Switch to English Switch to French

The Open University  |   Study at the OU  |   About the OU  |   Research at the OU  |   Search the OU

Listen to this page  |   Accessibility

the experience of reading in Britain, from 1450 to 1945...

Reading Experience Database UK Historical image of readers
 
 
 
 

Listings for Author:  

James Grainger

  

Click check box to select all entries on this page:

 


  

James Grainger : Sugar Cane, The

'He spoke slightingly of Dyer's "Fleece". "The subject, Sir, cannot be made poetical. How can a man write poetically of serges and druggets ? Yet you will hear many people talk to you gravely of that [italics] excellent [end italics] poem, "The Fleece." Having talked of Grainger's "Sugar-Cane", I mentioned to him Mr. Langton's having told me that this poem, when read in manuscript at Sir Joshua Reynolds's, had made all the assembled wits burst into a laugh, when, after much blank-verse pomp, the poet began a new paragraph thus: "Now, Muse, let's sing of [italics] rats [end italics]". And what increased the ridicule was, that one of the company, who slily overlooked the reader, perceived that the word had been originally [italics] mice [end italics], and had been altered to [italics] rats [end italics], as more dignified. This passage does not appear in the printed work. Dr. Grainger, or some of his friends, it should seem, having become sensible that introducing even [italics] Rats [end italics] in a grave poem might be liable to banter. He, however, could not bring himself to relinquish the idea; for they are thus, in a still more ludicrous manner, periphrastically exhibited in his poem as it now stands: "Nor with less waste the whisker'd vermin race, A countless clan, despoil the lowland cane." Johnson said, that Dr. Grainger was an agreeable man; a man who would do any good that was in his power. His translation of "Tibullus", he thought, was very well done; but "The Sugar Cane, a Poem," did not please him; for, he exclaimed, "What could he make of a sugar cane? One might as well write the 'Parsley Bed, a Poem ;' or ' The Cabbage Garden, a Poem'".'

Century: 1700-1799     Reader/Listener/Group: Samuel Johnson      Print: Book

  

James Grainger : Poetical translation of the elegies of Tibullus, A; and of the poems of Sulpicia

'He spoke slightingly of Dyer's "Fleece". "The subject, Sir, cannot be made poetical. How can a man write poetically of serges and druggets ? Yet you will hear many people talk to you gravely of that [italics] excellent [end italics] poem, "The Fleece." Having talked of Grainger's "Sugar-Cane", I mentioned to him Mr. Langton's having told me that this poem, when read in manuscript at Sir Joshua Reynolds's, had made all the assembled wits burst into a laugh, when, after much blank-verse pomp, the poet began a new paragraph thus: "Now, Muse, let's sing of [italics] rats [end italics]". And what increased the ridicule was, that one of the company, who slily overlooked the reader, perceived that the word had been originally [italics] mice [end italics], and had been altered to [italics] rats [end italics], as more dignified. This passage does not appear in the printed work. Dr. Grainger, or some of his friends, it should seem, having become sensible that introducing even [italics] Rats [end italics] in a grave poem might be liable to banter. He, however, could not bring himself to relinquish the idea; for they are thus, in a still more ludicrous manner, periphrastically exhibited in his poem as it now stands: "Nor with less waste the whisker'd vermin race, A countless clan, despoil the lowland cane." Johnson said, that Dr. Grainger was an agreeable man; a man who would do any good that was in his power. His translation of "Tibullus", he thought, was very well done; but "The Sugar Cane, a Poem," did not please him; for, he exclaimed, "What could he make of a sugar cane? One might as well write the 'Parsley Bed, a Poem ;' or ' The Cabbage Garden, a Poem'".'

