A satire on Theophilus Leigh (Jane Austen’s great-uncle), Master of Balliol College, Oxford, for his part in the County electioneering of 1753. The imprint is apparently fictitious, and the poem even features the invented booksellers ‘Lumm and Kit’, described in the Annotations at the end as ‘two most excellent and useful Persons ... being both Hawkers of Scandal and Publishers of News, true and false; both Scavengers, that is, Collectors of Filth ...’ (p. 12)..see full details
First edition, dedicated to the Earls of Granville, Chesterfield, and Orrery.more...
An attack on previous attempts at Classical translation—though he compliments Johnson on ‘two fine imitations of Juvenal’—by Francklin (1721–1874), clergyman, critic, playwright, and sometime professor of Greek at Cambridge. He was himself no stranger to translation (Voltaire, Cicero, Pseudo-Phalaris), and the final leaf here carries announces Francklin’s intention to print by subscription a version of Sophocles, which finally came out 1758–9.
Francklin’s father was the bookseller Richard Francklin, publisher of the controversial Whig periodical The Craftsman, who appears in the imprint here..see full details
One of two editions (the other being A Letter to a Right Honourable Person, pp.more...
, v, –27, ), the variant with ‘the’ as the catchword on p. 22 (rather than ‘they’).
A satirical rhymed paraphrase of William Pitt’s Letter from a Right Hon. Person (1761), on his controversial resignation as Secretary of State, and of the Lord Mayor’s published reply. The author is the Irish translator and playwright, Philip Francis (1708–1773). The poem itself is not long, but is supported by extensive footnotes. An admirer of Warburton’s edition of Pope, with its ‘two huge columns of criticism to support and explain two lines of ... poetry’, Francis has ‘bottomed [the] pages with notes variorum’ (p. iii)..see full details
Second edition of this translation, first published the same year (same pagination).more...
Vert-vert was the poem which made Gresset famous in the 1730s, the tale of a pampered parrot which, on a journey between his home in a convent in Nevers and another in Nantes, picks up some shocking language from its fellow travellers, to the mortification of the nuns. It had first appeared in English in 1759, translated by John Gilbert Cooper. The present version is by Alexander Geddes..see full details
First edition: a satirical poem on the appointment of the Duke of Newcastle as Chancellor of Cambridge University, with the river itself featuring as a character in the poem, in much the same vein as William Mason’s Isis had reproached the University of Oxford in 1748.more...
Greene’s abilities as a poet later found expression in translations from Classical literature..see full details
First edition, scarce: the Seatonian Prize poem for 1757, ‘perhaps the best that has ever yet appeared’ (Critical Review).more...
Glynn is said to have submitted the poem out of his dislike for George Bally, who had won in 1754 and 1756 (and was to win again, in 1758). He became a noted physician—attending, for example, Thomas Gray in his final illness—showing ‘judgement and attention, but with characteristic eccentricity’ (Oxford DNB). .see full details
‘As considerable Interest has been excited by the attention given lately in Parliament to the situation of the Inferior Clergy, the Author of the following Elegy judges it not improper to endeavour to awaken the public mind still more to a sense of the condition of that useful body of men, which during the lapse of more than a century has received no material amelioration, while every other situation in society has experienced progressive improvement; from whose exertions, notwithstanding numberless and most powerful obstacles, much essential benefit has been derived to their Country’ (Preface)..see full details
Sole edition of a ‘successful and facetious laugh’ (British Critic) at William Burdon’s Advice, addressed to the lower Ranks of Society (1803) on the benefits Napoleon might bring to the poor if he invaded Britain.more...
Burdon came from Newcastle, and this reply is written with a suitable Geordie brogue..see full details
Henry Seymour Conway, soldier, politician, and noted opponent of the war in America, was moved to write these lines following the death of Caroline Campbell, his wife’s niece, at their town house on 12 January 1789. It first appeared in the World and the London Chronicle the month after her death, then separately here.
Conway was a good friend of Horace Walpole all his life. The Elegy is ‘sometimes assigned to the Strawberry Hill Press, but not accepted by Hazen, Strawberry Hill, 40’ (ESTC). Walpole himself called the poem ‘very easy and genteel’..see full details
Meanwell’ (a pseudonym) to the Reverend John Allen, Senior Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, and Rector of Tarporley, Cheshire. Cowper was a local physician and ‘an active antiquary, copying and collating a large number of manuscripts relating to Chester and writing extensively, in manuscript form, on Chester's history’ (Oxford DNB).
‘The author of this Rhapsody ... surveys the river Dee, and some of the most remarkable places about Chester. This prospect leads him into a contemplation on the various revolutions of those places, and the heroes, princes, or patriots, who formerly distinguished themselves in that neighbourhood ... This work may be entertaining to those acquainted with the scenes which are described. The author makes use of old words and ancient names, and appears to be a poetical antiquarian’ (Critical Review). Long footnotes elucidate the poem..see full details
The poem is directed towards George Lyttelton, poet, patron of literature, and newly appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer, a post for which he was completely unqualified: ‘Your talents, not in Figures lies, / Leave Estimates, Accounts, Supplies, / Not worthy your regarding, / To wiser Heads ...’
