Henry Fielding.

The journal of a voyage to Lisbon online

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%* This Edition is limited to Five Hundred copies •, viz.
25 011 Japanese Vellum, numbered 1 to 25.
475 on Handmade paper, numbered 26 to 500.

This is No. ££, ,

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[Much legend has gathered round Hogarth's sketch
of Fielding, here copied from Basire's engraving in
Andrew Millar's edition- of Fielding's " Works," 1762.
Arthur Murphy, the editor, says that Hogarth worked
from a profile cut in paper by a lady who is under-
stood to have been the Miss Margaret Collier who
accompanied Fielding to Lisbon {see note to p. 72,
/. 10). Another account {which M. de Segur bor-
rowed for the basis of his comedy, ' ' Le Portrait de
Fielding," 1 800) says that Garrick "made up" like
his dead friend, and that Hogarth drew him. Both
these stories are flatly contradicted by Hogarth's com-
mentators. George Steevens (" Biographical Anecdotes
of Hogarth," 1781, /. 131) affirms that Garrick only
urged Hogarth to make the attempt ; John Ireland
{"Hogarth Illustrated" Hi. 291) that it was simply
a sketch from memory. Both Ireland and Steevens
had exceptional opportunities for knowing the truth.
Besides Hogarth's pen-and-ink, there are three other
likenesses of Fielding which claim to be authentic, i.e.,
a miniature in Nichols's " Literary Anecdotes;" a
portrait in the Mineral Water Hospital at Bath, said
to have belonged to Ralph Allen ; and another exhibited
in the Guelph Exhibition of 1891 {No. 221). But
against all these must be set the cause which is stated
to have prompted Hogarth's sketch, namely, x ' that no
picture of Fielding was ever drawn " {Murphy's Essay,
" Works," 1762, i. 47) ; and it may be added that the
miniature is manifestly based on Hogarth. ]




" We can with Pleasure inform the
Public, that they will soon be greatly
entertained by a posthumous Piece of
the late Henry Fielding, Esq; entitled,
A Journal of a Voyage to Lisbon ; to
which, we hear, will be added, a Frag-
ment of his Answer to Lord Boling-
broke." This modest "puff preliminary"
appeared in the " Public Advertiser " for
Thursday, 6th February, 1755, and shortly
afterwards was succeeded by the usual
publishers' notifications, the first of which
ran as follows : —

" On Tuesday the 2$'* inst. will be
published. In One Volume Duodecimo,
Price 3s. bound, {Printed for the Benefit
of his Wife and Children) THE JOUR-
NAL of a Voyage to Lisbon. By the

M3510J 6


late Henry Fielding, Esq; To which
is added, A Fragment of his Answer to
Lord Bolingbroke. Sold by A. Millar
in the Strand."

This was issued on the 1 3th February,
and in these terms the book continued
to be announced at intervals until Tues-
day the 25th, when the wording was
duly altered to " This Day is published."
The publisher was the same Andrew
Millar, Tonson's successor "at Shake-
spear's - Head over - against Katherine
Street in the Strand" who had published
" Joseph Andrews," " Tom Jones," and
" Amelia." As recently as January and
February, 1753, he nac * put forth Field-
ing's " Proposal for Making an Effectual
Provision for the Poor," and his " Clear
State of the Case of Elizabeth Canning "
(who by 1755 was satisfactorily trans-
ferred to His Majesty's Plantations) ; and
he was ultimately to publish Fielding's
complete works. The " Journal " was re-
viewed in the " London Magazine " for
February ; in the " Gentleman's Maga-


zine " for March ; and, briefly, in the
" Monthly Review " for the same month.
But whether it brought any material
emolument to "those innocents" its
author had left behind, History, which
conceals so much, has not recorded.

