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great improvements; but whether those improve
ments are to be expected from this attempt, you ! must judge from the specimen, which, if you ap
prove the proposal, 1 shall submit to your exainina6 cion.
• Suppose the merit of the versions equal, we may • hope that the addition of the notes will turn the • balance in our favour, considering the reputation (of the Annotator.
• Be pleased to favour me with a speedy answer, ' if you are not willing to engage in this scheme; • and appoint me a day to wait on you, if you are. I am, Sir, your humble servant,
• Sam. JOHNSON.'
Cave's acquiescence, in the above proposal, drew Johnson into a close intimacy with him: he was much at St. John's Gate, and taught Garrick the way thither. Cave had no great relish for mirth, but he could bear it; and having been told by Johnson, that his friend had talents for the theatre, and was come to London with a view to the profesion of an actor, expressed a wish to see him in some comic character: Garrick readily complied; and, as Cave himself told me, with a little preparation of the room over the great arch of St. John's Gate, and, with the aflistance of a few journeymen printers, who were called together for the purpose of reading the other parts, represented, with all the graces of comic humor, the principal character in Fielding's farce of the Mock-Doctor.
Cave's temper was phlegmatic: though he assumed, as the publisher of the Magazine, the name of Sylvanus Urban, he had few of those qualities
that constitute the character of urbanity.
Judge of his want of them by this question, which he once put to an author : 'Mr. , I hear you have just pub? lished a pamphlet, and am told there is a very • good paragraph in it, upon the subject of music: ( did
you write that yourself?' His discernment was also Now; and as he had already at his command fome writers of prose and verse, who, in the language of booksellers are called good hands, * he was the backwarder in making advances, or courting an intimacy with Johnson. Upon the first approach of a stranger, his practice was to continue fitting, a por
• Mr. Mofes Browne, originally a pen-cutter, was, so far as concerned the poetical part of it, the chief support of the Magazine, which he fed with many a nourishing morlel. This person being a lover of angling, wrote piscatory eclogues; and was a candidate for the fifty pound prize mentioned in Johnfon's first letter to Cave, and for other prizes which Cave engaged to pay him who should write the best poem on certain subjects; in all or most of which competitions Mr. Browne had the good fortune to succeed. He published these and other poems of his writing, in an octavo volume, Lond. 1739; and has therein given proofs of an exuberant fancy and a happy invention. Some years after he entered into holy orders. A farther account of him may be feen in the Biographia Dramatica, to a place in which work he seems to have acquired a title, by some juvenile compositions for the stage. Being a person of a religious turn, he also publithed in verse, a series of devout contemplations, called Sunday Thoughts. Johnson, who often expressed his dislike of religious poetry, and who, for the purpose of religious medication, seemed to think one day as proper as another, read them with cold approbation, and said, he had a great mind to write and publish Monday Thoughts.
To the proofs above adduced of the coarseness of Cavė's nan. ners, let me add the following: he had ondertaken, at his own risque, to publith a translation of Du Halde's History of China, in
ture in which he was ever to be found, and, for a few minutes, to continue filent: if at any time he was inclined to begin the discourse, it was generally by putting a leaf of the Magazine, then in
which were contained fandry geographical and other plates. Each of these he inscribed to one or other of his friends; and, among the reft, one · To Mofes Browne. With this blunt and familiar de fignation of his person, Mr. Browne was justly offended : to appease him, Cave directed an engraver, to introduce with a caree under the line, Mr. and thought, that in so doing, he had made ample amends to Mr. Browne for the indignity done him.
Mr. Jolin Duick, also a pen-cutter, and a near neighbour of Cave, was a frequent contributor to the Magazine, of short *poems, written with spirit and ease. He was a kiasinan of Browne, 'and the author of a good copy of encomiaftic verses prefixed to the collection of Browne's poems above-mentioned.
