he came hither all in a flame of patriotism. This was soon cooled. This is a very fine country for cooling a British patriot. But before the heat had quite gone off him, he published his Pains of Memory, which, though well-larded with yawning interpolations about the "God-like Washington," and "free Columbia," and "land of promise rising beyond the Western Main," and many other republican abominations, notwithstanding all this, and as much puffing as would serve to drive a Flanders windmill, the Pains of Memory are to this day severely experienced by several of my brother booksellers, unfortunately for whom there are here no pastrycook shops, as there are in London.