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At the same time that Mr. Garrick favoured me with this anecdote, he repeated a very pointed epigram by Johnson, on George the Second and Colley Cibber, which has never yet appeared, and of which I know not the exact date. Dr. Johnson afterwards gave it to me himself:

'Augustus still survives in Maro's strain,
And Spenser's verse prolongs Eliza's reign;
Great George's acts let tuneful Cibber sing;
For Nature formed the Poet for the King.'

In 1741 he wrote for the Gentleman's Magazine the 'Preface,' 'Conclusion of his Lives of Drake and Barretier,'' A free Translation of the Jests of Hierocles, with an Introduction'; and, I think, the following pieces: 'Debate on the Proposal of Parliament to Cromwell, to assume the Title of King, abridged, modified, and digested'; 1 'Translation of Abbé Guyon's Dissertation on the Amazons'; 'Translation of Fontenelle's Panegyric on Dr. Morin.' Two notes upon this appear to me undoubtedly his. He this year, and the two following, wrote the Parliamentary Debates. He told me himself, that he was the sole composer of them for those three years only. He was not, however, precisely exact in his statement, which he mentioned from hasty recollection; for it is sufficiently evident that his composition of them began November 19, 1740, and ended February 23, 1742-3. It appears from some of Cave's letters to Dr. Birch,

was a native of Staffordshire; and to the antiquities of that county was his attention chiefly confined. Mr. Shaw has had the use of his papers.-J. BLAKEWAY.]

[It is very curious if this famous debate was really the composition of Johnson. Dr. Hill sees his hand in it.-A. B.]



that Cave had better assistance for that branch of his Magazine than has been generally supposed; and that he was indefatigable in getting it made as perfect as he could.

Thus, 21st July 1735: 'I trouble you with the enclosed, because you said you could easily correct what is here given for Lord C-ld's speech. I beg you will do so as soon as you can for me, because the month is far advanced.'

And 15th July 1737 : 'As you remember the debates so far as to perceive the speeches already printed are not exact, I beg the favour that you will peruse the enclosed, and, in the best manner your memory will serve, correct the mistaken passages, or add anything that is omitted. I should be very glad to have something of the Duke of N-le's speech, which would be particularly of service.

'A gentleman has Lord Bathurst's speech to add something to.'

And July 3, 1744: 'You will see what stupid, low, abominable stuff is put1 upon your noble and learned friend's character, such as I should quite reject, and endeavour to do something better towards doing justice to the character. But as I cannot expect to attain my desire in that respect, it would be a great satisfaction, as well as an honour to our work, to have the favour of the genuine speech. It is a method that several have been pleased to take, as I could show, but I think myself under a restraint. I shall say so far, that I have had some by a third hand, which I understood well enough to come from the first; others

1 I suppose in another compilation in the same kind. Doubtless Lord Hardwicke.

by penny post, and others by the speakers themselves, who have been pleased to visit St. John's Gate, and show particular marks of their being pleased.'1

There is no reason, I believe, to doubt the veracity of Cave. It is, however, remarkable, that none of these letters are in the years during which Johnson alone furnished the Debates, and one of them is in the very year after he ceased from that labour. Johnson told me, that as soon as he found that the speeches were thought genuine, he determined that he would write no more of them; for he would not be accessory to the propagation of falsehood.' And such was the tenderness of his conscience, that a short time before his death, he expressed his regret for his having been the author of fictions, which had passed for realities.

He nevertheless agreed with me in thinking that the debates which he had framed were to be valued as orations upon questions of public importance. They have accordingly been collected in volumes, properly arranged, and recommended to the notice of parliamentary speakers by a preface, written by no inferior hand. I must, however, observe, that although there is in these debates a wonderful store of political information, and very powerful eloquence, I cannot agree that they exhibit the manner of each particular speaker, as Sir John Hawkins seems to think. But, indeed, what opinion can we have of his judgment and taste in public speaking, who presumes to give, as the characteristics of two celebrated orators, the deep

1 Birch's MSS. in the British Museum, 4302.

2 I am assured that the editor is Mr. George Chalmers, whose commercial works are well known and esteemed.

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