ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION
O. L. M., "The Quintessence of Johnson's Letters to Mrs. Piozzi" St. James's Chronicle (2 August 1788).
1737: Gilbert Walmsley
1741: Edward Cave
1750 ca.: Thomas Cooke
1750: Rev. William Dodd
1750: Edward Cave
1752: Hester Mulso Chapone
1758: William Shenstone
1762: Rev. Charles Churchill
1763: Robert Lloyd
1765: George Matisson Rothwel
1765: J. T.
1765: Cuthbert Shaw
1765: C. M.
1765: Charles Denis
1765: William Kenrick
1766: Rev. Joseph Warton
1766: W. J.
1766: Old Blow the Bellows
1766: C. M.
1769 ca.: Thomas Gray
1770: George Lyttelton
1771: James Beattie
1771: Horace Walpole
1772: A. C.
1773: Robert Fergusson
1775: An Englishman
1775: William Woty
1775: George Colman
1775: U GIO
1776: William Barnard
1778: Rev. Percival Stockdale
1778: M. Macgreggor, Esq.
1779: Rev. Thomas Maurice
1780 ca.: Francis Grose
1781: Horace Walpole
1781 ca.: Rev. Robert Potter
1781: Elizabeth Montagu
1781: J. D.
1781: Rev. William Tasker
1782: John Scott of Amwell
1784: William Cowper
1784: William Woty
1784: H. K.
1784: J. D.
1784: John Hoole
1784: Anna Seward
1784: A. W.
1784: J. B-e
1785 ca.: William Julius Mickle
1785: H. S.
1785: Rev. George Butt
1785: E. T. P.
1785: W. W-y-.
1785: Rev. James Fordyce
1785: J. E.
1785: Mr. Arrowsmith
1785: B. Walwyn
1785: A. L.
1786: A Lady
1786: Soame Jenyns
1786: John Courtenay
1786: George Colman
1786: Old Salusbury Briar
1786: Gilbert Horne
1786: James Boswell
1786: Christopher Anstey
1786: Rev. Richard Graves
1787: George Colman
1787: Miss Bruce
1788: O. L. M.
1788: Rev. Richard Graves
1789: Rev. Andrew Macdonald
1790 ca.: Horace Walpole
1790: Anna Seward
1791: Anna Seward
1791: Isaac D'Israeli
1791: Rev. Bryan Waller
1791: Francis Garden
1792: William Thomas Fitzgerald
1796: Anna Seward
1796: Anna Seward
1797: George Dyer
1798: Thomas Green
1798: Edward Gardner
1799: Lady Catherine Rebecca Manners
1799 ca.: Alexander Chalmers
1800: Dr. Nathan Drake
1800 ca.: George Hardinge
1800: Thomas Dermody
1802: Rev. Henry Kett
1806: John Wooll
1806: Dr. John Aikin
1807: Sir Samuel Egerton Brydges
1807: Rev. Percival Stockdale
1811: Richard Cumberland
1813: Dr. John Wolcot
1814: Sir George Beaumont
1815: William Wordsworth
1819: William Hazlitt
1822: William Cook
1822: Tobias Oldschool
1824: Rev. Thomas Frognall Dibdin
1824: Bryan Waller Procter
1825 ca.: Joseph Cradock
1825: John Taylor Esq.
1830: Sir Samuel Egerton Brydges
1831: John Wilson Croker
1831: Rev. Samuel Hoole
1831: Thomas Babington Macaulay
1832: John Taylor Esq.
