1766 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Samuel Johnson

Joseph Warton to Thomas Warton, 22 January 1766; Wooll, Biographical Memoirs of Joseph Warton (1806) 312.



Win. Jan. 22d, 1766.

Dearest Tom,

I have caught a moment to converse a little longer with you on paper: — Akenside enquired much after you; thought highly of Lowth's letter, but that he had been a little coarse in places: Lord Lyttelton seemed to wish Lowth had gutted the letters, and given the substance of them, but not the real correspondence: Garrick was furious about publishing the letters. I only dined with Johnson, who seemed cold and indifferent, and scarce said anything to me; perhaps he has heard what I said of his Shakespear, or rather was offended at what I wrote to him — as he pleases. Of all solemn coxcombs, Goldsmith is the first; yet sensible — but affects to use Johnson's hard words in conversation. We had a Mr. Dyer, who is a scholar and a gentleman. Garrick is intirely off from Johnson, and cannot, he says, forgive him his insinuating that he withheld his old editions, which always were open to him, nor I suppose his never mentioning him in all his works. Coleman I saw at Garrick's; there has been a coldness, but cured now. His Comedy comes on in a month. — I called neither on Colman or Thomson, but wish'd, had time permitted, to do it. — Akenside has highly commended the late Oxford pamphlet on Shakespear — Whose is it? — I hope soon to hear from you.

Most affectionately yours,

J. WARTON.