Doctor Syntax in Paris, or, A tour in search of the grotesque
[Combe, William?] London: Printed for W. Wright, 1820.
A humorous & satirical poem. 8vo. viii, 318 pp., 17 ff. of plates.
Depending on one’s take, this is either an imitation or a parody of Combe’s Tour of Doctor Syntax in Search of the Picturesque, and is either by Combe himself or not. Halkett & Laing attribute the work to Combe, but other sources are less sure — e.g., Harlan W. Hamilton (Doctor Syntax, 1969, p. 318), who lists it as one of the many imitations.
There is no disagreement concerning the17 full-page aquatints and the aquatint title-page, which are in imitation of Rowlandson and are by Charles Williams.
The Muse has in historic page,
Sung how the glory of the age,
Great Syntax, first of learned men,
Left the sweet vale of Somerden,
And scanned with aspect keen and able,
The wonders of the Londan Babel;
How with ambition fired he strove
His matchless tragic powers to prove,
In giving to the stage a piece
Worthy of ancient Rome or Greece,
And how, alas! this tasteless age
Repaid the labour of the sage,
With rude damnation’s wild uproar,
And doomed to that forgotten shore,
Whence never play nor bard returned
The verse that spoke and page that burned.