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but it seems can (for a little dirty money, which you spend as vainly as you get idly,) invade those of your fellow-fubjects, and that knowingly, wilfully, and premeditatedly; I faid knowingly, in that you have not received fo little copy-money + as to be ignorant of the right and property every bookfeller hath to his copies; which you well know to be the fame with that a gentleman has to his eftate. I fay wilfully and premeditatedly, because, after such knowledge, you still perfift in your unjust practices. And, to yet aggravate and enhance your guilt, you have (as it were) ploughed the lands of two poor orphans, who have very little else to fubfist on; a fin which will cry aloud for. vengeance. These lines, how mean foever they be, are my own; which is more than you can, or dare (if you have any honefty or modefty left) fay of "The Ladies Library;" wherein you have fo greatly injured Royfton Meredith, fervant to t . . in. where I expect and demand a speedy and fatif factory answer. Sir, before you had collected fo many and whole sections out of Bishop Taylor's "Holy Living and Dying," (which, be pleased to take notice, is my copy,) you would
* By other men's labour. R. M.
And that for others writings too. R. M.
These letters are exactly the fame with those sent to Mr. Steele, except leaving out my master's name and place of abode, which, for fome reasons, is thought proper to be omitted. R. M.
have acted very prudently ferioufly to have perused that of "Reftitution," where you might have read these words: "Better it is to go beg"ging to Heaven, than to go to Hell laden "with the spoils of rapine and injustice.”
To conclude: till, by fome means or other, you make compenfation for the damage which I have and fhall fuftain from that book, I must and will write myself, the highly injured ROYSTON MEREDITH.
To Mr. MEREDITH.
Oct. 21, 1714.
WILL enquire into what you write about, and write again about the fubject of yours to, Sir, your most humble fervant,
From Mr. MEREDITH.
Oct. 25, 1714.
HESE come to claim your promise of an answer to my former, which, with great impatience, has been expected; but not having yet received any, gives me juft reafon to con
clude that you have been confulting with the great Mr. Tonfon *, from whom (when I demanded fatisfaction) this answer was given me : "How that he paid copy-money, and that I "muft apply myself to the author for redrefs." My reply to him was, "That the law fhould "then decide it." To which Mr. Tonson had the affurance to fay, "It was better to be doing "than talking;" which words I conceive to imply an open defiance to me, notwithstanding he cannot be ignorant how that the Common Law, the High Court of Chancery, and even a late Act of Parliament, "For fecuring the Right and Property of Booksellers to their Copies," will all plead in my behalf. But perhaps Mr. Tonfon may imagine, that a poor orphan, and one whom he may (falfely) think deftitute of friends, will never be able to cope with fo potent an adverfary as himself; but be pleased, Sir, to inform him, that it is my refolution (without ample fatisfaction given me) to maintain my right, and have recourse to the law for juftice. To these an immediate answer is expected; otherwise the publick fhall be apprised of the great injuftice done to them in general, and in particular to the poor and oppreffed orphan, ROYSTON MEREDITH.
* Mr. Steele's bookfeller in ordinary. R. M.
To Mr. MEREDITH.
St. James's-street, O&. 26, 1714. HAVE a fecond letter from you. The style of the first was very harth to one whom you are not at all acquainted with; but there were fuggeftions in it which might give excufe for being out of humour at one whom you might perhaps think was the occafion of damage to you. You mentioned also an orphan, which word was a defence against any warm reply; but, fince you are pleased to go on in an intemperate way of talk, I fhall give myself no more trouble to enquire about what you complain, but reft satisfied in doing all the good offices I can to the Reverend Author's Grandchild, now in town. Thus, leaving you to contend about your title to his writings, and wishing you fuccefs, if you have juftice on your fide, I beg you will give me no more ill language, and you will oblige, Sir, your humble fervant,
TO WILLIAM HONEYCOMB, Efq.t.
HE feven former volumes of the SPECTATOR having been dedicated to fome of the most celebrated perfons of the age, I take leave to infcribe this eighth and laft to you, as to a gentleman who hath ever been ambitious of appearing in the best company.
You are now wholly retired from the bufy part of mankind, and at leifure to reflect upon your paft atchievements; for which reafon I look upon you as a perfon very well qualified for a dedication.
I may poffibly difappoint my readers, and yourfelf too, if I do not endeavour, on this occafion, to make the world acquainted with your virtues. And here, Sir, I fhall not compliment you upon your birth, perfon, or fortune; nor any other the like perfections, which you poffefs whether you will or no: but fhall only touch upon those which are of your own acquiring, and in which every one must allow you have a real merit.
Your janty air and easy motion, the volubility of your discourse, the suddenness of your
* This dedication, prefixed to the eighth volume of "The "Spectator," is fufpected to have been written by Eustace Budgell.
+ Generally fuppofed to be Col. Cleland. See p. 114.