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[Matthew Maty], review of Peregrine Pickle

[Matthew Maty], review of Peregrine Pickle

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Lady Henrietta Luxborough, letters

27 May 1751 and 25 August 1751

From two letters to William Shenstone, Letters Written by the Late Right

Honourable Lady Luxborough to William Shenstone, Esq., 1775, pp. 265–6 and


Lady Luxborough was sister to Henry St John, Viscount Bolingbroke

(1678–1751), statesman, political theorist, and addressee of Pope’s Essay

on Man.

Peregrine Pickle I do not admire: it is by the author of Roderick Random, who is a

lawyer: but the thing which makes the book sell, is the History of Lady V——, which

is introduced (in the last volume, I think) much to her Ladyship’s dishonour; but

published by her own order, from her own Memoirs, given to the author for that

purpose; and by the approbation of her own hand. What was ever equal to this fact? and

how can one account for it?

As to Peregrine Pickle, I hired it—and that merely for the sake of reading one of the

volumes, wherein are inserted the Memoirs of Lady V——; which, as I was well

acquainted with her, gave me curiosity. The rest of the book is, I think, ill wrote, and

not interesting.


Anonymous verses on Lady Vane


From The Ladies’ Magazine, June 1751.

To Lady Vane (Handed to her on her Leaving Bath)

As in your person without Fault,

So should your Conduct be;

For what avails a beauteous Form,

When stampt with Infamy.

If you’d not give up worldly Ease

For Titles, Wealth, and Fame:

Nor forfeit every Hope of Heav’n

To gain Contempt of Shame.

Hate Vice; let Virtue be your Guide,

For all her Paths are Peace;

And nobly toil to make your Mind

As beauteous as your Face.


Elizabeth Montague on Peregrine Pickle


From Elizabeth Montagu The Queen of the Blue Stockings, ed. Emily

J.Climenson, 2 vols, 1906, vol. II, p. 2. From a letter to her sister, Sarah

Scott, early in 1752.

I recommend to your perusal The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle. Lady Vane’s story is well



[Henry Fielding] in The Covent-Garden Journal

No. 2, 7January 1752

Henry Fielding wrote this piece under the pseudonym Sir Alexander

Drawcansir. This extract is from the section entitled The JOURNAL of the

present WAR. Dated January 6, from the Head Quarters. This is Fielding’s

comic dismissal of Smollett in his account of the paper war of 1751–2.

From The Covent-Garden Journal, ed. G.E.Jensen, New Haven, vol. I,


Having taken all Precautions, and given all the necessary Orders, on the 4th Instant, at

Break of Day, we marched into Covent-Garden, and fixed our Head Quarters at the

Universal Register Office opposite unto Cecil-Street in the Strand.

A little before our March, however, we sent a large Body of Forces, under the

Command of General A.Millar, to take Possession of the most eminent PrintingHouses. The great Part of these were garrisoned by Detachments from the Regiment of

Grub-Street, who all retired at the Approach of our Forces. A small Body, indeed,

under the Command of one Peeragrin Puckle, made a slight Show of Resistence; but

his Hopes were soon found to be in Vain; and, at the first Report of the Approach of a

younger Brother of General Thomas Jones, his whole Body immediately disappeared,

and totally overthrew some of their own Friends, who were marching to their

Assistance, under the Command of one Rodorick Random. This Rodorick, in a former

Skirmish with the People called Critics, had owed some slight Success more to the

Weakness of the Critics, than to any Merit of his own.


[Tobias Smollett], Habbakkuk Hilding’s Faithful


15 January 1752

From A Faithful Narrative of the Base and inhuman ARTS That were lately

practised upon the BRAIN OF HABBAKKUK HILDING, etc., by Drawcansir

Alexander, 1752. Smollett, under this pseudonym, the inverse of

Fielding’s in The Covent-Garden Journal (see No. 24) contributes to the

paper war. In this extract (from pp. 18–24) a troop of Fielding’s fictional

characters encounter some of Smollett’s in a war of words.

Accordingly they proceeded down Catherine-street to the Strand, in a most tumultuous

Manner, bellowing Defiance to all who should presume to oppose them; their

Commander leading the Van upon Assback, and his Brother bringing up the Rear, under

the Guidance of one who called himself Jones, and pretended to be a Gentleman; though

he was in reality no other than a Player’s Bastard, and had been formerly transported

under another Name——. His Right-Hand Man was one Partridge, a notorious Felon

and Imposter; and on his Left stalked a strange uncouth Figure with a long Beard, whom

the said Jones stiled the Philosopher of the Hill; but, he afterwards proved to be a Sheepstealer in Disguise—as for Amelia and her beloved Booth, they marched Hand in Hand

immediately behind the General; the Wife brandishing a Broomstick, and the Husband

weilding a Distaff, with a Glyster-pipe fixed to his Button-Holes—. He suffered a great

many furious Looks from a termagant Oyster-Wench called Matthews, who walked at a

little Distance from this fond Couple, and frequently flourished her Knife at them, with

all the Marks of Jealousy and Despair.

In this Manner they continued their March without Opposition, to the Terror of his

Majesty’s peaceable Subjects; and made an Halt on the Banks of the Kennel that waters

the New Church in the Strand—here they stopped with a View to send off Detachments

to different Quarters of the Town, when all of a sudden the above-mentioned Matthews,

seeing a decent Gentlewoman crossing the Street, ran up to Habbakkuk with violent

Emotion, crying, ‘D—n my Eyes! Justice, now is the Time to stand by me, for there’s

the B—ch Miss Williams, Waiting-Maid to Madam Random, coming for a Warrant to

have me nabbed for nimming her Gown and Capuchin.’ —At the same Instant,

Partridge having descried a Journeyman Barber, with a remarkably long Chin, passing by

Somerset-House in Conversation with another Man, roared out with uncommon

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[Matthew Maty], review of Peregrine Pickle

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