1796 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Henry Ireland

George Steevens, "Inscription under a Picture of the Editor of Shakspeare's Manuscripts, 1796. By Mr. Mason. Parody" St. James's Chronicle (31 January 1796).



Four Forgers, born in one prolific age,
Much critical acumen did engage;
The first* was soon by Doughty Douglas** scar'd,
Tho' Johnson would have screen'd him, had he dar'd;
The next had all the cunning of a Scot,***
The third**** invention, genius, and what not?
Fraud, now exhausted, only could dispense
To her fourth son, their three-fold impudence.

* Lauder.
** Bishop of Salisbury.
*** Macpherson.
**** Chatterton.

A long Note accompanies this Parody, on the 4th line.