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With beer and milk arrears, the frieze was scor'd,
L E T T E R,
ADDRESSED TO THE
PRINTER OF THE ST. JAMES'S CHRONICLE,
APPEARED IN THAT PAPER IN JUNE,
M DCC LXVII.
SIR, As there is nothing I dislike so much as newspaper controversy, particularly upon trifles, permitme 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 mis-informed, 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
* The Friar of Orders Gray. “Reliq. of Anc. Poetry.” Vol.
I. Book 2. No. 18.
years ago ; and he (as we both considered these 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. 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 desire to consult “ The Life of Dr. Goldsmith,” under the