Century: 1700-1799     Reader/Listener/Group: Samuel Johnson      Print: Book

  

James Grainger : Sugar Cane, The

'He spoke slightingly of Dyer's "Fleece". "The subject, Sir, cannot be made poetical. How can a man write poetically of serges and druggets ? Yet you will hear many people talk to you gravely of that [italics] excellent [end italics] poem, "The Fleece." Having talked of Grainger's "Sugar-Cane", I mentioned to him Mr. Langton's having told me that this poem, when read in manuscript at Sir Joshua Reynolds's, had made all the assembled wits burst into a laugh, when, after much blank-verse pomp, the poet began a new paragraph thus: "Now, Muse, let's sing of [italics] rats [end italics]". And what increased the ridicule was, that one of the company, who slily overlooked the reader, perceived that the word had been originally [italics] mice [end italics], and had been altered to [italics] rats [end italics], as more dignified. This passage does not appear in the printed work. Dr. Grainger, or some of his friends, it should seem, having become sensible that introducing even [italics] Rats [end italics] in a grave poem might be liable to banter. He, however, could not bring himself to relinquish the idea; for they are thus, in a still more ludicrous manner, periphrastically exhibited in his poem as it now stands: "Nor with less waste the whisker'd vermin race, A countless clan, despoil the lowland cane." Johnson said, that Dr. Grainger was an agreeable man; a man who would do any good that was in his power. His translation of "Tibullus", he thought, was very well done; but "The Sugar Cane, a Poem," did not please him; for, he exclaimed, "What could he make of a sugar cane? One might as well write the 'Parsley Bed, a Poem ;' or ' The Cabbage Garden, a Poem'".'

Century: 1700-1799     Reader/Listener/Group: James Boswell      Print: Book

  

James Grainger : Sugar Cane, The

'He spoke slightingly of Dyer's "Fleece". "The subject, Sir, cannot be made poetical. How can a man write poetically of serges and druggets ? Yet you will hear many people talk to you gravely of that [italics] excellent [end italics] poem, "The Fleece." Having talked of Grainger's "Sugar-Cane", I mentioned to him Mr. Langton's having told me that this poem, when read in manuscript at Sir Joshua Reynolds's, had made all the assembled wits burst into a laugh, when, after much blank-verse pomp, the poet began a new paragraph thus: "Now, Muse, let's sing of [italics] rats [end italics]". And what increased the ridicule was, that one of the company, who slily overlooked the reader, perceived that the word had been originally [italics] mice [end italics], and had been altered to [italics] rats [end italics], as more dignified. This passage does not appear in the printed work. Dr. Grainger, or some of his friends, it should seem, having become sensible that introducing even [italics] Rats [end italics] in a grave poem might be liable to banter. He, however, could not bring himself to relinquish the idea; for they are thus, in a still more ludicrous manner, periphrastically exhibited in his poem as it now stands: "Nor with less waste the whisker'd vermin race, A countless clan, despoil the lowland cane." Johnson said, that Dr. Grainger was an agreeable man; a man who would do any good that was in his power. His translation of "Tibullus", he thought, was very well done; but "The Sugar Cane, a Poem," did not please him; for, he exclaimed, "What could he make of a sugar cane? One might as well write the 'Parsley Bed, a Poem ;' or ' The Cabbage Garden, a Poem'".'

Century: 1700-1799     Reader/Listener/Group: Bennet Langton      Manuscript: Unknown

  

