Find this Story

Print, a form you can hold

Wireless download to your Amazon Kindle

Look for a summary or analysis of this Poem.

Enjoy this? Share it!

New Hospital For Sick Literati
by [?]


With all humility we beg
To inform the public, that Tom Tegg–
Known for his spunky speculations
In buying up dead reputations,
And by a mode of galvanizing
Which, all must own, is quite surprising,
Making dead authors move again,
As tho’ they still were living men;–
All this too managed, in a trice,
By those two magic words, “Half Price,”
Which brings the charm so quick about,
That worn-out poets, left without
A second foot whereon to stand,
Are made to go at second hand;–
‘Twill please the public, we repeat,
To learn that Tegg who works this feat,
And therefore knows what care it needs
To keep alive Fame’s invalids,
Has oped an Hospital in town,
For cases of knockt-up renown–
Falls, fractures, dangerous Epic fits
(By some called Cantoes), stabs from wits;
And of all wounds for which they’re nurst,
Dead cuts from publishers, the worst;–
All these, and other such fatalities,
That happen to frail immortalities,
By Tegg are so expertly treated,
That oft-times, when the cure’s completed,
The patient’s made robust enough
To stand a few more rounds of puff,
Till like the ghosts of Dante’s lay
He’s puft into thin air away!
As titled poets (being phenomenons)
Don’t like to mix with low and common ‘uns,
Tegg’s Hospital has separate wards,
Express for literary lords,
Where prose-peers, of immoderate length,
Are nurst, when they’ve outgrown their strength,
And poets, whom their friends despair of,
Are–put to bed and taken care of.

Tegg begs to contradict a story
Now current both with Whig and Tory,
That Doctor Warburton, M.P.,
Well known for his antipathy,
His deadly hate, good man, to all
The race of poets great and small–
So much, that he’s been heard to own,
He would most willingly cut down
The holiest groves on Pindus’ mount,
To turn the timber to account!–
The story actually goes, that he
Prescribes at Tegg’s Infirmary;
And oft not only stints for spite
The patients in their copy-right,
But that, on being called in lately
To two sick poets suffering greatly,
This vaticidal Doctor sent them
So strong a dose of Jeremy Bentham,
That one of the poor bards but cried,
“Oh, Jerry, Jerry!” and then died;
While t’other, tho’ less stuff was given,
Is on his road, ’tis feared, to heaven!

Of this event, howe’er unpleasant,
Tegg means to say no more at present,–
Intending shortly to prepare
A statement of the whole affair,
With full accounts, at the same time,
Of some late cases (prose and rhyme),
Subscribed with every author’s name,
That’s now on the Sick List of Fame.