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ous in the exercise of his religious side only. Several numbers of it are duties, of a humane and generous preserved in a volume of the collecdisposition, and a liberal benefactor tion presented by Dr. Jasper R. Joly to the poor. James Blow was suc- to the Royal Dublin Society; others, ceeded by Daniel Blow, probably in the Thorpe Collection, belonging his son.
to the same body ; but a volume in
Trinity College contains the largest OUR EARLIEST NEWSPAPERS.
amount of the issue, viz., Nos. 5 to We now put on record, in Dr. 192. Madden's own words, the inaugura- The third newspaper on our list, tion of the Irish newspaper. Thus and of which unhappily no single ran the title of the earliest :
number is known to be in existence, “ The “Dublin News Letter. is, or rather was, the “Dublin GaPrinted for Thornton, Skinners' Row, zette,” published in Dublin, by order by Ray, College Green, Dublin, of his Majesty, James II., 1689. 1685.'
The circulation of the paper in that "In that great storehouse of infor- year is certified by the following exmation, relating to the ‘Ancient tract from a London broadside of History of the City of Dublin,' by the same year, purporting to be a my friend, J. T. Gilbert, Esq., we letter from Dublin :-“There is no find valuable notices of the alleged publick news-letter nor gazette sufearliest newspapers of our metro- fered to be in any coffee-house, only polis. Skinners' Row (now Christ the 'Dublin Gazette,' which is a leChurch Place), and Cork Hill, were gend of their own composition.” John the Paternoster Row of Dublin, up Cornelius O’Callaghan, quotes this wards of a century and a half ago. London-letter manifesto in his notes * Here,' Mr. Gilbert states, the first to the Macaria Excidium (Destrucnewspaper published in Dublin made tion of Cyprus), a veiled history of its appearance in 1685. It was called the Jacobite wars in Ireland. • The Dublin News Letter,' and was Now bidding farewell to the Irish printed by Joseph Ray for Robert newspapers of the seventeenth cenThornton, at the ‘Leather Bottle,' tury, we return to the printed books. in Skinners' Row. The merit of There was in the Charlemont Library the discovery of this, as the first a quarto volume, entitled, Dublin newspaper, belongs to Mr. “A Poem, addressed to Queen Gilbert. It was printed on a single Catherine, Dowager Queen, on the leaf, of small folio size, on both sides, Death of her dear Husband, King and addressed to the public in the Charles II., by Mrs. Behn.” Printed form of a letter.” Nineteen of these by Crook and Helsham, Castle Street, Newsletters are preserved in the Dublin, 1685. Thorpe Collection, R.D. Society. Cato was about as proper a person After the letter of news, got from to be intrusted with a love tale as London, follow a couple of advertise- the frail Mrs. Behu to administer ments, and the reader is at the end. sympathy or consolation to a sorrow
The next paper issued was the ful widow. Why did she not ad“ Dublin Intelligence," which was dress such crumbs of comfort as she commenced, printed, and publish- could afford, to Mrs. Eleanor Gwynne ed by Andrew Crook, on Ormond- or the Duchess of Portsmouth? quay, from 1690 to 1694, perhaps “King James's administration (we longer. It was the same size with quote the text) issued printed sheets the “News Letter,” viz , eleven-and- of military news in Dublin for the a-half inches in height, and six-and- information of his Irish subjects, a-half in breadth, the first twenty some of which sheets seem to have numbers or so being printed on one been sent to Scotland for the encouragement of his supporters, the mone, within ten miles of AthHighlanders there. One of these, lone.” quoted by Macpherson, is headed, But the most interesting of all is « A Journal of the Most Remarkable “A Particular and Full Account of Occurrences that happened between the routing of the whole Irish Army his Majesty's Army and the Forces at Aughrim, on Sunday, the 12th of under the command of the Mares- July, 1691." chal de Schomberg, in Ireland, from “A List also of the principal Perthe 12th of August to the 23rd of sons Killed and Wounded on Both October, 1689. Faithfully collected Sides. Published by Andrew Crook, by James Nihell, Esq., under-secre- on Ormond Quay, for Richard Thorntary to the Right Honourable the ton, of Capel Street." Earl of Melfort, his Majesty's Prime Among the Irish prisoners of disSecretary of State.”
