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that James Bentham was not the Author humbly beg his pardon for any the of the work attributed to him, could not least severity of remark I may
have come with a better grace from any other been incautiously led into ; and can than the Editor, who is the Author's
assure him I had sufficient materials only Son, and whose duty it should be to
to have filled the pages these Notes endeavour to remove any unfavourable impressions these Notes may have made tion to myself; as well, perhaps, as
occupy, with much greater satisface on the minds of such persons as
that of the Purchasers who have done seen, or are in possession of, copies of them; and it has not been from any
me the bonour of perusing the Work. wish to disseminate scandal or untruth Yours, &c. WILLIAM DAVIS. that they are now published, but from a knowledge of the unworthy use that has
Tuvistock-place, frequently been made of documents of a Mr. URBAN,
Nov. 19. similar description, after the demise of
O have been, whilst living, to have refuted ty of sentiment, or injustice from them; and a wish that the Author of a
principle, and not rebut the charge, Book which has received praise from so would betray a consciousness of guilt, many quarters, should not with im
or a total disregard of public opinion. punity be robbed of tbe reputation his
I would gladly avoid any controversy labours have so well merited.”
with Mr. Storer, as well as with every Mr. Bentham says, he would have other Artist or Author: for I think given me credit for the preceding sen- my time is more pleasantly and how timents, had l communicated them nourably employed in producing liteto him in writing, and that by men- rary works, than in caviding about tioning these Notes on the title-page, their execution, or quarreling with and consequently in the advertise
others who may be engaged in similar ments of my Book, I appear to con- publications. Nor should I take any sider them as of greater importance notice of Mr. Storer in this place, than other articles in the same Col- were it not possible that some persons lection. The Rev. Gentleman can- may be influenced by the construction not but know that, in miscellaneous he has given to my sentimients. Publications like the one in question, In vindicating myself, and explainit is no uncommon practice to men- ing my intentions and opinions, I shall tioo any one article which may hap- avoid all personal remark, or censure pen to occupy the greatest number of of my rivals; yet I fancy they will pages, and in a small duodecimo, not have much cause to congratulate containing 54 distinct Anecdotes and themselves : for the public are always Memoranda of Books or their Au- impartial and critical jurors, and will thors, comprised in 132 pages, to justly appreciate the real and relative have inserted on the title-page the merits of two opponents. Had not only one occupying eighteen of the Mr. Storer's and Mr. Wild's friends number, might, I should have thought, instituted this enquiry, I should not have met with a more liberal con- bave been the first to court a compastruction from the Reverend Gentle- rison of publications; but should have man, who, by admitting that be has continued to purchase their works ; documents and letters in his possession profited by their merits; and endeato disprove the assertions of Mr. Cole, voured to avoid their defects. Comand which he intends publishing in a petition in literature, as well as in Supplement, for the vindication of trade, is beneficial to the publick: his father, tacitly acknowledges his hence they are better accommodated, acquaintance with these Notes pre- though the competitors suffer. In vious to my publication of them. the course of your career, Mr. Urban, "If this presumption be correct, I you have encountered some rivals; think no blame can attach to me for but, after a short-lived struggle, each their publication. If I have given a has fallen, and very few of them are wrong interpretation to Mr. Ben- now recognized. Since I commenced tham's letter, and the event proves my “ Architectural Antiquities ” in him to have been upacquainted with 1805, several Artists, Authors, EnCole's Notes in 1812, and that he had gravers, and Publishers, have comno knowledge of them until the ap- menced works of a similar nature; pearance of the Olio' in 1814, I and it may be safely said, that every
On the pub.
18 14.] Mr. Britton's Vindication of his “Cathedral Antiquities.” 415 one of these has either suok after a he has also thought proper to misrevery short career, or after continuing present. Let us shew how he has for some time, has been seen at the given it : how it is, and how it was, retail shops, much reduced in price, intended by the Writer: and thus and depreciated in estimation. This shew that Mr. S., “A Friend at Home,” has not ariseu from a want of public and" Mr. T. Green," have been either encouragement, but from want of in- deceived in their own estimation of tegrity, perseverance, and judgment my opinions and motives; or bave in their Editors and Authors. These thought proper to misinterpret them, people, however, are the first to com- for the purpose of advocating their plain, and the most boisterous in ani- own, or their friend's cause. madverting on their successful rivals. Mr. S. makes me say, that my work It would be easy to point out mang
" is intended to supersede the necessity of these, and develope their cause of of all other publications on the same failure; but this Exposé will be more subject," and then infers that I assume apposite to an “Historical Review of “exclusive excellence." Periodical Literature."
