Books: A Manly Relish

HENRY FIELDING (1,183 pp.)—F. Homes Dudden—Oxford ($21).

One dreary day in June 1754, a curious piece of goods was lugged to the dockside at Rotherhithe, on the Thames, to be stowed aboard the Queen of Portugal, bound for Lisbon. To the staring navvies it must have looked rather like the corpse of a drowned man, bloated and discolored. In fact, the man was alive, though drowning inwardly of dropsy and so weak that he could scarcely move a finger. There was nothing for it but to strap him in an armchair and hoist him over the side like any common lading. As...

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