1744 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Thomas Carte

Horace Walpole to Horace Mann, 22 July 1744; Letters, ed. Cunningham (1906) 1:315.



Apropos to writing histories and Guicciardin; I wish to God, Boccalini was living! never was such an opportunity for Apollo's playing off a set of fools, as there is now! The good City of London, who, from long dictating to the government, are now come to preside over taste and letters, having given one Carte, a Jacobite parson, fifty pounds a-year for seven years, to write the history of England; and four aldermen and six common-councilmen are to inspect his materials and the progress of the work. Surveyors of common sewers turned supervisors of literature! To be sure, they think a history of England is no more than Stowe's Survey of the Parishes! Instead of having books published with the imprimatur of an university, they will be printed, as churches are whitewashed, John Smith and Thomas Johnson, Churchwardens.