The Tryal of Dramatic Genius

Painful the thought! in these degenerate times,
When men of sense commit atrocious crimes;
When those, who shou’d example’s force convey,
And virtue in her fairest form display;
In Private life, adopt a different plan,
Degrade their nature, and throw off the man;
No wonder vice in gorgeous pomp array’d,
Shou’d browbeat virtue, meek and artless maid!
When her admirers dare not speak her name,
Lest FASHION blast their int’rest and their fame.
     Next came a *man, mankind forget his name!
As a dramatist, he put in his claim;
O had he practic’d what his scenes impart,
Had he preserv’d strict rectitude of heart,
His fame would not so soon have been forgot,
Nor on his name be made the fatal blot;
But let oblivion bury in each mind
What now he is – to all his works be kind.

* a late exile [i.e. Isaac Bickerstaffe]

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

SOURCE: Excerpt from William Heard, The Tryal of Dramatic Genius, London, 1773.

CITATION: If you cite this Web page, please use the following citation:
Rictor Norton (ed.), "The Macaroni Club: The Tryal of Dramatic Genius, 1773", Homosexuality in Eighteenth-Century England: A Sourcebook, 19 December 2004 <>.

Return to The Macaroni Club,
or return to The First Public Debate about Homosexuality in England,
or return to Homosexuality in Eighteenth-Century England