1770 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Richard Farmer

Samuel Johnson to Richard Farmer, 21 March 1770; Boswell, Life of Johnson (1791); ed. G. B. Hill (1891) 2:131.



SIR,

As no man ought to keep wholly to himself any possession that may be useful to the publick, I hope you will not think me unreasonably intrusive, if I have recourse to you for such information as you are more able to give me than any other man.

In support of an opinion which you have already placed above the need of any more support, Mr. Steevens, a very ingenious gentleman, lately of King's College, has collected an account of all the translations which Shakspeare might have seen and used. He wishes his catalogue to be perfect, and therefore intreats that you will favour him by the insertion of such additions as the accuracy of your inquiries has enabled you to make. To this request, I take the liberty of adding my own solicitation.

We have no immediate use for this catalogue, and therefore do not desire that it should interrupt or hinder your more important employments. But it will be kind to let us know that you receive it.

I am, Sir, &c.

SAM. JOHNSON.

Johnson's-court, Fleet-street,

March 21, 1770.