The Merry-Thought: or the Glass-Window and Bog-House Miscellany

Samuel Johnson
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The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Merry-Thought: or the Glass-Window and Bog-House Miscellany. Part 1, by Samuel Johnson [AKA Hurlo Thrumbo]
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Title: The Merry-Thought: or the Glass-Window and Bog-House Miscellany. Part 1
Author: Samuel Johnson [AKA Hurlo Thrumbo]
Commentator: George R. Guffey
Contributor: James Roberts
Release Date: February 11, 2007 [EBook #20558]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ASCII
Produced by Louise Hope, David Starner and the Online?Distributed Proofreading Team at
[Transcriber's Note:
The texts cited use a variety of long and short dashes, generally with no relationship to the number of letters omitted. For this e-text, short dashes are shown as separated hyphens, while longer dashes are shown as connected hyphens:
D - - - n _Molley H----ns_ for her Pride.
Groups of three vertical braces } represent a single brace encompassing three rhymed line.]

The Augustan Reprint Society
or, the?Glass-Window and Bog-House?MISCELLANY.
Part I?(_1731_)
_Introduction by_?GEORGE R. GUFFEY
Publication Number _216_?WILLIAM ANDREWS CLARK MEMORIAL LIBRARY?University of California, Los Angeles?_1982_
David Stuart Rodes, _University of California, Los Angeles_
Charles L. Batten, _University of California, Los Angeles_ George Robert Guffey, _University of California, Los Angeles_ Maximillian E. Novak, _University of California, Los Angeles_ Thomas Wright, _William Andrews Clark Memorial Library_
Ralph Cohen, _University of Virginia_?William E. Conway, _William Andrews Clark Memorial Library_ Vinton A. Dearing, _University of California, Los Angeles_ Arthur Friedman, _University of Chicago_?Louis A. Landa, _Princeton University_?Earl Miner, _Princeton University_?Samuel H. Monk, _University of Minnesota_?James Sutherland, _University College, London_?Robert Vosper, _William Andrews Clark Memorial Library_
Beverly J. Onley, _William Andrews Clark Memorial Library_
Frances M. Reed, _University of California, Los Angeles_
For modern readers, one of the most intriguing scenes in Daniel Defoe's _Moll Flanders_ (1722) occurs during the courtship of Moll by the man who is to become her third husband. Aware that the eligible men of her day have little interest in prospective wives with small or nonexistent fortunes, Moll slyly devises a plan to keep her relative poverty a secret from the charming and (as she has every reason to believe) wealthy plantation owner who has fallen in love with her. To divert attention from her own financial condition, she repeatedly suggests that he has been courting her only for her money. Again and again he protests his love. Over and over she pretends to doubt his sincerity.
After a series of exhausting confrontations, Moll's lover begins what is to us a novel kind of dialogue:
One morning he pulls off his diamond ring and writes upon the glass of the sash in my chamber this line:
You I love and you alone.
I read it and asked him to lend me the ring, with which I wrote under it thus:
And so in love says every one.
He takes his ring again and writes another line thus:
Virtue alone is an estate.
I borrowed it again, and I wrote under it:
But money's virtue, gold is fate.[1]
After a number of additional thrusts and counterthrusts of this sort, Moll and her lover come to terms and are married.
[Footnote 1: Daniel Defoe, _Moll Flanders_ (New York: New American Library, 1964), pp. 71-72.]
The latter half of the twentieth century has seen a steady growth of serious scholarly interest in graffiti. Sociologists, psychologists, and historians have increasingly turned to the impromptu "scratchings" of both the educated and the uneducated as indicators of the general mental health and political stability of specific populations.[2] Although most of us are familiar with at least a few of these studies and all of us have observed numerous examples of this species of writing on the walls of our cities and the rocks of our national parks, we are not likely, before encountering this scene in _Moll Flanders_, to have ever before come into contact with graffiti produced with such an elegant writing implement.
[Footnote 2: For example, E. A. Humphrey Fenn, "The Writing on the Wall," _History Today_, 19 (1969), 419-423, and "Graffiti," _Contemporary Review_, 215 (1969), 156-160; Terrance L. Stocker, Linda W. Dutcher, Stephen M. Hargrove, and Edwin A. Cook, "Social Analysis of Graffiti," _Journal of American Folklore_, 85 (1972), 356-366; Sylvia Spann, "The Handwriting on the Wall," _English Journal_, 62 (1973), 1163-1165; Robert Reisner and Lorraine Wechsler, _Encyclopedia of Graffiti_ (New York: Macmillan, 1974); "Graffiti Helps Mental Patients," _Science Digest_, April, 1974, pp. 47-48; Henry Solomon and Howard Yager, "Authoritarianism and Graffiti," _Journal of Social Psychology_, 97 (1975), 149-150; Carl A. Bonuso, "Graffiti," _Today's Education_, 65 (1976), 90-91; Elizabeth Wales and Barbara Brewer, "Graffiti in the 1970's," _Journal of Social Psychology_, 99 (1976), 115-123; Ernest L. Abel and Barbara E. Buckley, _The Handwriting on the Wall: Toward
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