Imatges de pÓgina

The readers of the first edition of this work, amounting perhaps to some thousands, have completely and decidedly contradicted the objections brought by the Reviewer in general terms, and supported by cavils upon four or six sentences selected from 490 pages. The readers of the present are offered all those cavils for their consideration, and will judge for themselves of their justice.

With due allowance for a small degree of asperity, for which the writer can have no good excuse, the Anti-Jacobin Review of December last contains some argumentative strictures on the arrangement of this work, as it appeared in the first edition. When a book is offered to the world, it cannot be expected that every fact in it, and the method, should meet the approbation of all descriptions of persons; as taste and opinions are acknowledged to be as various as the features of the face. That the publick at large have not disapproved of the progressive chronological manner adopted, I have the most positive evidence by the rapid sale of the work; and this I shall retain. However, as objections have been raised by individuals who act as Public Censors, I have adopted their suggestions in part, and given the Anecdotes a more connected form, by removing the breaks between each. But, while I submit to their decision in the above instance, I beg leave to deny that any of the materials are too trivial for insertion. I was to give the habits and manners of the Londoners as I found them. If their conduct was even infantile in some cases, the fault lay with them, not with me; if part

of their conduct resembles that of all the rest of the world, it is still a part of their conduct, and requiresnotice as much as their pecularities; and it is mere wanton contradiction to assert the contrary.

The Reviewer next discovers, that periodical publications are not the best authorities for ascertaining the manners of the times. This I utterly deny; and I challenge the Reviewer to point out the cases where falsehood and inaccuracy are discoverable, in the use I have made of them. In truth, they are almost the only vehicles by which we obtain any thing like a correct account of the foibles of the day nay, any account at all. What does he say to the Spectator, the Tatler, the World, the Rambler, the Guardian, the Observator, the Female Tatler? Were they not periodical publications? Do they abound in "shameful lies" (the gross words of the Reviewer)? or are they not considered as faithful sketches of those customs which escape the notice of the Historian?

Every Newspaper may contain misrepresentations and falsehoods; but those are generally confined to politics and artifices of trade: when any indifferent circumstance is to be related, there is no inducement to wilful falsehood. Besides, our ingenuous Reviewer must have allowed me to have had sufficient discernment to reject articles of that description.-Were I to act with the same candour towards him as he has evinced towards "Newspapers, Intelligencers, and Magazines" (observe, Reviews are omitted) in his rejection of them as authorities, I should charge him with declaring a deliberate falsehood in informing his readers that my excellent friend Mr. Nichols had lost

his matchless collection of periodical publications in the late burning of his warehouse and printing-office. A statement of this nature need not rest upon "" we believe:" London is extensive, but surely within the compass of a Reviewer's walk, who dogmatically substitutes we believe for the simple question at Mr. Nichols's door, "Have you lost your collection?"


I shall now follow this candid gentleman's example he damns in the Theatrical term the whole of my book, by endeavouring to mislead the publick into a belief that it contains not a word of truth; and then a high-sounding apology in these words: "That Mr. M. would intentionally pervert a single fact, or make one statement that he believed to be erroneous, we certainly have not the most distant idea of intimating; he possesses too high a sense of honour, too great a feeling of manly integrity, even to permit the supposition." Pray, good Sir, who would willingly consider me rather as a fool than as a liar, apply your own words to yourself; and let me add, I am convinced you believed Mr. Nichols's collection to have been consumed by fire, though it certainly was not.

Further let me repeat your words, "Thus have I done, and I challenge contradiction: mine are the best authorities."-Yes, they are the best authorities; such as the Journals of the House of Commons, the Gentleman's Magazine, official publications of Charities, and various institutions, under the signatures of their Secretaries, Reports of Coroners on Inquests, the Statements of G. A. Wachsel, Sir John Fielding's official reports, Mr. Howard's letters, Acts of Parliament, Dr. Hawes's information to the Author, Adver


tisements from different Speculators, the official statements of the Society for Reformation of Manners, Report of the Committee of Magistrates 1725, Letter from Secretary of State 1728, Proclamations by the King and the Lord Mayor, original Letters of Richard Smith 1732, the Police Act, Evidence before the Committee of the House of Commons 1750, Address from Justice Fielding 1759, Narrative relating to the Cock-lane Ghost, Evidence of Physicians relating to Mad-houses 1762, Examinations before Committee of Commons respecting Robberies 1770, Sir J. Fielding's Address to Grand Jury 1773, official statement of Society for suppressing Vice; Quacks' own advertisements; Addison, from the Lover; London Gazette, ceremonial for receiving George I.; Royal Proclamation, 1721, confirming the existence of scandalous Clubs, Mackay's Journey through England 1724, Switterda's Advertisements, Act for suppressing Private Balls, Report of Committee of Common Council 1761, Charge by Sir J. Fielding respecting Profane Swearing 1763, original letters between the Bishop of Bristol and his Parishioners 1768, Grosley's Tour to London, Advertisements by C. Weedon, Esq. Life of Sacheverell, Henley's Advertisements, presentment of the Grand Jury relating to him 1728, Lady E. Hamilton's advertisements, Lord Viscount Vane's advertisement, original advertisements of Lotteries and Benefit Societies, Queen Anne's communication to the Lord Mayor respecting Riots 1709, Abstract of Wild's indictment 1725, official parish letter of Christ-church Surrey 1757, Minutes of Coroners Inquest 1763, Wilkes's letter 1768, Trial of


Donald M'Lane, King's Proclamation 1768, that of Harley, Mayor, same period, Trial of J. Grainger, &c. 1768, Petition of W. Allen 1768, Presentment of Grand Jury 1701, that of Middlesex 1703; London Gazette, reformation of the Stage; the Presentment of Middlesex Grand Jury 1723, Advertisements of Figg and others, masters of defence, Notice from Wilks, &c. and Cibber's answer 1733, Notice from the Proprietor of Vauxhall-gardens, proposal from same 1738, Life of Handel, original letter from Mrs. Clive, Statements by Mr. Garrick and Mr. Beard, Letters of Messrs. Harris and Colman, Macklin's narrative, Plan of the Regatta 1775, Foote's letter to the Lord Chamberlain, Advertisements of Clothing lost, Peruke-makers' petition 1763, Sir William Davenant, original docquet to Mr. Cole for globe lamps, Act for improving London 1760, Notice from Commissioners for paving,-AND, LASTLY, PERIODICAL


My words in the Introduction are: "It gives me pleasure to acknowledge I have been indebted to my worthy friend Mr. Nichols for the inspection of his matchless collection of periodical publications, from which great part of my materials have been selected." Whether they were the sole sources of my Anecdotes let the above list of authorities testify, which the reader may verify by turning over the following pages. If the Reviewer has read this work, I charge him on his conscience to say why he asserts my information depends wholly upon lying newspapers, &c. Where, alas! has the "full spirit of moral honesty" evaporated which he so calmly professes?


« AnteriorContinua »