1765 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Samuel Johnson

W. K., (William Kenrick?), "To the Author of the Verses on Shakespeare's Commentators, signed C. M. inserted Dec. 21" St. James's Chronicle (31 December 1765).



C. M. — that stands for — Oh! — Cur-mudgeon!
Well, Sir, what is't you take in dudgeon!
"That Homer, Virgil, Shakespeare," — Hey!
"Did not write Grammar," do you say?
The Rules of Art from Nature's Laws,
The honest Critick fairly draws:
See this, against each vain Pretender,
Prov'd by great Shakespeare's last Defender.
If then at him you aim your Satire,
You must apologize for Nature.
For, say, thou wise Grammaticaster,
Who was Old England's Language-master?
Though Garrick's Clack be glibly hung,
What is't he speaks but Shakespeare's Tongue?
With kindred Genius also blest,
What Merit's his? — 'Tis all a Jest—
Did not we clearly understand him,
For a d—d Stammerer must we brand him.