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"The Temple Student, a Poem," 4to, by Mr. Keate.
"Crito; or, Essays on various Subjects," by Mr. James Burgh, 12mo.
be not only impossible to a small private fortune; but, even where there might be a large one, the work itself to imply so much of proposed utility to the publick, as not to be without some right to solicit the assistance of the publick. It was the failure of that assistance, that, probably lost to it one of presumably the most useful and valuable works that any language or any nation could have had to boast of, the second part of The British Archæology," of one of our greatest and solidest Antiquaries, Edward Llhuyd, who, or suppressed, or dropped, or, at least, did not effectually carry it on, from his disgust or discouragement, at his having been forced to publish the first part at his own heavy expence: a loss this to the British republic of letters hardly reparable! Need I mention the celebrated Dr. Hyde's boiling his tea-kettle, with almost the whole impression left on his hands. of that profoundly learned treatise of his, "De Religione Veterum Persarum," admired by all literary Europe, and neglected at home: so low was the taste for literature in this country, already sunk! For the re-publication of this work, we have now, however, the obligation to the public spirit of Dr. Sharpe, that patron and promoter of literature, of which himself is at once an ornament, a judge, and a support, with the greater merit for his not deserting it in its present state of disgrace. With so cold, so unpromising a prospect before me, and very justly conscious of not only an incomparably less title to favourable opinion, but of having much more to apologize for, than of any merit to plead, I have only, in extenuation of my presumption to address the publick under such disadvantages, one solemn and unaffected truth to offer; and this it is. Finding this retrieval of the Celtic (that language actually existing nowhere as a language, and every-where as the root of all or most of the languages in Europe, dead or living, modern or antient, and entering into the composition of almost every word that we now, at this instant, use in commor conversation; finding, I say, the retrieval of this elementary, or mother-tongue, at least included in Proposals from more than one Foreigner, I have thought it my duty to form a wish, that it might not be my fault, if the British publick was not, as early as other countries, in possession of the benefit of such a retrieval, for the satisfactory elucidation of some of the most interesting British antiquities. But how far I may find the publick disposed to second that wish, or to enable me to fulfil it, must remain entirely at the discretion of that publick. J. C."
John Cleland was the son of Colonel Cleland, that celebrated fictitious member of the Spectator's Club, whom Steele describes under the name of Will Honeycombe; and was also one of the friends and correspondents of Pope. A portrait of him bung
In consequence of overtures from a few respectable friends at Cambridge, Mr. Bowyer had some inclination, towards the latter end of 1765, to have undertaken the management of the University Press, by purchasing a lease of their exclusive privileges, by which for several years they had cleared a considerable sum. To accomplish this, he took a journey up in the son's library till his death, which indicates all the manners and d'abord of the fashionable town-rake in the beginning of the last century. The son, with the scatterings of his father's fortune, and some share of his dissipations, after passing through the forms of a good education in Westminster college, where he was admitted in 1722, at the age of 13, and was contemporary with Lord Mansfield, went as Consul to Smyrna, where, perhaps, he first imbibed those loose principles which, in a subsequent publication, too infamous to be particularized, tarnished his reputation as an author. On his return from Smyrna he went to the East Indies; but quarreling with some of the members of the Presidency of Bombay, he made a precipitate retreat from the East, with little or no benefit to his fortunes. Being without profession or any settled means of subsistence, he soon fell into difficulties; a prison, and its miseries, were the consequences. In this situation he was tempted, by the offer of twenty guineas from a bookseller, to write the work above alluded to, and for which he was called before the Privy Council; and the circumstances of his distress being known, as well as his being a man of some parts, John Earl Granville, the then president, nobly rescued him from the like temptation, by getting him a pension of 100l. a year, which he enjoyed to his death, and which had so much the desired effect, that, except "The Memoirs of a Coxcomb," which has some smack of dissipated manners, and "The Man of Honour," written as an amende honorable for his former exceptionable book, Mr. Cleland mostly dedicated his time to political and philological publications; and was the author of the long letters given in the public prints, from time to time, signed A BRITON, MODESTUS, &c. &c. and published three dramatic trifles; 1. "Timbo-Chiqui, an Entertainment in three Acts, 1738;" 2. "Titus Vespasian, a Tragedy, 1760;" 3. "The Ladies Subscription, an Entertainment, 1760." He lived within the income of his pension for many years, in a retired situation in Petty France, surrounded by a good library, and the occasional visits of some literary friends, to whom he was a very agreeable companion, in the enjoyment of which he lived to an advanced age. In conversation he was very pleasant and anecdotical, understanding most of the living languages, and speaking them all very fluently. As a writer, he shewed himself best in novels, song-writing, and the lighter species of authorship; but, when he touched politicks, he touched it like a torpedo, he was cold, benumbing, and soporific. He died in Petty France, Jan. 23, 1789, æt. 80.
to Cambridge; and afterwards sent the Compiler of these Anecdotes to negotiate with the Vice-Chan
* Amongst Mr. Gough's papers I find the following letter of my own to Mr. Bowyer, on this subject, which was then to me of the highest importance, and which, I hope, will not be considered as wholly irrelevant to the Memoirs of Mr. Bowyer.
