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by this illegitimate business. Then came HARRISON, with his · British Novelists, in 100 volumes, illustrated by Stothard. I have a series of these charming designs. What wealth of fancy; what fertility of humour; what truth of characterization, do these cheap embellishments present to me! As I turn over my two or three hundred little engravings, the incidents which filled my young mind with wonder, and the people over whose fortunes I once laughed and cried, rise up once more, and Memory takes me again over the old ground which Genius has covered with its imperishable fruits and flowers. Robinson Crusoe is there, leaving the foundered ship, upon his raft; or building his boat, with his faithful Friday assisting in the labour. Peter Wilkins (does any one now read that delightful imitation of Defoe ?) is at the door of his lonely cabin, holding a lamp as he gazes upon a woman with wings, lying upon the ground as if dead ;—his tender and loving Yonwarkee. Gulliver, in Lilliput, is pegged to the earth, whilst diminutive beings are climbing by ladders up the steep sides of the Man-mountain Sir Launcelot Greaves goes forth armed cap-d-pie, to redress the evils of society; but the modern knight, as delineated by the artist, is not to be compared to the Knight of La Mancha. Motteux's translation of Cervantes, and Stothard's designs, would make me well content to renew my acquaintance with the adventure of the Windmills, and with Sancho, the governor of Barataria; even though Dickens or Thackeray were at hand, to wile away a long winter evening. I pass over the Grandison and the Clarissa (with costumes slightly modernized as compared with the original plates), to converse as familiarly as of old with Peregrine Pickle, Commodore Trunnion, and Tom Pipes. But more prized even than these worthies are Gil Blas, in the Robber's Cave; and Asmodeus, that marvellous little figure upon crutches, which genius only could have conceived. But whither am I wandering? I would fain linger over the immortal Uncle Toby and the Widow, or weep with the Cook and the Scullion, as Corporal Trim drops his hat upon the ground to point the moral of the story of Le Fevre.
re. But this dallying with pleasant recollection must not be. I must close my portfolio, and say no more about the cheap publishers of popular works eighty years ago, beyond expressing my conviction that they had right notions of Art for the multitude.
The following lists of names are those which appear as the associated publishers of the first and second editions of Johnson's Poets. They furnish a curious record of the ruling sovereigns in the realms of print in 1779, and of the dynastic changes that the lapse of eleven years had produced.
1790. Second Edition.
J. RIVINGTON & Sons.
T. PAYNE & Sons.
B. WHITE & Son.
1779. First Edition,
G. G. J. & J. ROBINSON.
1779. First Edition. G. NICOL, LEIGH & SOTHEBY. J. BEW. N. CONANT. J. MURRAY. W. Fox. J. BOWEN.
Printed by JOHN NICHOLS.
1790. Second Edition. G. NICOL. LEIGH & SOTHEBY. J. Bew. N. CONANT. J. MURRAY, W. Fox. H. L. GARDNER. P. ELMSLEY. J. SEWELL. W. GOLDSMITH. W. RICHARDSON. T. VERNOR W. BENT. W. OTRIDGE. T. & J. EDGERTON. S. HAYES. R. FAULDER. J. EDWARDS. G. & T. WILKIE, W. NICOLL. OGILVY & SPEER. SCATCHARD & WHITAKER. C. STALKER.
HEN I was about ten years old, my father
took me to London for a short holiday. He had business to transact with book
sellers, of whom I remember Messrs. Robinson, of Paternoster Row, and Mr. Wingrave, of the Strand, for whom he printed the French Grammar,' and other works of M. Porny. The dingy warehouses of the great marts of literature did not attract much of my curiosity. But my father had a sight in reserve for me, almost as remarkable as Saint Paul's or Mrs. Salmon's waxwork. I went with him to “The Temple of the Muses.” The building was burnt down some years ago, but I have engravings which assist my recollection of what I saw in 1801.
At one of the corners of Finsbury Square, which was built in 1789, there was a block of houses which had been adapted to the purposes of a great shop or warehouse, and presented an imposing frontage. A dome rises from the centre, on the top of which a flag is flying. This royal manifestation (now become common to suburban public-houses), proclaims that this is no ordinary commercial establishment. Over the principal entrance is inscribed, “Cheapest Booksellers in the World.” It is the famous shop of