1746 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Edwards

Anonymous, "An Answer to the foregoing [To the Rev. Mr. Edwards, on his State of the Case between Stebbing and Warburton]" Newcastle Chronicle (12 November 1746).



TO THE REV. MR. EDW—DS, ON HIS STATE OF THE CASE BETWEEN STEBBING AND WARBURTON.
STEBBING and WARBURTON contest,
Heroes of more than common Size;
This with a daring Genius blest,
In That the Strength of Judgment lies.

One skill'd a Fabrick soon to raise,
Ingenious Architect of Fame;
The Other merits equal Praise
For quickly pulling down the same.

The Guardians of Relgion's Cause
Sit tame Spectators of the Fight;
EDW—DS alone indignant draws
His Pen to state the Matter right.

Thus in a Puppet-Shew I've seen
Two laurel'd Heroes act their Part,
When lo! (the Grandeur of the Scene)
Punch interrupts — and lets a Fart.
General Evening Post.

AN ANSWER TO THE FOREGOING.
Bless'd in each Science, every Art divine,
Whilst Warburton explores the deep Design
Of Heav'ns high King, and to a wond'ring Age
Restores new Lustre to the sacred Page:
St—b—g, tenacious of the beaten Road,
Surveys the rising Work with jealous Eyes,
And hopes beneath some lurking Poison lies.
Prompt to defend receiv'd Opinion's Cause,
His controversial Pen misguided draws.

This Edwards saw, and fir'd with honest Zeal,
To candid Criticks makes his just Appeal;
Recalls the warm Dispute to Reason's Test,
And pours in Truth on each impartial Breast.
Whence then this Verse to wound his envied Fame?
Without Desert — 'tis well without a Name.
Whoe'er thou art, recall th' invidious Sneer,
And learn superior Merit to revere.
Or if, inspir'd with Love of idle Fame,
Thou pant'st in secret for an Author's Name,
Go, invious Bard, some meaner Subject chuse,
Coarse as the Jest of thy Plebeian Muse.
At least secure a readier Way to Praise;
In Virtue's Cause the meanest Verse will please:
But soon, ah soon! Wit's loftiest Flights decay,
Where Pride or Passion guide the partial Lay.
Learn then this Truth, as fixt as Nature's Laws;
He ne'er shall gain, who never gives Applause.