UNCOLLECTED CONTRIBUTIONS TO MAGAZINES: 1789-93
TOWARDS the end of 1788 Cowper's publisher, Joseph Johnson, asked Cowper to assist him by writing several reviews for his journal, the Analytical Review. Cowper agreed to do this in the hope that it would divert his mind from depression. However, he soon wrote to Samuel Rose:
I do not at present feel myself so much amused by my new occupation as I hoped to be. The critic's task is not a pleasant one, unless he can find something to commend; and it has not yet been my fortune to stumble on an opportunity of much encomium. There are already three authors in my cupboard; ay, four, who will have small cause to bless their stars that it has been my lot to judge them. On Saturday I read the first book of the Athenaid, and it is a sad thing, but a true, that I must read it again before I shall understand it. . . . Apollo and all Parnassus know, or ought to know, that I enter on his work with the best disposition in the world to be charmed with it.
Two weeks later Cowper had not yet written the review of the Athenaid, but by 17 February he had finished the first two volumes of Glover's work (for one review) and was waiting with his analysis of the last volume (for a second review) until Johnson had told him just what kind of reviews he wanted. 'Send me a line', Cowper wrote to Johnson, 'to inform me of what you most wish, whether analytical revisals or critical, and I will proceed with the 2 poems that I have not yet reviewed accordingly.' On the 25th he told Lady Hesketh: 'My hands are at present less full than usual. Having lately sent Johnson as much Review work as will serve to satisfy him for a time, I allow myself a little vacation from these labours, which, however, I must soon resume.'1
Most of these contributions to the Analytical Review have not____________________