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about the acquisition of wealth or titles, and is pecting their governors of designs prejudicial to therefore not easily induced to act in a manner their interest; they have not the least notion of contrary to his real sentiments, or to vote at the the pleasing tranquillity of ignorance, por can word of command; by contracting his desires, be brought to imagine that they are kept in the and regulating his appetites, he wants much less dark, lest too much light should hurt their eyes. than other men, and every one versed in the arts They have long claimed a right of directing their of government can tell, that men are more easily superiors, and are exasperated at the least meninfluenced in proportion as they are more neces- tion of secrets of state. sitous.
This temper makes them very readily encourThis is not the only reason why virtue should age any writer or printer, who, at the hazard of not receive too much countenance from a licens- his life or fortune, will give them any informaed stage ; her admirers and followers are not only tion: and while this humour prevails
, there naturally independent, but learn such a uniform never will be wanting some daring adventurer and consistent manner of speaking and acting, who will write in defence of liberty, and some that they frequently by the mere force of artless zealous or avaricious printer who will disperse honesty surmount all the obstacles which sub
his papers. tlety and politics can throw in their way, and It has never yet been found that any power, obtain their ends in spite of the most profound however vigilant or despotic, has been able to and sagacious ministry.
prevent the publication of seditious journals, Such then are the passages to be expunged by ballads, essays, and dissertations; " Considerathe licensers : in many parts indeed the speeches tions on the present state of affairs,” and “ Enwill be imperfect, and the action appear not quiries into the conduct of the administration.” regularly conducted, but the Poet Laureat may Yet I must confess, that considering the easily supply these vacuities, by inserting some success with which the present ministry has of his own verses in praise of wealth, luxury, hitherto proceeded in their attempts to drive out and venality.
of the world the old prejudices of patriotism and But, alas! all those pernicious sentiments public spirit, I cannot but entertain some hopes, which shall be banished from the stage, will be that what has been so often attempted by their vented from the press, and more studiously read predecessors, is reserved to be accomplished by because they are prohibited.
their superior abilities. I cannot but earnestly implore the friends of If I might presume to advise them upon this the government to leave no art untried by which great affair, I should dissuade them from any we may hope to succeed in our design of ex- direct attempt upon the liberty of the press, tending the power of the licenser to the press, which is the darling of the common people, and and of making it criminal to publish any thing therefore cannot be attacked without immediate without an imprimatur,
danger. They may proceed by more sure and How much would this single law lighten the silent way, and attain the desired end without mighty burden of state affairs ! with how much noise, detraction, or oppression. security might our ministers enjoy their honours, There are scattered over this kingdom several their places, their reputations, and their admirers, little seminaries, in which the lower ranks of could they once suppress those malicious invec- people, and the youngest sons of our nobility tives which are at present so industriously pro- and gentry are taught, from their earliest inpagated, and so eagerly read; could they hinder fancy, the pernicious arts of spelling and readany arguments but their own from coming to the ing, which they afterwards continue to practise, ears of the people, and stop effectually the voice very much to the disturbance of their own quiet, of cavil and inquiry!
and the interruption of ministerial measures. I cannot but indulge myself a little while by These seminaries may, by an act of parliadwelling on this pleasing scene, and imagining ment, be at once suppressed, and that our posthose halcyon-days, in which no politics shall be terity be deprived of all means of reviving this read but those of the Gazetteer, nor any poetry corrupt method of education, it may be made but that of the Laureat; when we shall hear of felony to teach to read without a license from nothing but the successful negotiatijns of our the Lord Chamberlain. ministers, and the great actions of
This expedient, which I hope will be carefulHow much happier would this state be than ly concealed from the vulgar, must infallibly those perpetual jealousies and contentions which answer the great end proposed by it, and set the are inseparable from knowledge and liberty, and power of the court not only above the insults of which have for many years kept this nation in the poets, but in a short time above the necessity perpetual commotions.
of providing against them. The licenser having But these are times rather to be wished for his authority thus extended, will in time enjoy than expected, for such is the nature of our un- the title and the salary without the trouble of quiet countrymen, that if they are not admitted exercising his power, and the nation will rest at to the knowledge of affairs, they are al'vays sus- length in ignoran , and peace.
GENTLEMAN'S MAGAZINE, 1738.
Tue usual design of Addresses of this sort is to ed by giving the picture of St. Paul's instead of implore the candour of the public! we bave al- St. John's gate : it was however thought indisways had the more pleasing province of return- pensably necessary to add, printed in St. John's, ing thanks, and making acknowledgments for Street, though there was then no printing-house the kind acceptance which our Monthly Collec- in that place. tions have met with.
