1793 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. William Lipscomb

Thomas Beddoes, in Review of Lipscomb, Verses on the beneficial Effects of Inoculation; The Monthly Review NS 12 (October 1793) 216-17.



This little piece has already obtained a verdict: but we fear that the sentence of that superior tribunal, before which it has now appeared, will not be extremely favourable. For the choice of the subject, (which, to our taste, is not much more agreeable than that of Fracastorius,) the Oxford Vice-chancellor of the day was originally responsible: but the author, by the act of publication, must take all this blame to himself.

Small-pox, a giant-monster, having ravaged the East, proceeds to Britain:

He came — and rapine marked the Monster's way,
Sad was the scene, for BEAUTY was the prey.

BRITANNIA views and laments her country's woes from the summit of Plinlimmon. Lady M. W. Montague, touched at her affliction, calls the nymph INOCULATION to her aid, who withers the monster's strength, and subdues him. — Such is the machinery. The verses, as the reader may collect from the subjoined specimen, are, for the most part, rather above mediocrity; some are happy; and the poem has the negative merit of being free from extravagant conceits.