GARRICK, DAVID (1717-1779)
AUTOGRAPH REVISED MANUSCRIPT OF HIS UNPUBLISHED POEM 'O LIST TO MY DITTY', 30 lines in six five-line stanzas including the chorus, with significant autograph revisions to the last three stanzas (two versions of the sixth one, the first crossed through), preserving reconsidered readings, 3 pages, quarto, professional repair at vertical fold, not dated
O list to my Ditty, a Ditty most sad -
A Couple at Hampton were near to run mad -
Tho their prospect
Yet what's a fine Country - unless you are clear -
Sing taatararara sweet all &c...
This rollicking and moderately bawdy ballad about dirty linen evidently has an autobiographical setting, Hampton being Garrick's own house. The theme is the distress of two ladies invited to his friend 'Squire' Rigby's seat at Mistley who have no clean linen ('They could not be wellcome unless they went neat'). The ballad ends: 'in such a sweet paradise with such a Man', they may well exclaim 'a fig for all cov'ring but that of Fig-leaves.'
ALMOST CERTAINLY UNPUBLISHED: not in Garrick's Poetical Works, 2 volumes, 1785; but apparently listed in Mary Knapp's Checklist from information by Colman who then owned the manuscript. Her intended edition of the poems apparently did not materialise.
PROVENANCE: Early printed clipping from a sale catalogue inscribed 'From the G.F.D. Noble Sale'; Colman (1954).