That these plagiaries should, after having thus This, it seems, did not sufficiently appear from stolen their whole design from us, charge us with the numerous sale and repeated impressions of robbery, on any occasion, is a degree of impuour books, which have at once exceeded our dence scarcely to be matched, and certainly enmerit and our expectation ; but have been still titles them to the first rank among false heroes. more plainly attested by the clamours, rage, and we have therefore inserted their names* at calumnies of our competitors, of whom we have length in our February Magazine, p. 61; being seldom taken any notice, not only because it is desirous that every man should enjoy the repucruelty to insult the depressed, and folly to en- tation he deserves. gage with desperation, but because we consider Another attack has been made upon us by the all their outcries, menaces, and boasts, as no- author of Common Sense, an adversary equally thing more than advertisements in our favour, malicious as the former, and equally despicable. being evidently drawn up with the bitterness of what were his views, or what his provocations, baffled malice and disappointed hope; and almost we know not, nor have thought him considerable discovering in plain terms, that the unhappy enough to inquire. To make him any further authors have seventy thousand London Maga- answer would be to descend too low : but as he zines mouldering in their warehouses, returned is one of those happy writers, who are best exfrom all parts of the kingdom, unsold, unread, posed by quoting their own words, we have given and disregarded.
his elegant remarks in our Magazine for DecemOur obligations for the encouragement we ber, where the reader may entertain himself at have so long continued to receive, are so much his leisure with an agreeable mixture of scurthe greater, as no artifices have been omitted to rility and false grammar. supplant us. Our adversaries cannot be denied For the future we shall rarely offend him by the praise of industry; how far they can be cel adopting any of his performances, being unebrated for an honest industry we leave to the willing to prolong the life of such pieces as dedecision of the public, and even of their brethren serve no other fate than to be hissed, torn, and the booksellers, not including those whose ad-forgotten. However, that the curiosity of our vertisements they obliterated to paste their in- readers may not be disappointed, we shall, whenvectives in our book.
ever we find him a little excelling himself, perThe success of the Gentleman's Magazine has haps print his dissertations upon our blue covers, given rise to almost twenty imitations of it, which that they may be looked over, and stripped off, are either all dead, or very little regarded by the without disgracing our collection, or swelling world. Before we had published sixteen months, our volumes. we met with such a general approbation, that a We are sorry that by inserting some of his knot of enterprising geniuses, and sagacious in- essays, we have filled the head of this petty writer ventors, assembled from all parts of the town, agreed with a unanimity natural to understandings of the same size to seize upon our whole
* The gay and learned C. Ackers, of Swan Alley, plan, without changing even the title. Some Printer; the polile and generous T. Cox, under the
Royal Exchange; the eloquent and courtly J. Clark, weak objections were indeed made by one of
of Duck Lane; and the modest, civil, and judicious them against the design, as having an air of ser
T. Astley, of St. Paul's Church Yard, booksellers.-vility, dishonesty, and piracy; but it was con- All these names appeared in the title of the London cluded that all these imputations might be avoid. Magazine, begun in 1732.
with idle chimeras of applause, laurels, and Im-/ the reason, he met afterwards with the treatment mortality, nor suspected the bad effect of our which all deserve who patronize stupidity; for regard for him, till we saw in the Postscript the writer, instead of acknowledging his favours, to one of his papers a wild * prediction of the complains of injustice, robbery, and mutilation ; honours to be paid him by future ages. Should but complains in a style so barbarous and indeany mention of him be made, or his writings, by cent, as sufficiently confutes his own calumposterity, it will probably be in words like these : nies.” In this manner must this author expect “ In the Gentleman's Magazine are still pre- to be mentioned.-But of him, and our other served some essays under the specious and in- adversaries, we beg the reader's pardon for hav. viting title of Common Sense. How papers of ing said so much. We hope it will be remember. so little value came to be rescued from the com. ed in our favour, that it is sometimes necessary to mon lot of dulness, we are at this distance of chastise insolence, and that there is a sort of men time unable to conceive, but imagine that per- who cannot distinguish between forbearance sonal friendship prevailed with Urban to admit and cowardice. them in opposition to his judgment. If this was
It is plain, from the conduct of writers of the , in the acorn ; and that citadels, which have de first class, that they have esteemed it no dero- fied armies, have been blown up by rats. gation from their characters to defend themselves In imitation of these great examples, we think against the censures of ignorance, or the calum- it not absolutely needless to vindicate ourselves nies of envy.
