1778 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. William Mason

Samuel Johnson, 1778; Boswell, Life of Johnson (1791); ed. G. B. Hill (1891) 3:334.



Somebody mentioned the Reverend Mr. Mason's prosecution of Mr. Murray, the bookseller, for having inserted in a collection of Gray's Poems, only fifty lines, of which Mr. Mason had still the exclusive property, under the statute of Queen Anne; and that Mr. Mason had persevered, notwithstanding his being requested to name his own terms of compensation. Johnson signified his displeasure at Mr. Mason's conduct very strongly; but added, by way of shewing that he was not surprized at it, "Mason's a Whig." MRS. KNOWLES, (not hearing distinctly:) "What! a Prig, Sir?" JOHNSON: "Worse, Madam; a Whig! But he is both.