1833: Samuel Taylor Coleridge
1835: Robert Southey
1835 ca.: Charles Crocker
1840: Thomas Carlyle
1852: Mary Russell Mitford
1880: W. J. Courthope
O. L. M.:
1788: Samuel Johnson
While I solicit a Place in your Poet's Corner, it may be proper to inform you that I unite the respectable Character of a Patriot to that of a Poet; and that though I could never save any of my own Money, I often busy myself in the more honourable Employment of projecting Schemes how to save other People's. It is the Love of my Country which has led me at this Time to make Verses. The Publick I think have been sadly imposed on in being forced to pay the enormous Sum of 12s. for Dr. Johnson's Letters, but to prevent further Imposition, and to render the Purchase of these Volumes in future unnecessary, I make you a Present of their Quintessence, which you, if you have any publick Spirit, will without Fee or Reward present to your numerous Readers. My Verses contain all the material Facts mentioned in the above-mentioned Letters, and though they do not rank in the first Class of poetick Compositions, are, I flatter myself, fully equal to the Subject. I expect to be reprobated by the Booksellers for my Generosity in offering gratis to the Publick what they retail at 12s. and perhaps their Rage may be so great, that unless you conceal my Name they may employ their Devils to murther me, and send me to a Place where I hope not to be sent till I have written something more witty and elegant than
THE QUINTESSENCE OF JOHNSON'S LETTERS TO MRS. PIOZZI.
Last night I Sam Johnson, with Francis my Black,
At Litchfield arriv'd with the Clothes on my Back;—
Miss T— who wears Glasses without them can't spell;
Miss Porter was kind, and her Dogs and Cats well.
Each tree in George-Lane is cut down to a Stump,
And in Stow-Street behold they have put up a Pump;
Mrs. Aston on Stow-Hill I walk daily to see,
For Taylor's great Bull gives less Pleasure to me.
At Ashbourne behold I can truly declare
That Strawberries swim in the richest Cream there;
To which they add Custard and Bilberry Pie;—
Sure with these Things before us 'tis horrid to die.
Much Wind in my Bowels is dreadfully pent,
And when I lie down it will have a Vent.—
This I tell you my Mistress, because you can't hear
The Explosions proceeding from Johnson your Dear.
Though rheumatick o'er Mountains I wander about,
While Taylor rides out in his Chaise with the Gout.—
The two Fawns are well, the sick Swan is dead,
And Queeney not writing, I hang down my Head.
The Rain makes the Grass grow, the Water-Falls roar,
The Bull and the Cow have more fat than before;
I wish, like my Master, I knew how to brew
As I do to write Letters full of Trifles to you.
As an Housewife look well to your Bread and your Cheese—
Be as frolicksome then with your Pen as you please;
You divide at your Table the Rump and the Chine,
While Yesterday I on some Crumpets did dine.
With Monboddo, our Host, this Notion prevails,
That Men are but Monkeys, and once, too had Tails;
He launch'd out too in Praise of the Savage's Life;
But here I oppos'd him from the pure Love of Strife.
By my Journey to Sky these Matters I learn:—
That the Pot is oft smoak'd by the Peat which they burn;
That the Parlour by Day is the Bed-Room by Night;—
That in Drinking and Dirt they take much Delight.
Now to London I've got this Carcass of mine,
Thank Heaven! — To-morrow with Hoole I shall dine—
On Monday with Paradise — the next Day with you—
On Wednesday with Dilly — and so the Year through.
Tell Queeney I blame her again and again
For setting on Duck Eggs Baretti's poor Hen;—
And tell her, for News about me she will beg,
That Aston's great Parrot has peck'd at my Leg.
I grieve for poor Nezzy; — I hate your vile Tete,
Pray burn it, and let the Hair grow on your Pate;
And once in six Weeks pray comb it well out,
Then Paper and twist it and frizz it about.
Confusion and Scolding in Bolt-Court prevail,
All prompt to attack, and one will turn Tail;
Levet, fierce as ten Furies, assails each poor Dame,
While Williams she growls, and Poll does the same.
I shall not, I hope, grow enormously big,
Though I din'd on your Fish and on Perkins's Pig;
With Skate, Pudding, and Goose, on one Day I'm fed,
On the next with three roasted Apples and Bread.
I was Yesterday blooded to lengthen my Life,
And to day I have dined with Strahan's new Wife;
To night I take Opium at going to Bed,
And on Saturday next mean again to be bled.
"Nil nihil rescribas," then "Ipsa veni,"
"Sic labitur aetas," and soon I must die;
To Piozzi you're married. Adieu, learned Dame,
You have wounded my Heart, and will wound too my fame.