The year 1712 witnessed the publication of The Mis -
cellaneous Poems and Translations, by Several Hands.
This volume contains two poems addressed to Lintot,
apparently congratulating him on the appearance of
his Miscellany. One, entitled 'Verses designed to be
3 D'Urfey was a music-master.
Bernard L intot. 195
prefixed before Bernard Lintot's New Miscellany,
1712,' is attributed to Swift, and is here given with
the exception of the last line :
' Some Colinaeus praise, some Bleau ;
Others account them so so ;
Some Plantin to the rest prefer,
And some esteem old Elzevir;
Others with Aldus would besot us :
I, for my part, admire Lintottus.
His character's beyond compare,
Like his own person, large and fair.
They print their names in letters small,
But LINTOT stands in capital :
Author and he with equal grace
Appear, and stare you in the face.
Stephens prints Heathen Greek, 'tis said,
Which some can't construe, some can't read.
But all that comes from Lintot's hand
Ev'n Rawlinson might understand.
Oft in an Aldus or a Plantin
A page is blotted, or leaf wanting :
elseif (getClientWidth() > 430)
Of Lintot's books this can't be said,
All fair, and not so much as read.
Their copy cost them not a penny
To Homer, Virgil, or to any ;
They ne'er gave sixpence for two lines
To them, their heirs, or their assigns.
But Lintot is at vast expense,
And pays prodigious dear for sense.
Their books are useful but to few,
A scholar, or a wit or two :
Lintot's for general use are fit,' &c.
This poem was reprinted in the last volume of
the Miscellanies (1732), issued by B. Motte. The
second and longer congratulatory poem is entitled
' On a Miscellany of Poems. To Bernard Lintot/ and
1 96 The Earlier History of English Bookselling.
is described by Nichols as being ' by a nameless but
not inelegant bard, perhaps Dr. William King, of the
Commons.' It was, however, by Gay, and appears
as ' Epistle XIII.,' in his volume of poems. After
describing the way in which a skilful cook would so
manipulate his materials as to please every guest, to
' feast at once the taste, the smell, and sight,' Gay goes
on to say :
' So, Bernard must a Miscellany be
Compounder of all kinds of poetry ;
The Muses' Olio, which all tastes may fit,
And treat each reader with his darling wit.
Would'st thou for Miscellanies raise thy fame,
And bravely rival Jacob's mighty name.
Let all the Muses in the piece conspire,'
and so on, concluding with the following couplet :
' So long shall live thy praise in books of fame,
And Tonson yield to Lintot's lofty name.'
In 1714 the Miscellanies were reprinted. This
work is remarkable from the number of Pope's earlier
poems which it contains, such as ' The Rape of the
Lock/ 4 ' Windsor Forest,' ' An Essay on Criticism,' a
translation of book I, of Statius' ' Thebais,' verses to the
author of the poem entitled ' Successio,' ' St. Cecilia's
Ode,' and two or three others. Among the authors
whose contributions appear in this work, which was
printed for Lintot, and ' William Lewis in Russell Street,
Covent Garden/ were Dryden, Broome, Southcote,
Edmund Smith, Fenton, and Betterton. Lewis, it
4 Spence states that Pope said with reference to the ' Rape of
the Lock,' ' I published the first draught of it (without the
machinery) in a Miscellany of Tonson' meaning Lintot.
Bernard Lintot. \ 97
may be mentioned, was an early friend of Pope's and
was a Roman Catholic bookseller ; he also published
the ' Essay on Criticism,' 1711.
In 1710 or 1711, Lintot grievously vexed the great
Dean of St. Patrick's by publishing ' Noah's Dove,' a
sermon by ' Tho. Swift, formerly Chaplain to Sir
William Temple.' The ' Journal to Stella/ under date
November 7, 171 1, has the following entry : ' A book-
seller has reprinted, or new-titled, a sermon of Tom
Swift's, printed last year, and published an advertise-
ment calling it Dr. Swift's sermon.'
Of the many not unimportant works which Lintot
issued, perhaps John Urry's edition of Chaucer claims
a place in the first rank. This edition, although it
is of little commercial value at the present day,
possesses some interest to bibliographers. The incep-
tion of the task began late in 1711, probably at the
instigation of Dean Aldrich, and was continued with
such ardour that on July 20, 1714, Urry was granted
a patent for the exclusive right of printing the work.
On December 17 of the same year he entered into
an arrangement with Lintot, by which he himself
was to have one-third of the proceeds, Christ Church
College, Oxford, one-third, whilst the remaining
portion was to accrue to Lintot, who was to pay for
paper, copper-plates, and all incidental expenses.