lication of the 40th and concluding If Mr. Storer wishes to see the ori. Part of my Architectural Antiquities, ginal Prospectus for the Architectural and the ad of the Cathedral AntiquiAntiquities, he may be easily grafi- ties, I asserted that my-literary studies fied : for I am not ashamed of display- and pursuits would, for the fulure, be ing that, or of any other pledge I almost wholly confined to the latter have individually made to the publick. work, "from a partiality to the subI am fully aware, however, that in ject - from the high interest and many instances the execution of some amusement it affords to the Antiquary works may not have been precisely and Historian--from an ambition to "commensurate with iny promises and produce a worlc honourable to all the wishes : but the liberal critick will Artists concerned in its execution : make allowances, and not condemna a beautiful specimen of the embellished me for the errors or negligence of Lilerature of the Country; and Thus Draftsmen, Engravers, or Printers. CALCULATED to supersede the necessity Some failures of this kiod have given of other publications on the same subme much pain; for I need not hesi- ject. Many muy contend for public tate to declare, that a desire to pro- favour and patronage : but that work duce excellence is my first and great- alone will be permanently successful 'est ambition, and is a source of con- which is the best, and approaches tinued solicitude: every one who co
nearest to excellence." On re-consioperates with me in this object is dering this passage (which certainly esteemed as a valued friend; but the was penned with the utmost rapidity) Degligent, or dishonourable, has my I do not perceive any thing to retract, determined and unequivocal enmity. or a sentiment that tends to reproach This feeling has often io volved me in my liberality. I may, however, exunpleasant animosity; and provoked plain one part more directly and public and private hostility: for I clearly to the apprehension of some haveunfortunately met with two or persons. Amoog the most fastidious three of the latter description. It Artists, and whose opinions are there. gives me much pleasure, however, to fore most valuable it has been often rebear testimony to the integrity, good marked that there was a fundamental sense, and good taste, that prevail defect in all works bitherto published among the majority of Artists with on Antiquities : in being either wholly whom I have associated. These con- architectural, picturesque, slight, or stitute the character of the class ; superficial: and thus, although there those the exceptions. These attach were often several publications on the respectability and honour to them- same subject or building, another, or selves, to the Arts, and to their Coun- other works were still required. This try; whilst those are shunned and de- geveral remark was illustrated by respised, become miserable and de- ferriog to various publications, which graded in their own opinion, aod then it will
not be expedient for me to speendeavour to traduce others to their cify here. Suffice it to observe, that, own upbappy standard.
feeling the propriety and justuess of Mr. S. lays his chief stress on a de. this opinion, and having devoted fiftached and incomplete passage, which teen years almost wbolly to this
416 Mr. Britton's Vindication of his “Cathedral Antiquities." (Nov. branch of study, I have been induced Although I am peculiarly fortunate to form the plan of the “ Cathedral in my coadjutors, and expect to see Antiquities" on a scale susticiently much excellence in the productions of comprehensive to obviate these ob. Mackenzie, Blore, the two Le Keux's, jections; and thus, if executed ac- Baxler, and two or three other Artists
cording to the plan proposed, and by now employed on the Cathedral Anthe Artists specified, it is calculated iiquities; yet I hope to live to see to supersede the necessity
several other Artists of equal or of other, or future publication on the superior talents, and am also confident same subject. This is my wish; and that each of tbese will continue to imthis will influence my exertions : but prove in his respective branch of art. still it may fail, from various causes, It gratifies me to learn that Mr. and the further the work may be re- Dvdsworth, the Verger of Salisbury moved from excellence, the greater Cathedral, furnished Mr. Storer with certainty will there be of success for " much valuable information” reother Artists and Authors. But if, specting that Cathedral; for the pubas I hope, the Architectural plans, lick is thereby benefited. I wish it elevations, and details, the picturesque were in my power to thank that Gen. views, with the history and descrip- tleman for similar favours; or was tion, be correct and ample ; and eacli enabled to see his “ History, &c. of
Cathedral be fully and accurately elu- the See of Salisbury,” which Mr. S. cidated; I presume there cannot be refers to, and pronounces to be" by much necessity for other similar far the most accurate, complete, and works. Still there are numerous An- even elegant, which has hitherto aptiquarian and Picturesque objects. peared, or cun appear for some time various ways of treating these. to come on the subject." Bravo! Mr. variety of tastes and dispositions in Storer, this is puffing with a venpurchasers as well as in the “makers geance : not collateral or collusive; of books;" and therefore the " but direct, positive, and unqualified. course of fame” is open to all: many
Alas! alas! my poor efforts will he inay start for the plate, bụt some nugatory; Mr. Mackenzie and the Le will be distanced, and I still contend Keux's will strive in vain; and Mr. that his work only will be perma- Whittingham's typography must be uently successful, that is the best, and equally subordinate. The volume, approaches nearest to excellence.”- however, referred to by Mr. Storer, "The discomfited may be vexed and
with so much evident sarcasm at my complain ; but they will act more insignificant work, has not yet made honourably and wisely by striving to its appearance; and when I was at surpass the best, than by sinister acts Salisbury, Mr. Dodsworth even ob. codeavouriog to level them to their jected to shew me one page of it. own standard.
Mr. Urban, pray excuse
me for Mr. S. again sadly mistakes my taking up so much of your time and 'meaning, and misrepresents my long- room: if I have said more about self established opinion, in saying that's than appears to you expedient or prointimate or appréhend " a decline in per, be so good as remember that I the Arts,” ard therefore infer that I have been forced into this course of am vain enough, or foolish enough, gelf-defence: that my rivals have cbal. to fancy that the Cathedral Antiqui- lenged a comparison of works, and "ties cannot be surpassed. Such a re
thatl must either accept the challenge, mark might have escaped me twenty
or be deemed a coward: that they years ago : but one great object of have chosen your arena for the con"study , to teach humility, and to test; and I feel confident you will see "shew how comparatively little and that nothing but what is just, fair, uuimportant are all our past produc- and honourable, be admitted.
Let tions; and how necessary it is to per- there be no hired Knights, or ?Squires; severe with zeal-to study witb avi- but lei every one come forward in dity--to analyze and criticise our own his own proper person, luwfully armworks, and those of our successful ed, and properly accoutred : let us rivals ; not with a disposition to tra. have no secret daggers, or poison, but duce theirs, but to obtain profitable contend like Englishmen, and theu I knowledge.
shall cheerfully sign myself