This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 Perkins's “metallic tractors,” an invention of which Fessenden was the agent. Its 1800 lines of Hudibrastic verse, full of references to contemporary persons and scientific matters, form a fair example of a not very admirable type of satire. Fessenden again displays his mental alertness and his indebtedness to “Peter Pindar” in Democracy Unveiled, or tyranny stripped of the Garb of patriotism. This surprising production, in which he reaches the nadir of indecent personalities, attacks Jacobinism, democracy, and Jefferson in particular, with a virulence that disregards both good sense and good taste. The political mock-epic appears in the anonymous Aristocracy (1795), which ridicules the alleged aristocratic notions of the federalists. Also political in a sense is The group (1795), by William Cliffton, a satire on the men who hid from danger during the Revolution but who now claim the reward of patriots. Though its series of portraits in the mock-heroic style of Pope is not without vigour, it is less original and amusing than Cliffton's Rhapsody on the times, several hundred lines of octosyllabics in the style of Prior, which contains narrative and descriptive satire against unrestricted immigration. Before the nineteenth century our social and literary satires are amusing only as futile attempts to make something out of nothing. The society and literary productions of Philadelphia are satirized in a series of poems beginning in 1762 and extending on into the next century; such as The manners of the times (1762) by “Philadelphiensis” ; the anonymous Philadelphiad; and the more vigorous but still conventional Times (1788) by Peter Markoe. Other Philadelphia satires of this type might be named without raising the average of merit. Fortunately, New York and Boston seem to have been somewhat less analytic in their attitude; though both cities were guilty of such conventional social and literary satires as Winthrop Sargent's Boston (1803). The inflated journalistic style of the last decade of the century suggested the one really clever and original literary satire of its time in America. The Echo was begun in 1791, was published serially, and appeared complete as a volume of three hundred pages in 1807. Its authors, who seem to have been Richard Alsop and Timothy Dwight, select some particularly bombastic passage from a current newspaper and travesty its style in heroic couplets
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.