Canto Five

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Doctor Syntax comes to Oxford, where he attended University. There, he meets with his old friend, Dicky Bend, who is now provost. Doctor Syntax and the Provost engage in a conversation regarding the value of travel literature.

Could Doctor G— in chariot Ride,
And take each day his wine beside,
If he did not contrive to cook,
Each year, his Tour into a book;
A flippant, flashy, flow’ry style,
A lazy morning to beguile
With ev’ry other leaf, a print,
Of some fine view in aqua tint?
Such is the book I mean to make,
And I’ve no doubt the work will take:
For though your wisdom may decry it,
The simple folk will surely buy it.
I will allow it but trash,
But then it furnishes the cash.