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He was a man of large stature, not only tall but bulky, and was, when young, of remarkable strength and activity. He was generally healthful, and capable of much labour and long application ; but in the latter years of his life was afflicted with the gout, which he endeavoured to cure or alleviate by à total abstinence both from strong liquors and animal food. From animal food he abstained about four years,
and from strong liquors much longer ; but the gout continued unconquered, perhaps unabated.
His resolution and perseverance were very uncommon; whatever he undertook, neither expence nor fatigue were able to repress him ; but his constancy was calm, and, to those who did not know him, appeared faint and languid ; but he always went forward, though he moved slowly.
The same chilness of mind was observable in his conversation ; he was watching the minutest accent of those whom he disgusted by seeming inattention ; and his visitant was surprized when he came a second time, by preparations to execute the scheme which he supposed never to have been heard.
He was, consistently with this general tranquillity of mind, a tenacious maintainer, though not a clamorous demander of his right. In his youth, having summoned his fellow-journeymen to concert measures against the oppression of their masters, he mounted a kind of rostrum. and harangued them so efficaciously, that they determined to resist all future invasions. And when the Stamp Officers demanded to stamp the last half sheet of the Magazines, Mr. Cave alone defeated their claim, to which the proprietors of the Rival Magazines would meanly have submitted.
He was a friend rather easy and constant, than zealous and active; yet many instances might be given, where both his money and his diligence were employed liberally for others. His enmity was in like manner cool and deliberate ; but, though cool, it was not insidious, and though deliberate, not pertinacious.
His mental faculties were slow; he saw little at a time, but that little he saw with great exactness. He was long in finding the right, but seldom failed to find it at last. His affections were not easily gained, and his opinion not quickly discovered. His reserve, as it might hide his faults, concealed his virtues ; but such he was, as they who best knew him have most lamented *."
To the foregoing incomparable article I shall take the liberty of making some additions.
Froin the time of Mr. Cave's first connexion with the Newspaper at Norwich, he had conceived a strong idea of the utility of publishing the Parliamentary Debates ; and had an opportunity, whilst engaged in a situation at the Post-office, not only, as stated by Dr. Johnson, of supplying his London friends with the Provincial Papers, but he also contrived to furnish the Country Printers with those written Minutes of the Proceedings in the Two Houses of Parliament, which within my own remem brance were regularly circulated in the Coffeehouses, before the Daily Papers were tacitly permitted to report the Debates.
The Orders of the House were indeed regularly repeated, and occasionally enforced; and under these, in April 1728, Mr. Cave experienced some inconvenience and expence; having been ordered into the custody of the Serjeant at Arms, for supplying his friend Mr. Robert Raikes with the Minutes of the House, for the use of the Gloucester Journal. After a confinement of several days, on stating his sorrow for the offence, and pleading that he had a wife and family who suffered much by his imprison
* Thus far this article is given in the words of Dr. Johnson, from Gent. Mag. vol. XXV. p. 55–57; revised by its excellent Author, at my particular request, in 1781.
ment, he was discharged, with a reprimand, o
on paying the accustomed fees *."
In the following year Mr. Raikes again incurred the censure of the House of by repeating his offence ; but Mr. Cave was at that time out of the serape
The plan of inserting a regular series of the Parliamentary Debates in the Gentleman's Magazine, was a project which Mr. Cave had long in eontemplation before he adventured to put it into practice. At length, in July 1736, he boldly dared ; and his method of proceeding is thus related by Sir John Hawkins :
Taking with him a friend or two, he found means to procure for them and himself admission into the gallery of the House of Cominons, or to some concealed station in the other House ; and then they privately took down notes of the several speeches, and the general tendency and substance of the arguments. Thus furnished, Cave and his associates would adjourn to a neighbouring tavern, and compare and adjust their notes ; by means whereof, and the help of their memories, they became enabled to fix at least the substance of what they had so lately heard and remarked. The reducing this crude matter into form was the work of a future day and of an abler hand; Guthrie, the Historian, a writer for the booksellers, whom Cave retained for the purpose.”