For the book itself, it purported to be
in the exact state in which Fielding had
left it. " It was thought proper, by the
friends of the deceased," says the " Dedi-
cation to the Public," "that this little
piece should come into your hands as
it came from the hands of the author."
Yet notwithstanding this explicit declara-
tion, a careful comparison of what is gene-
rally described as the first issue with the
version which in 1762 was included in
Fielding's " Works," and remains to-day
the accepted text of the book, shows
that the first issue, if not " patch'd by a
different hand," was certainly conside-
rably " manipulated " by the suppression
or excision of a number of passages.
These, with the exception of a few lines
which reflect obliquely upon Fielding

viii editor's introduction.

himself, 1 relate in the main to the cap-
tain of the ship, and to the captain's
nephew, a military coxcomb of the type
of Ensign Northerton. 2 There is also a
difference in the name of the landlady
who, to use Horace Walpole's flippant
phrase, " treated and teased " the sick
man's dropsy in the Isle of Wight. An
obvious inference from these last-men-
tioned omissions and variation would
doubtless be that, in 1755, the parties
concerned were still living ; and that, in a
volume for which the widest sale was de-
sired, it was, to say the least, inexpedient
to include matter which might give rise
to contention or expostulation. Indeed,
it may well be that Mrs. Fielding and
her daughter returned from Portugal in
the very ship that carried them out, a
circumstance which would make the
almost immediate publication of a book
containing satirical comments upon the
captain an ungracious and even un-

1 See note to p. 24, 1. 3.

2 See notes to p. 145, 1. 4, and p. 175, 1. 10.


generous act, especially as he was pro-
bably known personally to the nove-
list's brother John, who had carried out
the arrangements for the passage to
Lisbon." x

This explanation of the existence of an
earlier and a shorter version than that in-
cluded among Fielding's complete works
is so plausible that, in the absence of
any more reasonable theory, it should
require but little persuasion to procure
its acceptance. Unluckily, it has been
discovered, during the progress of the
present reprint, that, besides the edition
hitherto regarded as the first, there exists
another, published by the same publisher,
and having the same date, dedication,
and title-page, but corresponding in all
respects with the longer version. When
was it issued from the press ? Upon this
question contemporary advertisements
throw no light ; and the only solution
which suggests itself is hypothetical. The
book, as reference to the " Public Adver-
1 See p. 41, 1. 14.


tiser" shows, was freely advertised in
February and March, 1755. Then, for
some eight months, there is no mention
of it whatever, until, on the 4th December,
the advertisements again begin to appear
for a short time, in much the same terms
as before, the reference to Fielding's
family being the only thing omitted, and
" Printed " by Andrew Millar being sub-
stituted for "Sold." As to the reason
for this re-advertisement there need be no
long speculation. On the 1 st of November
had taken place the famous earthquake
at Lisbon. The contemporary magazines
and newspapers were full of references
to this " topical " subject, and Millar no
doubt saw in it an admirable pretext for
pushing the account of Fielding's voyage
to a place that was occupying so much
attention. The book had to be hastily
reprinted ; and as it had now probably
become his own property, he reprinted
it, not as it had been edited for the press,
but as it had been originally left in manu-
script by its author. It is, of course, com-

editor's INTRODUCTION. xi

petent for casuistry to contend that the
longer version was really the first ; that
it had been withdrawn upon objection ;
and that, until 1762, when it was again
issued in extenso, the shorter version con-
tinued to be sold. A certain colourable
support is given to this supposition by
the fact that an unauthorized edition,
published by James Hoey of Dublin,
follows, not the longer, but the shorter
version, which looks, at first sight, as if
the shorter version were the later. But
the Dublin reprint, seeing that it con-
tains a supplementary account of Lisbon
"as it stood before the 1st of Nov.
1755," was plainly prompted by the
earthquake ; and, though dated 1756,
might really have been printed before
the longer version had found its way
over to Ireland. It might, in fact —
But to proceed further is to enter a
jungle of conjecture. Upon the whole,
the presumption that the longer version
succeeded the shorter is not only a
natural but a logical one ; and that it

Xll editor's introduction.

did so rather prematurely must be attri-
buted to the excitement of the earthquake. 1
In both versions there is one thing
that deserves notice. From the longer
version we learn the captain's Christian
name, since his nephew addresses him
familiarly as " Dick " ; but in neither is
given his surname or the name of his
vessel. These particulars were for the first
time revealed by the publication, in Jesse's
" Memoirs of Celebrated Etonians," 1875,
of the following letter, now, as then, in the
collection of Mr. Locker-Lampson. It

