1773 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Oliver Goldsmith

T. S., "To Dr. Goldsmith, on the merited Success of his new Comedy, called, She Stoops to Conquer" Morning Chronicle and London Advertiser (17 April 1773).



While various bards the comic muse have drest,
In many a prudish, stiff, ungraceful vest,
Each awkward air affected, make her use,
Pinch her in stays, or cramp her in high shoes;
The mighty ruff, and farthingale put on,
And give platonic speech to humble Joan;
Raise high the persons, nature meant shou'd stoop,
And show a Macaroni for Lolpoop;
Make ev'ry order talk above their spheres,
And with stale sentiment offend our ears;
Mistake the passions, and for mirth give pain,
Present the pedant for the simple swain,
They try to make their audience laugh in vain.
'Tis thine the task, O Goldsmith, to restore,
The comic muse to what she was of yore,
And to the stage present her antient ease,
So drest by thee, she cannot fail to please.
While K[enrick] labours in some dull design,
And chills all pleasure, in each frozen line,
The genial soul of comedy is thine.