James Grainger : Sugar Cane, The

'He spoke slightingly of Dyer's "Fleece". "The subject, Sir, cannot be made poetical. How can a man write poetically of serges and druggets ? Yet you will hear many people talk to you gravely of that [italics] excellent [end italics] poem, "The Fleece." Having talked of Grainger's "Sugar-Cane", I mentioned to him Mr. Langton's having told me that this poem, when read in manuscript at Sir Joshua Reynolds's, had made all the assembled wits burst into a laugh, when, after much blank-verse pomp, the poet began a new paragraph thus: "Now, Muse, let's sing of [italics] rats [end italics]". And what increased the ridicule was, that one of the company, who slily overlooked the reader, perceived that the word had been originally [italics] mice [end italics], and had been altered to [italics] rats [end italics], as more dignified. This passage does not appear in the printed work. Dr. Grainger, or some of his friends, it should seem, having become sensible that introducing even [italics] Rats [end italics] in a grave poem might be liable to banter. He, however, could not bring himself to relinquish the idea; for they are thus, in a still more ludicrous manner, periphrastically exhibited in his poem as it now stands: "Nor with less waste the whisker'd vermin race, A countless clan, despoil the lowland cane." Johnson said, that Dr. Grainger was an agreeable man; a man who would do any good that was in his power. His translation of "Tibullus", he thought, was very well done; but "The Sugar Cane, a Poem," did not please him; for, he exclaimed, "What could he make of a sugar cane? One might as well write the 'Parsley Bed, a Poem ;' or ' The Cabbage Garden, a Poem'".'

Century: 1700-1799     Reader/Listener/Group: James Grainger      Manuscript: Unknown

  

James Grainger : 'Ode on Solitude'

'He praised Grainger's "Ode on Solitude", in Dodsley's "Collection", and repeated, with great energy, the exordium:- "O Solitude, romantick maid, Whether by nodding towers you tread; Or haunt the desart's trackless gloom, Or hover o'er the yawning tomb; Or climb the Andes' clifted side, Or by the Nile's coy source abide; Or, starting from your half-year's sleep, From Hecla view the thawing deep; Or, at the purple dawn of day, Tadnor's marble waste survey"; observing, "This, Sir, is very noble".'

Century: 1700-1799     Reader/Listener/Group: Samuel Johnson      Print: Book

  

James Grainger : 'Solitude: An Ode'

'Doctor Grainger, Author of the fine Ode to Solitude printed in Dodsley's Miscellanies wrote a poem while he was in the West Indies and called it the Sugar Cane; it was sent over hither of Course, & when Dr Johnson first laid hold of it he put it in his Pocket without Examination, & carrying it to a place where he was to meet some Literary Friends, told them he had something about him that might in the reading afford them some Amusement: & according begun at the opening of the Poem thus Where shall the Muse her arduous Task begin? where breathless end? Say shall [italics] we sing of Rats? [end italics] Thus does an Author differ from himself, & a great Mind deviate into Absurdity merely for want of friends to look over their Performance.'

Century: 1700-1799     Reader/Listener/Group: Hester Lynch Thrale      Print: Book

  

James Grainger : Sugar Cane, The

'Doctor Grainger, Author of the fine Ode to Solitude printed in Dodsley's Miscellanies wrote a poem while he was in the West Indies and called it the Sugar Cane; it was sent over hither of Course, & when Dr Johnson first laid hold of it he put it in his Pocket without Examination, & carrying it to a place where he was to meet some Literary Friends, told them he had something about him that might in the reading afford them some Amusement: & according begun at the opening of the Poem thus Where shall the Muse her arduous Task begin? where breathless end? Say shall [italics] we sing of Rats? [end italics] Thus does an Author differ from himself, & a great Mind deviate into Absurdity merely for want of friends to look over their Performance.'

Century: 1700-1799     Reader/Listener/Group: Samuel Johnson      Print: Book

  

James Grainger : [unknown poem praising Young]

'I have heard that Miss Cooper hearing She was to lose her Sight, set about getting the Night Thoughts by heart - so much did She delight in the Poetry of Dr Young - She kept her Eyes however & all went well. The Description of Night by Dr Young is superior to that of either Dryden or Shakespear - & I made Johnson confess it so. [7 lines of Young are quoted]. Oh how excellent are these Lines - but as Granger sweetly says When you struck the tender String Darkness clapt her sable Wing; Aside their Harps ev'n Seraphs flung, To hear thy sweet Complaints oh Young!'

Century: 1700-1799     Reader/Listener/Group: Hester Lynch Thrale      Print: Unknown

  

Click check box to select all entries on this page:

 

   
   
Green Turtle Web Design