Page images

My eighth Project was a design to expose vice, intituled, The Night Walker; or, Evening Rambles in search after lewd Women *; with the various Conferences held with them. This Project was so well received, that I purposed to continue it monthly.

“ IX. My last Project (amongst many that I shall leave unmentioned) was intituled - The Merciful Assizes; or, a Panegyrick on the late Lord Jeffreys’ hanging so many in the West.' You must know, Reader, in the book intituled . The Bloody Assizes' (of which I sold above six thousand) the Lord Jeffreys is made a very cruel man: but in this new Project I (wholly) change the scene, and turn the Bloody Assizes into Merciful Assizes.' But let none be surprized that I make Jeffreys the subject of a panegyrick; for there is a witty Author has defended the bloody Nerd ; and of late, a learned gentleman has published an Apology for the Failures of Dr. Walker; and with the same design that these gentlemen writ, do I venture

to praise that nonsuchman, George Lord Jeffreys.” This panegyrick was so well accepted, that my friend Mr. George Larkin was pleased to explain the Project by an ingenious Poem.

“ Thus have I given a brief account of the Projects 1 formerly engaged in ; and whether they give me the title of Maggot, or Promoter of Learning and Virtue, is left to the candour and judgment of the honest Reader."

After this ample account of himself and of his vasious Projects, little remains to be added, but the titlepages of three of Dunton's publications.

1. The Dublin Scufie: being a Challenge sent by John Dunton, Citizen of London, to Patrick

* Dunton's greatest Project was intended for the extirpating of lewdness from London; a scheme highly creditable to the schemer, had it been practicable. Armed with a constable's staff, and accompanied by a clerical companion, he sallied forth in the evening, and followed the wretched prostitutes home, or to a tavern, where every effort was used to win the erring fair to the paths of virtue; but these, he observes, were 'perilous adventures,' as the Cyprians exerted every art to lead him astray, in the height of his spiritual exhortations.


[ocr errors]

Campbel, Bookseller in Dublin; together with the small Skirmishes of Bills and Advertisements. To which is added, the Billet Doux, sent him by a Citizen's Wife in Dublin, tempting him to Lewdness: with his Answers to her. Also some Account of his Conversation in Ireland, intermixt with particular Characters of the most eminent Persons he conversed with in that Kingdom; but more especially in the City of Dublin. In several Letters to the Spectators of this Scuffle. With a Poem on the whole Encounter. I wear my Pen as others do their Sword! OLDHAM. London, printed for the Author; and are to be sold by A. Baldwin, near the Oxford-Arms in WarwickLane, and by the Booksellers in Dublin; 1699.”

This volume is inscribed “ To the Honourable Colonel Butler, a Member of the House of Commons in Ireland ;” as a compliment due to the generous encouragement that gentleman had been pleased to give to his Auction of Books at Dublin in the

year 1698, and the extraordinary and unmerited kindnesses he had received. The Scuffle relates to disputes in trade with Patrick Campbel, a Dublin Bookseller, who was jealous of Dunton's success; which are amusing, though not very generally interesting. But the “Account of his Conversation in Ireland” contains a pleasing description of several parts of that Island, not generally known to an English reader, and well worth perusing.

2._His next regular publication was, “The Life and Errors of John Dunton, late Citizen of London; written by himself in Solitude. With an Idea of a new Life; wherein is shewn how he'd think, speak, and act, might he live over his days again : intermixed with the new Discoveries the Author has made in his Travels abroad, and in his private Conversation at home*. Together with the Lives and Characters

the press,

* At the end of this volume was advertized, as preparing for

“A Ramble through Six Kingdom, by John Dunton, late Citizen of London. - Wherein he relates, i. His Juvenile Travels. 2. The History of his Sea Voyages. 3. His Conversation in Foreign Parts. With Characters of Men and Women,


p. 6.

of a Thousand Persons now living in London, &c. Digested into Seren Stages, with their respectiveldeas.

He that has all his own mistakes confess'd,
Stands next to him that never has transgress'd;
And will be censur’d for a fool by none,
But they who see no errors of their own.'

Foe's Satyr upon himself, London: printed for S..Malthus, 1705." This genuine and simple narrative of his own history is a very curious performance, and abounds in literary history of an interesting nature.

3. « The Case of John Dunton with respect to Madam Jane Nicholas of St. Alban's, his Motherin-law, 1700,” 4to.

4. “A Cat may look on a Queen: or a Satyr on Her present Majesty.”

5. " Plain French: or a Satyr upon the Tackers, To which is added the Character of a True Patriot: written to caution and direct English Freeholders in the Choice of a New Parliament; and particularly the Electors in Bucks. By John Dunton, a Freeholder of the same County. The Fourth Edition, corrected and enlarged."

