Two Texts Compared
[Augustus Toplady (1740–1778)].
An Old Fox Tarr’d and Feather’d. Occasioned by What is Called Mr. John Wesley’s Calm Address to our American Colonys. By an Hanoverian.
London: Printed for J. French, 1775. (BRB1640)
The purpose of this book was to expose John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, as a plagiarist. Compiled by Wesley’s bitter enemy, the Anglican cleric Augustus Toplady, the publication reprinted selections from Samuel Johnson’s Taxation no Tyranny (1775) and Wesley’s A Calm Address to our American Colonies (1775) in parallel columns, with the corresponding passages printed side by side for easy comparison. Wesley freely adapted the writings of others throughout his long publishing career, simplifying their prose and reaching wider audiences. Johnson, for his part, informed Wesley that he was flattered by the founding Methodist’s attention to his Royalist pamphlet, writing “to have gained such a mind as yours may justly confirm me in my own opinion.”