1 Since this was first written, a close examina-
tion of contemporary reviews has supplied prac-
tical proof, if not of the whole of the above
hypothesis, at least of the priority of the shorter
version. The "Monthly Review" for March,
1755, says incidentally that the "Comment on
Bolingbroke " occupies twenty-seven pages. To
speak precisely, in the shorter version it occupies
twenty-seven pages and a half (pp. 201-228) ;
but in the longer version it occupies only
twenty-two and a half (pp. 223-245). It is clear,
therefore, that as the book was first published
on the 25th February, 1755, the shorter version
was the one reviewed, and consequently is the


is here printed from a collation made in
1883 wi th the MS., Mr. Jesse's version
being slightly inaccurate, though by read-
ing "that agreeable Lre" as "that agree-
able 10/.," he perhaps succeeded in
making it more in keeping with Field-
ing's traditional character : —

" On board the Queen of Portugal, Rich d
Veal at anchor on the Mother Bank,
off Ryde, to the care of the Post
Master of Portsmouth — this is my
Date and y r Direction.

"July 12 1754

" Dear Jack, After receiving that agree-
able Lre from Mess r8 . Fielding and C .,
we weighed on monday morning and
sailed from Deal to the Westward Four
Days long but inconceivably pleasant
passage brought us yesterday to an
Anchor on the Mother Bank, on the
Back of the Isle of Wight, where we had
last Night in Safety the Pleasure of hear-
ing the Winds roar over our Heads in as
violent a Tempest as I have known, and
where my only Consideration were the

XIV EDITOR'S introduction.

Fears which must possess any Friend of
ours, (if there is happily any such) who
really makes our Wellbeing the Object
of his Concern especially if such Friend
should be totally inexperienced in Sea
Affairs. I therefore beg that on the Day
you receive this M rs . Daniel ' may know
that we are just risen from Breakfast in
Health and Spirits this twelfth Instant
at 9 in the morning. Our Voyage hath
proved fruitful in Adventures all which
being to be written in the Book you
must postpone y r Curiosity As the Inci-
dents which fall under y r Cognizance
will possibly be consigned to Oblivion,
do give them to us as they pass. Tell
y r Neighbour I am much obliged to him
for recommending me to the care of a
most able and experienced Seaman to
whom other Captains seem to pay such
Deference that they attend and watch
his Motions, and think themselves only

1 His mother-in-law, Mrs. Fielding's maiden
name having been Mary Daniel (see note to p.
44, 1. 9)-


safe when they act under his Direction
and Example. 1 Our Ship in Truth seems
to give Laws on the Water with as much
Authority * and Superiority as you Dis-
pense Laws to the Public and Example
to y r Brethren in Commission, Please to
direct y r Answer to me on Board as in
the Date, if gone to be returned, and
then send it by the Post and Pacquet to
Lisbon to

" Y r affec\ Brother

"H. Fielding

" To John Fielding Esq. at his House
in Bow Street Cov 1 Garden London."

Fielding's letters are extremely rare,
and there is. a good deal of minor informa-
tion in this one. It mentions his wife's
mother (who had probably remained in
charge of the little family at Fordhook) ;
it shows that the "Journal " was already
in contemplation, if not actually begun ;
it confirms the fact that John Fielding

1 This was probably the source of the passage
at p. 91, 11. 7-12, which occurs in the shorter ver-
sion, but not in the longer.


(and not Saunders Welch, as Boswell
says) was his brother's immediate suc-
cessor at Bow Street ; and, lastly, it inci-
dentally supplies the names of the ship and
of the captain thereof, to whose qualities
as a seaman is paid a compliment which
seems afterwards to have found its way
into the first issue of the book. Of
Richard Veal himself, no further particu-
lars are forthcoming. But it is worth notice
in passing that the name of the com-
mander of the " Inspector " Privateer, of
London, which was wrecked in the Bay
of Tangier, on the Coast of Barbary, the
4th of January, 1746, was also Richard
Veale, or Veal. He is not mentioned in
the list of unfortunates who, until they
were redeemed by the Crown in 1750,
remained to languish as slaves among
the Moors ; and it may well be that he
was not among the ninety-six who were
drowned, but among the few who effected
their escape. 1 If, therefore, the Richard

1 See the "Gentleman's Magazine" for 1748,
1749, and 1751, and the "Ladies Magazine"

EDITOR'S introduction, xvii

Veal who in 1754 carried Fielding to
Lisbon, and had been a privateer, be
identical with the commander of the
" Inspector," it is obvious that those
" moving incidents " of his past career
with which he occasionally regaled his
bunk-ridden passenger must. at times
have been well worth hearing. 1

