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A NEW EDITION.
PRINTED FOR J. MURRAY, (No. 32.) FLEET,
DON after the publication of a former edition of Mr. Gray's poems, the Rev. Mr. Mafon, author of Elfrida, gave notice to the publisher by a particular meffenger, that he had trespassed upon his property, by inferting fifty lines in his volume which belonged to him, and threatened to feek legal redress in cafe fatisfaction was not made for this offence.
To this strange charge, the publisher could hardly give credit. The practice of taking moderate extracts from publications of all kinds is common to every bookfeller, and every author, over the kingdom; and no perfon takes greater liberties in this way than Mr. Dodfley, the bookfeller employed by Mr. Mafon.— Nay, Mr. Mason himself had behaved in the manner complained of, and adapted without fcruple to
* Mr. Mason claimed, befides, Ode for Mufic, irregular; which, however, he failed to establish.
his quarto edition of Mr. Gray's poems, a large extract which he took from another work. It was true alfo, that the fifty lines had been printed indifcriminately by others, who pretended to no exclufive property in them, that they were not written by Mr. Mafon, nor bequeathed to him particularly by the author.
From every circumftance attending this matter, the ridicule of the claim became ftronger. But fufpecting that a gentleman of Mr. Mafon's found. fenfe and good character must have jufter grounds to proceed upon than what appeared upon the face of his meffage, the publisher requested to be favoured with his addrefs, in order to have a perfonal conference with him upon the subject; and at the same time affured his agent, that he meant not defignedly to invade or to injure Mr. Mafon's property: Whether his meffenger began to view the object of his miffion in too ludicrous a view, is unknown, but it is certain he refufed to comply with this civil requifition.
The publisher, however, defirous to come to an explanation concerning this matter, procured Mr. Mafon's addrefs through another channel, and waited upon him.