The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume X. The Age of Johnson.
§ 17. The Covent Garden Journal
“I will trouble the World no more with any Children of mine by the same Muse.” So he wrote in an early number of The Covent-Garden Journal, a Tuesday and Saturday paper which he started, under the pseudonym Sir Alexander Drawcansir, in January, 1752, a month after the appearance of his last novel. The Covent-Garden Journal contains the best of Fielding’s occasional writing. He takes a rather gloomy view of letters, manners and morals; he has forsworn Aristophanes and Rabelais; but his irony is still awake, and his earnestness unabated. Incidentally, the Journal is interesting, inasmuch as it involved him in several literary quarrels, among others with Smollett. Smollett had attacked Fielding and Lyttelton in Peregrine Pickle; Fielding, in return, had a fling at that novel and at Roderick Random; and Smollett retorted with the savage pamphlet about “Habbakuk Hilding, Justice and Chapman” which will be mentioned again later. The Covent-Garden Journal came to an end in November, 1752. In April of that year, Fielding issued his Examples of the Interposition of Providence, in the Detection and Punishment of Murder. In January, 1753 appeared his Proposal for Making an Effectual Provision, for the Poor, which included Proposals for Erecting a County Work-house previously referred to. In March, 1753, he published a pamphlet in which he espoused (wrongly, as it appears) the cause of one Elizabeth Canning, whose accusation of kidnapping had nearly brought an old gipsy-woman to the gallows and a procuress to punishment.