‘Though we cannot say much for the poetry of this Ode, we must allow that there is some spirit and satire in it; and those who know the C[hancello]r’s disposition, will allow that he must feel the lash severely’ (Critical Review)..see full details
Second edition, ‘apparently a reimpression of the first edition [also 1779], with the titlepage partly reset’ (ESTC).more...
‘Under the similitude of a dream this manly satirist describes the Muse, to whom he particularly devotes himself, as exhibiting a picture of the world as it goes. The more prominent parts of the piece are, The Temple of Friendship, the Palace of Self-Interest, The Den of Adultery, and the Castle of Freedom ... Success is too apt to beget indolenace and inattention: this, however, is not the case with our present Author. The poem before us is certainly equal, if not superior, to any thing he has hitherto published’ (Monthly Review)..see full details
First edition, scarce, dedicated to Lady Villiers.more...
‘No greater proof of modern extravagance need be required, than the frequent Auctions of the property of living persons. Do we not daily see those ancient Seats which have been considered as almost sacred by former possessors, dismantled by the rude hand of their extravagant Owners, and every thing that had given splendor to hospitality, borne away to the Auction Room ... I am sorry to say it, but these Auctions are so many genteel, Honourable, and Right Honourable Bankruptcies ... The Gentlemen of the Wooden Hammer seem to thrive most by modern dissipation. Indeed, I have not a doubt, but the Heirs of Mr. Christie and Mr. Tattersall [both founded 1766] will look down upon many an impoverished Lord, &c. whose Father’s extravagance, or perhaps his own, has helped towards the increase of their ample possessions ...’ (Preface)..see full details
Second edition (the first also Bristol-printed, Pine, 1770, with the same pagination): the Last Judgement, in verse, by Francis (1734–1799), who was for 40 years the Baptist minister of Horsley, Gloucestershire.more...
There were other editions at York (1785), Philadelphia (1787), and New York (1789)..see full details
‘An animated dialogue between the Poet and his noble Friend ... in which he strenuously endeavours to convince Mr. **** of the odium and danger of writing satire. On the other hand, the Bard declares and justifies his resolution to proceed in this obnoxious walk of poetry, in defiance of all opposition, and every effort of open or secret revenge ... [but] instead of convincing the poet, ‘of the error of his way,’ the Poet convinces my Lord that satire may give some check to vice, and effect some reformation, where both the influence of religion and the terrors of the law may fail ...’ (Monthly Review)..see full details
Sole edition of a poem ‘on an expulsion from the Whig Club’ (ESTC) in Dublin, and dedicated to the Irish patriot politician, Henry Grattan.more...
‘No puny policy our souls inspire; / The flame we nourish springs from patriot fire; / From legal liberty we caught the light, / And join’d we’ll guard it from the horrid night / Of black rebellion—free from thy pollution / We’ll shield the spirit of the Revolution, / Our virtuous parent! and the sons shall be / In all things, Tycho, the reverse of thee!’.see full details
When Sir William Pynsent, a Somerset landowner, died in 1765 he left his entire estate to William Pitt, ‘a total stranger, to whom he was not related. His will, dated 20 Oct. 1761, gives no reason for the bequest, merely observing: “I hope he will like my Burton estate, where I now live, well enough to make it his country seat”’ (History of Parliament). In this satire, Pysent’s ghost appears before ‘the Great Commoner’, now of course a peer and Prime Minister, to arraign him for becoming a lord.
There is a brief mention of America—‘My speech and effigy to Boston sent, / For publick worship, and the mob content’—but the work is overlooked by Adams, Alden and Sabin..see full details
Third edition, first published the same year (same pagination).more...
ESTC locates only 4 copies of this edition (BL, Bodley, NLS, North Carolina).
This targets a recent affair between the libertine Thomas Lyttelton and a Hertfordshire barmaid. ‘Sally Harris (the poetical Pomona) attended Mr. Bolton’s Inn at Hockrel, and served the Guests with Fruit: Her Beauty, Wit and Coquetry, gained her many Admirers. To the Surprize of every Body she lately eloped with Mr. Ly—tt—n. It seems he had betted One Hundred Guineas with Mr. B—ke that Sally would refuse him the last Favour. As Mr. B. was determined to win his Bet, by every honourable Means, he offered Sally the whole Sum for her Compliance, which the generous Girl nobly refused. Mr. L. was charmed by her Behaviour, and she conceived a reciprocal Affection for him, as he had ventured a Hundred Guineas on her Virtue’ (Advertisement). The Monthly Review commented: ‘this piece is by no means wanting in poetical merit; but, in a moral view, we have nothing to say; and shall only add, that Pomona’s fruit is too luscious for the simple taste of a sober and grave Reviewer.’
Courtenay (1738–1816) was an Irish politician who ‘frequented London literary society, attaching himself to James Boswell as a fellow admirer of Samuel Johnson, on whose character he later published A Poetical Review (1786)’ (Oxford DNB)..see full details