Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-vi

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Preface

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pp. vii-xii

A LITTLE more than a year after the appearance of Joseph Andrews, Fielding published by subscription a three-volume set of Miscellanies, by Henry Fielding Esq; (April 1743). The second and third volumes of this collection offered two plays and two works of prose fiction, A Journey from This World to the Next and The Life of Mr. Jonathan Wild the Great. The first volume, which alone is the concern of the present study, was truly "miscellaneous," including most of his short poems, several important formal essays, a translation from the Greek, and a group of satirical sketches and Lucianic dialogues....

Contents

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pp. xiii-xiv

A Note on Abbreviations and Texts

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pp. xv-2

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Chapter I. Circumstances of Publication

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pp. 3-28

THE first reference that we find to Fielding's Miscellanies is a note in the ledger of Henry Woodfall, the London printer who had handled the first edition of Joseph Andrews (and soon would print the second).1 On 3 June 1742, Woodfall entered in his ledger that he had printed "700 proposals for Mr. Fielding, paper print."2 Two days later, the Daily Post advertised the proposals (see page 4). The apology for delay and the reference to "his last Receipts" make it clear that although this is the first public notice...

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Chapter II. Poetry

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pp. 29-142

FIELDING is by no means a great poet, as he himself was quite ready to admit. A "correspondent" in the Covent-Garden Journal (No. 58, 8 August 1752) submitted his translation of Tibullus to Sir Alexander Drawcansir with the observation: "THO' your own Genius, I think, turns not much to Poetry, I do not suppose you are an Enemy to the Musical Inhabitants of Parnassus..." (Jensen, 11, 74-75). In the preface to the Miscellanies, Fielding sounded a modest and extenuating note:...

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Chapter III. Essays

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pp. 143-271

THE three serious essays included in the Miscellanies are members of that class which has been denominated "essays of purpose"; that is, they aim quite frankly to instruct and reform rather than to amuse. Amoto quaeramus seria ludo. Thus in one regard they arc of a piece with such later tracts as the Enquiry into the Causes of the Late Increase of Robbers and A Proposal for Making an Effectual Provision for the Poor, wherein Fielding set himself to call attention to and amend the most glaring social evils of his day. The integrity and the essential consistency of Fielding's...

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Chapter IV. Satires

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pp. 272-336

CROSS grouped the Essay on Nothing and Some Papers Proper to Be Read before the Royal Society with the Dialogue between Alexander and Diogenes as "experiments in those brief Menippean satires such as Lucian sometimes composed" (i, 394). Actually the form and content of the two former pieces owe comparatively little to Lucian (except insofar as the Syrian satirist's influence may be considered pervasive in Fielding's work);1 and it has seemed more...

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Chapter V. Translation

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pp. 337-364

MY epigraph is not (necessarily) intended as a slur upon Fielding's own practice in translating, but rather as an indication of the low estate into which that art had fallen in his time. The demands of a large, new, and ignorant reading public made hackwork translation a profitable game for the minor booksellers (if not for the poor translators), and many of them were not overscrupulous. As Bookweight replies to Scarecrow's admission: "Lay by your hat, sir, lay by your hat, and take your seat...

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Chapter VI. Lucianic Sketches

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pp. 365-419

LUCIAN of Samosata, the second-century Syrian rhetorician who became the greatest of the Greek satirists after Aristophanes, enters English literary history in the sixteenth century. After being translated into Latin by Erasmus and Sir Tliomas More, his works gradually "filtered through into the vernacular"; and numerous English translations and imitations in the seventeenth century attest his popularity in that period.1 The cooperative translation (1710-1711) that included Dryden's life of Lucian...

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Chapter VII. Some Concluding Observations

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pp. 420-428

EACH of Henry Fielding's writings shows us, in a manner, a different person: at first thought, one has difficulty in believing that Tom Thumb and The Modern Husband, the Essay on Conversation and the Essay on Nothing, Jonathan Wild and Tom Jones could all be the products of a single author's pen. And yet Wilbur Cross (III, 274-75) is quite right in declaring that "his works, though they unroll in different patterns, were really all of a piece. No writer was ever more uniformly himself." For despite his...

Index

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pp. 429-474