tinction was mentioned Lieutenant“ James likewise issued one pam- Colonel Edward Madden, probably phlet at least, on the war in Ire- an ancestor of our historian. land. Of this exceedingly rare pro- In the Charlemont Library, there duction the writer of these lines was a Dublin reprint of “ An Essay was so fortunate as to meet with a on the Memoir of the late Queen by copy, and to be allowed to trans- Gilbert (Burnet) Bishop of Sarum. scribe it. It was entitled, “A Rela- Reprinted by Joseph Ray, Dublin, tion of what most remarkably hap 1695.". pened during the last Campaign in A news-letter, giving“ An Account Ireland, betwixt His Majesty's Army of the Dismal Ruine of Athlone,” was Royal and the Forces of the Prince of printed at the Post-Office CoffeeOrange, sent to join the Rebels under House, Fishamble Street, joth OctoCount de Schomberg. Published ber, 1697. With the next work we by authority. Dublin : printed by conclude our catalogue of Irish Alderman James Malone, Book- printed books embracing the period, seller in Skinners' Row, 1691." 1551-1699.
When the wars were over poor “The Chase of the Stag, a DeMalone and his partner, Luke Dow- scriptionary Poem. Dedicated to ling, were condemned to pay a fine of Her Grace the Duchess of Ormond. 300 marks for the offence of print- Written by George Wilkins, M.B., ing a Roman Catholic prayer-book. T.C.D., Dublin 1699.” Oh, the good old times of forbearance This was one of the volumes of and toleration!
the Charlemont Library. Among Dr. Joly's books, placed Our readers must not infer from at the disposal of the Royal Dublin the paucity of the works published Society, are the following :
in the country in the latter half of A news letter account of the action · the seventeenth century, that there fought at Castle Cuffe, the 4th of were not many book-shops in Dublin, May 1691. Details given by Major and that there were few readers. Wood, Dublin : printed for Thomas There were readers in abundance, Thornton. Dublin was then in the and compared in a bulk with the possession of the Williamite forces. readers of our days, they exhibited
A letter of occasional news, dated a greater relish for sound and serious the 8th of June, 1691, and headed literature. For every hundred of “Account of the Taking of Bally modern novel readers, the seven teenth century could scarcely pro- John Dunton, citizen of London, duce five. A young lady of 1689 or would never have removed to the 1698 taking“ Clelia," or the “Grand Irish metropolis to hold bookCyrus,” or “ Astrea,” each in one or auctions, and in other respects to more folio volumes, would come to extend the boundary of the literature the end in from three to five weeks. of his day. There were few, if any, circulating libraries, and the number of heavy JOHN DUNTON'S IRISH EXPERIENCES, fictions, chiefly translated from the Oh, terrible John Dunton, London French, was limited. There was this citizen, the persecuting and persesocial advantage in the existing state cuted! What evil breeze wasted you of light (?) literature. The characters across the Irish sea, to spy out and in the few voluminous works were report on the nakedness of our land ? well known, and appreciated by all If your delight was the comtemplaromance-readers, and their disposi- tion of unthrift, prodigality, sloventions, motives, and actions were can- liness, and vice, could you not have vassed in social meetings, as if they found abundance of these qualities were creatures of flesh and blood. by the Thames ? But the perverse Such was the case also in the first and self-seeking Irishman, Pat Campthirty years of the present century. bell, selfishly preferring his own in“Fergus Mac Ivor," “ Ivanhoe," terest to yours, interfered with your “ Barop Bradwardine,” “Rebecca,” trade speculations, and you visited “ Belinda Portman.” “ Lady Dela- his offences on Campbell's countrycour," “ Soft Simon," and some of men and countrywomen, a few exthe Misses Porter's personages, were cepted, and even the climate and as objective to the minds of most natural features of the country which intelligent people as Count D'Orsay, gave Campbell birth. Dr. Madden Beau Brummel, or the Fourth thus details the cause of war :George. Who in this second half “A certain bookseller, named Pat of the nineteenth century recollects Campbell, having been detected in the names of two characters in any a design to have a rival book-aucnovel three or four years published? tion at the coffee-house in Skinners'Is not every library-keeper stunned row, in which Dunton had adverwith the ever-recurring complaint? tised his sale, the casus belli was es“I had nothing to read yesterday tablished, of which the terrible result evening. I read this abominable was the “Dublin Scuffie' (a book book about a quarter of a year since, subsequently published by Dunton). and did not find my mistake till I 'What dire events from trivial causes got to the middle of the first spring !' Those in which the worthy volume."
