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Mr. Curll being, as he said, in his perfect senses, though in great bodily pain, immediately proceeded to make a verbal will, Mrs. Curll having first put on his nightcap, in the following manner :
GENTLEMEN, in the first place, I do sincerely pray forgiveness for those indirect methods I have pursued in inventing new titles to old books, putting authors names to things they never saw, publishing private quarrels for publick entertainment ; all which I hope will be pardoned, as being done to get an honest livelihood,
I do also heartily beg pardon of all persons of honour, lords spiritual and temporal, gentry, burgesses, and commonalty, to whose abuse I have any or every way contributed by my publications : particularly, I hope it will be considered, that if I have vilified his grace the duke of Marlborough, I have likewise aspersed the late duke of Ormond; if I have abused the honourable Mr. Walpole, I have also libelled the lord Bolingbroke: so that I have preserved that equality and impartiality, which becomes an honest man in times of faction and division. I call my conscience to witness, that
ness, that many of these things, which may seem malicious, were done out of charity; I having made it wholly my business to print for poor disconsolate authors, whom all other booksellers refuse. Only God bless sir Richard Blackmore! you know he takes no copy-money.
The second collection of poems, which I groundlessly called Mr. Prior's, will sell for nothing, and has not yet paid the charge of the advertisements, which I was obliged to publish against him : therefore you may as well suppress the edition, and beg Y 3
that gentleman's pardon in the name of a dying Christian.
The French Cato, with the criticisms showing how superiour it is to Mr. Addison's (which I wickedly ascribed to madam Dacier) may be suppressed at a reasonable rate, being damnably translated.
I protest I have no animosity to Mr. Rowe, having printed part of Callipædia, and an incorrect edi ion of his poems without his leave in quarto. Mr. Gildon's Rehearsal, or Bays the younger, did more harm to me than to Mr. Rowe; though upon the faith of an hone e man, I paid him double for abusing both him and Mr. Pope.
Heaven pardon me for publishing the Trials of Sodomy in an Elzevir letter! but I humbly hope, my printing sir Richard Blackmore's Essays will atone for them. I beg that you will take what remains of these last (which is near the whole impression, presents excepted) and let my poor widow have in exchange the sole property of the copy of madam
(Here Mr. Pemberton interrupted, and would by no means consent to this article, about which some dispute might have arisen unbecoming a dying person, if Mr. Lintot had not interposed, and Mr. Curll vomited.]
[What this poor unfortunate man spoke afterward, was so indistinct, and in such broken accents (being perpetually interrupted by vomitings) that the reader is entreated to excuse the confusion and imperfection of this account.]
Dear Mr. Pemberton, 1 beg you to beware of the indictment at Hick's Hall for publishing Rochester's bawdy Poems; that copy will otherwise be my best legacy to my dear wife, and helpless child.
The Case of Impotence was my best support all the last long vacation.
[In this last paragraph Mr. Curll's voice grew more free, for his vomitings abated upon his dejections, and he spoke what follows from his closestool.]
For the copies of noblemen's and bishops Last Wills and Testaments, I solemnly declare, I printed them not with any purpose of defamation : but merely as I thought those copies lawfully purchased from Doctors Commons, at one shilling apiece. Our trade in wills turning to small account, we may divide them blindfold.
For Mr. Manwaring's Life I ask Mrs. Oldfield's pardon: neither his nor my lord Halifax's lives, though they were of service to their country, were of any to me: but I was resolved, since I could not print their works while they lived, to print their lives after they were dead.
While he was speaking these words Mr. Oldmixon entered. “Ah! Mr. Oldmixon,” said poor Mr. Curll, “to what a condition have your works re“ duced me! I die a martyr to that unlucky preface. “ However, in these my last moments I will be just “ to all men; you shall have your third share of the “ Court Poems, as was stipulated. When I am dead, “ where will you find another bookseller? Your Pro“ testant Packet might have supported you, had you
“ writ a little less scurrilously; there is a mean in all
Here Mr. Lintot interrupted, Why not find “ another bookseller, brother Curll ?” and then took Mr. Oldmixon aside and whispered him: “Sir, as “ soon as Curll is dead, I shall be glad to talk with “ you over a pint at the Devil.”
Mr. Curll now turning to Mr. Pemberton, told him, he had several taking titlepages, that only wanted treatises to be wrote to them; and earnestly desired, that when they were written, his heirs might have some share of the profit of them.
After he had said this, he fell into horrible gripings, upon which Mr. Lintot advised him to repeat the Lord's Prayer. He desired his wife to step into the shop for a Common Prayer-book, and read it by the help of a candle without hesitation. He closed the book, fetched a groan, and recommended to Mrs. Curll to give forty shillings to the poor of the parish of St. Dunstan's, and a week's wages advance to each of his gentlemen-authors, with some small gratuity in particular to Mrs. Centlivre.
The poor man continued for some hours with all his disconsolate family about him in tears, expecting his final dissolution; when of a sudden he was surprisingly relieved by a plentiful fetid stool, which obliged them all to retire out of the room. Notwithstanding, it is judged by sir Richard Blackmore, that the poison is still latent in his body, and will infallibly destroy him by slow degrees in less than a month. It is to be hoped, the other enemies of this wretched stationer will not farther pursue their revenge, or shorten this short period of his miserable life.
OF THE MOST
MR. EDMUND CURLL,
SINCE HIS BEING POISONED
ON THE 28TH OF MARCH.
To be published Weekly.
London, printed and sold by all the Publishers, Mercuries,
and Hawkers, within the Bills of Mortality. 1716.
THE publick is already acquainted with the manner of Mr. Curll's empoisonment by a faithful, though unpolite historian of Grub street. I am but the continuer of his history; yet I hope a due distinction will be made between an undignified scribbler of a sheet and a half, and the author of a threepenny stitched book, like myself.
“ Wit,” says sir Richard Blackmore *, “ proceeds “ from a concurrence of regular and exalted ferments, «s and an affluence of animal spirits rectified and re• Blackmore's Essays, vol. ii.