BOOK XII. CONTAINING THE SAME INDIVIDUAL TIME WITH THE FORMER.
1. Chapter i. Showing what is to be deemed plagiarism...
Since, therefore, upon the strictest examination, my own conscience
cannot lay any such pitiful theft to my charge, I am contented to
plead guilty to the former accusation; nor shall I ever scruple to
take to myself any passage which I shall find in an antient author to
my purpose, without setting down the name of the author from whence it
was taken. Nay, I absolutely claim a property in all such sentiments
the moment they are transcribed into my writings, and I expect all
readers henceforwards to regard them as purely and entirely my own.
This claim, however, I desire to be allowed me only on condition that
I preserve strict honesty towards my poor brethren, from whom, if ever
I borrow any of that little of which they are possessed, I shall never
fail to put their mark upon it, that it may be at all times ready to
be restored to the right owner.
The omission of this was highly blameable in one Mr Moore, who, having
formerly borrowed some lines of Pope and company, took the liberty to
transcribe six of them into his play of the Rival Modes. Mr Pope,
however, very luckily found them in the said play, and, laying violent
hands on his own property, transferred it back again into his own
works; and, for a further punishment, imprisoned the said Moore in the
loathsome dungeon of the Dunciad, where his unhappy memory now
remains, and eternally will remain, as a proper punishment for such
his unjust dealings in the poetical trade.