Lehigh University
The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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Text for Page 219

              [newspaper clipping]
THE reader who takes any interest in literary things is always sure of
a pleasant hour or two when a volume of Mr. Austin Dobson�s essays falls
in his way.  This expectation will not be falsified by the latest of the
series, A Paladin of Philanthropy (Chatto & Windus), by which takes its title
from an essay dealing with the career and character of General Oglethorpe,
the friend of Johnson and the founder of the colony of Georgia.  Ogle-
thorpe, who has been immortalized by Pope and Boswell, was a man of
powerful benevolence, who was largely instrumental in alleviating the
horrors of debtors� prisons in Georgian London.  The Fleet against which
Dickens ran a tilt was an abode of bliss as compared with the �sponging
houses� revealed to the Commission of 1729, where �the good and the
bad, the sick and the hale, were found to be herded together in filthy
dungeons; deaths, often from sheer starvation, were of daily occurrence;
iron collars, thumbscrews, and the heaviest fetters were freely used for
the refractory; and an unfortunate prisoner might be subjected to all this
for the paltry debt of a shilling, which became the nucleus of endless
gratuities and �considerations,� and the pretext for perpetual confinement.�
To have rescued Oglethorpe�s career from the oblivion into which our busy
days have let it fall is an excellent deed.               
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