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"Nor therefore think that I can bring no aid, "Because I follow a mechanick trade;
I'll print your pamphlets, and your rumours spread..
In the edition of 1729, the last couplet is thus exhibited:
"With legs expanded, Bernard urg'd the race, "And seem'd to emulate great Jacob's pace."
And so it stands in the Quarto Edition printed by the author, in 1735, with his other works. But Jacob Tonson, with whom Pope lived on friendly terms and corresponded, having died in 1736, in the edition of 1742, and all subsequent, the lines run thus:
"With arms expanded Bernard rows his state, "And left-legg'd Jacob seems to emulate.”
If the various editions of Pope's works were carefully collated, similar alterations would be found in almost every page.
The unequal pace of our author's bookseller arose, perhaps, from a circumstance mentioned by Rowe in his Dialogue between Tonson and Congreve, in imitation of Horace's-Donec gratus eram, Lib. III. Ode ix. ; which, furnishes us with some other particularities of this celebrated modern Trypho:
TONSON. While at my house in Fleet-street once you lay,
How merrily, dear Sir, time pass'd away!
While I partook your wine, your wit, and mirth,
I was the happiest creature on GOD's yearth.*
While yet you
* Tonson (Sen.) his dialect.—Orig. Note.
"I am the founder of your lov'd KIT-KAT,* "A Club that gave direction to the State:
Thou, Jacob Tonson, were, to my conceiving,
TONSON. I'm in with Captain Vanbrugh at the present,
If I were sure to go to heaven, would die.
CONGREVE. Temple and Dalaval are now my party, Men that are tam Mercurio both quam Marti; And though for them I shall scarce go to heaven, Yet I can drink with them six days in seven.
TONSON. What if from Van's dear arms I should retire, And once more warm my bunnians† at
If I to Bow-street should invite you home,
Tell me, dear Mr. Congreve, would you come? CONGREVE. Though the gay sailor, and the gentle knight, §
Were ten times more my joy and heart's delight;
* Ward, in his "History of Clubs," as well as Mr Shippen, says, that Jacob Tonson was the founder of this Club.
+ Jacob's term for his corns.
Where at this time he had a printing-house.
§ Sir Richard Temple, soon afterwards created Lord Cobham.
"Twas there we first instructed all our youth,
"To talk profane, and laugh at sacred truth ;' "We taught them how to toast, and rhyme, and bite, "To sleep away the day, and drink away the night."Some this fantastick speech approved, some sneer'd; "The wight grew cholerick, and disappear'd."
Jacob Tonson, however plain in his appearance, of which this satirical description may be supposed to have been a caricature, was, I believe, a worthy man,' and was not only respected as an honest and opulent trader, but, after Dryden's death,
All Rowe's early plays, except the AMBITIOUS STEPMOTHER, were printed for Jacob Tonson; but these verses, which appeared in a small collection of his poems, in 1714, (if not before) were printed for Edmund Curll; and JANE SHORE was published by Lintot in 1713, and LADY JANE GRAY in 1715, by the same bookseller. It should seem, therefore, that some disagreement had taken place between Rowe and Tonson. Jacob probably was not satisfied with the part which he sustains in this dialogue.
' Addison told Bishop Berkeley, that he had been in danger of losing his religion by living with the Whigs.
According to Dunton, in his LIFE AND ERRORS, 8vo. 1705, good sense, frankness, and independence, were the striking features of his character: "He was (say's Dunton,) bookseller to the famous Dryden, and is himself a very good judge of persons and authors: and as there is no body more competently qualified to give their opinion of another, so there is none who does it with a more severe degree of exactness, or with less par. tiality; for, to do Mr. Tonson justice, he speaks his mind upon all occasions, and will flatter nobody.'
lived in familiar intimacy with some of the most considerable persons of the early part of this century. By his success in trade he had acquired a sufficient sum to purchase, about that time,
3 Even the proud Duke of Somerset, Thomas Pelham Duke of Newcastle, and many other noblemen, corresponded with Jacob Tonson, and wrote to him with great familiarity and kindness. He appears to have been the keystone of the Kit-Kat Club, as may be collected from the following extracts from letters addressed to him. June 22d, 1703, the Duke of Somerset tells him-“Our Club is dissolved, till you revive it again; which we are impatient of." In the same month and year, Vanbrugh, who appears to have had great kindness for Tonson, and corresponded with him for above twenty years, writing to him at Amsterdam, says,-" In short, the Kitt-Catt wants you much more than you ever can do them. Those who remain in town are in great desire of waiting on you at Barn-Elmes; not that they have finished their pictures neither; though, to excuse them as well as myself, Sir Godfrey has been most in fault. The fool has got a country-house near Hampton-Court, and is so busy in fitting it up, (to receive no body,) that there's no getting him to work." Again, July 10, 1703:-" The Kitt-Catt too will never meet without you: so you see, here's a general stagnation for want of you."
Vanbrugh wrote to him with great kindness, Nov. 5, 1719 (a Mon Mon Tonson, chez Mon Coustelier, Libraire, a Paris): "I went the next day to Claremont, where you may imagine there was much talk about you; and I do assure you, with no small regard and affection from every body. Mr. Spence was there, who gave me a very agreeable and friendly account of you, and join'd
an estate near Ledbury, in Herefordshire. In the year 1703 he went to Holland, for the purpose of
very heartily in clinking round your health and your return."
So again, Nov. 29, 1719:-"One seldome hears you named, since the good fortune that has attended you there, [at Paris,] but the question is started, how it will operate upon you in your way of living; and various opinions I observe about it. What my own has been, you'll hear when you come over; but I observe in your letter one strong symptome of my being right; since you are so far from forgetting your old mistress, Barnes, that you are inclined to compliment her in the spring with £.500. for a new petticoat. For my part, I think she deserves it, for the pleasures she has given you; and I heartily wish her well, for those she has spared me."
Again, Feb. 18, 1719-20:-" Though your nephew tells me, you'll be soon here, I take it for granted you may meet with such delays as may give you time to receive an answer to the last letter I had from you; which so pleased the Duke of Newcastle, that he took it from me to shew the Duchess, Mrs. Pelham, &c. and said, he would write three sides of a sheet in answer to it, and then give it to me, to fill up the fourth."
Again, August 12, 1725" From Woodstock we went to Lord Cobham's, seeing Middleton-Stony by the way, and eating a cheerful cold loaf at a very humble ale-house: I think the best meal I ever eat, except the first supper in the kitchen at Barnes.”
Some years before, this Club seems to have been dissolved, or died away. "You may believe me, (says Vanbrugh in the same letter,) when I tell you, you were often talked of, both during the journey and at Stowe; and our former Kitt-Katt days were remember'd with pleasure we were one night reckoning who were left;