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directly to Lady Bellaston, where she found a most hearty, as well as a most polite, 'welcome. The lady had taken a great faucy to her when she had seen her formerly with her aunt Western. She was in. deed extremely glad to see her, and was no sooner acquainted with the reasons which induced her to leave the 'squire and Ay to London, than she highly applauded her sense and resolution; and, after expressing the highest satisfaction in the opinion which Sophia had declared she entertained of her ladyship, by choosing her house for an asylum, she promised her all the protection which it was in her power to give.
As we have now brought Sophia into safe hands, the reader will, I apprehend, be contented to deposit her there a while, and to look a little after other personages, and particularly poor Jones, whom we have left long enough to do penance for his past offences, which, as is the nature of vice, brought sufficient punishment upon him themselves.
the course of this mighty work, I have often translated passages out of the best ancient authors, without quoting the original, or without taking the least notice of the book from whence they were borrowed.
This conduct in writing is placed in a very proper light by the ingenious Abbé Bannier, in his Preface to his Mythology, a work of great erudition, and of equal judgement. It will be easy,' says he, • for the reader to observe, that I have frequently had greater regard to him, than to my own reputation : for an author certainly pays him a considerable compliment, when, for his sake, he suppresses learned quotations that come in his way, and which would have cost him but the bare trouble of transcribing.'
To fill up & work with these scraps may, indeed, be considered as a downright cheat on the learned world, who are by such means imposed upon to buy a second time, in fragments and by retail, what they have already in gross, if not in their memories, upon their shelves; and it is still more cruel upon the illiterate, who are drawn in to pay for what is of no manner of use to them. A writer, who intermixes great quantity of Greek and Latin with his works, deals by the ladies and fine gentlemen in the same paltry manner with which they are treated by the auctioneers, who often endeavour so to con. found and mix up their lots, that, in order to purchase the commodity you want, you are obliged at the same time to purchase that which will do you no service.
And yet, as there is no conduct so fair and disia. terested but that it may be misunderstood by ignorance, and misrepresented by malice, I have been sometimes tempted to preserve my own reputation at the expense of the reader, and to transcribe the original, or at least to quote chapter and verse, whenever I have made use either of the thought or expression of another. I am, indeed, in some doubt that I have often suffered by the contrary method; and that, by suppressing the original author's naine, I have been rather suspected of plagiarism, than reputed to act from the amiable motive above assigned by that justly celebrated French
Now, to obviate all such iinputations for the future, I do here confess and justify the fact. The ancients may be considered as a rich common, where every person, who hath the smallest tenement in Parnassus, hath a free right to fatten his muse. Or, to place it in a clearer light, we mo. derns are to the ancients what the poor are to the rich. By the poor here I mean, that large and venerable body which, in English, we call the mob. Now, whoever hath had the honour to be admitted to any degree of intimacy with this mob, must well know that it is one of their established maxims, to plunder and pillage their rich neighbours without any reluctance;
and that this is held to be neither sio nor shame ainong them. And so constantly do they abide and act by this maxim, that, in every parish almost in the kingdom, there is a kind of confederacy ever carrying on against a certain person of opulence, called the 'squire, whose property is considered as free-booty by all his poor neighbours; who, as they couclude that there is no manner of guilt in such depredations, look upon it as a point of honour and moral obligation to conceal, and to preserve each other from punishment on all such occasions.
In like manner are the ancients, such as Homer, Virgil, Horace, Cicero, and the rest, to be esteemed among us writers, as so many wealthy 'squires, from whom we, the poor of Parnassus, claim an immemorial custom of taking whatever we can come at. This liberty I demand, and this I am ready to allow again to my poor neighbours in their turn. All I profess, and all I require of my brethren, is, to maintain the same strict honesty among ourselves, which the mob show to one another. To steal from one another is indeed highly criminal and indecent; for this may be strictly styled defrauding the poor (sometimes, perhaps, those who are poorer than ourselves), or, to see it under the most opprobrious colours, robbing the spital.
Since, therefore, upon the strictest examination, my own conscience cannot lay any such pitiful theft to my charge, I am contented to plead guilty to the former accusation; nor shall I ever scruple to take to myself any passage which I shall find in an ancient author to my purpose, without settivg down the name of the author from whence it was taken. Nay, I absolutely claim a property in all such senti. ments the moment they are transcribed into my writings, and I expect all readers henceforwards to regard them as purely and entirely my own, This claim, however, I desire to be allowed me only ou condition, that I preservę strict honesty towards my poor brethren, from whom, if ever I borrow any of that little of which they are possessed, I shall never fail to put their mark upon it, that it may be at all times ready to be restored to the right owner.
The omission of this was highly blameable in one Mr. Moore," who, having formerly borrowed some lines of Pope and company, took the liberty to transcribe six of them into his play of the Rival Modes. Mr. Pope, however, very luckily found them in the said play, and laying violeut hands on his own property, transferred it back agaiu into his own works; and for a further punishment, imprisoned the said Moore in the loathsome dungeon of the Dunciad, where his unhappy memory now remains, and eterpally will remain, as a proper punishnient for such his unjust dealings in the poetical trade.
THE history now returns to the inn at Upton,
whence we shall first trace the footsteps of 'Squire Western ; for as he will soon arrive at an end of his journey, we shall have then full leisure to attend our hero.
The reader may be pleased to remember, that the said 'squire departed from the ion in great fury, and in that fury he pursued his daughter. The hostler having informed him that she had crossed the Se. vern, he likewise passed that river with his equi. page, and rode full speed, vowing the utmost vengeance against poor Sophia, if he should but overtake her.
He had not gone far, before he arrived at a crossway. Here he called a short council of war, in