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The following LETTER, addressed to the Prin
ter of the St. James's Chronicle, appeared in that Paper, in June, 1767.
paper controversy, particularly upon trifles, permit me to be as concise as possible in informing a correspondent of yours, that I recommended Blainville's Travels, because I thought the book was a good one, and I think so still. I said, I was told by the bookseller that it was then first published; but in that, it seems, I was misinformed, and my reading was not extensive enough to set me right.
Another correspondent of yours accuses-me of having taken a ballad, 1 published some time ago, from one by the ingenious Mr. Percy*. I do not think there is any great resemblance between the two pieces in question. If there be any, his ballad is taken from mine. I read it to Mr. Percy some years ago; and he (as we both considered these things, as trifes at best) told me, with his usual good humour, the next time I saw him, that he had taken my plan to form the fragments of Shakespeare into a ballad of his own. He then read me his little cento, if I may so call it, and l'highly approved it. Such petty anecdotes as these are scarce
“ Reliq. of Anc.
• The Friar of Orders Gray. Poetry," vol. i. p. 243.
worth printing: and, were it not for the busy disposition of some of your correspondents, the public should never have known that he owes me the hint of his ballad, or that I am obliged to his friendship and learning for communications of a much more important nature.
I am, Sir,
"TURN, gentle hermit of the dale,
And guide my lonely way,
With hospitable ray.
With fainting steps and slow; Where ilds, immeasurably spread,
Seem length’ning as I go.'
• To tempt the dangerous gloom; For yonder faithless phantom flies
To lure thee to thy doom.
My door is open still;
I give it with good wil. * Then turn to night, and freely share
Whate'er my cell bestows;
My blessing and repose.