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Life and Letters of John Gay (1685-1732)

Cover image for


Author: Lewis Melville
Published: 1921
Language: English
Wordcount: 53,107 / 162 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 74.8
LoC Category: CT
Downloads: 371
Added to site: 2004.11.16 9405

as 'having been the property of the poet, and which, as his favourite easy chair, he highly valued'; and (2) that 'The Ladies' Petition' was printed nearly verbatim from a manuscript in the handwriting of the poet ... If really Gay's, they [the verses] may, we think, a great many of them, be safely regarded as the production of his youth, written, perhaps, during the somewhat extended visit to Devonshire which preceded his introduction to the literary world of Pope. The least doubtful piece, 'The Ladies' Petition' was probably 'thrown off' upon the occasion of his visit to Exeter in 1715."

If the verses are genuine, they have such biographical interest as is afforded by an allusion to a youthful love-affair. There are lines "To Miss Jane Scott":--

The Welsh girl is pretty.
The English girl fair,
The Irish deem'd witty,
The French débonnaire;

Though all may invite me,
I'd value them not;
The charms that delight me
I find in a SCOT.

It is presumedly to the s



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