From these exclusively bibliographical
considerations, it is time to turn to the
"Voyage to Lisbon" itself. That it is
not its author's masterpiece may be con-
ceded, and there are good reasons why
it should not be. Great works have be-
fore now been written in prisons ; and if
ever place of confinement came under
Johnson's definition of " a jail, with the
chance of being drowned," it must as-
suredly have been the good ship " Queen
of Portugal." But it may be questioned

for 175 1, where is printed an "Address to the
Publick" by William Latton, Plenipotentiary
and Consul General from His Majesty to the
Emperor of Morocco, by whom the redemption
of these unhappy captives was at last effected.
1 Cf. p. 193, I. 24 et seq.


xviii editor's introduction.

if any masterpiece was ever produced,
in any place, under Fielding's bodily
conditions, and from so limited a stock
of material. We know that the admirable
introductory chapters of "The Anti-
quary " were written during an attack of
toothache ; that the " Legend of Mont-
rose" (with its inimitable Rittmaster)
was composed in acute pain. But in
neither of these cases was the author
doomed and dying. If one recalls for a
moment the wasted figure of the man
from whose ghastly aspect women and
children fled at Fordhook ; who had so
completely lost the use of his limbs that
he had to be hoisted like a dead weight
over the ship's side at Rotherhithe, and
carried helplessly in a chair across the
treacherous mud flats at Ryde ; who was
enfeebled by disease, broken by want
of sleep, and embarrassed by every kind
of personal discomfort, it is marvellous
that he should have had the heart to put
pen to paper at all. Yet write he does,
and writes moreover in such a fashion

editor's introduction, xix

that one almost forgets it is a dying person
who is speaking. That he was aware of
this himself he tells us at the outset :
that he remembered it always is plain
from a dozen quiet touches. He knew,
he says, when he left Fordhook that he
was quitting it for ever. Of a storm in
the Channel he observes that it would
have given no small alarm to a man
" who had either not learnt what it is to
die, or known what it is to be miserable."
Yet so indomitable is his gallantry of
spirit, so irrepressible his joy of life, so
insatiable still his "curious eye" for
humanity, that a fresh face or a new
sensation makes the old fire flame up
once more, and he writes as if he had
not a care in the world. The reader has
no doubt remarked the extraordinary
sentence in the letter quoted above —
" We are just risen from Breakfast in
Health and Spirits ; " and even in the
discomforts of Ryde, he speaks of a
dinner in a barn " as the best, the plea-
santest, and the merriest meal, with more

xx editor;s introduction.

appetite, more real, solid luxury, and
more festivity, than was ever seen in an
entertainment at White's." Nor, not-
withstanding his unstimulating subject-
matter, has his hand by any means lost
its cunning. His portraits of Captain
Veal (especially when completed by the
passages at first suppressed), of Captain
Veal's nephew, of Farmer Francis and
his wife, of the "gentleman" at Gravesend
who was "a riding surveyor" — are by
no means unworthy of the hand which
drew Parson Abraham Adams. And
although much of this character-painting
is in the old ironic manner, which is, in a
sense, his natural speech, it is never
malignant. He is laughing, not at the
individual, but at the race in general ;
and he scarcely ever finishes his sketch
without a word to show that he is willing
to give his sitter the benefit of the smallest
good quality he possesses. He is merciless
to shams ; but, like Fontenelle, he never
utters the least thing against the most in-
finitesimal virtue. Of his own sufferings


he says little, and then never to em-
phasize or exaggerate them ; but he is
infinitely compassionate to the temporary
ailment of his wife, for whose condition
he seems far more concerned than he is
for himself. In short, if the "Voyage to
Lisbon" be not his best work, at least
it gives a picture of fortitude, of cheerful
patience, of manly endurance under trial,
which may be fairly described as un-
exampled in our literature. Many men
begin life as wildly and recklessly as
Henry Fielding, but not to many is it
given to end it as nobly as he did. He
expended his last energies in works of
philanthropy and benevolence ; almost
his last ink was shed in opposing the in-
fidel tenets of Bolingbroke ; and he went
to a foreign grave with the courage of
a hero and the dignity of a philosopher.

Austin Dobson.

Ealing, W.,
March, 1892.





