1764 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Charles Churchill

Anonymous, "To Mr. Hogarth, on his Print of Mr. Churchill in the Character of a Russian Hercules" St. James's Chronicle (9 June 1764).



Hogarth, I've often seen thy Print,
But cannot find much Humour in't;
For God's Sake, why dost thou compare
My Friend Charles Churchill to a Bear?
I'm very sure thy Simile
Does not in any Point agree
With him, (it cannot sure) unless
You think it is an awkwardness:
Now here you are entirely wrong,
Churchill's as active as he's strong,
And to your Cost, Good Sir, may find
Not more in Body than in Mind.
As to his Shape, I hope you'll own,
If 'tis a Fault, 'tis not his own.
I wonder greatly how you can,
Who know so little of the Man,
Pronounce him such a churlish Elf,
And quite forget your snarling Self.
I ask you next to make appear
The Humour of the Pot of Beer;
Think you it can create a Laugh
To see a jolly Parson quaff
A Pot of Porter? where's the Sin?
What signifies? say you, I'll grin.
Hogarth, for Shame, hide, hide thy Face!
And laugh not at thy own Disgrace.
Thy Talents once we did admire,
But now thou hast put out that Fire
Which blaz'd so brightly in thy Youth,
But then thou wast a Friend to Truth
And Nature — now thou hast forswore
Them both, and kick'd them out of Door;
I wonder who they could agree
So long with such a Wretch as thee.
And then to think you could provoke
Churchill with such a paltry Stroke,
Which may, perhaps, make Blockheads smile,
But Men of Sense blush all the while;
Besides, vain Man, I'd have thee know,
Churchill disdains to call thee Foe;
With Men of Genius he'll content,
But will no more to thee descend:
So fear not what my Friend can write,
Thy Genius long has took its Flight.
Queen's College, Oxon.