On January 19, 1714-15, Lintot issued the 'Pro-
posals ' for publishing the works ' of the celebrated
and ancient English poet ' by subscription, which
included the following five proposals : ' (i) This work
is intended to be printed in one volume folio, and
will contain near two hundred and twenty sheets.
198 The Earlier History of English Bookselling.
(2) The cuts shall be engraved by the best gravers,
and printed at the head of each Tale. (3) The price
to subscribers will be thirty shillings for one com-
plete book in sheets, fifteen to be paid in hand, the
remainder upon delivery of each book. (4) A small
number will be printed on a fine royal paper, which
will be fifty shillings, half to be paid in hand ; and
(5) This work will be put into the press on Lady-day
next, and is intended to be published the Christmas
following. Subscriptions are taken in by the under-
taker, Bernard Lintot, between the Temple Gates,
assignee to Mr. Urry, and most booksellers in Lon-
don and in the country.' But Urry died on March
19 following, his executor and intimate fellow-
student, William Broome, undertaking the task, sign-
ing an agreement with Lintot to that effect on
August 16, 1715. The agreement recites Urry's
intention to apply part of the profits towards building
Peckwater Quadrangle. Broome assigns his right to
the Glossary and licence to Lintot for remainder of
the term ; the Dean and Chapter and Mr. Broome to
deliver to Lintot a complete copy of Chaucer and
Glossary, and to correct it, or get it corrected. Lintot
was to print 1250 copies, 250 on royal paper and
1000 on demy, at his own charge, and to furnish a
number of copies not exceeding 1500. The net
result of this publication would be, at the rate stated,
2I25/., which would give Lintot 7oS/. 6s. $d. The
work was printed off early in 1719, but two years
elapsed before the ' New Glossary ' was finished, and
it was 1721 when the work came forth, having been
seven years in hand.
Bernard Lintot. 199
It is the publication of Pope's rendering of Homer's
* Iliad ' that has prevented Lintot from being con-
signed to dim obscurity. Indeed, the episode itself
was undoubtedly the greatest and most important
event in the career of each man ; perhaps, also, it was
the happiest and most profitable. Arrangements
were entered into between Pope and Lintot for the
issuing of ' Proposals for a Translation of Homer '
in 1714. The edition was to be in six volumes,
printed on the finest paper, in a ' new Dutch letter,'
whilst ornaments were to be specially designed for the
work. Lintot agreed to pay Pope not only 2<x>/. for
each volume, but undertook to gratuitously supply the
poet with the copies for his subscribers. The sub-
scribers paid a guinea a volume, and as 575 sub-
scribers took 654 copies, Pope received a grand total
of 532O/, 4s. od. But several wealthy persons paid a
much larger sum than the price stated. These figures
do not quite agree with the entries in 'Lintot's Account-
Book,' where the sum of 2I5/. is written as paid for each
volume at its completion. ' Of the quartos,' said Dr.
Johnson, ' it was, I believe, stipulated that none should
be printed but for the author, that the subscriptions
might not be depreciated ; but Lintot impressed the
same pages upon a small folio, and paper perhaps a
little thinner ; and sold exactly at half the price, for
half a guinea each volume, books so little inferior to
the quartos, that, by fraud of trade, those folios, being
afterwards shortened by cutting away the top and
bottom, were sold as copies printed for the subscribers.
Lintot printed some on royal paper in folio for two
guineas a volume ; but of this experiment he re-
2OO The Earlier History of English Bookselling,
pented, as his son sold copies of the first volume with
all their extent of margin for two shillings. It is
unpleasant to relate that the bookseller, after all his
hopes and all his liberality, was, by a very unjust and
illegal action, defrauded of his profit. An English
edition of the " Iliad " was printed in Holland, in
duodecimo, and imported clandestinely for the grati-
fication of those who were impatient to read what
they could not yet afford to buy.' Lintot had,
consequently, no alternative but to issue a duodecimo
edition, which possessed the grand advantage over
the pirated edition in having the notes subjoined to
the text in the same page.
The Postboy of December 25, 1714, contained this
announcement, directed to the subscribers to the
forthcoming translation : ' Whereas it was proposed
that the first volume of the translation should be
published by the beginning of May next, the editor
intends it shall be delivered two months sooner than
the time promised.' But for some reason, apparently
unexplained, this promise was not performed, and
on April 7, 1715, Gay facetiously writes thus to
Congreve : ' Mr. Pope's " Homer " is retarded by the
great rains that have fallen of late, which causes the
sheets to be long a-drying. This gives Mr. Lintot
great uneasiness, who is now endeavouring to engage
the curate of the parish to pray for fair weather, that
his work may go on.' However, the Postboy of
June 4 announced that ' the first volume is now
finished, and will be ready to be delivered to them
upon producing their receipts, or paying the subscrip-
tion money, on Monday, the 6th day of June next,
Berna rd L intot. 201
by Bernard Lintot, bookseller, at the Cross Keys,
between the Temple Gates in Fleet Street, where the
several pieces of Mr. Pope may be had.'
