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to recommend their own spectacles, perspectives, &c, in more moderate terms than were employed by their late apprentices, but still in an extremely confident manner. This appeared for several days, and at last, on April 25, elicited the following reply :—

\\7HEREAS Mr Yarwell, Mr Sterrop, and Mr Marshall, the 2

* first were our Masters with whom we served our Apprenticeships, and since for several years we have made the best of work for them and Mr Marshall. And now they being envious at our prosperity have published several false, deceitful and malicious advertisements, wherein they assert that we cheat all that buy any of our goods, and that we pretend to many impossibilities, and impose on the public, they having wrested the words and sense of our advertisements, pretend that we affirm that a 2 Foot Telescope of our making will do as much as the best 4 Foot of another man's make, and they fraudulently show in their shops one of their best 4 Foots against our small one, and then cry out against the insufficiency of our instrument Now we G. Willdey and Th. Brandreth being notoriously abused, declare that we never did assert any such thing, or ever did pretend to impossibilities, but will make good in every particular all those [note, these are their own words] (impossible, incredable, miraculous, wonderful, and astonishing) things mentioned in our advertisements; which things perhaps may be impossible, incredible, miraculous, wonderful, and astonishing to them, but we assure them they are not so to us: For we have small miraculous telescopes, as they are pleased to call them, that do such wonders that they say it is impossible to make such, by the assistance of which we will lay any person ,£10, that instead of 2 miles mentioned, we will tell them the hour of the day 3 if not 4 miles by such a dial as St James's or Bow.

After this the recalcitrant apprentices repeat all their former boasts, and conclude: "All these things are as they say impossible to them, but are and will be made by G. Willdey and T. Brandreth. . . . Let ingenuity thrive." Willdey and Brandreth now, no doubt, thought that they had turned the tables upon their former masters, and had all the best of the battle; but the duel was not yet over, as the second time this advertisement appeared {Daily Courant, April 26), the following was immediately under it:—

[graphic]

CONFIDENT Mountebank by the help of his bragging speech

passes upon the ignorant as a profound doctor, the commonest medicines and the easiest operations in such an one's hand, shall be cried up as miracles. But there are mountebanks in other arts as well as in physick: Glasgrinding it seems is not free from 'em, as it is seen in the vain boastings of Willdey and Brandrith. 'Tis well known to all gentlemen that have had occasion to use optic glasses that J. Yarwell was the true improver of that art, and has deservedly a name for it, in all parts abroad as well as at home. He and R. Sterrop, who lives in the old shop in Ludgate Street, have always and do now make as true and good works of all kinds in that art as any man can do. And we are so far from discouraging any improvement, that we gladly receive from any hand, and will be at any expence to put in practice an invention really advantageous in the art. But Willdey's performances are so far from improvements that we are ready to oppose any of our work to his and stake any wager upon the judgment of a skilful man. And because he talks so particularly of his two foot telescope, to let the world see that there is nothing in that vaunt, we will stake 10 Guineas upon a two-foot telescope of ours against the same of his. And further to take away all pretensions of our preparing one on purpose, if any gentleman that has a two-foot telescope bought of us within a year past, and not injured in the use, will produce it, we will lay 5 Guineas upon its performance against one of theirs of the same date. This is bringing the matter upon the square, and will, we hope, satisfy the world that we are not worse workmen than those we taught.

Again the young men ventured into print (May 1, 1707), to reply, and to defend what they were pleased to call the naked truth, "against the apparent malicious lies and abuse" of their former employers, in whose last advertisement they pointed out some inconsistencies, claimed the invention of the perfected spectacles as theirs, and ended in offering to bet "20 guineas to their 10, that neither they nor Mr Marshall can make a better telescope than we can." This, though rather a descent from the high horse previously occupied by them, was sufficient to rouse the anger of an interested yet hitherto passive spectator, and Mr Marshall presently (May 8) indignantly growled forth:—

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THE best method now used for Grinding Spectacles and other glasses, was by me at great charge and pains found out, which I shewed to the Royal Society in the year 1693, and by them approved; being gentlemen the best bkilled in optics, for which they gave me their certificate to let the world know what I had done. Since which I have made spectacles, telescopes, and microscopes, for all the Kings and Prince's Courts in Europe. And as for the 2 new spectacle makers, that would insinuate to the world that they were my best workmen for several years: the one I never employed, the other I found as I doubt not but many gentlemen have and will find them both, to be only boasters and not performers of what they advertise, &c. &c.

