1825 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Vernon

William Taylor of Norwich, in The Monthly Magazine 60 (August 1825) 24.



The great literary Hercules, Johnson, visited Shenstone at the Leasowes, and wrote him several letters, to one of which the latter alludes, when, writing to his friend Graves, he says, "Did I tell you I had a letter from Johnson, enclosing Vernon's Parish-Clerk?" — Having previously commented on Rasselas, then just published, by saying, "It has a few refined sentiments, thinly scattered; but is, upon the whole, below Mr. Johnson;" who can wonder, then, that the great biographer, reading remarks like these in Shenstone's posthumous correspondence, should be a little soured, and did not forget him when writing his life? Who once offended him never escaped his censure; and, I think, Gray himself is treated with undeserved severity.

To avoid a reference to the bottom of the page, permit me to ask here, Who was Vernon? — what were the merits of his "Parish-Clerk?" — who published it? &c. Perhaps Mr. Luckcock, or some of the correspondents of the Monthly Magazine, may furnish some interesting particulars of the life of the man, whose book is at least very scarce, as I have in vain sought for it for a considerable period.