1778 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. William Hawkins of Oxford

David Garrick, 1778; Boswell, Life of Johnson (1791); ed. G. B. Hill (1891) 3:294-95.



GARRICK. "There was a reverend gentleman, (Mr. Hawkins,) who wrote a tragedy, the SIEGE of something, which I refused." HARRIS. "So, the Siege was raised." JOHNSON. "Ay, he came to me and complained; and told me, that Garrick said his play was wrong in the 'concoction.' Now, what is the concoction of a play?" (Here Garrick started, and twisted himself, and seemed sorely vexed; for Johnson told me, he believed the story was true.) GARRICK, "I — I — I — said 'first' concoction." JOHNSON: (smiling.) "Well, he left out 'first.' And Rich, he said, refused him in 'false English': he could shew it under his hand." GARRICK. "He wrote to me in violent wrath, for having refused the play: 'Sir, this is growing a very serious and terrible affair. I am resolved to publish my play. I will appeal to the world; and how will your judgement appear?' I answered, 'Sir, notwithstanding all the seriousness, and all the terrours, I have no objection to your publishing your play; and as you live at a great distance, (Devonshire, I believe,) if you will send it to me, I will convey it to the press.' I hever heard more of it, ha! ha! ha!"