This was all well and good ; but the Postboy of
June 7th contained a startling advertisement, which
ran as follows : ' To-morrow will be published the
first book of " Homer's Iliad," translated by Mr.
Tickell. Printed for Jacob Tonson at Shakespeare's
Head, against Katherine Street, in the Strand.' To
this attempt at rivalry we shall refer again presently.
Nichols states that, according to Bowyer's account-
books, no more than 660 were printed for the sub-
scribers in quarto ; but besides that number Lintot
printed of vol. i. in folio for ordinary sale, 250 on
large paper, and 1750 on small paper. Of the
following volumes the same number of large copies,
but only 1000 of the small. Of the first duo-
decimo edition 2500 were printed, which were soon
sold, and another edition of 500x3 was immediately
The Postman of March 24, 1716, announced the
completion of the second volume of Pope's version of
' Homer's Iliad," which was then ready for delivery
to subscribers. The third was issued in the autumn
of 1717, and the fourth in the spring of the follow-
ing year. The Postboy of March 16, 1719, in an-
nouncing the fact that the fifth volume ' now lies
finished at the press,' also advertised that ' Mr. Pope,
having made a greater progress in the remainder
than he expected, or promised, hereby gives notice,
that he shall deliver the whole to the subscribers
by the beginning of next winter.' From Lintot's
2 O2 The Earlier History of English Bookselling .
account-book it would seem that the fifth volume
appeared some time in October, 1718, when the
stipulated sum was handed over to the poet. These
apparently irreconcilable facts may be explained by
presuming that Lintot paid his money when he
received the last consignment of ' copy ;' and, as will
also be seen by the account-book, the royal paper
copies of vol. v. were not finished until the first week
in April, 1719. Indeed, .with the exception of the
first volume, some months elapsed between the pay-
ment for and the receipt of the gratis copies of each
issue. The Whitehall Evening Post of May 14, 1720,
announces : ' This day Mr. Pope's " Homer," the two
last volumes (the whole work being now complete)
will be delivered to the subscribers/ &c.
A brief reference must be made here to Tickel's
projected translation, and of which only the first
volume appeared. It was well known for at least
twelve months before the work actually put in an
appearance, that Pope was engaged in translating
Homer's 'Iliad ; ' Tickel's work in that direction seems
to have been kept remarkably close. It may be
suggested that Tonson's cupidity had something to do
with the preparation of a rival translation, but that is
very unlikely. The actual cause was in all proba-
bility political jealousy. The almost simultaneous
appearance of rival translations of Homer by the
leading poets 5 of the two political parties, issuing from
the shops of the two leading booksellers of the day,
would to a dead certainty render a comparison certain
5 We are assuming that Addison was largely concerned with
Bernard Lintot. 203
and quite fatal to one of the two candidates. Pope
knew this, and advertises to some extent more than
he originally promised by professing to have added :
' A critical preface, an essay on the life, writings and
learning of Homer .... a map of Greece, a geogra-
phical table of the towns,' &c. But doubt did not long
exist, and on June 10, 1715, Lintot writes to Pope
thus : ' You have Mr. Tickel's book to divert one
hour. It is already condemned here, and the malice
and juggle at Button's is the conversation of those
who have spare moments from politics.' Thus we
see the Tickel-Addison-Tonson combination quite
smashed and destroyed in two or three days.
The next big contract between Lintot and Pope was
a translation of the ' Odyssey,' in five volumes, a work
which was completed in 1725 or 1726, with the help of
Broome and Fenton. Lintot paid in one way or
another, over 42OO/., of which rather more than 35<x>/.
fell to Pope's share, Broome received 5OO/. (ioo/. of
which was for notes), and Fenton 2OO/. This under-
taking was not so brilliant a success as the former ;
the bookseller pretended to have discovered some flaw
in the agreement, or in the manner in which Pope had
carried it out, and threatened the poet a suit in
Chancery. But the threat was not carrie d into effect.
It had, however, the very natural consequence of es-
trangement between the two, and Lintot became en-
rolled at a later date among the heroes of the ' Dunciad.'
