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The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero)/Poetry/Volume 7/Bowles and Campbell


To the air of "How now, Madam Flirt," in the Beggar's Opera.[1]


"Why, how now, saucy Tom?
If you thus must ramble,
I will publish some
Remarks on Mister Campbell.
Saucy Tom!"


"Why, how now, Billy Bowles?
Sure the priest is maudlin!
(To the public) How can you, d—n your souls!
Listen to his twaddling?
Billy Bowles!"

February 22, 1821.
[First published, The Liberal, 1823, No. II. p. 398.]

  1. [Compare the Beggar's Opera, act ii. sc. 2—

    Air, "Good morrow, Gossip Joan."

    "Polly. Why, how now, Madam Flirt?
    If you thus must chatter,
    And are for flinging dirt,
    Let's try who best can spatter,
    Madam Flirt!

    "Lucy. Why, how now, saucy jade?
    Sure the wench is tipsy!
    How can you see me made
    The scoff of such a gipsy?[To him.]
    Saucy Jade!" [To her.]

    Bowles replied to Campbell's Introductory Essay to his Specimens of the English Poets, 7 vols., 1819, by The Invariable Principles of Poetry, in a letter addressed to Thomas Campbell. For Byron's two essays, the "Letter to .... ...... [John Murray]" and "Observations upon Observations," see Letters, 1901, v. Appendix III. pp. 536-592.]