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THE

SALE OF AUTHORS,

DIALOGUE,

In IMITATION of

LUCIAN'S SALE OF PHILOSOPHERS.

LOND ON:

Printed, and sold by the Booksellers in LONDON

and WESTMINSTER. 1767.

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T T was a sensible mortification to me some 1 few days after the dialogue of Lexipha

nes appeared, when a Gentleman ena quired at a boukseller's what sort of a thing it was, to hear him answered by the boy in the shop, thatit was something written against Dr.'

----n. For the same reason the compliments which I have sometimes bad paid me, by being told, that I had very well ridiculed Dr. 7--n, have been received by me, almost as coolly, as a Great Man, who is either conscious of higher accomplisoments, or, what is the same thing, thinks he posesses them, would receive his led. Captain, who should tell bim that his Lordship danced an excellent Hornpipe, or played a good stick on the fiddle. The truth is, my intention was not to ridicule Dr. )---N, whom I have only once seen, Virgilium tantum vidi, nor A 2

Dr.

10

Dr. A---é, nor any other particular Doctor

or Writer, but their manner of writing, and

expressing themselves on all subjeets, and the

pompous affeEted style used by them, and many

other Doctors and Writers. Bossu in bis in-

genious treatise on the Epick Poem, imagines

that Homer first of all fixed upon his moral,

and then invented his fable,and chose bis Hero.

I cannot conceive this was really the case with

Homer ; neither do I affert it was literally fo

at first with myself. I can only say, that I

bave at last conduEted my plan, as if it had

really been fo from the beginning. My intention

was, that the shots fired at the celebrated.

Doctor, fould rebound from him, and fall

among his imitators and followers.

In the same manner, refpeeting the present

performance offered to the world, I would not
have any one imagine, that the poor Authors
are the principal, far less the only Butt and ob-
jeet of my fatire. For instance, when the Dra.
matick Authors are exposed to sale, the ridicule
is evidently directed against the Managers and
frequenters of theTheatres; when the Authors
of real merit are dismissed without being offer-
ed to sale at all, it is levelled against the low
and trifling taste of the age in general; when
Harris, Hoyle, and Heber are put up, againt
Debauchees and Gamesters, and when the ano-
ny mous. Authors are fold, many frauds and are
tifices of the Booksellers, or rather Back-
makers, are deteEted and exposed. Even im
Lexiphanes's Rhapsody fomething more than
@bare ridicule of that style is intended; it is
a faithful picture of a certain class in modern
life, and two very common chara&ters, that of
the vociferating Grocer, and the sentimental
Hibernian, are drawn in it. Besides, the
whole. story of the quarrel betwen the Grocer
and the Caledonian Emigrant, (see Lexipha-
nes, from page 31 to 37) is designed as a
satire on the animosity which then subfifted be-
tween the two nations,and the ridiculous causes
which occafioned it. It may be thought some-
what officious in any writer to explain and
comment upon his own productions ; but per-
haps it is now necesary, for our Criticks ap-

pear

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