Studio: international art — 2.1894

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The Two Paynes, by Austin Dobson


THE TWO PAYNES. BY AUSTIN logues, and were dispersed again over his counter.

DOBSON. He bought the books of Ralph Thoresby, the

* , , , , . , Leeds antiquary, at whose sale Horace Walpole

Where are the book-shops of old • , , , ^

a r> // j c v. u acquired for 20s. that vellum volume of York

time ? Ballades of bygone cities have A r- i ™ r i • , ,

been written by more than one " eminent Hand." ^ J T K v! u*VT l844 ^ ™

Why should there not be a ballade of bygone t0 ^3°S '' ^ b°Ught the books of that corPulent
, 1 !° connoisseur in

book-shops ?

Curll, by the Fleet-Ditch nymphs caress'd ; „ " auld nick-nackets,

„ ,, _ . .,_ , I Kusty aim caps and iinclin' iackets"_

Tonson the Great, the slow-to-pay ; r '70™

Lintot, of Folios rubric-press'd ; i-.n ■ r"-«-« rj„ ,

_ ■ . . j. , , Francis Grose. He was a so to some extent a

Osborne, that stood in Johnson s way; . °u c caiciii <i

Dodsley, who sold the Odes of Gray ; publisher—witness his issue of Gough's British

Davies, that lives in Churchill's rhyme; Topography. But his chief claims to remembrance

Millar and Knapton—where are they ? are his unrivalled knowledge of his business his

Where are the book-shops of old time ? inflexible integrity, and his genuine love of letters.

So might it run—were playthings still the mode !

Meanwhile, it is more easy to name tiian to localise

those old rallying-places of the Curious. Where,

for example, was the shop of Thomas Payne—

" honest Tom Payne," to whom belongs the dis-
tinction of being the first, or almost the first, of

the second-hand booksellers who issued Cata-
logues ? He began his career in Round Court,

Strand (which has now made room for the Charing

Cross Hospital), at the " Horace's Head" of his

brother, the Olive Payne who is said to have

issued an edition of Captain Charles Johnson's

once-famous Lives of the Highwaymen {folio, 1736).

Then he set up in the same place on his own

account, putting forth in February 1740 his first

printed list of " Books in Divinity, History, Clas-

sicks, Medicine, Voyages, Natural History, &c,"
further described as "in excellent condition, and
mostly gilt and lettered." But from 1750 to 1790
he dwelt "at the Mews-Gate;" and for the Mews
Gate, as well as for the Mews itself, once occupy-
ing the ground now covered by Trafalgar Square
and the National Gallery, the picturesque topo-
grapher may seek in vain. Luckily some of
Thomas Payne's early Catalogues are more explicit 1 " the earl of Northumberland's house-

in their indications, for they give his full address I h0ld b0°k-" bound by roger pavnb

as " in Castle Street, next- the Upper Mews Gate, J

near St. Martin's Church." It is clear, therefore, M In that singular, and—judging by the

that it is not at the Union Club end of the Square J. number of its editions_once exception

that we must look for the site, but at the bottom ally popular satire, Mr. T. J. Mathias his

of the new Charing Cross Road. Here, for forty Pursuits of Literature, Payne is mentioned several

years, in a little shop shaped like an L, Thomas times. " Must I," says the author_

Payne, assisted by his factotum, Edward Noble,

a- , . . , . " must I. as a wit with learned air

dispensed his wares ; and here-measuring mar- Like Doctor Dewlap, to Tom Payne s repair

gins, or discussing the merits of wire-wove and -Meet Cyril Jackson and mild Cracherode. '

black-letter—were daily to be found the " Doctor Mid literary gods myself a god ?

Dewlaps " of the day, the Greens, the Gilpins, the There make foIks w°nder at th' extent of genius

Cossets, the Grangers, and the like. Many once I" *,h! °reek ^us or the Dutch Frob^iu«.

celebrated collections passed into Payne's Cata- 0^2aTaunt" ^

v 3 yuoteplcasaunt sayings from The Shippt of Foles "

II. No. 11.—February, 1894.


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