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THESE were all the words that passed among us at this time; nor was there need for more ; it being necessary we should make use of force in the cure of my patient.
I privately whispered the old woman to go to Mr. Verdier's in Long-Acre, with orders to come immediately with cupping glasses: in the mean time, by the assistance of Mr. Lintot, we locked his friend into a closet, who, it is plain from his last speech, was likewise touched in his intellects; after which we bound our lunatick hand and foot down to the bedstead, where he continued in violent ravings, notwithstanding the most tender expressions we could use to persuade him to submit to the operation, till the servant of Verdier arrived. He had no sooner clapped half a dozen cupping-glasses on his head, and behind his ears, but the gentleman abovementioned bursting open the closet, ran furiously upon us, cut Mr. Dennis's bandages, and let drive at us with a vast folio, which sorely bruised the shin of Mr. Lintot; Mr. John Dennis also, starting up with the cupping-glasses on his head, seized another folio, and with the same dangerously wounded me in the scull, just above my right temple. The truth of this fact Mr. Verdier's servant is ready to attest upon oath, who, taking an exact survey of the volumes, found that, which wounded my head, to be Gruterus's Lampas Critica: and that, which broke Mr. Lintot's shin, was Scaliger's Poetices. After this, Mr. John Dennis, strengthened at once by rage and madness, snatched up a peruke-block that stood by the bedside, and wielded it round in so furious a manner, that he broke three of the cupping-glasses from the crown of his head, so that much blood trickled down his visage. He looked so ghastly, and his passion was grown to such a prodigious height, that myself, Mr. Lintot, and Verdier's servant, were obliged to leave the room in all the expedition imaginable. I took Mr. Lintot home with me, in order to have our wounds dressed, and laid hold of that opportunity of entering into discourse with him about the madness of this person, of whom he gave me the following remarkable relation : That on the 17th of May, 1712, between the hours of ten and eleven in the morning, Mr. John Ilennis entered into his shop, and, opening one of the volumes of the Spectator, in the large paper, did suddenly, without the least provocation, tear out that of No. , where the author treats of poetical justice, and cast it into the street. That the said Mr. John Dennis, on the 27th of March, 1712, finding on the said Mr. Lintot's counter a book called An Essay on Criticism, just then published, he read a page or two with much frowning, till, coming to these two lines,
Some have at first for wits, then poets past,
he flung down the book in a terrible fury, and cried out, “By G-d he means me.”
That, being in his company on a certain time, when Shakspeare was mentioned as of a contrary opinion to Mr. Dennis, he swore the said Shakspeare was a rascal, with other defamatory expressions, which gave Mr. Lintot a very ill opinion of the said Shakspeare.
That, about two months since, he came again into the shop, and cast several suspicious looks on a gentleman that stood by him, after which he desired some information concerning that person. He was no sooner acquainted, that the gentleman was a new author, and that his first piece was to be published in a few days, but he drew his sword upon him, and, had not my servant luckily caught him by the sleeve, I might have lost one author upon the spot, and another the next sessions.
Upon recollecting all these circumstances, Mr. Lintot was entirely of opinion, that he had been mad for some time; and I doubt not, but this whole narrative must sufficiently convince the world of the excess of his frenzy. It now remains, that I give the reasons which obliged me, in my own vindication, to publish
this whole unfortunate transaction. In the first place, Mr. John Dennis had industriously caused to be reported, that 1 entered into his room vi et armis, either out of a design to deprive him of his life, or of a new play called Coriolanus, which he has had ready for the stage these four years. Secondly, he has given out, about Fleet street and the Temple, that I was an accomplice with his bookseller, who visited him with intent to take away divers valuable manuscripts, without paying him copymoney. Thirdly, he told others, that I am no graduate physician, and that he had seen me upon a mountebank stage in Moorfields, when he had lodging; in the college there. Fourthly, Knowing that I had much practice in the city, he reported at the royal exchange, customhouse, and other places adjacent, that I was a foreign
spy, employed by the French king to convey him into France; that I bound him hand and foot; and that, if his friend had not burst from his confinement to his relief, he had been at this hour in the Bastille.
All which several assertions of his are so very extravagant, as well as inconsistent, that I appeal to all mankind, whether this person be not out of his senses. I shall not decline giving and producing farther proofs of this truth in open court, if he drives the matter so far. In the mean time I heartily forgive him, and pray that the Lord may restore him to the full enjoyment of his understanding: so wisheth, as becometh a Christian,
ROBERT NORRIS, M. D.
From my house on Snow-hill,
God save the Queen.
Vol. XVII. Y
HISTORY furnishes us with examples of many sa
tirical authors, who have fallen sacrifices to revenge, but not of any booksellers, that I know of, except the unfortunate subject of the following paper; I mean Mr. Edmund Curll, at the Bible and Dial in Fleet street, who was yesterday poisoned by Mr. Pope, after having lived many years an instancé of the mild temper of the British nation. Every body knows, that the said Mr. Edmund Curll on Monday the 26th instant published a satirical Piece, entitled Court Poems, in the preface whereof they were attributed to a lady of quality, Mr. Pope, or Mr. Gay by which indiscreet method,