1806 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Charles Gildon

William Lisle Bowles, Note to Prologue to the Satires; Works of Pope, ed. Bowles (1806) 4:27n.



Let then did Gildon draw his venal quill;
I wish'd the man a Dinner, and sate still.

VER. 151. Yet then did Gildon] Gildon was born at the village of Gillingham, near Shaftesbury, in Dorsetshire. Pope's "wishing him a dinner," is not exactly understood. The expressions are thought unfeeling, as meant to upbraid him with his poverty; but the truth is, Gildon in his essays says, his sole motive for writing was "necessity." It cannot be said, that it is cruel to "wish a man a dinner," who professes he writes to get one.

A few more words concerning this obscure writer, may not be unacceptable. He was sent to Doway, to the English College of Secular Priests there, to be made a Priest; but his inclinations led him another way. He came to London, spent his property, and endavoured to repair his fortune by writing abusive pamphlets.