1821 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Leigh Hunt

Anonymous, in "Comparisons are Odious. A Chaunt" Blackwood's Magazine 10 (December 1821) 555.



Like a green Cockney, who dwells by Hampstead in a Box,
Whence he looks down on Pope, and Dryden, William Pitt, and Charles Fox,
And writes Essays, which he swears are better than Addison's or Locke's,
And filthy obscene sonnets withal, for which he should be set in the stocks,
Like a new Cockney, of King Leigh's,
[and King Leigh's new Cockney.]

Who, amidst a vile raffish company, is always giving of himself airs,
Thrumming upon a crazy spinnet, with fingers like a bear's;
Laughing at all decent people who go to church and say their prayers,
But don't consort with kept-madams, washer-women, and stage-players,
Like a new Cockney, &c.

Who thinketh himself a Homer, and placeth above Aristotle
A stuck painter, whose nose ten dozen swandrops do mottle;
Who would think it no harm the whole bench of Bishops to throttle;
And drinks green gooseberry wash out of a Champagne bottle,
Like a new Cockney, &c.

Who hangs his parlour with smutty prints, and makes a mighty fuss too,
About a painted book-case topp'd with his own down-looking busto,
And jabbers all day long about Brio and Gusto,
And rails against Lord Wellington, Crib, Gas, and Little Puss too,
Like a new Cockney, &c.

Whose mental vision squints so Morgan-like, so abominably oblique,
That he dares to publish translations from Italian and Greek,
Though of these he knows nothing and even in English is sorely to seek,
Rhyming rhymes which all abhor, except little Jeffrey's little critque.
Like a new Cockney, &c.

Now may Hazlitt, and Hunt, and Jeffrey, and M'Intosh, and Brougham,
Hold their tongues from henceforth ever, and their proper stations resume;
For, not one of them will write a history or poem till the crack of doom,
That any gentleman or lady would not hate to see in their room,
Like a new Cockney, &c.

If Hazlitt writes any more Stable-Talk he shall certainly be feruled—
If Hunt reaches forth his sceptre, his crown shall be peril'd—
If Jeffrey ever struts again, the Black Dwarf shall strut his herald—
And if Sir Jemmy talks of Histories, I'll dedicate my History of Gerald
To spotless Brougham and princely Leigh,
And King Leigh's new Cockneys.