-The Dog Tax, in Verse. Addressed to the Self-appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer. i,to. is. Low. 1796. Mr. Dent is humourously lashed in these lines as the self-appointed chancellor of the exchequer, who wished to tax the poor cottager’s
ger’s dog, which has been rescued by the humanity of the parliament. We should have been better pJeased, had the author continued in the humourous vein. His introduction is of considerable promise—
‘Whereas evils and dangers both serious and great
Have got to a pitch so alarming of late,
And the hydrophobia has spread far and near,
That the poor don’t like water so well as strong beer,
And the rich will drink wine, though so damnably dear;
And the dogs of the cottage so furious are grown,
They gnaw iron and steel as they would a beef bone.
(Mind—the dogs of the cottage—for those of the court
Only pick chicken bones and nice things of that fort.)
They bite sheep, pigs, and oxen, to such a degree,
We have barking ragout, and stark mad fricasee.
An alderman fears to eat fish, let me tell ye,
Lest hard roe and soft roe should fight in his belly.
Sheep’s head, pluck, and lights, each vile cur so confounds,
That the ‘squire can’t get vi’tals enough for his hounds.
Now all this amounts to a clear demonstration
That the curs of the poor are the bane of the nation,
And o’erwhelm us with discord, disease, and starvation
A Paraphrase on Gray’s Elegy, written on the unfortunate Catastrophe of the late Mr. Henry Weston, who -was executed for Forgery hefare Newgate, July 6, 1796. By a Gentleman. 4/9, zs. Tiffin. 1796.
* All you who visit the unhonour’d dead
In contemplation of their future state;
In pity censure not the lives they led,
Which brought them to an ignominious fate.” r. 13.
This paraphrase, the author informs us, was written without an intention of being published; but he was prevailed upon, at the request of several of his friends, to offer it to the world. The specimen above will (how the judgment of those friends; and the line in Italics, the author’s intention, which was to palliate offences for which no excuse can be offered. The effect of this work would, therefore, be of the immoral kind, if the poetry had any attractions. There was nothing in Weston’s cafe to claim more than ordinary pity. He was young, and his manners might have been those of a gentleman: but his crimes were those of deliberation. He had loqg been in the practice of defrauding others, with, the most unfeeling cunning and caution j and the life he led deserved the severest censure.