1730 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Alexander Pope

Anonymous, "From the Pegasus in Grub Street" Grub-Street Journal (28 May 1730).



The THEOBALDIANS, who had been driven out of the field the last Campaign by the publication of the Dunciad, opened this, at the beginning of the month, with the publication of One Epistle to Mr. A. Pope. An Abstract of the Contents of the Preface to this Epistle, sent us by a POPEIAN, was published in our Journal, Numb. 19, May 14. In the Daily Journal of May 16, was published the following Epigram by a THEOBALDIAN.

Of all thy short liv'd Progeny, this last
Has met with harder Trials, than the past.
With rueful Eyes thou view'st thy wretched Race,
The Child of Guilt, and destin'd to Disgrace!

Thus when fam'd Joan usurp'd the Pontiff's Chair,
With Terror she beheld her new-born Heir:
Ill-starr'd, ill-favour'd into Birth it came;
In Sin begotten, and brought forth with Shame!
In vain it breathes, a lewd abandon'd Hope!
And calls in vain th' unhallow'd Father, Pope.

We should be glad to hear the names of Mr. POPE'S "short liv'd Progeny," all those children whom he owns being, to our sorrow, alive and in good health: we likewise desire to know, what the Epigrammatist means by "a lewd abandon'd hope."

In our last of May 21, N. 20. we offered a reward to any Person who would attest the truth of any of those Facts, there mentioned, and which had been charged upon Mr. POPE in the One Epistle, &c. To which we have hitherto received no Answer. But instead of it, in the Daily Journal May 23. there is a complaint against us for publishing in our last Journal, (which is false, because it is in our last but one,) the Contents of the Preface abovementioned: Wherein they charge us with saying that one of the Authors is the Son of a W—. In our Journal there is no more than the Son of a —, the W— is added by the complainant himself, no doubt upon good reasons.

The Observation about the Genealogy of the 3 Gentlemen, was not, we imagin'd, level'd against the merit of the Poem, but against the Appellation of "Gentlemen," which the Authors had assumed in the Preface. We beg the favour of the "Gentleman" who wrote the Letter in the Daily Journal, to write his next in plain English: for we could not apprehend what he meant by charging us with "pouring out a lying Spirit upon the Genealogy of the supposed Writers of the One Epistle."

The POPEIANS, have sent us the 2 following Epigrams.

MOORE goes two years, and then alas produces,
Some noisy, pert, dull, flatulent Abuses.
So some stale, swoln-out Dame, you sometimes find,
Has been at last deliver'd but of — Wind.

To prove himself no Plagiary, MOORE,
Has writ such stuff, as none e'er write before.
Thy prudence, MOORE, is like that Irish Wit,
Who shew'd his breech, to prove 'twas not besh—.