Grub Street Journal, May 28, 1730 : Front Page

Publication: Grub Street Journal May 28, 1730

Grub-Street Journal (Newspaper) - May 28, 1730, London, Middlesex Nt*mb*2i j Cgtutfbap, mat 28. 1730, fo^-py iVoy� injured redfon tires j Their Verfe immoral kindles loofe -defires. Young's i Epift. to Mr. Pope. tpillp rjr .�sM T has been a frequent pra&ice with the members of our ' Society, when' at any time they have engaged in an undertaking of this nature, to write Letters to themfelves, in order to excite others to do the fame , and fo affift them in filling up their Pa* pers. For our parts, we are forced to lay alide many of �hc Letters, which are every day directed to me. Some juc pleafed to beftow fucb high complements on me, that my modefty will not permit me to read them to the Society ; whilft others treat me in fb rdugh a manner, that it is not thought for my reputation to difcover their cenfures to the Public. A third fort of Correspondents fo far miftake the very deSign of this Paper, that I am forced to lay their Letters aSide, or take the liberty of making many alterations in them. One of them, to whom our Society has been obli ged for the Bailiff's Epitaph, is angry at the emendations of another of our Friends j and flicks by his own reading with the proper warmth of a Critic. To be even with the other Gentleman, he charges his Epitaph on William Daw with being fpurious, and fays it is thus in the genuine Copies ; Poor William Daw, Attorney at Law, At laft is at reft: Nam hie fitus tfi. This teal for a genuine reading is very commendable; but I muft confefs, that I think the firft reading fo much better, that if it is not the true one, I cannot help wilhing it was. The fame Gentleman has fent me a copy of a Welch Gentleman's Inventory, defiring it might be inferted in our next Paper: in which I (hould have obliged him, if 1 had not known it to be in print already. The following letter is printed at length, without any abridgment. To Mr. Bavius, Secretary to the Grubean Society. SIR, THE Honourable Mr. Boyl, I well remember,-in a Preface to one of his excellent Treatiies, feems to wiSh that at fome considerable diftance of time, we had a clear account of the authors who have appeared in publick, upon what Subjects they have written, and in their relpedtive pieces what truths they have brought into the learned world. Mr. Boyl feems very much pleafed with this thought, and I believe you will agree with me, that it would be much more ufeful now, than at the time that Gentleman wrote. I heartily wifh he had left us a Specimen pf fucb a Work as this ; but as he has not, I deSpair of ever feeing Co ufeful a thing weil accomplished. In thefe times every body muft at firft fight apprehend the advantage x>f fuch a thing as this : and \ muft own, upon the coafideration of the itws our prefent Writers feem to he pofliefled with, I had once a mind to have written fomething upon this fubje& my&lf, for thefe laft twenty years,- and I really believe, according to the method I propofed to my Self, it would have been comprjfed in a fmall Volume. The chief reafon of my not. proceeding in this affair, was the publication of your Journal: which beiog the Wcrk of fo ingenious a Society, and, as I thought, aiming at much the fam� thing, quite difheartcn'd me from making 4k an? progrefi in it. I confefs your Papers hitherto have cot been-altogether adequate to the method I propofed; or i&at J flatter'd my felf I Should find in them. For I doaiTwe you, I Should have fpent very little time upon the XJeDtfemao, whom I found to have told the world nothing bat what was published twenty or thirty years before, to much greater advantage. I never intended to.&y-a ward upon the many Novell, Plays, and fuch hings, as have 6cen written only to amufe, without ma- king any one difcovery, or adding the leaft truth to Science. And now, Sir, I hope you'll giye me leave to tell you, I was not a little furprifed upon reading your laft Paper, to find you had condescended to make your remarks upon a Farce j and that written by no more considerable a perfon than Mr. Ralph j one, who would certainly have lived and died in obfeurity, had it not been for the ingenious Author of the Dunciad, who Jeft him to be hooted at by the Owls. I am forry to find you Should have no greater regard to the honour of your felf and Society, than to offer to ridicule a perfon of his Stamp; efpecialiy upon fo frivolous a fubjeft, as that of z Farce. You don't feem to reflect, that Virgil's fatirizing Bavius (is your worthy Prefident obferves.) gave the common people of Rome an occafion of thinking him not altogether inconsiderable 5 and at leaft has been the means of handing his name down to posterity. For Heaven's fake, Mr. Bavius, what occafion was there ro publish that medley of wretched iimilies, and Billingsgate language, you have collected from that Gentleman's Farce I Is it not fufficienr, that fuch language is vented ia Goodman's fields to make night hideous; but that you muft needs have it over again in your weekly Paper, to ftun the ears of your readers? Indeed I cannot iorbear deliveting my thoughts freely to you, that fucb Subjects, . and fuch Authors, will fink your Php^r, much below tie Idea I had conceived of it. I apprehended your defign had been to let us know the Character of each Author and writing that Shall appear in publick: and with this view your Paper will certainly merit eftcem. 