THE CASE OF Samuel Richardson, of London, Printer; With regard to the INVASION of his PROPERTY IN The History of Sir Charles Grandison, Before PUBLICATION, By certain BOOKSELLERS in Dublin.

THE EDITOR of The HISTORY of Sir CHARLES GRANDISON had intended to send the Volumes of it, as he did those of the HISTORY of CLARISSA HARLOWE, to be printed in Ireland, before he published them himself in London. Accordingly, when he had printed off so considerable a Part of the Work, as would have constantly employed the Press to which he purposed to consign them, he sent over 12 Sheets of the First Volume to Mr. George Faulkner; intending to follow it with the rest, as Opportunity offered.

He had heard an Irish Bookseller boast, some Years ago, That he could procure from any Printing-Office in London, Sheets of any Book printing in it, while it was going on, and before Publication; and Mr. Faulkner cautioning him on this Subject, with regard to this Work, he took particular Care to prevent, as he hoped, the Effects of such an infamous Corruption, as it must be called; since it could not be done but by bribing the Journeymen or Servants of the London Printer. He gave a strict Charge, before he put the Piece to Press, to all his Workmen and Servants, as well in PRINT (that it might the stronger impress them), as by Word of Mouth, to be on their Guard against any out-door Attacks. This was the Substance of the printed Caution which he gave to his Workmen, on this Occasion: ‘"A Bookseller of Dublin has assured me, That he could get the Sheets of any Book from any Printing-house in London, before Publication. I hope I may depend upon the Care and Circumspection of my Friends, Compositors and Press­men, that no Sheets of the Piece I am now putting to Press be carried out of the House; nor any Notice taken of its being at Press. It is of great Consequence to me. Let no Stranger be admitted into any of the Work-rooms. Once more, I hope I may rely on the Integrity and Care of all my Workmen—And let all the Proofs, Revises, &c. be given to Mr. Tewley" [his Foreman], "to take care of."’

He had no Reason to distrust their Assurances; most of them being Persons of experienced Honesty; and was pleased with their declared Abhorrence of so vile a Treachery, and of all those who should attempt to corrupt them. Yet, to be still more secure, as he thought, he or­dered the Sheets, as they were printed off, to be deposited in a separate Warehouse; the Care of which was entrusted to One, on whom he had laid such Obligations, as, if he is guilty, has [Page 2] made his Perfidy a Crime of the blackest Naturea. Having Three Printing-houses, he had them composed, and wrought, by different Workmen, and at his different Houses; and took such other Precautions, that the Person to whose Trust he committed them, being frequently questioned by him as to the Safety of the Work from Pirates, as frequently assured him, That it was impossible the Copy of any complete Volume could be come at, were there Persons in his House capable of being corrupted to attempt so vile a Robbery.

What then must be his Surprize, when Intelligence was sent him from Dublin, That Copies of a considerable Part of his Work had been obtained by Three different Persons in that City; and that the Sheets were actually in the Press? The honest Men published their own Names, in Three different Title-Pages stuck up, in Dublin, in the following Words:

‘"Dublin, Aug. 4. 1753. Speedily will be published, The HISTORY of Sir CHARLES GRANDISON. In a Series of Letters Published from the Originals, By the EDITOR of PAMELA and CLARISSA. In Seven Volumes. Dublin: Printed by and for HENRY SAUNDERS, at the Corner of Christ-Church-Lane."’

The Second:—‘"Aug. 4th, 1753. In the Press, The HISTORY of Sir CHARLES GRANDISON" (as in the other). "Dublin: Printed by JOHN EXSHAW, on Cork­hill."’

The Third:—‘"Dublin, Aug. 4th, 1753. In the Press, and speedily will be published, The HISTORY of Sir CHARLES GRANDISON" (as in the Two others). "London: Printed for S. Richardson:" [Vile Artifice!] "Dublin: Reprinted for PETER WILSON, in Dame-street."’

The Editor had convincing Proofs given him, that one of these Men had procured a Copy of a considerable Part of the Work in Octavo; another in Duodecimo; and that they were proceeding to print it at several Presses.

Terms having been agreed upon between Mr. Faulkner and the Editor, in Consideration of the Preference to be given him (One of which related to the Time of publishing the Dublin Edition, that it might not interfere with the Appearance of the London one) Mr. Faulkner, in consequence of the successful Corruption, signified to the Editor, that it was needless to send him any more than the 12 Sheets he had sent him; and that he had obtained a Fourth Share of these honourable Confederates: But that (to procure this Grace, as is supposed) he had been compelled, as he calls it, to deliver up to them, to print by, the Copy of the 12 Sheets aforesaid, which had some few Corrections in them, which occurred on a last Revisal; but which are of no Moment with regard to the History: Tho' possibly this worthy Confederacy may make use of those few Corrections in those 12 Sheets, in order to recommend their surreptitious Edition as preferable to that of the Proprietor. Of what will not Men be capable, who can corrupt the Servants of another Man to betray and rob their Master?

