1760 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

George Colman

Thomas Gray to William Mason, 7 June 1760; Correspondence of Thomas Gray and William Mason ed. John Mitford (1853) 205-06.



I have sent Musaeus to Mr. Fraser, scratched here and there; and with it I desired him to inclose a bloody satire, written against no less persons than you and me by name. I concluded at first it was Mr. Pottinger, because he is your friend and my humble servant; but then I thought he knew the world too well to call us the favourite minions of taste and of fashion, especially as to Odes, for to them his abuse is confined. So it is not Secretary Pottinger, but Mr. Colman, nephew to my Lady Bath, author of "The Connoisseur," a member of some of the inns of court, and a particular acquaintance of Mr. Garrick's. What have you done to him? for I never heard his name before. He makes very tolerable fun with me, where I understand him, which is not everywhere, but seems more angry with you. Lest people should not understand the humour of the thing (which indeed to do they must have our lyricisms at their fingers' ends), he writes letters in Lloyd's Evening Post to tell them who and what it was that he meant, and says that it is like to produce a great "combustion" in the literary world; so if you have any mind to "combustle" about it well and good; for me, I am neither so literary nor so "combustible."