In addition to the sums which Lintot paid Pope for
the Homeric renderings, the following will be read
with interest : For the nine poems inserted in the
Miscellany of 1714, already referred to, Lintot paid
2 O4 Th e Earlier History of English Bookselling.
him 88/. 14.$-. ; ' Temple of Fame,' (Feb. i, 1714-5),
32/. 5^. ; additions to the ' Rape of the Lock,' (Feb.
20, 1713-4), 1 5/; and the ' Key to the Lock,' (April 30,
1715), io/. 15^. On the ground of payment we
think Pope had nothing to grumble at.
In the great frost of January and February, 1715-16,
the Thames was one solid block of ice, and shops of
almost every description were erected on its surface,
and Lintot is recorded as having had a stand erected
There is an amusing anecdote told by Dr. Young
himself, recorded in Spence's ' Anecdotes,' which may
be placed here : Tonson and Lintot were both can-
didates for the printing of some work of Dr. Young.
He answered both their letters in the same morning,
and in his hurry misdirected them. When Lintot
opened that which came to him, he found it begin :
' That Bernard Lintot is so great a scoundrel, that,'
&c. It must have been very amusing, adds the Doctor,
to have seen him in his rage, he was a great sputter-
ing fellow. Tonson was described, much to his sur-
prise, no doubt, as an old rascal. But neither Lintot
nor Tonson made much out of Young, for the two
names are absent from the title-pages of the Doctor's
publications which we have examined.
Lintot on more than one occasion emulated Tonson's
bold experimenting. This was the case, but in a very
minor degree, with Shakespeare's works. At about
the time Tonson issued Rowe's edition, Bernard pub-
lished an edition of Shakespeare's poems in two
volumes, which Malone rather unjustly consigned to
oblivion as ' full of errors.' The first volume appeared
Bernard Lintot. 205
on August 3, 1709, and was announced in the fifty-
second number of the Tatler. It contains ' Venus and
Adonis,' ' Rape of Lucrece/ ' Passionate Pilgrim,' and
sonnets to sundry notes of music. The second volume
came out about February, 1710-11, and contains 154
sonnets, and the ' Lover's Complaint.' Probably Con-
greve acted in some degree as editor of this work,
which Lintot announced, in the Postboy, as ' correctly
printed literatim,' and that ' some of these miscellanies
were printed from an old edition which Mr. Congreve
obliged me with ; others from an ingenious gentleman
of the Middle Temple, who is pleased to leave his old
copy with me to shew any person that has a mind to
gratify his curiosity therewith.'
After Pope's Homer, perhaps nothing has conduced
so much to handing down Lintot's name to posterity
as Pope's famous letter to the Earl of Burlington.
Nichols (' Lit. Anec.' viii. 304), considers this letter to
have 'been written between September, 1715, when
Lord Lansdown was committed to the Tower, and
February 1716-17, when he was released.'
4 MY LORD, If your "mare could speak, she would
give an account of what extraordinary company she
had on the road ; which, since she cannot do, I will.
1 It was the enterprising Mr. Lintot, the redoubtable
rival of Mr. Tonson, who, mounted on a stone horse
(no disagreeable companion to your Lordship's mare) f
overtook me in Windsor Forest. He said, he heard 1
design'd for Oxford, the seat of the Muses, and would,
as my bookseller, by all means, accompany me hither.
' I ask'd him where he got his horse ? He answerM,
he got it of his publisher : " For that rogue my printer "
206 The Earlier History of English Bookselling.
(said he) "disappointed;me : I hoped to put him in good
humour by a treat at the tavern, of a brown fricassee
of rabbits, which cost two shillings, with two quarts of
wine, besides my conversation. I thought myself,
cock-sure of his horse, which he readily promised me^
but said that Mr. Tonson had just such another design
of going to Cambridge, expecting there the copy of a
new kind of Horace from Dr. , and if Mr. Tonson
went, he was pre-engaged to attend him, being to have
the printing of the said copy." '
Shortly afterwards, when the ingenious publisher
had made some remarks concerning a printer's devil
who followed, and to whom Pope entrusted a small
bag containing three shirts and an Elzevir Virgil,
Lintot once more began, as follows :
' " Now, damn them ! what if they should put it
into the newspapers how you and I went together to
Oxford ? what should I care ? If I should go down
into Sussex, they would say I was gone to the
Speaker. But what of that ? If my son were but
big enough to go on with the business, by G d, I
would keep as good company as old Jacob."
' " The lad," continued Lintot, " has fine parts, but
is somewhat sickly, much as you are I spare for
nothing in his education at Westminster . . . ."