Mr. Foster Webb, a young man who had received his education in Mr. Watkins's academy in Spital-square, and afterwards 'became clerk toʻa merchant in the city, was, at first, a contributor to the Magazine, of enigmas,' a fpecies of poetry in which he then delighted, but was diffuaded from it by the following lines, which appeared in the Magazine for October, 1740, after a few faccefsful effays in that kind of writing:
Too modest bard, with enigmatic veil
Though oft the Sun in clouds'his face disguise,
Burst thro' the gloom, and brighten into fame.' After this friendly exhortation, Mr. Webb, in those hours of leisure which business afforded, amused himself with translating from the Latin clasics, particularly Ovid and Horace: from the latter of these he rendered into English verse, with better success than any that had before attempted it, the odes 'Quis multa
gracilis te puer in rola ;'Solvitur acris hyems grata vice veris, ' & Favoni,' . Parcus Deorum cultor & infrequens;' and Dif• fugêre nives, redeunt jam gramina campis;' all which are in
the press, into the hand of his visitor, and asking his opinion of it. I remember that, calling in on him once, he gave me to read the beautiful poem of Collins, written for Shakespeare's Cymbeline, " To
of his age.
serted in Cave's Magazine. His fignature was sometimes Telarius, at others Vedastus. He was a modeft, ingenious, and sober young man; but a consumption defeated the hopes of his friends, and took him off in the twenty-second
year Mr. John Smith, another of Mr. Watkins's pupils, was a writer in the Magazine, of prose essays, chiefly on religious and moral subjects, and died of a decline about the same time.
Mr. John Canton, apprentice to the above-named Mr. Watkins, and also his fucceffor in his academy, was a contributor to the Magazine, of verses, and afterwards, of papers on philoso. phical and mathematical subjects. The discoveries he made in electricity and magnetism are well known, and are recorded in the transactions of the Royal Society, of which he afterwards became a member.
Mr. William Rider, bred in the same prolific seminary, was a writer in the Magazine, of verses figned Philargyrus. He went from school to Jesus college, Oxford, and, some years after his leaving the same, entered into holy orders, and became sur-master of St. Paul's school, in which office he continued many years, but at length was obliged to quit that employment by reason of his deafness.
Mr. Adam Calamy, a son of Dr. Edmund Calamy, an eminent non-conformist divine, and author of the Abridgment of Mr. Baxter's History of his Life and Times, was another of Mr. Watkins's pupils, that wrote in the Magazine ; the subjects on which he chiefly exercised his pen were essays in polemical theology and republican politics; and he distinguished them by the assumed fignature of • A confiftent protestant.' He was bred to the profellion of an attoruey, and was brother to Mr. Edmund Calamy, a dissenting teacher, of eminence for his worth and learning.
A seminary, of a higher order than that above-mentioned, viz. the academy of Mr. John Eames in Moorfields, furnished the Magazine with a number of other correspondents in mathematics and other branches of science and polite literature. This was an
fair Fidele's grassy tomb,' which, though adapted to a particular circumstance in the play, Cave was for inserting in his Magazine, without any reference to the subject: I told him it would lose of its beauty if it were so published: this he could not see; nor could he be convinced of the propriety of the name Fidele: he thought Pastora a better, and so printed it.
He was so incompetent a judge of Johnson's abilities, that, meaning at one time to dazzle him with the splendor of some of those luminaries in literature who favoured him with their correspondence, he told him that, if he would, in the evening, be at a certain alehouse in the neighbourhood of Clerkenwell, he might have a chance of seeing Mr. Browne and another or two of the persons mentioned in the preceding note : Johnson accepted the invitation; and being introduced by Cave, dressed in a loose horseman's coat,
institution supported by the Disfenters, the design whereof was to qualify young men for their ministry. Mr. Eames was formerly the continuator of the abridgement of the Philosophical Transactions begun by Jones and Lowthorp, and was a man of great knowledge, and a very able tutor. Under him were bre1 many young men who afterwards became eminently distinguished for learning and abilities; among them were the late Mr. Parry, of Cirencester, the late Dr. Furneaux, and Dr. Gibbons; and, if I mistake not, the present Dr. Price. The pupils of this academy had heads that teemed with knowledge, which, as fast as they acquired it, they were prompted by a juvenile and laudable ambition to communicate in letters to Mr. Urban.
To this account of Cave's correspondents might be added the celebrated names of Dr. Birch, who will be spoken of hereafter, Mrs. Carter, Dr. Akenside, the Rev. Mr. Samuel Pegge, who, by an ingenious transposition of the letters of his name, formed the plausible signature of Paul Gemsege; Mr. Lack, of Barnftaple in Devonshire; Mr. Henry Price, of Pool, in Dorsethires Mr. Richard Yate, of Chively, in Shropshire; Mr. John Bancks; and that induftrious and prolific genius, Mr. John Lockman. E