The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume X. The Age of Johnson.
§ 14. Churchills Later Satires
The rest of Churchill’s poems are of less interest. The Author is a slashing attack on Smollett and other ministerial publicists and agents. The Ghost, in octosyllabics, derives its only interest from being, in part, his earliest work; it is tedious and rambling to a degree. We may allow The Candidate, directed against Lord Sandwich, to have deserved its share of praise for the defeat of “Jemmy Twitcher,” as he was nick-named, in the election for the high stewardship of Cambridge university; but its appeal was merely temporary. There is little to remark on any of the other poems—The Farewell, Independence and The Journey—produced by the prolific poet in 1764. They showed an increasing metrical skill, and maintained his reputation, but they did not add to it. The Times, which, from its greater fire, might have taken high place among his works, was, unfortunately, both hideous in subject and extravagantly exaggerated in execution.