6. "The New Athenian Oracle; under Three General Ileads, viz. The Divine, Philosophic, and Secret Oracle. The whole resolving such nice and curious Questions as were never answered in the Old Athenian Oracle. vol. I. with a General Table. -The Second Volume of The New Athenian Oracle will be published when a thousand of the first Volume is sold off'; and then this New Oracle will be continued in Volumes, at 3. each, till the Question Project is completed in Six Volumes; all which will not exceed the bulk (or price) of the Three Volumes of the Old Athenian Oracles. This Notice is given, that so the ingenious Querists may continue to send

and almost every Thing he saw or conversed with. The like Discoveries in such a Method) never made by any Traveller before. Illustrated with Forty Cuts, representing, the most pleasant Passages in the whole Adventure. With Recoinmendawry Poems, written by the chief Wits in both Universities.”


what nice and curious Questions they have still by them. But take notice, that no Questions will be answered, or received, but what are sent to the Athenian(or Smith's) Coffee-house in Stock’s-market, and postage paid."

7: “ The Athenian Catechism: containing, The Atheist's Catechisin, Numb. 1. A Continuation of the Atheist's Catechism, Numb. 2. The Player's Catechism, Numb. 3. The High Flyer's Catechism, Numb. 4. The bigotted Dissenter's Catechism, Numb.5. The Atheist at Confession : or, the Atheist's penitential Catechism, Numb. 6. A Continuation of the Atheist's penitential Catechism, Numb. 7. The occasional Conformist's Catechism, Numb. S. The occasional Nonconformist's Calechisin, Numb.9. A Continuation of the occasional Nonconformist's Catechism, Vumb. 10. The Lady's Catechism for Paint and Patches, Numb. 11. A Catechism for our late Pamphleteers, Numb. 12. A Catechism for Coffee-houses, Numb. 13. A Contitinuation of the Coffee-house Catechism, Numb. 14. TheCatechism forCoitee-houses continued, Numb.15. The finishing Catechism for the Coffee-houses, Numb. 16. The Political Catechism, for the Improvement of Newsinongers, Numb. 17. A Continuation of the Political Catechism, Numb. 18, 19, 20.--These several Catechisms are a Continuation of the Athenian Catechisın. To which is added, The Gentleman's Courant, or, News for the Ingenious. These 20 Numbers complete the first Volume of the Athenian Catechism; and are sold at 18d. A second Volume of this Catechetical Project will be publisheri, if due encouragement be given.---By the New Athenian Society."

8. “Dunton's Whipping-post: or, a Satire upon every body. To which is added, A Panegyrick on the most deserving Gentlemen and Ladies in the Three Kingdoms ; &c. &c. Vol. I. To which is added, The Living Elegy: or, Dunton's Letter to his few' Creditors. With the Character of a


Summer Friend. Also, the secret History of the Weekly Writers, in a distinct Challenge to each of them. Printed, and are to be sold by B. Bragg, at the Black Raven in Paternoster-row. 1706."

9. “The Bull-baiting: or, Sacheverell dressed up in Fireworks. Lately brought over from Beargarden in Southwark; and exposed, for the Diversion of the Citizens of London, at Six-pence a-piece. By John Dunton, Author of the Answer to Dr. Kennett, intituled“ The Hazurd of a Death-bed Repentance." Being Remarks on a scandalous Sermon bellowed out at St. Paul's on the fifth of November last, before the Right Honourable the Lord Mayor, and Court of Aldermen, by Dr. Sacheverell. Printed for the Author, and are to be sold by John Morphew, near Stationers-hall; and take notice whatever of these Books are published, not having Mr. Morphew's name to them (or that are sold at a lower price than 6d.) are a wrong to the Author, and a cheat to the Buyers; all such stolen and imperfect Books not containing the fourth part of Mr. Dunton's original Copies. 1709.”

11. The latest of his publications that I have seen is intituled, “Athenianism; or, the new Projects of Mr. John Dunton, Author of the Essay intituled, The Hazard of a Death-bed Repentance; being,


" that

* Dunton is honoured with an incidental notice in the Dun-' ciad, II. 144; on which Warburton remarks, that “ he was a auction bookseller, and an abusive scribler. He wrote N or Nothing, a violent satire on some Ministers of State; a hibel on the Duke of Devonshire and the Bishop of Peterborough, &c.”

“ I am informed,” says Swift in the Tale of a Tub, worthy Citizen and Bookseller Mr. John Dunton has made a faithful and painful Collection, which he shortly designs to publish in twelve volumes in folio, illustrated with copper-plates ; a work useful and curious, and altogether worthy of such a hand." -In his “ Public Spirit of the Whigs," Swift says, “Among the present Writers on that side I can recollect but three of any great distinction, which are the Flying Post, Mir. Dunion, and the author of the Crisis. The first of these seems to have been much sunk in reputation, since the sudden retreat of the only true genuine original author, Mr. Ridpath, who is celebrated by the


« PreviousContinue »