1 will allow you indeed, when you are recommending an Author to the world, to give us fome farther cafte of his beauties, than your bare word j nay, even to extend your panegyrick to the length of a Paper: but when you fpeak of a mere Scribbler, a word Shall fatisfie me without giving your felt the trouble of any quotations, at leaft very few. You may perhaps imagine, that I apply the word Scribbler to this Author out of fome private pique or quarrel: but I do aSTure yotr, I have ro other averfion to him, but what has been given mf by his Writings, having no acquaintance at all with his perfon. You may poffibly think me a very odd whimfical Fellow : bur I do afTure you, I had no fboncr read your Recipe from Dr. Robinson's Theory of Phyfick, than I Sent for the Book, and cou'd nor prevail with my felf to lay it dpwn, till I had gone through almoft all the Recipes: and I really believe, if you was to quote the Book again, I Should not forbear reading it through; but at prefent, I thank God, that paffion is abated. I have not indeed yet ventured to read his Trtatife upon the Spleen and Vapours. For you muft know, being a Single man, I prudently considered, that thofe rapturous thoughts upon a certain paffion, would go near to overwhelm me. Your Quotations from Dr. Turner are indeed Somewhat different from .this laft Gendeman's, being fo very plain and eafy, as not to give an over great conflict to any of the fenfes 5 fb-that I could read your quotations from him, without any further defire of his writings, than what proceeds merely from an ambition I have to fur-niSh the empty Shelves in my library. Now, Mr. Bavius, as I doubt not but fevera! of your Readers are ltd into the fame way of thinking with my felf, you would be very obliging to give us only Short hints of the dangerous writings of fuch men astbefe; and not put us to the expenceof buying Books, to mdu'ge a paSfion we can infinitely better gratify in Don 6)uixot or Gulliver, In Short, if you approve of my method, and refolve not to fpend your time upon fuch Scribblers, as are only the amufement of Tyro's ; I Shall gain my end in reading your Paper: if not, for reafons 1 have already told you, I think I had better let it alone. I am, SIR, Fetter-lane, April Your very bumble Servanr. 28, 1730. P. S. I will allow you to dwell a little longer, and be more particular, when you cenfure any Writing of a Perfon, who has before, upon other Subjects, written better. Upon reading this Letter, Mr. Prefident, with the approbation of the Society, ordered me to let the Writer know, that it was our chief defign to give a particular account of books, published only Since laft New years day, that being the ^fira, from which our Memoirs begin ; and that we Shall take notice, of thofe antecedent to that time, only occasionally.  That however, if this Gentleman will communicate to us any Critical Remarks upon Authors, either before, orfincej we Shall con-fiderthem with the greateft impartiality, and not fupprefs them but upon the jufteft reafons. Thar" he goes a little too far in cenfuring us for condescending to make our remarks upon a Farce. For can thofe fubjecls be too low! forVour notice, which arc become ttie entertainments of the higheft audience? Are any of our Theatres fupportedf by any dramatic pieces, but Farcer? He is likewife de-j fired to forbear for the future all opprobrious app-llations \ of any Gentleman of our Society, fuch 2s Scribbler, &c.' which he has in fo contemptuous a manner applied to the 1 learned Mr. Ralph, at the fame time extolling our pro-feSl enemy, the Author of the Dunc'tad. This Author, ia p3g. 148. of that book, has a virulent note againlt this; Gentleman : in which he fays, that he wrote a /wearing piece againfl Dr. Swift, Mr. Gay, and him ; that he once p-aifed him/elf highly above Mr. Add/son, inwretch-ed Remarks upon that Author's Account of Engli/h PottSy printed in a Land- Journ. Sept. 1728. that he was wholly illiterate, and knew no language, not even French; and that being mhifd to read the rules of dramuic poetry b'fore he began a Play, he fmiled, and replied, Shake/pear \ writ without rules Nowr tho* this Account be very improbable, ytt fuppofing it true, it carries in it a real ] panegyric on rhis Gentleman, by a tacit acknowledg-i ment of his extraordinary parts. Without which, a Perfon, not understanding any language but Englifh, and consequently noc throughly understanding that, could never have raifed himfelf to that eminence, as to be the Inren-tor of a new fpecies of Poetry, a Pindarick Ode in blank �verfe; a fpecies fo fublime, that not one perfon has had the preemption to imitate him therein. The following Letter addrelfed to our Society, being fomewhat too long, it was thought proper to abridge it a little ; but the whole l'ubftance has been preserved. Gentlemen, YOU have juftly obferved, in your Journal, Numb}* 14. that the aftions of Great men are not cogni^a- j ble by the Vulgar , and that it is not reafonabie, that plebeian Juries Should prefumc to give a Verdidt upon Fa6fs, which, tho' criminal when committed by one of the Popub.ce, are to be considered in another light, | when men of birth or fortune are concerned. That learned Member of your Saciety, the candid All- , thor of the Sefjions Paper, feems fo well apprized of this] truth ; that it is believed, he will not expofe to the peru-' Sal of the Vulgar an account of fbofe vexatious profe- , cutions againft Gentlemen of fpirit and humour, in that j circumftantial manner which has be*n formerly practi-; fed; but that thofe Narratives wiil be caftrated for the, future of all opprobrious particulars given in evidence,! which may be prejudicial to the character of Gentle-1 men. He Ins on fevera! occafiens (hewed himfelf fb excellently quaiifud for this undertaking, by accommoda-. ting the accounts of public Tryals to private conveni-1 encies; that it is a great question, whether a more] proper perfon could have been found throughout this whole City. But with great fubmiffion, I muft take the liberty to fay, that I think Mr. P-ne has gone a little too far, in introducing the Judges, as approving and patronizing this way of procedure. For I apprehend it to be ia confiftent with their avowed profeffion, as well asdail] practice; who oblige perfons, before they give evidence^ Solemnly to Swear, that rhey will declare the truth, th zvhole truth, and nothing but the truth. How then they be fuppofed to authorize a Piece, wherein thegr er part of the truth is SuppreSJed, and only a fmall \w\ published, and even that fweetcned with falvos, and moll lifying claufes ? I I make no question but Mr. P--ns had weighty rea-l fons for what he published relating ro the Tryal of Pet.\ Costyn : tho' one of the Judges took fo {great oSfenc* at it, that he threatened to fend him to Newgate; and was, with much difficulty, append by bis fubmiffioa and begging pardon ia a public manner. In thisfubraif. ;

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Publication: Grub Street Journal

Location: London, Middlesex

Issue Date: May 28, 1730