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and unbroken catalogue of periodical papers. Of these some are respectable, and written on topics 'embracing general literature and manners; several are political, and many trifling and jejune. The first, in order of time, was an attempt to continue the Spectator, both in title and form; it was therefore termed

1. Spectator, VOLUME NINTH AND LAST. This work, which we formerly had occasion to mention and condemn, was published twice a week, commencing on January 30, 1715, and terminating with the sixty-first number on August 3d of the same year. It was conducted by a Mr. William Bond, whose signature is affixed to a dedication to the Viscountess Falconberg; in which, whilst acknowledging the contributions of his friends, he remarks, “ two excellent ones (essays) were presented me by a friend, celebrated for his vast genius, and who furnished ( I won't say the former Spectators, but) the Tatlers with a better fame than they would, perhaps, have obtained, if he had not lent his hand, and scattered life and lustre through these loose pages.-I fear that these may be the only witty pieces in the whole set.” I apprehend that this boast, which appears intended to insinuate that Dr. Swift had afforded his assistance, must be considered as a mere vox et præterea nihil; for, after a thorough

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investigation, I have been utterly disappointed in discovering a single paper in the smallest degree entitled to the appellation of witty. Bond wrote a poem in ridicule of Mr. Pope, and was rewarded, for his temerity, with a niche in the Dunciad.

2. The Censor. To the laborious Mr. Lewis Theobald are we to ascribe the pages of the Censor. This gentleman was born at Sittingbourn in Kent, and, having received a grammatical education at Isleworth in Middlesex, applied himself to his father's profession, which was that of the Law. This, however, he soon relinquished to become a poet, an essayist, and an editor; in the first of these departments he early published a pamphlet called the Cave of Poverty, and which Bond, in Nos. 23 and 25. of his Spectator, has loaded with ridiculous and hyperbolical praise.

To this succeeded, in the same year, the first volume of the Censor, the numbers of which originally appeared in Mist's Weekly Journal, a mode of publication to which Pope alludes in the following lines from the quarto edition of the Dunciad in 1728.

But what can I? my Flaccus cast aside,
Take up the Attorney's (once my better) guide ?
Or sob the Roman geese of all their glories,
And save the state by cackling to the Tories?
Yes, to my Country I my pen consign,
Yes, from this moment, mighty Mist! am thine.

After some abortive efforts in dramatic poetry, one of which, The Double Falsehood, he endeavoured to impose upon the public as a production of Shakspeare, our author fortunately directed his talents into their proper channel, and by becoming the editor of our great dramatic poet, conferred an obligation of some weight upon the numerous admirers of the illustrious bard. It was in the year 1726 that he first entered upon the subject, by publishing a pamphlet entitled “Shakspeare Restored," in which his vanity led him to affirm" that what care might for the future be taken either by Mr. Pope, or any other assistants, he would give above five hundred emendations that would escape them all;" an assertion that gave just offence to Mr: Pope, and which occasioned the immediate elevation of Mr. Theobald to the honours of the Hero of the Dunciad., a station, however, from which he was soon after hurled, to make way for the enthronement of Cibber.

The year 1733 ushered in our author's Shakspeare in eight volumes; a work which, notwithstanding the abuse of Pope and Warburton, merited and acquired much reputation: it is indeed, superior to any preceding attempt of the kind, and has laid a firm foundation, by pointing out the proper path of illustration, for the valuable.

commentaries of Johnson and of Steevens. Theobald survived this, his best, undertaking nine years, closing in 1742 a life of poverty and literary labour.

The first number of the Censor appeared in Mist's Journal on April 11th, 1715; and it was continued thrice a week, without intermission, until thirty numbers had been published; they were then collected into a volume, in the preface to which Theobald has remarked, that his papers “ followed too close upon the heels of the inimitable SPECTATOR, whose excellent vein of good: sense, spirit, wit, and humour, made that PAPER the entertainment of all the gay, polite, and virtuous part of mankind. It was a hard task,” he, proceeds, “to come after such a writer, and avoid striking into the paths he had trod; and still a harder, to invent new subjects, and work upon them with any degree of the same genius and deli-. cacy. This the publishers of the Censor knew so well, that they were obliged to give a new turn, both of character and dress to their performances.

Another disadvantage was, the vast multitude of papers that pretended to give an equal diversion to the town; which, though they died soon, and left no memory behind them, yet found. readers heavy enough to sympathize with their dullness. That period of time may be well called

the age of counsellors, when every blockhead who could write his own name attempted to inform and amuse the public.” After an interval of about a year and a half the Censor was resumed thrice a week on January 1st, 1717, and closed, after completing the ninety-sixth number, on June 1st, 1717 ; when the whole was thrown into three volumes.

Theobald discovered much want of judgment in attributing to his assumed character of Censor talents of the highest order, his very first para graph informing us that he was lineally descended from Benjamin Johnson of surly memory, whose name, as well as a considerable portion of his spirit, he was heir to. Such a declaration excited expectations which were certainly by no means gratified; for though the work be not destitute of merit, it is far from supporting any claim to the pedigree which he chose to adopt. The rough and unsparing invective, too, which pervades many of its parts, procured him several bitter enemies, and among these was the critic Dennis, who, being represented in N° 33, under the name of Furius, as an object rather of pity, than that which he daily provokes, laughter and contempt,” retorted in terms to which the language of Theobald is mildness itselt; “ there is,” says he, in his Remarks on Pope's

VOL. IV.

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