[" We may read Fielding's character
clearly in his books, for it was not com-
plex, but especially in his ' Voyage to
Lisbon,' where he reveals it in artless
inadvertence." — Lowell's Deiiiocracy
and Other Addresses ', 1887, p. 87.]





By the late


Printed for A. Millar, in the Strand.


YOUR candour is desired on the perusal
of the following sheets, as they are the
product of a genius that has long been
your delight and entertainment. It must
be acknowledged that a lamp almost
burnt out does not give so steady and
uniform a light, as when it blazes in its
full vigour ; but yet it is well known that,
by its wavering, as if struggling against
its own dissolution, it sometimes darts a
ray as bright as ever. In like manner, a
strong and lively genius will, in its last
struggles, sometimes mount aloft, and
throw forth the most striking marks of its
original lustre.

Wherever these are to be found, do
you, the genuine patrons of extraordinary
capacities, be as liberal in your applauses
of him who is now no more, as you were
of him whilst he was yet amongst you.


And, on the other hand, if in this little
work there should appear any traces of a
weaken'd and decay'd life, let your own
imaginations place before your eyes a true
picture, in that of a hand trembling in
almost its latest hour, of a body emaciated
with pains, yet struggling for your enter-
tainment ; and let this affecting picture
open each tender heart, and call forth a
melting tear, to blot out whatever failings
may be found in a work begun in pain,
and finished almost at the same period
with life.

It was thought proper, by the friends
of the deceased, that this little piece
should come into your hands as it came
from the hands of the author ; it being
judged that you would be better pleased
to have an opportunity of observing the
faintest traces of a genius you have long
admired, than have it patch'd by a diffe-
rent hand ; by which means the marks
of its true author might have been

That the success of this last written,
tho' first published volume, of the author's
posthumous pieces, may be attended with
some convenience to those innocents he
hath left behind, will, no doubt, be


a motive to encourage its circulation
through the kingdom, which will engage
every future genius to exert itself for your

The principles and spirit which breathe
in every line of the small fragment begun
in answer to Lord Bolingbroke will un-
questionably be a sufficient apology for
its publication, altho' vital strength was
wanting to finish a work so happily begun
and so well designed.


There would not, perhaps, be a more
pleasant, or profitable study, among those
which have- their principal end in amuse-
ment, than that of travels or voyages, if
they were writ, as they might be, and
ought to be, with a joint view to the en-
tertainment and information of mankind.
If the conversation of travellers be so
eagerly sought after as it is, we may be-
lieve their books will be still more agree-
able company, as they will, in general, be
more instructive and more entertaining.
But when I say the conversation of
travellers is usually so welcome, I must
be understood to mean that only of such
as have had good sense enough to apply
their peregrinations to a proper use, so as
to acquire from them a real and valuable
knowledge of men and things ; both
which are best known by comparison.
If the customs and manners of men were
every where the same, there would be no


office so dull as that of a traveller : for the
difference of hills, valleys, rivers ; in short,
the various views in which we may see
the face of the earth, would scarce afford
him a pleasure worthy of his labour ;
and surely it would give him very little
opportunity of communicating any kind
of entertainment or improvement to

To make a traveller an agreeable com-
panion to a man of sense, it is necessary,
not only that he should have seen much,
but that he should have overlooked much
of what he hath seen. Nature is not,
any more than a great genius, always
admirable in her productions, and there-
fore the traveller, who may be called
her commentator, should not expect to
find every where subjects "worthy of his

It is certain, indeed, that one may be
guilty of omission as well as of the oppo-
site extreme : but a fault-on that side
will be more easily pardoned, as it is
better to be hungry than surfeited, and to
miss your dessert at the table of a man
whose gardens abound with the choicest
fruits, than to have your taste affronted
with every sort of trash that can be


pick'd up at the green-stall, or the wheel-

If we should carry on the analogy be-
tween the traveller and the commentator,
it is impossible to keep one's eye a
moment off from the laborious much
read doctor Zachary Grey, of whose re-
dundant notes on Hudibras I shall only
say, that it is, I am confident, the single
book extant in which above five hundred
authors are quoted, not one of which
could be found in the collection of the
late doctor Mead.

As there are few things which a tra-
veller is to record, there are fewer on

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Online LibraryHenry FieldingThe journal of a voyage to Lisbon → online text (page 1 of 14)