1814 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Edward Thurlow

George Daniel, in The Modern Dunciad (1814; 1815) 41-42 & n.



Thus while the hungry sycophants applaud,
Who struts, who swells, who scribbles like MY LORD?
And soon he rises in a feverish dream
A first-rate poet — in his own esteem.
THURLOW (alas! will THURLOW never tire?)
New points his dulness, and new strings his lyre;
That lyre which rang the praises in our ears
Of "godlike" princes, and "transcendant" peers;
And rashly gave (the oddest whim on earth)
To SPENCER talents, and to HOLLAND worth;
With quick dispatch his teeming brain unloads,
Then issue forth Acrostics, Sonnets, Odes;
Loud empty bombast, flights of false sublime,
Not prose indeed — but tortur'd prose in rhyme.

F. Shall Blood Patrician no distinction claim?
Dwell there no virtues in a noble name?
Is TITLE nothing? WEALTH? Pray learn, for once
One grain of prudence:—

P. To respect a DUNCE!
Bow, flatter, dedicate, and bend the knee,
A mean dependant — this advice to me?
No, let me rather in affected drawl,
Write hymns with COLLYER, idiot tales with BALL.

Were Lord Thurlow's talents equal to his industry, he would be the greatest poet that ever lived: but what he lacks in quality, he makes up in quality.