Sunday afternoon, Sept. 15, 1765. "I write to you now from the house of Mr. Labutte, with whom I have dined, and who has most obligingly shewn me all in his power. Mr. Archdeacon is not at home. I have opened to Mr. Labutte my plan, who is of opinion something may be done. I have talked also with a Compositor, who is sensible, and who now works in the house. Six hundred a year I believe may carry it. They talk of ten having been offered. For seven years last past the University have cleared one-thousand-three-hundred pounds annually; besides farming the Almanack (200l. more). This might at least be doubled by opening the trade in new channels. If any bookseller of reputation would enter into a scheme with you, an immense fortune would be certainly raised. I believe Mr. Labutte + himself would be of service as a small SHARER. morrow I wait on Dr. Powell with your Proposals, a little enlarged. However, I will not go too far without hearing from you, Sir; on which account I propose to stay till Tuesday evening, that I may hear from you what further particulars you have heard, and at the same time shall enquire minutely into circumstances here. Whoever has the lease, Mr. Archdeacon MUST be a LEADING person. This I must acknowledge, even against the vanity I cannot help cherishing in myself. And here, Sir, let me take the opportunity of returning you my heartiest thanks, as for all former favours, so for the present indulgence in particular. As I am sensible whatever has the least resemblance to flattery is to you highly disgusting, I shall not offend by compliments; but hall only assure you, that in whatever state of life I am thrown, I shall be the better man for your good example; and shall ever retain the liveliest sensation of gratitude for the more than paternal kindnesses I have ever met with at your hands. Once more, believe me to be, very invariably, Sir,
Your faithful and obliged humble servant, J. NICHOLS. P.S. I sleep in a private house. If you think proper to write, please to direct for me at Mr. Labutte's house. I am enamoured with the gardens and shady walks."
Mr. Bowyer, in answer, says, "According to Dr. Powell's discourse with me, I understood the University would not proceed upon making the most pecuniary bargain, but on making such
+ Mr. R. Labutte was teacher of the French language in the University of Cambridge; and published, in 1764, “A French Grammar; to which is prefixed an Analysis relative to that Subject."-Originally bred to the profession of a printer, he had been for some time in the employment of Mr. Bowyer.` His Grammar had a considerable degree of merit, and he was a worthy and respectable man.
cellor. The treaty was fruitless; but he did not much regret the disappointment*.
Mr. Clarke, Sept. 4, 1765, wrote thus upon this subject: "What to say about the University affair, I do not well know-it is certain that you have more
an one as should be consistent with safety and their own credit. I think he said that 400l. per annum would satisfy, if they had reasonable security. But be that as it may, and as a computation of the returns shall answer. I suppose an absolute bargain will hardly be struck till I see you; though I think I could leave myself to your direction. A Bookseller joining with me might, as you observe, extend the trade very much. Even so, it is much better to be proposed to him when we have made a bargain, than before. But I almost dread the thought, from the example of ****, who was advised to take ******* partner. The consequence was, they never settled accompts during the whole partnership; and at last they were so intricate, that, upon arbitration, each was to be content with what he had received. Mr. Archdeacon ‡, as you observe, must be a leading person, and there is some delicacy necessary to be shewn to him. But you must be my right hand, or indeed both hands; for I would hope from this plan, if it should take place, to have less trouble than I have now with Authors and Booksellers. Besides, my pride will be to see you come forward, and in a way to make a figure like the Strahans and the Woodfalls; much greater than, good John,
Your sincere friend and well-wisher,
"I have heard not a word more of Cambridge affairs since you went. I have worked hard to-day, and hope to give a good account of myself. I have read your conclusion of the Novel, which is admirable, but too good for the place. It is like a new piece of cloth sewed into an old garment §."
* At the distance of 45 years I have great satisfaction in recollecting this pleasant journey. The world was then all fair before me; and I was looking forward to my future settlement in life. I had never before been above 20 miles from London; and my heart expanded when I mounted on the outside of the coach to undertake so long a journey as to Cambridge. Like other young Travellers, I wrote an account of my tour; which I still carefully preserve as first impressions. The Colleges, the Libraries, the Public Walks, and the fertile Gardens, were a source of inexpressible delight; and, though drenched with rain on my lofty seat in returning, I enjoyed my few holidays to the last moment.
Mr. John Archdeacon, a very excellent Printer; whom the University appointed to succeed Mr. Bentham; and who continued in that office several years. He died at Hemingford Abbots, Sept. 10, 1795, æt. 70.
§ The work here alluded to was "The Amours of Lais;" which ending abruptly in the Author's copy, a few pages were added to it by J. N.
business already than does you good; and such a fortune as will answer all the rational purposes of life, that you need not wish for more. If you were younger, and ambitious of raising a greater fortune, could tell what to say. But there are certainly two objects in view in this proposal, which, if these objections did not lie in the way, would to me be great inducements. The thoughts of governing the Booksellers, either for gain or glory, would give me a greater pleasure, than any other object in trade. In that respect, I think just as you do. But Tanti non est; the laurel is scarce worth the labour. Happiness and ease are greater acquisitions than victory.-Besides, the honour of putting the University in a way to get something besides credit, would be a means of enrolling you among her Benefactors; and that not for a temporary, but a perpetual Donation.-But you had better relinquish all these honours, unless you quit business, and think of doing nothing else."
Mr. Markland, to whom he communicated what had passed, tells him, "The subject of your journey to Cambridge I am no judge at all of;. but I understand your practical inference at last, which says, "that you are too old to live out a lease;" and I think you conclude right—it not being worth while to put out to sea again, not even if you were sure of making a prosperous voyage. I have received another letter from Mr. Gerison, who tells me that he intends to lay out fifty pounds in books, and desires me to recommend to him fifty pounds worth of Theology and Classics. I have thought of it, and find myself in the condition of Simonides, when he was asked about the Deity, desiring more time to consider of it. But I believe I shall not answer it at all; for it seems to me as difficult as to make a pair of breeches for a man you never saw."