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Saturday, February 26, 2005

Fielding's Advice to Bloggers #5

More excellent advice from Tom Jones by Henry Fielding.

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.

... 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 [material from other blogs] with his works, deals by the ladies and fine gentlemen in the same paltry 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 service.

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