Sugar Cane, The

Reading experience

?itemComments

Sugar Cane, The

Reading experience
Identifer:
ukred-21585

Evidence

"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"""."

Source

Life of Johnson

Text being read

EuRED : text status
TST4
EuRED : text form
TFO27
EuRED : text provenance
TPR207

Reader(s) and listener(s)

Reader
Grainger, James
Born in 2016

Details of the reading experience

Date of Reading Experience
Time of Reading Experience
EuRED : experience type
EXT111
EuRED : experience frequency
EXF2
Place of reading experience
England
EuRED : emotions
EuRED : intensity
EuRED : environment
EuRED : lighting
EuRED : testimony
EuRED : reliability
Notes
Original date of publication 1791.

How to cite this record

You can copy this item for personal use, share it, and post it on a blog or website. It cannot be used commercially without permission. Please ensure the following credit accompanies it:

Life of Johnson
http://eured.univ-lemans.fr/dbworkshop/index.php/Detail/objects/78997
Accessed on 2019/09/16 01:58:05

Related place
England
Related people
Grainger, James
Related text or manuscript
Life of Johnson
Related place
England
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        <ptr target="ukred-21585">"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]"".

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""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"""."


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?itemComments

Sugar Cane, The

Reading experience
Identifer:
ukred-21585

Evidence

"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"""."

Source

Life of Johnson

Text being read

EuRED : text status
TST4
EuRED : text form
TFO27
EuRED : text provenance
TPR207

Reader(s) and listener(s)

Reader
Grainger, James
Born in 2016

Details of the reading experience

Date of Reading Experience
Time of Reading Experience
EuRED : experience type
EXT111
EuRED : experience frequency
EXF2
Place of reading experience
England
EuRED : emotions
EuRED : intensity
EuRED : environment
EuRED : lighting
EuRED : testimony
EuRED : reliability
Notes
Original date of publication 1791.

How to cite this record

You can copy this item for personal use, share it, and post it on a blog or website. It cannot be used commercially without permission. Please ensure the following credit accompanies it:

Life of Johnson
http://eured.univ-lemans.fr/dbworkshop/index.php/Detail/objects/78997
Accessed on 2019/09/16 01:58:05

Related place
England
Related people
Grainger, James
Related text or manuscript
Life of Johnson
Related place
England
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        <ptr target="ukred-21585">"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"""."


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