from the virulent aspersions of the Craftsman It is not reasonable to suppose that they al- and Common Sense, because their accusations, ways judged their adversaries worthy of a formal though entirely groundless, and without the least confutation, but they concluded it not prudent proof, are urged with an air of confidence, which to neglect the feeblest attacks; they knew that the unwary may mistake for consciousness of such men have often done burt who had not abi- truth. lities to do good ; that the weakest hand, if not In order to set the proceedings of these catimely disarmed, may stab a hero in his sleep; lumniators in a proper light, it is necessary to inthat a worm, however small, may destroy a fleet form such of our readers as are unacquainted
with the artifices of trade, that we originally incurred the displeasure of the greatest part of the
booksellers by keeping this Magazine wholly in • Common Sense Journal, printed by Purser of
our own hands, without admitting any of that White-Friars, March 11, 1731. “ I make no doubt but after some grave historian, nothing is more criminal in the opinion of many
fraternity into a share of the property. For three or four hundred years hence, has described the corruption, the baseness, and the flattery, which men
of them, than for an author to enjoy more adrun into in these times, he will make the following vantage from his own works than they are disobservation :-In the year 1737, a certain unknown posed to allow him. This is a principle so well author published a writing under the title of Common established among them, that we can prodace Sense : this writing came out weekly in little detach. some who threatened printers with their big hest ed cssays, some of which are political, some moral, displeasure for their having dared to print books and others humourous. By the best judgment that
for those that wrote them. can be formed of a work, the style and language of which is become so obsolete that it is scarcely in.
Hinc iræ, binc odia. telligible, it answers the title well," &c.
This was the first ground of their aniinosity
which for some time proceeded no farther than great writer, that I can remember but two inprivate murmurs and petty discouragements. At stances of a genius able to use a few syllables to length determining to be no longer debarred from such great and so various purposes. One is, the a share in so beneficial a project, a knot of them old man in Shadwell, who seems, by long time combined to seize our whole plan; and without and experience, to have attained to equal perfecthe least attempt to vary or improve it, began tion with our author; for “when a young fel. with the utmost vigour to print and circulate the low began to prate and be pert,” says he, “ I siLondon Magazine, with such success, that in lenced him with my old word, Tace is Latin a few years, while we were printing the fifth for candle.” edition of some of our earliest numbers, they had ! The other, who seems yet more to resemble seventy thousand of their books returned unsold this writer, was one Goodman, a horse-stealer, upon their hands.
who being asked, after having been found guilty It was then time to exert their utmost efforts by the jury, what he had to offer to prevent sento stop our progress, and nothing was to be left tence of death from being passed upon him, did unattempted that interest could suggest. It will not attempt to extenuate bis crime, but enbe easily imagined that their influence among treated the judge to beware of hanging a Good those of their own trade was greater than
Man. . and that their Collections were therefore more This writer we thought, however injudiciousindustriously propagated by their brethren ; but ly, worthy, not indeed of a reply, but of some this being the natural consequence of such a correction, and in our Magazine for December, relation, and therefore excusable, is only men- 1738, and the preface to the Supplement, treated tioned to show the disadvantages against which him in such a manner as he does not seem inwe are obliged to struggle, and to convince the clined to forget. reader, that we wbo depend so entirely upon his From that time, losing all patience, he bas approbation, shall omit nothing to deserve it. exhausted his stores of scurrility upon us; but They then bad recourse to advertisements, in
our readers will find upon consulting the paswhich they sometimes made faint attempts to be sages above mentioned, that he has received too witty, and sometimes were content with being much provocation to be admitted as an imparmerely scurrilous; but finding that their attacks, tial critic. while we had an opportunity of returning hosti- In our Magazine of January, p. 24, we made lities, generally procured them such treatment a remark upon the Craftsman; and in p. 3, as very little contributed to their reputation, dropped some general observations upon the they came at last to a resolution of excluding us weekly writers, by which we did not expect to from the Newspapers in which they have any make them more our friends. Nor, indeed, did influence; by this means they can at present we imagine that this would have inflamed Caleb insult us with impunity, and without the least to so high a degree. His resentment has arisen danger of confutation.
so much above the provocation, that we cannot Their last, and indeed their most artful expe- but impute it more to what he fears than what dient, has been to hire and incite the weekly he has felt. He bas seen the solecisms of his journalists against us. The first weak attempt brother Common Sense exposed, and remembers was made by the Universal Spectator, but this thatwe took not the least notice of, as we did not
-Tua res agitur, parios cum proximus ardet. imagine it would ever come to the knowledge of the public.