1 This most important and valuable collection of scarce and early literature was sent to London to be sold by auction. The consignees, however, did not succeed in bringing it to the hammer, except in a very mutilated state. A fire which occurred on their premises spared them much trouble, Lut at the expense of the editio princeps of Shakespeare, and many another regretted relic of literature.
bookseller and citizen of London inLadies and gentlemen from 1670 volved himself, required no less than to 1710, having got through the few five hundred and fifty - four pages folio romances within their reach, of closely-printed matter to be duly would, for want of something more recorded in print. ... tempting, take up any book lying on “ Dunton, though he could not table or shelf, and read it with more wreak his vengeance on the head of or less attention, and at the end, Pat Campbell (the irate auctioneer find his, or her, knowledge somewhat spelled the name Cambel), revenged enlarged, or his, or her, judgment himself a good deal on the soil, the chastened or improved. If Dublin, sky, and the people of Ireland. As in the closing years of the seven- for the rain, John Dunton believed teenth century, were the literary howl that it raineth every day on that uning wilderness which we might from happy land, and invariably all night our standpoint, suppose it to be, long. Ireland (he remarks, more
in sorrow than anger) is the watering- above cited(the 'Dublin Scuffle ') he pot of the planets- le pot de chambre calls the attention of the public to du diable. The heavens in that coun- a billet-doux sent to him by a citizen's try have sore eyes, and they are wife, tempting him, which temptaalways weeping, dropping tears per- tion he happily resisted, and reprepetually. But there is one good hended severely 'the female devil, a thing in Ireland, -the wind. That is woman, 'a citizen's wife,' for leadgenerally westerly, which ensures a ing him into temptation. Poor Mr. short passage from it. The towns Dunton thinks it necessary to inand cities are thronged like hives, form his readers that he is a reli yet (the people) being for the most gious man, although a bookseller ; part thieves and drones, they rather and that though he travelled a great diminish than increase the stock, deal in that barbarous country, Ireand were it not for the honest En- land, in order to view the cabins, glish and strangers amongst them, customs, and manners of the Wild they would be all starved in process Irish, yet in all his rambles he had of time.
endeavoured, though he had to fight “Mr. John Dunton, citizen of hard for it, to preserve his virtue London, is not complimentary to and his religious principles, a matter the ladies of Ireland of any rank of no small difficulty." *The women,' he says, “are very Dunton was of a business-loving, little beholden to Nature for their mercurial spirit. Dr. Madden bears beauty, and less to Art. One may witness to his estimable qualities in safely swear they use no paint or this respect : such-like auxiliary aid of Fucuses, “He made a study of the circumbeing so adverse to that kind of stances, solvency, and extent of curiosity, though they have as much business of every Dublin bookseller. need thereof as any I ever yet be- He studied, moreover, assiduously held, that one would think they · the intellectual condition of the never had their faces washed in people of the several provinces, and their lives.'
the state of the book-market in each. "As to their misshapen legs, Having acquired the information their manners, morals, and be- needful for his projects, he instituted haviour, poor Dunton is disposed a series of book-auctions in Dublin, to say of such things as little as which proved successful, in 1689." possible."
