1799 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Bp. Beilby Porteus

John Wolcot, "Lines addressed to Miss Hannah More, Dr. Porteus, and their Blue Stocking Club, on their Perusal of his late Pamphlet" Oracle and Daily Advertiser (26 November 1799).



Ah! why Miss HANNAH, wherefore, Maiden sage,
Has naughty PETER caus'd the tear to flow?
Why has he put thee in a tow'ring rage,
And to hot charcoal chang'd thy bosom's snow?

Why dost thou squat like TABBY i' the Adage?
Why dost thou sigh and weep, and grunt and mourn?
Why like poor Snip, that is bereft of cabbage,
Look'st thou quite chap-fallen, and like him forlorn?

Why does the BISHOP foam against poor PETER—
PETER, who meant not to offend his Grace?
Wherefore does he spurn the harmless metre,
And shroud with anger that most saint-like face?

Why kindles thus his wrath? alas he's mad,
For lo he rends in twain his ample wig!
Ah! Bishop PORTEUS, this is very bad—
Thine anger PETER values not a fig.

Now, wrinkled Dames, I'll take one peep at you,
Who doubtless have perus'd Nil Admirari;
Yes, I will venture, 'midst the sage Bas Bleu,
But of my bones methinks I'd best be wary.

Zounds, what a noise, what an astounding din!
'Tis screech from Owls and Ravens' croaking throats;
Or MILTON'S Hounds howling beneath foul sin,
Or choir of Giles's Dames that bawl their notes.

Say, PETER, what hath vex'd Miss HANNAH thus?
What hast thou said to raise the Bishop's hate?
What is't hath put the Bas Bleu in this fuss,
And made thee dread the safety of thy pate?

Why PETER simply told Miss HANNAH MORE,
That all she wrote was wrote by hook or crook;
Nay, PETER vows, as he hath vow'd before,
That of another's brains she form'd her book.

PETER has blam'd the Doctor's fulsome stuff,
In praise of HANNAH'S education theme:
PETER has made the Bas-bleu Club look bluff,
Because he told them they were in a dream.

Thus on PETER'S head hath vengeance drawn,
Of HANNAH, PORTEUS, and the toothless crew;
Yes, of the Maid, and Bishop clad in lawn,
And eke the sapient Dames of fam'd Bas-bleu.