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ADDRESSED TO THE
PRINTER OF THE ST JAMES'S CHRONICLE,
APPEARED IN THAT PAPER IN JUNE,
As there is nothing I dislike so much as newspaper controversy, particularly upon trifles, permit me to be as concise as possible in informing a correspondent of yours, that I recommended Blainville's Travels, because I thought the book was a good one, and I think so still. I said, I was told by the bookseller that it was then first published ; but in that, it seems, I was misinformed, and my reading was not extensive enough to set me right.
Another correspondent of yours accuses me of having taken a ballad I published some time ago, from one* by the ingenious Mr Percy. I do not think there is any great resemblance between the two pieces in question. If there be any, his ballad is taken from mine. I read it to Mr Percy some years ago; and he (as we both considered these
• The Friar of Orders Gray. No. 18.
Reliq. of Anc. Poetry.” Vol. I. Book 2.
things as trifles at best) told me with his usual good humour, the next time. I saw him, that he had taken my plan to form the fragments of Shakspeare into a ballad of his own.
ballad of his own. He then read me his little Cento, if I may so call it, and I highly approved it. Such petty anecdotes as these are scarcely worth printing ; and, were it not for the busy disposition of some of your correspondents, the public should never have known that he owes me the hint of his ballad, or that I am obliged to his friendship and learning for communications of a much more important nature.
I am, Sir,
Note. On the subject of the preceding letter, the reader is desired to consult “ The Life of Dr Goldsmith,” under the year 1765.
“ Turn, gentle Hermit of the dale,
And guide my lonely way,
With hospitable ray.
56 For here forlorn and lost I tread,
With fainting steps and slow; Where wilds, immeasurably spread,
Seem length’ning as I go.”
“ Forbear, my son,” the Hermit cries,
“ To tempt the dangerous gloom; For yonder faithless phantom flies
To lure thee to thy doom.
“ Here to the houseless child of want
My door is open still ;
I give it with good will.