* Journals of the House of Commons, vol. XXI. pp. 85, 118, 119, 127. ť Ibid. pp. 227, 238.
Mr. Raikes, in a Petition to the House, stated, “ that, before the beginning of that Session of Parliament, he gave orders to his servant, not to insert in his Journal any of the Votes or Resolutions of the House ; that the paragraph complained of was inserted without his knowledge, and was taken (as he was informed) from a News-letter, sent by Mr. Gythens, clerk of the Bristol road, or his assistant, to the King's-head Inn in Gloucester; that the Petitioner is very ill of a fever, keeps his bed, and is not able to travel ; and praying that he may be excused from attending the House." His attendance was accordingly dispensed with; and Gythens, directed to attend.
But these Debates were not given till the Session was ended ; and then only with the initial and final letters of each Speaker.
Thus far all went on smoothly for two years; till on the 13th of April 1738, a complaint being made to the House, that the publishers of several written and printed News-Letters and Papers had taken upon them to give accounts therein of the Proceedings of the House ; it was Resolved, “ That it is a high indignity to, and a notorious breach of, the Privilege of this House, for any News-writer, in Letters, or other Papers (as Minutes, or under any other denomination), or for any Printer or Publisher of any printed News-paper of any denomination, to presume to insert in the said Letters or Papers, or to give therein, any account of the Debates, or other Proceedings, of this House, or any Committee thereof, as well during the Recess, as the Sitting of Parliament ; and that this House will proceed with the utmost severity against such offenders *
Some expedient was now become necessary; and the caution (not the vanity) of Cave suggesting to him a popular fiction; in June 1738 he prefaced the Debates by what he chose to call “ An Appendix to Captain Lemuel Gulliver's Account of the famous Empire of Lilliput;” and the proceedings in Parliament were given under the title of “ Debates in the Senate of Great Lilliput.”
Not thinking himself, however, perfectly secure, even by this total concealment of the speakers, he did not venture to put his own name to the Titlepages of the Magazine; but published them under the name of one of his nephews, “ Edward Cave, junior;" which was continued till 1752. In the following year he again used his own name ; and gave the Debates, as at first, with the initial and final letters.
* Journals of the House of Commons, vol. XXIII. p. 148.
A new æra in politicks, occasioned by the motion to remove the Minister, Feb. 13, 1740-1, bringing on much warmer Debates, required “the pen of a more nervous writer than he who had hitherto conducted them ;” and “Cave, dismissing Guthrie, committed the care of this part of his monthly publication to Johnson ;” who had already given ample specimens of his ability. But the Lilliputian disguise was still continued, even beyond the period of Johnson's Debates; which, as has been authenticated by his own Diary, began Nov. 19, 1740, and ended Feb. 23; 1742-3. And these Debates, which, every competent judge must allow, exhibit a memorable specimen of the extent and promptitude of Johnson's faculties, and which have induced learned foreigners to compare British with Roman eloquence, were hastily sketched by Johnson while he was not yet 32, while he had little acquaintance with life, while he was struggling, not for distinction, but existence.
On the 3d of April 1747, a complaint having been made in the House of Lords, against Edward Cave, and Thomas Astley, for printing in their respective Magazines (the Gentleman's and the London) an account of the Trial of Simon Lord Lovat ; they were both ordered into the custody of the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod. On the 10th of April, Mr. Cave, in custody, petitioned the House ; expressing his sorrow for his offence; begging pardon for the same; promising never to offend again in the like manner ; and praying to be discharged.-On the 30th of April, the Lord Raymond reported from the Committee appointed to consider of the offences of Astley and Cave; “ that they had ordered Cave to be brought before them ; and the book complained of being shewn to him, he owned that he printed and published it. Being asked, “ how he came to publish an account of Lord Lovat's Trial, and from whom he had the account so pub: lished ?” he said, “it was done inadvertently ; he was very sorry for having offended; that he pub