The Pestilent Fume

I would my father had made me a Hangman, when he made me a Stationer; for we are call’d to Accompt for Other Men’s Works, as well as for our Own. And one thing that’s cast in our Dish, is the selling of Translations, so Dog-Cheap, that every Sot knows now as much as would formerly have made a Passable Doctor, and every Nasty Groom, and Roguy Lacquay is grown as familiar with Homer, Virgil, Ovid, as if ’twere Robin the Devil; The Seven Champions; or a piece of George Withers.

“He would have talkt on, if a Devil had not stopt his Mouth with a Whiffe from a rowle of his own Papers, and Choak’t him with the smoak on’t. The Pestilent Fume would have dispatch’t me too, if I had not got presently out of the reach on’t. But I went on my way, saying, this to myself; If the Book-seller be thus Criminal, what will become of the Author!”

Sir Roger L’Estrange, The Visions Of Don Francisco De Quevedo Villegas (1667)

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