1778 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Gen. John Burgoyne

Fact, "Scamper and Slyboots: Or General Burgoyne's Detachment" London Evening Post (31 March 1778).



Says Scamper to Slyboots, pray what is the reason,
That Gen'ral Burgoyne's not come over this season?
The reason (says Scamper) the papers all tell,
That this is the reason, because he's "not well."
Not well! answer'd Slyboots, why then I suppose,
"Not well" means the same as "detain'd by his foes;"
But you, by the help of a double-meant skill,
Would have us believe, that the man's "very ill"
When ev'ry one knows, that (whate'er you may say)
His illness is this, that he "can't get away."
One might have approv'd of thus wording your plan
If your "very ill," mean't — a "very ill man."