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"TO MR. Cave.

"Castle-street, Wednesday morning. [No date. 1738.]

"SIR, "WHEN I took the liberty of writing to you a few days ago, I did not expect a repetition of the same pleasure so soon; for a pleasure I shall always think it, to converse in any manner with an ingenious and candid man; but having the inclosed poem in my hands to dispose of for the benefit of the author, (of whose abilities I shall say nothing, since I send you his performance,) I believed I could not procure more advantageous terms from any person than from you, who have so much distinguished yourself by your generous encouragement of poetry; and whose judgment of that art nothing but your commendation of my trifle1 can give me any occasion to call in question. I do not doubt but you will look over this poem with another eye, and reward it in a different manner, from a mercenary bookseller, who counts the lines he is to purchase, and considers nothing but the bulk. I cannot help taking notice, that, besides what the author may hope for on account of his abilities, he has likewise another claim to your regard, as he lies at present under very disadvantageous circumstances of fortune. I beg, therefore, that you will favour me with a letter to-morrow, that I may know what afford to allow him, that he may either part with it to you, or find out (which I do not expect), some other way more to his satisfaction.

you can

"I have only to add, that as I am sensible I have transcribed it very coarsely, which, after having altered it, I was obliged to do, I will, if you please to transmit the sheets from the press, correct it for you; and take the trouble of altering any stroke of satire which you may dislike.

"By exerting on this occasion your usual generosity, you will not only encourage learning, and relieve distress, but (though it be in comparison of the other motives of very small account) oblige in a very sensible manner, Sir, your very humble servant, "SAM. JOHNSON."

"TO MR. Cave.

"Monday, No. 6, Castle-street.

"SIR, "I AM to return you thanks for the present you were so kind as to send by me, and to intreat that you will be pleased to

1 His Ode Ad Urbanum, probably. (N.) B.



inform me by the penny-post, whether you resolve to print the
poem. If you please to send it me by the post, with a note to
Dodsley, I will go and read the lines to him, that we may have
his consent to put his name in the title-page. As to the printing,
if it can be set immediately about, I will be so much the author's
friend, as not to content myself with mere solicitations in his
favour. I propose, if my calculation be near the truth, to engage
for the reimbursement of all that you shall lose by an impression
of 500; provided, as you very generously propose, that the profit,
if any,
be set aside for the author's use, excepting the present you
made, which, if he be a gainer, it is fit he should repay. I beg
that you will let one of your servants write an exact account of
the expense of such an impression, and send it with the poem,
that I may know what I engage for. I am very sensible, from
your generosity on this occasion, of your regard to learning, even
in its unhappiest state; and cannot but think such a temper
deserving of the gratitude of those who suffer so often from a
contrary disposition.

"I am, Sir, your most humble servant,

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"I WAITED on you to take the copy to Dodsley's: as I remember the number of lines which it contains, it will be no longer than Eugenio,' with the quotations, which must be subjoined at the bottom of the page; part of the beauty of the performance (if any beauty be allowed it) consisting in adapting Juvenal's sentiments to modern facts and persons. It will, with those additions, very conveniently make five sheets. And since the expense will be no more, I shall contentedly insure it, as I mentioned in my last. If it be not therefore gone to Dodsley's, I beg it may be sent me by the penny-post, that I may have it in the evening. I have composed a Greek Epigram to Eliza,3 and

1 Dr. Hill tells us that the original letter contains an additional paragraph,-"I beg that you will not delay your answer.”

2 A poem, published in 1737, of which see an account under April 30, 1773. B.


3 Mrs. Elizabeth Carter (1717-1806), daughter of Dr. Nicholas Carter, was one of the most learned of her sex. was mistress of many languages, ancient and modern, and occasionally condescended to poetry, in which she was not so well versed. Her most remarkable performance was a translation

think she ought to be celebrated in as many different languages as Lewis le Grand. Pray send me word when you will begin upon the poem, for it is a long way to walk. I would leave my Epigram, but have not day-light to transcribe it. I am, Sir, "Yours, &c. "SAM. JOHNSON."


[No date.]

"SIR, "I AM extremely obliged by your kind letter, and will not fail to attend you to-morrow with IRENE, who looks upon you as one of her best friends.

"I was to-day with Mr. Dodsley, who declares very warmly in favour of the paper you sent him, which he desires to have a share in, it being, as he says, a creditable thing to be concerned in. I knew not what answer to make till I had consulted you, nor what to demand on the author's part, but am very willing that, if you please, he should have a part in it, as he will undoubtedly be more diligent to disperse and promote it. If you can send me word tomorrow what I shall say to him, I will settle matters, and bring the poem with me for the press, which, as the town empties, we cannot be too quick with. I am, Sir,

"Yours, &c.

