The Senators (1772) was an attack on the House of Commons. Here, Delamayne turns his ‘current of abuse’ towards the Lords, ‘with the same vehemence, the same malignity, and the same disregard to justice, as in his preceding rhapsody’ (Critical Review). Lord North is compared to Oliver Cromwell, whose republican aims he was widely viewed to share..see full details
First edition, dedicated to Thomas Hayward, Warden of New College, Oxford.more...
An English translation, Elegiac Tears, or Plaintive Epistles, by George Itchener, was published at Chelmsford in 1766.
‘These Elegiac Epistles, written by Mr. Cotton, Vicar of Good Easter in Essex, on the death of his wife, are replete with the pure and genuine spirit of the classic muse; and, indeed, we have hardly ever seen any thing of the kind more ingenious. There is a delicacy, a tenderness and a chastity in the expression, the sentiments are just and interesting, and the numbers happily modulated ... These epistles are three in number, and are addressed to different friends’ (Monthly Review).
There is a long list of subscribers. Many of them are clergymen, but it is nice to see two future poet laureates among them: Thomas Warton (2 copies) and his successor Henry James Pye, then aged 20 and styled ‘Gentleman Commoner of Magdalen College, Oxford’. .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
The Dedication is signed ‘Belphegor’. According to some sources, this is not by Combe at all, but the first of a number of imitations to be published in the wake of The Diaboliad. Contemporary critics were similarly uncertain: ‘We are at a loss to determine whether to attribute this Poem to the Author of the former one, or no. There is the same spirit and genius apparent in both; and though the first has the merit of invention in its favour, the latter abounds rather more in persons, characters, and incidents ...’ (Westminster Magazine)..see full details
Combe’s famous satire on the notorious rake Simon Luttrell, Lord Irnham, whose nickname was the ‘King of Hell’. The poem proved ‘a great success, earning Combe recognition as the best satirist since Charles Churchill’ (Oxford DNB).
These are not uncommon, but it is rare to find them in original condition, as here..see full details
First edition, apparently the large-paper issue judging by the gutter margin (see ESTC).more...
Cartwright (1743–1823), younger brother of the political reformer, Major John Cartwright, and a friend of Crabbe, was a literary clergyman who later invented the power loom. ‘The Prince of Peace’, an ode deploring the war in America, is his ‘most important work’ (Oxford DNB). Other verse here includes ‘Elegy to Mr. Gray, from the Latin of Mr. Ansty, prefixed to his Translation of the Elegy written in a Country Church Yard’ and ‘Ode from the Latin of Mr. Gray, written at the Grande Chartreuse’..see full details
All early editions are scarce. ‘This little poem is written with a degree of spirit and elegance ... and is one of the best satires we have lately seen’ (Monthly Review). It is among Combe’s earliest satires, aimed at Lord Craven, whose thoughts on liberty which he had in his youth have changed since he became a peer. ‘Perhaps, (indulge your Poet’s fairy dream), / Perhaps my verse adorn’d by such a theme, / May in some bark, our navy fail t’ explore, / be safely wafted to the Atlantic shore: / How will those pious Chiefs delight to hear / The kindred virtues of a British Peer? / How will thy deeds enchant, with gentle sway, / The Patriot sons of Massachuset’s Bay?’ (pp. 11–12)..see full details
An anonymous verse satire on George Germain, Viscount Sackville, who had disputed his humiliating treatment after the Battle of Minden in 1759. ‘Captain Parolles is a character which Shakespeare has admirably delineated [in All’s well that ends well] ... The author of this piece applies the character of Parolles to lord George Germaine, and throws many sarcasms on his lordship’s conduct at Minden, and the orders which he issues out, as secretary of state for the American department. An acrimonious production’ (Critical Review)..see full details
First edition of a popular collection, which enjoyed a number of editions.more...
Three of the poems here—‘The Maid of the Moor, or the Water-fiends’, ‘The Newcastle Apothecary’, and ‘Lodgings for Single Gentleman’—were intended for performance at the Haymarket Theatre, of which Colman was manager. ‘The whole performance (for reasons unnecessary to mention, here) was relinquished. But, as it is my custom to avoid the accumulation of my own papers, in my Bureau, I hold it more adviseable to print my three Stories (light as they are) than to burn them.’.see full details
Second edition, published the same year as the first.more...
‘The following Epistle is supposed to have been written by Lord Russell, on Friday Night, July 20th, 1683, in Newgate; that prison having been the place of his confinement for some days immediately preceding his execution’ (Advertisement).
Canning (1736–1771), father of the prime minister, came from Londonderry, and was sent to London by his father to avoid an unsuitable marriage. ‘There, on an allowance of £150 p.a., he read for the bar and was called at the Middle Temple in 1764. But “it would appear that [he] was a lover of literature and pleasure, and excessively averse to the dull study of the profession to which his life was doomed to be devoted” (Rede, 8 n.). His circle included journalists, actors, and politicians, and he was a friend and supporter of Wilkes. He published at least one political pamphlet and some verses ... He ran up large debts, which his father paid off in return for his renouncing his right to inherit the family estates’ (Oxford DNB, sub George Canning junior)..see full details