The ire Cibber aroused is intimately connected to the growing unease concerning the mingling of commerce and culture. As more and more men of undistinguished birth entered the world of letters, as knowledge and taste seemed to become democratized, professional critics, like John Dennis, took on in public the role that well-bred men of taste, like Burlington, performed in private social circles.1 Figures like Colley Cibber, who countered cultured knowledge with the marketplace, aroused outrage. The threat Cibber posed to the arts was that of profit confronting tradition.