'As Mr. Lintot was talking, I observed he sat
uneasy on his saddle, for which I expressed some
solicitude. " Nothing," says he, " I can bear it well
enough ; but since we have the day before us, methinks
it would be very pleasant for you to rest awhile
under the woods." When we were alighted, " See here,
what a mighty pretty Horace I have in my pocket !
Bernard Lintot. 207
what if you amus'd yourself in turning an ode, till
we mount again ? Lord ! if you pleased, what a
clever miscellany might you make at leisure hours ! "
" Perhaps I may," said I, " if we ride on : the motion is
an aid to my fancy, a round trot very much awakens
my spirits, then jog on apace, and I'll think as hard as
I can." Silence ensued fora full hour ; after which Mr.
Lintot lugg'd the reins, stopp'd short, and broke out,
" Well, sir, how far have you gone ? " I answer'd,
" Seven miles." " Zounds, sir, I thought you had done
seven stanzas. Oldisworth, in a ramble round
Wimbleton-hill, would translate a whole ode in half
1 " Pray, Mr. Lintot, now you talk of translators,
what is your method of managing them ?" " Sir,"
reply'd he, " those are the saddest pack of rogues in
the world ; in a hungry fit, they'll swear they under-
stand all the languages in the universe : I have
known one of them take down a Greek book upon
my counter, and cry, ' Ay, this is Hebrew, I must
read it from the latter end.' By G d, I can never
be sure in these fellows, for I neither understand
Greek, Latin, French nor Italian myself. But this is
my way ; I agree with them for IQS. per sheet, with
a proviso that I will have their doings corrected by
whom I please." '
When asked by Pope how he dealt with critics,
Lintot replies : ' " I can silence the most formidable
of them : the rich ones for a sheet a-piece of the
blotted manuscript, which costs me nothing ; they'll
go about with it to their acquaintance, and pretend
they had it from the author, who submitted to their
2 oS The Earlier History of English Bookselling .
correction : this has given some of them such an air,
that in time they come to be consulted with, and
dedicated to as the top criticks of the town. As for
the poor criticks, I'll give you one instance of my
management, by which you may guess the rest. A
lean man, that look'd like a very good scholar, came
to me t'other day ; he turn'd over your Homer, shook
his head, shrugg'd up his shoulders, and pish'd at
every line of it : ' One would wonder,' says he, ' at
the strange presumption of some men ; Homer is no
such easy task, that every stripling, every versifier '
He was going on, when my wife call'd to dinner :
' Sir/ said I, 'will you please to eat a piece of beef
with me?' 'Mr. Lintot,' said he, ' I am sorry you
should be at the expense of this great book, I am
really concern'd on your account.' ' Sir, I am much
oblig'd to you : if you can dine upon a piece of beef,
together with a slice of pudding.' ' Mr. Lintot, I do
not say but Mr. Pope, if he would condescend to
advise with men of learning ' * Sir, the pudding is
upon the table, if you please to go in.' My critick
complies, he comes to taste of your poetry, and tells
me in the same breath, that the book is commend-
able, and the pudding excellent." "
' " Now sir," concludes Mr. Lintot, " in return for the
frankness I have shown, pray tell me is it the opinion
of your friends at Court, that my Lord Lansdown
will be brought to the bar or not." ' Mr. Pope informs
the officious bookseller that he heard he (Lansdown)
would not, and what is more, hoped it. But Mr.
Lintot looked at it from a purely business point of
view, and if Lansdown did not come before the bar,
Bernard Lintot. 209
all friend Bernard could say was that he should lose
the printing of a very good trial.
If this letter is really authentic, and it is necessary
at all times to take Pope's statements with a very
big grain of salt, Lintot was decidedly not a ' genteel
man.' We may, however, assume that he was not a
bad-hearted one, for he subscribed five guineas to
the relief fund got up in aid of Bowyer, the printer,
who suffered so greatly from the fire of January 30,
' George for Britain,' a ' poem ' by one Lady Piers,
was a handsomely printed octavo work of 44 pp.
It was a timely production of Lintot's, if it had no
other merit, for it was issued in 1714, the year of
George the First's succession to the English throne.
From John Nichols' quotations, the obnoxious
flattery of the period must have very nearly reached
its culminating point in this ' poem.'
Lintot's two efforts in the Miscellany direction
were followed by one in 1717, and also by another in
1726. The former was entitled 'Poems on Several
Occasions,' and contained contributions from the
Duke of Buckingham, Wycherley, N. Rowe, Garth,
Lady Winchelsea, and ' other eminent hands.' It
was dedicated to the Earl of Orrery by Fenton, who
was for some time the earl's tutor. The 1726 pub-