1730 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Gay

Philalethes, [On Arbuthnot, Pope and Gay] The Daily Journal (23 May 1730).



As you have, Sir, upon all Occasions, been inclinable to do justice to the Gentlemen libell'd in the Dunciad, I hope you will not deny this just Character of Mr. P. a Place in your Paper; but, by inserting it, confirm your own Impartiality with relation to the present Poetical War now raging in Great Britain, and more especially, since the Bavians desir'd some Notice might be taken of their Scurrility, in their last Grubaean Advices. The Advocates of the Dunciad are,

Such whom the Muse shall pass with just Disdain,
Nor add one Trophy to the Motly-Train:
But Quack A—t shall Oblivion blot,
That puzling, plodding, prating, pedant Scot!
The grating Scribbler! whoe untun'd Essays,
Blends the Scotch Thistle with the English Bays,
By either Phoebus pre-ordain'd to Ill,
The hand prescribing, or the flattering Quill,
Who doubly plagues; and boasts, two Arts to kill.

'Midst the vain Tribe, that aid P—'s setting Ray,
The Muse shall view, but spare ill-fated G—;
Poor G—, who loses most, when most he wins,
And gives his Foes his Fame, and bears their Sins;
Who more by Fortune, than by Nature curst,
Yields his best Pieces, and must own P—'s worst.

These few Specimens will, I hope, be thought a just Reply to poor Grubby, and give a proper Account of the true Reason of their Resentment.
I am, Sir, Yours, &c.
Philalethes.