BOOK XII. CONTAINING THE SAME INDIVIDUAL TIME WITH THE FORMER.
1. Chapter i. Showing what is to be deemed plagiarism...
Showing what is to be deemed plagiarism in a modern author, and what
is to be considered as lawful prize.
The learned reader must have observed that in the course of this
mighty work, I have often translated passages out of the best ancient
authors, without quoting the original, or without taking the least
notice of the book from whence they were borrowed.
This conduct in writing is placed in a very proper light by the
ingenious Abbe Bannier, in his preface to his Mythology, a work of
great erudition and of equal judgment. "It will be easy," says he,
"for the reader to observe that I have frequently had greater regard
to him than to my own reputation: for an author certainly pays him a
considerable compliment, when, for his sake, he suppresses learned
quotations that come in his way, and which would have cost him but the
bare trouble of transcribing."
To fill up a work with these scraps may, indeed, be considered as a
downright cheat on the learned world, who are by such means imposed
upon to buy a second time, in fragments and by retail, what they have
already in gross, if not in their memories, upon their shelves; and it
is still more cruel upon the illiterate, who are drawn in to pay for
what is of no manner of use to them. A writer who intermixes great
quantity of Greek and Latin with his works, deals by the ladies and
fine gentlemen in the same paultry manner with which they are treated
by the auctioneers, who often endeavour so to confound and mix up
their lots, that, in order to purchase the commodity you want, you are
obliged at the same time to purchase that which will do you no
And yet, as there is no conduct so fair and disinterested but that it
may be misunderstood by ignorance, and misrepresented by malice, I
have been sometimes tempted to preserve my own reputation at the
expense of my reader, and to transcribe the original, or at least to
quote chapter and verse, whenever I have made use either of the
thought or expression of another. I am, indeed, in some doubt that I
have often suffered by the contrary method; and that, by suppressing
the original author's name, I have been rather suspected of plagiarism
than reputed to act from the amiable motive assigned by that justly