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THE author of the following Eclogue, having requested my affift-
ance to introduce it to the world; it was with more indignation than
furprize I was informed of your having used your extensive influence
over the prefs to prevent its being advertised in the News-papers.
How are you, Sir, concerned in the Lamentation of Rofcius for his
Nyky? Does your modefty think no man entitled to the appellation
of Rofcius but yourself? Does Nyky refemble any nick-named fa-
vourite of yours? Or does it follow, that if you have cherished an un-
worthy favourite, you muft bear too near a resemblance to him? Qui
capit ille facit; beware of felf-accufation, where others bring no
charge! Or, granting you right in thefe particulars, by what right or
privilege do you, Sir, fet up for a licenfer of the prefs? That you
have long fuccessfully ufurped that privilege, to fwell both your fame
and fortune, is well known. Not the puffs of the quacks of Bayf-
water and Chelsea are so numerous and notorious: but by what au-
thority do you take upon you to fhut up the general channel, in
which writers ufher their performances to the public? If they at-
tack either your talents or your character, in utrumque paratus, you
are armed to defend yourself. You have, befides your ingenuous
countenance and confcious innocence; Nil confcire fibi, nulla pal-
lefcere culpa; Befides_this_brazen bulwark, I fay, you have a ready
pen and a long purse. The prefs is open to the one, and the bar
is ever ready to open with the other. For a poor author, not a
printer will publish a paragraph, not a pleader will utter a quib-
ble. You have then every advantage in the conteft: It is need-
lefs, therefore, to endeavour to intimidate your antagonists by
countenancing your retainers to threaten their lives! These in-
timidations, let me tell you Sir, have an ugly, fufpicious look.
They are befides needlefs; the genus irritabile vatum want no fuch
perfonal provocations; Heaven knows, the life of a play-wright, like
that of a fpider, is in a ftate of the most flender dependency. It
is well for my rhiming friend that his hangs not on fo flight a
thread. He thinks, nevertheless, that he has reafon to complain,
as well as the publick, of your having long preferred the flimzy,
tranflated, patch'd-up and mis-altered
pieces of your favourite com-
pilers, to the arduous attempts at originality of writers, who have
no perfonal intereft with the manager. In particular, he thinks

A 2


the two pieces, you are projecting to get up next winter, for the emolument of your favorite in difgrace, or to reimburse yourself the money, you may have advanced him, might, for the prefent at leaft, be laid afide.

But you will ask me, perhaps, in turn, Sir, what right I have to interfere with the bufinefs of other people, or with yours? I will answer you. It is because I think your business, as patentee of a theatre-royal, is not fo entirely yours, but that the publick alfo have fome concern in it. You, Sir, indeed have long behaved as if you thought the town itself a purchased appurtenance to the theatre; but, tho' the scenes and machines are yours; nay, tho' you have even found means to make comedians and poets your property; it fhould be with more caution than you practifé, that you extend your various arts to make fo fcandalous a property of the publick.


Again I answer, it is because I have fome regard for my friend, and as much for myself, whom you have treated as ill perhaps as you have done any other writer; while under your aufpices, fome of the perfons ftigmatifed by the fatirift, have frequently combined to do me the moft effential injury. But nemo me impunè laceffit. Not that I mean now to enter into particulars which may be thought to relate too much to myself and too little to the publick. When I fhall have leifure to draw a faithful portraiture of Mr. Garrick, not only from his behaviour to me in particular, but from his conduct towards poets, players and the town general, I doubt not to convince the most partial of his admirers that he hath accumulated a fortune, as manager, by the meaneft and most meretricious devices, and that the theatrical props, which have long fupported his exalted reputation, as an actor, have been raised on the ruins of the English ffage.

In the mean time, I leave you to amuse yourself with the following jeu d'efprit of my friend; hoping, tho' it be a fevere correction for the errours of your paft favouritifm, it may prove a falutary guide to you for the future. With regard to the mode of its publication I hope alfo to ftand excufed with the reader for thus interpofing to defeat the fuccefs of thofe arts, which you fo unfairly practife to. prevent, from reaching the public eye, whatever is difagreeable to:

your own..

I am, Sir,

Yours, &c.


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