After pursuing this strain till he had run down, Mr Marshall concludes by saying, "What I have inserted is nothing but truth." At the same time Yarwell and Sterrop overwhelmed the raisers of this hornets' nest with a new attention, in which among other things was the following :—

Mr Willdey and Brandreth have the folly to believe that abundance. of words is sufficient to gain applause, and therefore throw 'em out without regard to truth and reason, but as that is an affront to the understanding of gentlemen that use the goods they sell, they being persons of discerning judgment, there needs no other answer to what they have published than to compare one part with another. They set forth with a lying vaunt that their two-foot telescope would perform the same that a common four-foot one would do, and when 'twas replied that was false, and a four-foot one offered to try, they poorly shift off with crying '' That's one of your best four-foot ones." Now we profess to make none but best, the glasses of every one being true ground and rightly adjusted, and the difference in price arrises only from the goodness, ornaments, and convenience of the case, neither can he produce a four-foot one of anybody's make, that does not far exceed his two-foot, nor does his two-foot one at all exceed ours, which they don't now pretend. And therefore the lie is all on his side, and the impossibility in his pretensions is as strong as ever, and what we have said is just truth, and his foul language no better than Billingsgate railing. But it seems because we do not treat him in his own way and decry his goods as much as he does other men's, he has the folly to construct it as an acknowledgement that his excel. But we are so far from allowing that, that we do aver they have nothing to brag of but what they learnt of us, and Brandreth was so indifferent a workman that Marshall, who had taken him for a journeyman, was fain to turn him off. The secrets they brag of is all a falsehood, and the micro.

scope the same that any one may have from Culpeper who is the maker. We have already told the world that we will venture any wager upon the performance of our two-foot telescope against theirs, and we would be glad to have it taken up that we might have the opportunity of showing that ours exceeds, and letting the world see that his brags are only such as mountebanks make in medicine.

Finally, in the Daily Courant for May 12, 1707, Wilkley and Brandreth once again insert their vaunt, and then proceed to demolish their late employers thus :—

We do affirm it [the telescope made by W. & B.] to be the pleasantest and usefullest instrument of this kind, and what our adversaries have said against it is false and proceeds from an ill design; we have already offered to lay them 20 guineas to their 10 that they could not make a better, but they knowing they were not capable to engage us in that particular, said in their answer that there needs no more than to compare one instrument with another that they may have the opportunity of shewing that theirs exceeds; to which proposal we do agree, and to that purpose have bought 3 of their best telescopes that we might be sure of one that was good, though they say in their advertisements that they make none but the best, and we are ready to give our oaths that no damage has been done them since they were bought. And now to bring these matters to an end, we will lay them 20 guineas to their 10, that 3 of our best of the same sizes are better than them; and any gentleman that will may see the experiment tried in an instant at our shop, where they may also see that our best pocket telescope comes not far short of their best large 4 Foot one. And several other curiosities all made to the greatest perfection. And whereas Mr Yarwell, Mr Sterrop, and Mr Marshall have maliciously, falsly, and unjustly insinuated that we are but indifferent workmen, several persons being justly moved by that scandalous aspersion, have offered to give their oaths that they have often heard them say that we were the best of workmen, and that we understood our business as well as themselves. And as such we do each of us challenge them all 3 severally to work with them, who does most and best for^20. As for the Microscope it is our own invention, and 2 of them were made by us before any person saw them, as we can prove by witnesses; as we also can their railing and scandalous aspersions to be false. All persons may be assured that all our instruments do and will answer the character given them in the advertisements of T. Brandreth and G. Willdey, &c. &c.

Whether the game was too expensive, or whether the old firm was shut up by this, we know not, but anyhow they retired from the contest, and it is to be hoped found that rivalry fosters rather than injures business. We have given particular attention to this conflict of statements, as it shows how soon advertisements, after they had become general, were used for aggressional and objectionable trade purposes. Passing on for a little space, until 1709, the Tatlcr appears on the scene, and commences with a full share of advertisements, and very soon one is found worthy of quotation. This appears on March 21, and is a form of application which soon found favour with the gallants and ladies of pleasure of the day :—

A GENTLEMAN who, the twentieth instant, had the honour to conduct a lady out of a boat at Whitehall Stairs, desires to know when he may wait on her to disclose a matter of concern. A letter directed to Mr Samuel Reeves, to be left with Mr May, at the Golden Head, the upper end of New Southampton Street, Covent Garden.

There are about this time many instances appearing in the notice columns of what has been called love at first sight, though from the fact that advertisements had to bring their influence to bear on the passion, it looks as though the impression took some time to fix itself. Otherwise the declaration might have been made at once, unless, indeed, timidity prevented it. Perhaps, too, the occasional presence of a gentleman companion might have deterred these inflammable youths from prosecuting their suits and persecuting the objects of their temporary adoration. Just after the foregoing we come upon a slave advertisement couched in the following terms :—

ABLACK boy, twelve years of age, fit to wait on a gentleman, to be disposed of at Denis's Coffee house in Finch Lane, near the Royal Exchange.

There is no mincing the matter about this, and as, at the same time, a very extensive traffic was carried on in "white flesh" for the plantations, the advertiser would doubtless

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