suppose that he might lay the blame upon me, to excuse his own negligence ? when he had such oppor- tunities of asking me, either directly, or by some common friends ? Turn it over on every side, and the whole conduct of it is so very extraordinary, that one cannot but suspect there were some secret reasons for this usage, that are not yet brought above- board. Be it as it will, 'tis in vain to hope to justify that calumny in his Preface, by such testimonies as he knew nothing of, when he ventured to print it. He is fallen under his own reproof, that he wrote his Preface first, and finds reasons for it afterwards.
When his Phalaris came first abroad, 'twas the opinion of my friends (who were soon satisfied that the thing was a calumny), that it was the duty of my place, as Keeper of the Royal Library, to defend the honour of it against such an insult. But yet out of a natural aversion to all quarrels and broils, and out of regard to the Editor himself, I resolved to take no notice of it, but to let the matter drop.
Thus it rested for two years ; and should have done so for ever, had not some accidents fallen out, which made it necessary for me to give a public account of