He imagines that he shall soon fall under the Whether there was then a confederacy be- same censure, and is willing that our criticisms tween this journal and Common Sense, as at shall appear rather the effects of our resentment present between Common Sense and the Crafts-than our judgment. man, or whether understandings of the same For this reason, I suppose, (for I can find no form receive at certain times the same impres- other,) he has joined with Common Sense to sions from the planets, I know not, but about charge us with partiality, and to recommend the that time war was likewise declared against us London Magazine as drawn up with less reby the redoubted author of Common Sense : gard to interest or party. A favour which the an adversary not so much to be dreaded for his authors of that collection have endeavoured abilities as for the title of his paper, behind to deserve from them by the most servile aduwhich he has the art of sheltering himself in lation. perfect security. He defeats all his enemies by But as we have a higher opinion of the cancalling them “enemies to Common Sense,” and dour of our readers, than to believe that they silences the strongest objections and the clearest will condemn us without examination, or give reasonings by assuring his readers that “ they up their right of judging for themselves, we are are contrary to Common Sense.”
not unconcerned at this charge, though the I must confesz, to the immortal honour of this most atrocious and malignant that can be
brought against us. We entreat only to be com- not only our innocence, but our superiority, pared with our rivals, in full confidence, that will appear.
ON THE CASE OF
DR. T[R A PP]’S SERMON S.*
ABRIDGED BY MR. CAVE, 1739.
1. That the copy of a book is the property of many ways to the disadvantage both of the authe author, and that he may, by sale or other-thor and the proprietor, which yet they have not wise, transfer that property to another, who has any right to complain of, because the author a right to be protected in the possession of that when he wrote, and the proprietor when he property, so transferred, is not to be denied.
purchased, the copy, knew, or ought to have 2. That the complainants may be lawfully in- known, that the one wrote, and the other purvested with the property of this copy, is likewise chased, under the hazard of such treatment from granted.
the buyer and reader, and without any security 3. But the complainants have mistaken the from the bad consequences of that treatment nature of this property; and, in consequence of except the excellence of the book. their mistake, have supposed it to be invaded by 7. Reputation and property are of different an act, in itself legal, and justifiable by an un- kinds; one kind of each is more necessary to be interrupted series of precedents, from the first secured by the law than another, and the law establishment of printing among us, down to the has provided more effectually for its defence. present time,
My character as a man, a subject, or a trader, 4. He that purchases the copy of a book, pur- is under the protection of the law; but my rechases the sole right of printing it, and of vend-putation as an author is at the mercy of the ing the books printed according to it; but has reader, who lies under no other obligations to no right to add to it, or take from it, without do me justice than those of religion and moralthe author's consent, who still preserves such a ity. If a man calls me rebel or bankrupt, I right in it, as follows from the right every man may prosecute and punish him; but, if a man has to preserve bis own reputation.
calls me idiot or plagiary, I have no remedy, 5. Every single book, so sold by the proprie- since, by selling him the book, I admit bis pritor, becomes the property of the buyer, who pur- vilege of judging, and declaring his judgment, chases with the book the right of making use of and can appeal only to other readers, if I think it as he shall think most convenient, either for myself injured. his own improvement or amusement, or the be- 8. In different characters we are more or less nefit or entertainment of mankind.
protected; to hiss a pleader at the bar, would 6. This right the reader of a book may use perhaps be deemed illegal and punishable, but
to hiss a dramatic writer is justifiable by custom.
9. What is here said of the writer, extends Dr. Trapp, it will be recollected, was a popular itself naturally to the purchaser of a copy, since preacher; and about the year 1739, when Methodism might be said to be in its infancy, preached Pour the one seldom suffers without the other. Sermons “ On the Nature, Fo'ly, Sin and Dange",
10. By these liberties it is obvious, that auof being righteous over much ;” which were pub- thors and proprietors may often suffer, and lished by Austen and Gilliver, and had an extensive sometimes unjustly: but as these liberties are sale. Mr. Cave, ever ready to oblige his readers encouraged and allowed for the same reason with temporary subjects, took an extract from them, with writing itself, for the discovery and proand promised a continuation, which never appeared ; pagation of truth, though, like other human 80 that it was either stopped by a prosecution, or made up by other mean?. On all difficult occasions goods, they have their alloys and ill-consequenJohnson was Cave's oracle. And the paper now
ces; yet, as their advantages abundantly prebefore us was certainly written on that occasion. ponderate, they have never yet been abolished Gent. Mag. July, 1791.