chapter  41
4 Pages

Charles Gildon, 'The Complete Art of Poetry', 1718

Charles Gildon (1665-1724) was, as Abel Boyer described him, a person of 'great literature but mean genius'. Born a Catholic, he had by the age of thirty become a deist and shortly thereafter a High Churchman. He was for a while one of the writers in the Whig stable when Addison was its overseer. This fact accounts for the fulsome 'Cato Examin'd' in 1713. Presumably the two men quarrelled: hence Gildon's attack on the 'Tatler' and 'Spectator' and his spiteful use of Dennis's 'To the Spectator, on Poetical Justice' (1712) to refute Addison on the same subject •

..• It is a particular Observation I have always made (said Tyro), that of all Mortals, a Critic is the silliest.