1827 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Charles Churchill

William Goodhugh, in The English Gentleman's Library Manual (1827) 295-96.



When Churchill finished his Rosciad, he waited on an eminent bookseller with the copy, but he had suffered so severely by the publication of poetry, that he was determined to have nothing more to do with any of the rhyming sons of Apollo, unless indemnified from sustaining any loss. This condition Churchill could not comply with. The bookseller, however, recommended a worthy young man to him, who had just ventured his little fortune in the uncertain sea of ink, and who would probably run the risk of publication. Churchill waited on him, and found every thing to his wish.

The poem was printed, advertised, and at the end of five days, ten copies were sold. Churchill was thunderstruck, and the bookseller was little less chagrined. At the end of four days more he called again, and found that six more copies were sold; the poet was almost frantic, and hurried away to a friend to acquaint him with his hard fate. His friend, who was intimate with Garrick, posted to him the next morning, and informed him what a beautiful picture of his astonishing abilities had just appeared in the Rosciad. Garrick swallowed the gilded pill, instantly sent for the poem, read it, and sounded its praises wherever he went.