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“writ a little less scurrilously; there is a mean in all “ things.” Here Mr. Lintot interrupted, “Why not find
“ another bookseller, brother Curll o' and then took Mr. Oldmixon aside and whispered him: “Sir, as “soon as Curll is dead, I shall be glad to talk with “you over a pint at the Devil.”
Mr. Curll now turning to Mr. Pemberton, told him, he had several taking titlepages, that only wanted treatises to be wrote to them ; and earnestly desired, that when they were written, his heirs might have some share of the profit of them.
After he had said this, he fell into horrible gripings, upon which Mr. Lintot advised him to repeat the Lord's Prayer. He desired his wife to step into the shop for a Common Prayer-book, and read it by the help of a candle without hesitation. He closed the book, fetched a groan, and recommended to Mrs. Curll to give forty shillings to the poor of the parish of St. Dunstan's, and a week's wages advance to each of his gentlemen-authors, with some small gratuity in particular to Mrs. Centlivre,
The poor man continued for some hours with all his disconsolate family about him in tears, expecting his final dissolution; when of a sudden he was surprisingly relieved by a plentiful fetid stool, which obliged them all to retire out of the room. Notwithstanding, it is judged by sir Richard Blackmore, that the poison is still latent in his body, and will infallibly destroy him by slow degrees in less than a month. It is to be hoped, the other enemies of this wretched stationer will not farther pursue their revenge, or shorten this short period of his miserable life.
London, printed and sold by all the Publishers, Mercuries, and Hawkers, within the Bills of Mortality. 1716.
THE publick is already acquainted with the manner of Mr. Curll's empoisonment by a faithful, though unpolite historian of Grub street. I am but the continuer of his history; yet I hope a due distinction will be made between an undignified scribbler of a sheet and a half, and the author of a threepenny stitched book, like myself. “Wit,” says sir Richard Blackmore *, “proceeds “from a concurrence of regular and exalted ferments, “ and an affluence of animal spirits rectified and re
* Blackmore's Essays, vol. ii.
“fined to a degree of purity.” On the contrary, when the ingenious particles rise with the vital liquor, they produce an abstraction of the rational part of the soul, which we commonly call madness. The verity of this hypothesis is Justified by the symptoms, with which the unfortunate Edmund Curll bookseller has been afflicted, ever since his swallowing the poison at the Swan tavern in Fleet street. For though the neck of his retort, which carries up the animal spirits to the head, is of an extraordinary length; yet the said animal spirits lise muddy, being contaminated with the inflammable particles of this uncommon poison. The symptoms of his departure from his usual temper of mind were at first only speaking civilly to his customers, singeing a pig with a new purchased libel, and refusing two-and-nine-pence for sir Richard Blackmore's Essays. As the poor man's frenzy increased, he began to void his excrements in his bed, read Rochester's bawdy Poems to his wife, gave Oldmixon a slap on the chops, and would have kissed Mr. Pemberton's a— by violence. But at last he came to such a pass, that he would dine upon nothing but copper-plates, took a clyster for a whipt syllabub, and made Mr. Lintot eat a Suppository for a radish with bread and butter. We leave it to every tender wife to imagine, how sorely all this afflicted poor Mrs. Curll: at first she privately put a bill into several churches, desiring the prayers of the congregation for a wretched stationer distempered in mind. But when she was sadly convinced, that his misfortune was publick to all the world, she writ the following letter to her good neighbour Mr. Lintot. A true A true Copy of Mrs. CURLL's Letter to Mr. LINTor.
“ won THY MR. LINTOT,
“YOU and all the neighbours know too well the “frenzy, with which my poor man is visited. I never ‘perceived he was out of himself, till that melancholy ‘ day, that he thought he was poisoned in a glass of “sack ; upon this he ran vomiting all over the house, “nay, in the new-washed dining-room. Alas! this “is the greatest adversity, that ever befel my poor “man, since he lost one testicle at school by the bite “ of a black boar. Good Lord! if he should die, “ where should I dispose of the stock unless Mr. “Pemberton or you would help a distressed widow : “for God knows, he never published any books that “lasted above a week, so that if we wanted daily “books, we wanted daily bread. I can write no “more, for I hear the rap of Mr. Curll's ivory-headed “cane upon the counter.——Pray recommend me to “your pastrycook, who furnishes you yearly with “tarts in exchange for your paper, for Mr. Curll has “disobliged ours since his fits came upon him;“before that, we generally lived upon baked meats.-“He is coming in, and I have but just time to put “his son out of the way, for fear of mischief: so “wishing you a merry Easter, I remain your
“P. S. As to the report of my poor husband's “stealing o'calf, it is really groundless, for he always
“binds in sheep.” But But return we to Mr. Curll, who all Wednesday continued outrageously mad. On Thursday he had a lucid interval, that enabled him to send a general summons to all his authors. There was but one porter, who could perform this office, to whom he gave the following bill of directions, where to find them. This bill, together with Mrs. Curll's original letter, lie at Mr. Lintot's shop to be perused by the Cllr1OllS.
Instructions to a Porter how to find Mr. CURLL's Authors.
“AT a tallow-chandler's in Petty France, half way “ under the blind arch : ask for the historian. “At the Bedstead and Bolster, a musick-house in “Moorfields, two translators in a bed together. “At the Hercules and Still in Vinegar yard, a “schoolmaster with carbuncles on his nose. “At a blacksmith's shop in the Friers, a pindarick “writer in red stockings. “In the Calendar-mill-room at Exeter-change, a “ composer of meditations. “At the three Tobacco-pipes in Dog and Bitch “ yard, one that has been a parson, he wears a blue “camblet coat trimmed with black: my best writer “ against revealed religion. “At Mr. Summers, a thief-catcher's, in Lewkner's “lane, the man who wrote against the impiety of “Mr. Rowe's plays. “At the Farthing-pye-house in Tooting fields, “ the young man, who is writing my new pastorals. “At the laundress's, at the Hole in the Wall in
“Cursitor's alley, up three pair of stairs, the author of