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to become new purchasers, the hope of completing their sets, has operated as a material objection to the continuance of the present Series.
In carrying on this work for more than four years, among many other pressing avocations of a literary as well as of a domestic nature, it may be supposed that the Editor has frequently experienced the effects of want of time, fatigue, listlestness, and disgust. Indeed, had not his good fortune, at the moment when much of the aid of his excellent friend, Mr. PARK, was taken from him by laborious occupations of his own, thrown in his way another zealous friend, whose indefatigable researches, added to peculiar opportunity, have given its best value to the latter part of these volumes, it is probable that he would not have been able to carry them, with any fair success, to their present length. But in Mr. HASLIWOOD he has found a coadjutor, of whose singularly curious communications every really intelligent Bibliographer must perceive the high value.
The experience of this co-operation, and a due estimate of its use, keep alive in the Editor the ambition of still adding to the stores of knowledge in this department of literature; an ambition which some of
his friends may perhaps consider a species of Quixotism. It is true, that he has already on his hands intellectual employment enough to fill any moderate desires; and a few dear friends, who are willing to entertain a more flattering opinion of him than he can presume to indulge, tell him that he is wasting the precious hours which ought to be occupied in original composition. If this be true, and if he choose a course more useful than splendid, he may claim, at least, the merit of a generous sacrifice.
It can hardly be supposed that he is less qualified for carrying on a work of Bibliography than when he began this undertaking. He might have taken the motto, DOCENDO Disco. In this state of mind, he has been induced to form the scheme of another periodical work of similar materials.
This work will be entitled THE OLD ENGLISH BIBLIOGRAPHER. It will be published in Quarterly Numbers, at the price of Five Shillings; and in some particulars, will vary from the present plan. Every Number will contain either an Engraving, or a Woodcut; principally portraits, copied from scarce prints, or (where they can be obtained), from original pics
tures. There will also be appended to every Number a' reprint of a portion of some of our most scarce and curious ancient tracts, particularly poetical, so as to form within the compass of a few numbers, complete new Editions of those works. The Biography also of our old Poets, will form main articles of this Publication.
It is at present intended, that the first Number of this work shall appear on the first Day of July next. And as it is probable that only a small impression will be taken, it will be advisable for the purchasers of the CENSURA, and others, who are desirous to obtain the OLD ENGLISH BIBLÍOGRAPHER, to transmit their names as soon as possible (by letter, post-paid), to Mr. TRIPHOOK, Bookseller, St. James's Street. A more full Prospectus will hereafter be given.
Mar. 28th, 1809.
T. Bensley, Printer,
[Being Number XXVIII. of the New Series.]
ART. I. Villanies discouered by Lanthorne and
Candle-light, * and the helpe of a New Cryer called O per se 0. Being an addition to the Belman's second Night-walke: and a laying open to the world of those Abuses, which the Belman (because he went i th' darke) could not see. With Canting Songs neuer before printed. London: Printed by John Busbij, & are to be sold at his shop in St. Dunstanes Church-yard in Fleetstrete, 1616. 410. 60 leaves.
Beyond the history of kings, statesmen, with other elevated characters, and the traveller's picture of foreign nations, a vacuum remains in depicting the whole community from the want of the annals and manners of little knaves. Some portion of domestic information may be gleaned from the Villanies discovered, or such works as the life of Bampfylde Moore Carew; the Blackguardiana; Scoundrel's Dictionary,
* In “ the cryes of Rome," als London, a song in the later editions of Heywood's “ Rape of Lucrece ;” is
“ Lanthorne and Candle light here,
Thus go the cries," &c.
and' too faithful records of the Tyburn Chronicle. These works, while it remains a truism, that “one half the world does not know how the other half lives," Curiosity will continue to appreciate at an high and incredible value. This popularity arises from the local nature of the slang-phrase or canting dialect used by petty thieves, of which the latest publication from Shoe-lane is always in newest fashion. The most finished character of this description, who has imbibed it from infancy, as when “On Newgate steps Jack Chance was found,
And brought up near Saint Giles's pound,
And brought up there by Billingsgate Nan;": if taken immediately from his instructress to a forced penitentiary seclusion of only six months, would find, on revisiting his old haunts, that the dialect had been new modelled and the night-house seminary the only prospect of recovering the character of an adept in his native tongue. Well were it if this cramp gibberish rested only in the mouths of such lawless varlets. *
The Villanies Discovered was written by Thomas Deckar. At the back of the title some lines as the Belman's cry; a short address to the reader succeeds with table of contents; and the work is divided into seventeen chapters, which forms an amusing description of the various nests of swindlers of that period. Some are known for gull groping, ferretting, hawking, jacks of the clock-house, rank-riders, moon-men, jynglers, &c. &c. Under the class of hawking is explained the trick of false dedications,
* In a club of turf celebrity, which flourished in the metropolis a few years since, an attempt was made to establish this bigh polished synonomy.