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" AND flies the javelin swiftelr to its mark,
" Launch'd-from the vigour ofa Roman ar1n?"5
Though the letter [in Vol. III.] which gave rife to the preceding slriftures (ass Dr.Farmer long ago remarked) may not be entitled to implicit confidence, I am unwilling to regard this publication as a confirmed forgery by Mr. Macklin. In my opinion, he could as readily have supplied a deficient chorus in a Greek tragedy, as the poem ascribed to Endymion Porter. A vein,of broad humour, and a rugged force of slyle, dislinguish the performances of our truly respeflable dramatick,veteran; but where , among all his numerous works, shall we sind such ease and elegance- as decorate the fianzas in commendation of Fordi'
- It would be difficult to account for Mr.Macklz'n's conception of 'the species of fraud so firenuously imputed to him. Unacquainted with ancient and licensed polemick weapons, he would scarce have invented new and unsair ones. Before the. year 1748 no successful impositions, whether grave or ludicrous, had led the way to such an attempt. No Lauder, by a kindred process , had queslioned the originality of Milton; no-Rowlcian epicks, -or
Hardicnutian 'tablets 7 had been applied as touchfiones to antiquarian sagacity. If Mr. Macklin was really the fabricator of these disputed authorities, he mufl be considered as the parent of literary impoflures in England. He muli have planned his work without the advantage of a modcl; and, respcfling the poetry ofEnd)-mion Portcr , musl: be allowed to have executed a talk. of elegance, without oslenlible reqnilites for his undertaking.-When I communicated these fianzas to Dr. johnson, he read them with indications of pleasure, and inllantly exclaimed--" The lines, fir, are evidently the produfl of a man of fashion. 3 Were our friend Bcauclerk "T engaged to furnish a poetick trifle, he would write just fuch verses as thefes' T '
That no pamphlet, however, with the title already mentioned by Mr. Malone, has ever appeared, is too much to be granted without some degree of hefitation. Musi no ancient satirical and poetical pieces be allowed to exisl, except such as he and I have unkennelled by indullry or advertifement? Till the earliesl; Taming ofa Slzrcw was met with , Mr. P0])e's quotations from it were susperfled; for some of the lines, as printed 'by him-, displayed more than a single deviation from the efiablilhed phrafcology of their age; and yet, on the whole, we are bound to acknowledge the
, 7 See the Gcntlemarfs and Eurvjmzn Magazin: for March and April, 1790. 7 ' A
3 Such undoubtedly was the charafler of Endymion Porter, who was a Gentleman of his Majclly's Bedchamber,
' 2' The late Honourable Tophaxu Beauclerk.