William Cowper of the Inner Temple, Esq: A Study of His Life and Works to the Year 1768

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B
UNCOLLECTED POEMS: EARLY AND LATE

[I]

THE following poem is possibly Cowper's. It is signed with his initials (often used by him as a signature) and it appeared in a magazine with which he might well have had connections: The Student, or the Oxford Monthly Miscellany.1 The magazine was publ. on the last day of the month. This was the first publication in which Bonnell Thornton was concerned. The journal was published at Oxford for John Newbery, and according to Alexander Chalmers, ' SMART was the principal conductor, but THORNTON and other wits of both Universities occasionally assisted. THORNTON'S first attempt appeared in the first number, "The Comforts of a Retired Life", an elegy in imitation of Tibullus. Mr. THOMAS WARTON was also a writer in the poetical department.'2 Smart's contributions, however, did not appear until the Cambridge wits joined the staff in June 1750, but from that time on he contributed frequently to the Student.3 Young writers outside the Oxford group had been encouraged to contribute and within a few months so many pieces had come from Cambridge men that the title of the journal was changed so that they might have, the editors said, 'an equal share of whatever merit may accrue from our work'.4 Contrary to Chalmers' opinion, instead of Smart, Thornton appears to have been the prime mover in the undertaking, and may have served as the editor. According to Boswell, Thornton and Colman were the principal writers.5 At least one

____________________
1
This title was used for vols. I-V ( Jan.-May 1750); thereafter, The Student, or, the Oxford, and Cambridge Monthly Miscellany (to July 1751).
2
Alexander Chalmers, The British Essayists, xxx, xxi.
3
G. J. Gray, "'A Bibliography of the Writings of Christopher Smart, with Bio­ graphical References'", Trans. Bibl. Soc. [ London], VI ( 1900-2), 275-6; Robert Britain, "'Christopher Smart in the Magazines'", Library, 4th ser. XXI ( 1941), 320-26.
4
Advertisements in the Gen. Adv. 10 Jan. and 30 June 1750, quoted in Charles Welsh , A Bookseller of the Last Century ( London, 1885), p. 311.
5
Boswell, Johnson, 1, 209. However, Eugene R. Page believed that it was 'highly unlikely' that Colman was concerned in the Student. 'He was only eighteen years old.

-226-

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William Cowper of the Inner Temple, Esq: A Study of His Life and Works to the Year 1768
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • List of Plates viii
  • Short Titles and Abbreviations ix
  • Preface xiii
  • I - Berkhamsted 1
  • II - Westminster 14
  • III - The Boys 36
  • IV - Reading 55
  • V - The Temple 64
  • VI - The Geniuses 78
  • VII - Writing 102
  • VIII - Theadora 119
  • IX - The Defect 135
  • X - Failure 145
  • XI - The Saints 158
  • A - Uncollected Letters And Essays: 1750-67 177
  • B - Uncollected Poems: Early And Late 226
  • C - Uncollected Contributions To Magazines: 1789-93 246
  • Notes on Cowper's Relatives And Friends 261
  • Index 267
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