1798 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Williams

David Rivers, in Literary Memoirs of Living Authors (1798) 2:388-89.



JOHN WILLIAMS, alias ANTHONY PASQUIN. A scribbler of the lowest class. Although destitute of every pretension to taste, genius, or information, he has from time to time, obtruded a multiplicity of pompous trash upon the Public, viz. the Children of Thespis, the Brighton Guide, the Pin Basket, the Cap, &c. too contemptible to enumerate. In December, 1797, he had the impudence to bring an action against Mr. Faulder, Bookseller in New Bond Street, as the publisher of Mr. Gifford's poem, the Baviad; in one of the notes to which, that gentleman had properly expressed his detestation of "one so lost to every sense of decency and shame, whose acquaintance is infamy, and whose touch is poison." But Mr. Garrow, the counsel for the defendant, shewed that he had libelled every body, from from the royal family down almost to the meanest of their subjects, and that his writings were so immoral and infamous that he had no right to come into a court of justice for damages: accordingly Lord Kenyon interposed, and the cause was stopped. The modest pretension, it seems, of this illiterate libeller is, that he will calumniate all the world, and go to law with whoever has the courage to censure or expose him for it!