Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

one hundred copies of the illustrations were printed from the original blocks, without the text, and in colours; and in 1834 the blocks were again used for an edition printed at the Chiswick Press under the superintendence of John Thompson. This edition is apparently based on the second edition of 1713, and has a Preface by the Shakespearian scholar, Samuel Weller Singer, which, as already hinted, does not throw any new light upon the book. It contains, besides, several mis-statements, e.g., that the author was living in 1733, whereas be died in 1724; and that his portrait by Cole was first prefixed to the fourth edition of 1723, whereas it was engraved by Vertue in the third edition of 1713mis-statements which appear to indicate a very superficial acquaintance with the subje£t. Mr. Singer also professed to copy the title-page of the 1733 edition, but what he gives does not represent that title-page. Apart from these editorial lapses, the Chiswick Press edition of The Club is well produced and printed."

As regards Puckle's Club itself, not very much is required in the way of introdu Etion. In this Dialogue between Father and Son,the son describes to his sire the different personages he has met the night before at the Noah's Ark Tavern. This he does in the manner of Theophrastus, or rather in the manner of those imitators of Theophrastus, Butler and Earle. The old gentleman comments sententiously upon each character as described, showing preternatural gifts as a discursive

1

It is only right to state that for some of the particulars given above, the Author of this Introduction is indebted to the Bibliographical Notes on a Collection of Editions of the Book known as “Puckle's Club,” printed in 1899 for the Rowfant Club of Cleveland, Ohio, one of whose members, Mr. George W. Kohlmetz, possesses an unrivalled series of copies of Puckle, which was exhibited at the Club House in March, 1896.

reader, and what Sydney Smith would have called a forty-parson power of improving the occasion. Not only does he quote freely, but he also borrows freely without acknowledgment. Thus, when he says at P. 19, He whose jests make others afraid of his wit, bad need be afraid of their memory,be is simply putting into his own words a sentence from Bacon's Essay onDiscourse,Certainly, he that hath a Satyricall vaine, as he maketh others afraid of his Wit, so he had need be afraid of others Memory." This is probably only one of many similar annexations. Indeed, the author admits in the preface to the supplement on Death(which, by the way, must have been added not long before his own decease), that many hints therein have been borrow'd, and some whole sections either transcrib'd or translated from others.If the physick be proper, no matter what country produced the ingredients, nor who made up the dose.The result is a hotch-pot of maxims and aphorisms, some of which are wise, some quaint, some shrewd, and some (inevitably) commonplace. The main defeet of the whole may be expressed in a sentence of Bacon, of which, as far as we are aware, the compiler has not made use :

Reading good Bookes of Morality, is a little Flat, and Dead.But there can be no doubt of Puckle's unfeigned desire to expose Vice and Folly ;and his multifarious manual certainly deserves the distich contributed to the third edition by an admirer (H. Denne): Quanta Seges Rerum! parva patet Orbis in Urbe;

Et patet in Libro, BIBLIOTHECA, Tuo." Which has been thus Englished: In a small City as the World's display'd; So in thy Book's large store, a Library's convey'd !

Austin Dobson.

E ALING, October, 1900.

OR, A

G REY-C A P.

FOR A

GREEN-HEAD,

IN A

DIALOGUE

Between

Father and son.

In vino veritas.

The Fourth EDITION, with Additions.

LONDON, Printed for EDWARD SYMON, at the

Corner of Pope's-Head-Alley, Cornhill.

1723.

B

« ZurückWeiter »