[COMBE, William, sometimes attributed to]. ~ A monstrous good Lounge. Addressed to the first Man who purchases the Book. With a dedicatory Preface. London: Printed for J. Bew... and sold by the booksellers in Oxford and Cambridge. 1777.
4to (260 × 192 mm), pp. 22; a couple of early annotations to title; modern marbled boards.
First edition, occasionally attributed to William Combe, but the lighthearted and occasionally scholarly rhymed couplets suggest a younger author, probably at Oxford or Cambridge. The anonymous author describes it as a ‘crazy farrago’ (Preface) while the London Review called it: ‘The careless rhapsody of some freshman or under-graduate; whose lounging fit has here thrown off a tolerable antidote to the spleen.’
It includes a long digression on verse itself, and its progress in England, dismissing Poet Laureate William Whitehead’s ‘limping strain,’ and referring to bathos as :
The Lazar House of poetry.
There gouty verse expiring lies,
Asthmatic metre, similies,
Convulsive metaphors, lame stories,
Blind tropes, distracted allegories... Jackson, p. 55.