James Harris (1709-1780)
From 18th Century Literary Anecdotes

WHEN the late Mr. Harris of Salisbury made his first speech in the House of Commons, Charles Townshend asked, with an affected surprise, who he was? He had never seen him before—

`Ah! you must at least have heard of him. That's the celebrated Mr. Harris of Salisbury, who has written a very ingenious book on grammar, and another on virtue.'—'What the devil then brings him here? I am sure he will find neither the one nor the other in the House of Commons.'

Prior, Malone, p. 350.

A Gentleman applied to his friend to lend him some amusing book, and he recommended Harris's Hermes. The gentleman, from the title, conceived it to be a novel, but turning it over and over, could make nothing of it, and at last coldly returned it with thanks. His friend asked him how he had been entertained.

`Not much,' he replied; `he thought that all these imitations of Tristram Shandy fell far short of the original.'

Joseph Cradock, Literary and Miscellaneous Memoirs (1828), i. 208.

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