The Editor, who had also great Reason to complain of the Treatment he met with in his Pamela, on both Sides the Water, cannot but observe, that never was Work more the Property of any Man, than this is his. The Copy never was in any other Hand: He borrows not from any Author: The Paper, the Printing, entirely at his own Expence, to a very large Amount; Returns of which he cannot see in several Months: Yet not troubling any of his Friends to lessen his Risque by a Subscription: The Work, Copies of which have been so immorally [Page 3] obtained, is a moral Work: He has never hurt any Man; nor offended these: They would have had Benefits from the Sale, which the Editor could not have, being not a Bookseller; and he always making full and handsome allowances to Booksellers.

But nothing less, it seems, would content these Men, than an Attempt to possess themselves of his whole Property, without Notice, Leave, Condition, or Offer at Condition; and they are hastening the Work at several Presses, possibly with a View to publish their piratical Edition before the lawful Proprietor can publish his. And who can say, that, if they can get it out before him, they will not advertise, that his is a Piracy upon theirs?

Yet these Men know, that they have obtained the Parts of the Work they are possessed of, at the Price of making an innocent Man unsafe in his own House; and of dishonouring him in the Opinion of his Employers; who, probably, may not choose to trust their Property in the Hands of a Man, who cannot secure his own from intestine Traitors.

Since the above was written, Mr. Richardson has been acquainted, that his Work is now print­ing at Four several Printing-houses in Dublin, for the Benefit of the Confederacy; viz. Two Volumes at Mrs. Reiley's; One at Mr. Williamson's; One at Mr. Powell's; One at Mr. M'Culloch's; and that they hope at Mrs. Reiley's to get another Volume to print; and are driving on to finish their Two Volumes for that Purpose.

The Work will make Seven Volumes in Twelves; Six in Octavo; and he apprehends, from the Quantity he himself had printed, when the Fraud was discovered, that the Confederacy have got Possession of Five entire Volumes, the greatest Part of the Sixth, and of several Sheets of the Seventh and last; but the Work being stopt when the Wickedness was known, they can­not have the better Half of the concluding Volume.

He is further assured, that these worthy Men are in Treaty with Booksellers in Scotland, for their printing his Work, in that Part of the United Kingdom, from Copies that they are to fur­nish; and also, that they purpose to send a Copy to France, to be translated there, before Publi­cation: No doubt for pecuniary Considerations; and in order to propagate, to the utmost, the Injury done to One, who never did any to them; and who, till this Proceeding, he blesses God, knew not that there were such Men in the World among those who could look out in broad and open Day.

It has been customary for the Irish Booksellers to make a Scramble among themselves who should first intitle himself to the Reprinting of a new English Book; and happy was he, who could get his Agents in England to send him a Copy of a supposed saleable Piece, as soon as it was printed, and ready to be published. This Kind of Property was never contested with them by Authors in England; and it was agreed among themselves (i. e. among the Irish Booksellers and Printers) to be a sufficient Title; tho' now-and-then a Shark was found, who preyed on his own Kind; as the News-papers of Dublin have testified. But the present Case will shew to what a Height of Base­ness such an undisputed Licence is arrived.

After all, if there is no Law to right the Editor and sole Proprietor of this new Work (New in every Sense of the Word), he must acquiesce; but with this Hope, that, from so flagrant an Attempt, a Law may one Day be thought necessary, in order to secure to Authors the Benefit of their own Labours: Nor does he wish, that even these Invaders of his Property in Ireland may be excluded from the Benefit of it, in the Property of any of the Works to which they are, or shall be, fairly and lawfully intitled. At present, the English Writers may be said, from the Attempts and Practices of the Irish Booksellers and Printers, to live in an Age of Liberty, but not of Property.

N. B. This is not a Contention between Booksellers of England and Ireland, and on a doubtful Property; but between a lawful Proprietor of a New and Moral Work — AND [...] Let Messieurs Wilson, Exshaw, and Saunders, reflecting upon the Steps they have taken, and making the Case their own (for they no doubt have Servants)—fill up the Blank.

CASE OF Samuel Richardson, of London, Printer; With regard to the INVASION of his PROPERTY IN The History of Sir Charles Grandison, Before PUBLICATION.

By certain BOOKSELLERS in Dublin.

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