1818
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

To Sir Murray Maxwell.

The Sun (11 July 1818).

E. C.


Two Spenserian stanzas signed "E. C." Sir Murray Maxwell (1775-1831) was a navy captain whose ship had been wrecked while exploring the west coast of Korea in 1817. He was court-martialed and acquitted in 1817, and knighted in 1818. At the time of his death Maxwell was lieutenant-governor of Prince Edward's Island. Phocion was an Athenian statesman proverbial for his virtue; the assembly turned on him, and being accused of treason, he was compelled to drink poison.

Note to the last line: "Let Sir Francis Burdett and Mr. Douglas Kinnaird hear that great man's opinion, and blush. Having said something which the mob applauded, he turned round to a friend and asked if any thing impertinent had escaped him."



MAXWELL, the infamous assaults you bore
Are but the mulct which sterling merit pays
To fame: you are the rallying point of more
Than can be nam'd, children of future days,
All who will take their rank in Honour's ways,
And love their Country and adorn her page;
Patriots unborn: nor is it slender praise,
Thus to be deem'd fit mark for rabble rage,
Like godlike SOCRATES, Athena's noblest sage.

So the first CHARLES, that persecuted King,
When spit on and reviled, composedly said,
Poor wretch! a little piece of coin would bring
An equal outrage on his leader's head;
He knew at law the blow was levelled,
His cause thro' him: so, partner of thy lot
Was PHOCION too; each mob-declaimer's dread;
He too was spit upon, for he had not
Fawn'd on the factious crew, nor humour'd them a jot.

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