To us who have long known the manly force, bold spirit, and masterly versification of this poem, it is a matter of curiosity to observe the diffidence with which its author brought it forward into public notice, while he is so cautious as not to avow it to be his own production; and with what humility he offers to allow the printer to "alter any stroke of satire which he might dislike." That any such alteration was made, we do not know. If we of the Discourses of Epictetus, of which George Long, in the preface to his translation, has said that probably no Englishman could have bettered it at the time. Her erudition did not prevent her from being an agreeable companion and a sensible woman. Johnson (says Hawkins) hearing a lady once praised for her learning, observed: "A man is in general better pleased when he has a good dinner upon his table, than when his wife talks Greek. My old friend Mrs. Carter could make a pudding as well as translate Epictetus."



did, we could not but feel an indignant regret; but how painful is it to see that a writer of such vigorous powers of mind was actually in such distress, that the small profit which so short a poem, however excellent, could yield, was courted as a "relief."

It has been generally said, I know not with what truth, that Johnson offered his "London" to several booksellers, none of whom would purchase it. To this circumstance Mr. Derrick' alludes in the following lines of his Fortune, a Rhapsody :

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"Will no kind patron JOHNSON own?

Shall JOHNSON friendless range the town?
And every publisher refuse

The offspring of his happy Muse ?"

But we have seen that the worthy, modest, and ingenious Mr. Robert Dodsley had taste enough to perceive its uncommon merit, and thought it creditable to have a share in it. The fact is, that, at a future conference, he bargained for the whole property of it, for which he gave Johnson ten guineas; who told me, "I might perhaps have accepted of less; but that Paul Whitehead had a little before got ten guineas for a poem; and I would not take less than Paul Whitehead."

I may here observe, that Johnson appeared to me to undervalue Paul Whitehead upon every occasion when he was mentioned, and, in my opinion, did not do him justice; but when it is considered that Paul Whitehead was a member of a riotous and profane club,2 we may

1 Samuel Derrick, an Irishman (1724-69), was apprenticed to a linen-draper, which useful business he abandoned for the stage, and the stage very soon for literature. He succeeded Beau Nash as Master of the Ceremonies at Bath, where he was more in his element, but his loose and extravagant life kept him always in want.

2 The Monks of Medmenham Abbey, a society of dissipated men of fashion who dubbed themselves Franciscans after their leader Sir Francis Dashwood. Their Rabelaisian motto, Fay ce que vous voudras, may still be seen over the doorway of the picturesque ruins on the banks of the Thames between Henley

account for Johnson's having a prejudice against him Paul Whitehead was, indeed, unfortunate in being not only slighted by Johnson, but violently attacked by Churchill, who utters the following imprecation:

"May I (can worse disgrace on manhood fall?)
Be born a Whitehead, and baptized a Paul !

yet I shall never be persuaded to think meanly of the author of so brilliant and pointed a satire as "Manners."

Johnson's "London" was published in May, 1738;1 and it is remarkable, that it came out on the same morning with Pope's satire, entitled "1738"; so that England had at once its Juvenal and Horace as poetical monitors. The Reverend Dr. Douglas, now Bishop of Salisbury, to whom I am indebted for some obliging communications, was then a student at Oxford, and remembers well the effect which "London" produced. Everybody was delighted with it; and there being no name to it, the first

and Marlow. Lord Sandwich and Wilkes were both members of this precious crew. See Almon's Life of Wilkes and Sir George Trevelyan's Early History of Fox.

1 Sir John Hawkins, p. 86, tells us, "The event is antedated, in the poem of London': but in every particular, except the difference of a year, what is there said of the departure of Thales, must be understood of Savage, and looked upon as true history." This conjecture is, I believe, entirely groundless. I have been assured that Johnson said he was not so much as acquainted with Savage, when he wrote his London. If the departure mentioned in it was the departure of Savage, the event was not antedated but foreseen; for London was published in May, 1738, and Savage did not set out for Wales till July, 1739. However well Johnson could defend the credibility of second sight, he did not pretend that he himself was possessed of that faculty. B. Dr. Hill, however, gives good reasons for believing Boswell to have been mistaken.

2 Dr. Douglas (1721-1807), the son of a Scottish merchant, was educated at Oxford, appointed chaplain to the Third regiment of Footguards, and was present with them at Fontenoy. He was afterwards tutor to Lord Bath's eldest son. He published many books, theological and others, including editions of Clarendon's History and Cook's Voyages. In 1787 he was made Bishop of Carlisle and in 1791 translated to the See of Salisbury.

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