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Literary Impostures
by [?]

[Footnote 47: Ireland’s famous forgeries began when, as a young man in a lawyer’s office, he sought to imitate old deeds and letters in the name of Shakspeare and his friends, urged thereto by his father’s great anxiety to discover some writings connected with the great bard. Such was the enthusiasm with which they were received by men of great general knowledge, that Ireland persevered in fresh forgeries until an entire play was “discovered.” It was a tragedy founded on early British history, and named Vortigern. It was produced at Kemble’s Theatre, and was damned. Ireland’s downward course commenced from that night. He ultimately published confessions of his frauds, and died very poor in 1835.]

[Footnote 48: Fielding, the novelist, in The Author’s Farce, one of those slight plays which he wrote so cleverly, has used this incident, probably from his acquaintance with Hill’s trick. He introduces his author trying to sell a translation of the AEneid, which the bookseller will not purchase; but after some conversation offers him “employ” in the house as a translator; he then is compelled to own himself “not qualified,” because he “understands no language but his own.” “What! and translate Virgil!” exclaims the astonished bookseller. The detected author answers despondingly, “Alas! sir, I translated him out of Dryden!” The bookseller joyfully exclaims, “Not qualified! If I was an Emperor, thou should’st be my Prime Minister! Thou art as well vers’d in thy trade as if thou had’st laboured in my garret these ten years!”]

[Footnote 49: The story is told in The Defence of Coneycatching, 1592, where he is said to have “sold Orlando Furioso to the Queen’s players for twenty nobles, and when they were in the country sold the same play to the Lord Admirall’s men for as much more.”]

[Footnote 50: Edmund Gayton was born in 1609, was educated at Oxford, then led the life of a literary drudge in London, where the best book he produced was Pleasant Notes upon Don Quixote, in which are many curious and diverting stories, and among the rest the original of Prior’s Ladle. He ultimately retired to Oxford, and died there very poor, in a subordinate place in his college.]