1797 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Williams

William Gifford, in Baviad and Maeviad (1797) 34-37.



These fancy "BELL'S POETICS" only sweet,
And intercept his hawkers in the street;
There, smoaking hot, inhale MIT YENDA'S strains,
And the rank fume of TONY PASQUIN'S brains....

TONY PASQUIN. — I have too much respect for my reader to affront him with any specimens of this man's poetry, at once licentious and dull beyond example: at the same time I cannot resist the temptation of presenting them with the following stanzas, written by a friend of mine, and sufficiently illustrative of the character in question:

TO ANTHONY PASQUIN, ESQ.
Why dost thou tack, most simple Anthony,
The name of "Pasquin" to thy ribbald strains?
Is it a fetch of wit, to let us see
Thou, like that statue, art devoid of brains?

But thou mistak'st: for know, tho' Pasquin's head
Be full as hard, and near as thick, as thine;
Yet has the world admiring on it read
Many a keen gibe, and many a sportive line.

While nothing from thy jobbernowl can spring
But impudence and filth; for out, alas!
Do what we will, 'tis still the same vile thing,
Within, all brick-dust — and without, all brass.

Then blot the name of PASQUIN from thy page:
Thou seest it will not thy poor riff-raff sell.
Some other wouldst thou take? I dare engage
JOHN WILLIAMS, or Tom Fool, will do as well.

TONY has taken my friend's advice, and now sells or attempts to sell "his riff-raff" under the name of JOHN WILLIAMS.
It has been represented to me, that I should do well to avoid all mention of this man; from a consideration that one so lost to every sense of decency and shame, was a fitter object for the Beadle than the Muse. This has induced me to lay aside a second castigation which I had prepared for him, though I do not think it expedient to omit what I had formerly written.

HERE on the rack of Satire let him lie,
Fit garbage for the hell-hound Infamy.

One word more. I am told there are men so weak as to deprecate this miserable object's abuse, and so vain, so despicably vain, as to tolerate his praise — for such I have nothing but pity; — though the fate of Hastings, see the "Pin-basket to the Children of Thespis," holds out a dreadful lesson to the latter — but should there be a man, or a woman — however high their rank — base enough to purchase the venal pen of this miscreant for the sake of traducing innocence and virtue; then — I was about to — —; but 'tis not necessary: the profligate cowards who employ Anthony can know no severer punishment than the support of a man whose acquaintance is infamy, and whose touch is poison.