Some interesting information was The Irish women having, through furnished by the great Mr. Dunton, the goodness of Providence, esta- concerning the state of letters and blished for themselves a reputation the booksellers of Dublin in his day. for good conduct equal -- many say, These were not in Pat Cambel's superior--to that of their sisters in category. Whether some deserved any country of the world, we have all the praise lavished on them by a suspicion that good Mr. Dunton, the London citizen, is a point liable during a moment of forgetfulness, to some doubt. Mr. Powell was held amorous language to some represented as of prepossessing peryoung Dublin matron, and was per- sonal appearance—a man of great haps shown the outside of the door wit and humour. John Brocas, of for his impudence. However, the Skinners'-row, was the first of Dubsensitive auctioneer declares that lin printers in knowledge of the art such was not the case, and that he, and mystery of printing. John Dunton, was the tempted, not “Mr. Norman, the Dublin bookthe tempter. Dr. Madden under- seller,' Dunton informs his readers, takes his defence in this wise: ‘is an excellent florist, and has a
"On the title-page of the book garden that is a perfect paradise.
He sells his books by auction in of Mr. Norman's flower - garden. his very spacious warehouse. He's Was it in Skinners'-row, or on Corka little squat man, that loves to live hill, the then Ave-Maria-lane and well, and has a spouse that under- Paternoster-row of our old Danish stands preparing good things as well city, but now destitute of a solitary as the best lady in Ireland.
shop of new books ? “Mr. Andrew Crook is a worthy When we commenced this article, and generous gentleman, whose we entertained some hopes of dwellword and meaning never shake ing on the rise and progress of the hands (and separate, we suppose), Irish newspapers of the last century, and always go together. Though the character of some of the writers his circumstances are not so great and proprietors whose memory still as those of others, yet his soul is as survives, including George Faulkner, large as if he were a prince, and and his relations with Swift and scorns as much to do an unworthy Foote; Henry Brooke, and the esaction as any man. He is a great tablishment of the “Freeman's Jourlover of printing, and has a great nal ;" Higgins, the “Sham Squire ;" respect for all that are related to and other literary notabilities and that noble mystery.
literary topics of the eighteenth cen"Mr. Thornton, the king's sta- tury. These, with a mighty mass of tioner, is a very obliging person, has interesting information, are to be sense enough for a privy-counsellor, found in the second volume of Dr. and good nature enough for a Madden's comprehensive, most inprimitive Christian.'"
teresting, and most useful work, A good trait of the worthy auc- when considered either in a national, tioneer was that he set a proper historical, or archæological sense. value on books, and the art which Writers, such as Dr. Madden, produced them. He styled himself Archdeacon Cotton, and Mr. Gilbert, “Citizen of London, bookseller by who set before themselves to give the grace of God, carrying on that information of the past condition of noble calling of selling good English a locality, whether it be city, town, books, which are the best furniture or country, or to give a view of the of a house, and the very epitome of bygone state of literature of a proheaven.”
vincial country, or of any portion of His feelings running in this it, are sure of never getting but a groove, and “ learning being at a small portion of the credit they merit. low ebb in Ireland, he went thither They expend much time, they incur to disperse the liberal arts among an incalculable amount of mental the Kerns.
and bodily fatigue in collecting inWas Mr. Norman, who “sold his formation, and in making researches books by auction in his spacious in likely and unlikely places, frewarehouse," an ordinary auctioneer, quently discouraged by rebuffs and or were the Dublin booksellers in disappointments; they expend more the habit, when business was slack, or less money in the attainment of of calling an auction to get rid of their object, often a much higher their dead stock? If the public in sum than they expect to be returned, our day heard the crier at the door even if the work should prove eminof one of our Lintots of Sackville ently successful; and after all, sucor Grafton-street, that public, how- cess is, in most instances, but the ever charitably disposed, would con- exceptional result of all their anxiety, nect the exhibition with some pro- labour, and expense. The number cess in the Court of Bankruptcy. We of people to whom such works are must carefully examine Mr. Gilbert's acceptable is but small. The mere “ History of Dublin,” for the locality general reader dreads a mass of dry