A Letter from Benedick

K[enric]k, whom we may justly class in
Th’ envenom’d race of Scribes-assassin,
Accosts the celebrated Davy [i.e. David Garrick]
With ‘Sir, your humble – Phoebus save ye!
A Comedy I’ve newly written –
Curse me! if any bard in Britain
Can shew you one of equal merit;
Nay, half so full of wit and spirit.
You’ll find it, Sir, all air, all life;
E’en better than my Widow’d Wife.
A piece like this must always please one:
By G–d, ’twill run you half the season!
Therefore, Sir Roscius, pray remember
To have in ready in November.’
     Garrick refus’d. – Curse on me, cries Ken,
I’ll trounce the scoundrel with my pen.
Refuse my piece! I’ll make him play’t, or
I’ll brand him for fair Beauty’s traitor.
I’ll have him in the Suds – I’ll maul him,
And Bickerstaff’s Accomplice call him.
When I have christen’d him Indorser,
His fame is gone; his acting’s o’er, Sir:
The men in a tumultuous rage
Will hiss and pelt him off the stage;
Nay not one female – I’ll so snap him –
Will even condescend to clap him.
     So a young brim in Catharine-street
A man of sober cast will greet;
‘Give me,’ she cries, with luring leer,
‘Give me a glass of wine, my dear:’
Then grasps his arm with seeming rapture,
In hopes of making him her capture.
But if in prudence he forbear
To venture on her dangerous ware,
Or to her painted beauty cold,
He force the nymph to quit her hold,
Th’ indignant brim exclaims aloud,
T’exasperate the passing croud;
And, with most diabolic spite,
Pronounces him a Sodomite.

NOTE: For further details about the alleged homosexual relationship between the dramatists David Garrick and Isaac Bickerstaffe, see The Macaroni Club.

SOURCE: The Morning Chronicle, 17 July 1772.

CITATION: If you cite this Web page, please use the following citation:
Rictor Norton (ed.), "The Macaroni Club: A Letter from Benedick, 1772", Homosexuality in Eighteenth-Century England: A Sourcebook, 19 December 2004 <>.

Return to The Macaroni Club,
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or return to Homosexuality in Eighteenth-Century England