Lewis Theobald (1688-1744), in The Censor
, No. 5 (Wednesday, April 20, 1715) 29-30, quoted by Richard Foster Jones in Lewis Theobald: His Contribution to English Scholarship, with Some Unpublished Letters
(New York: Columbia University Press, 1919), p. 49:
I am so profess'd an Admirer of Antiquity, that I am never better pleas'd with the Labours of my Contemporaries, than when they busy themselves in retrieving the sacred Monuments of their Fore-fathers from Obscurity and Oblivion....We Lovers of Antiquity have our Foibles of this Nature, which we keep up with a very innocent Superstition. For my own Part, the Shelves of my Study are filled with curious Volumes in all sorts of Literature, that preserve the Fragments of great and venerable Authors. These I consider as so many precious Collections from a Ship-wreck of inestimable Value; comforting my self for the loss of the general Cargo, by the greater Price and Esteem that ought to be set upon the injur'd Remains. In opposite Columns to these stand the Restorers of ancient Learning, who are continually snatching delicious Morsels from the Mouth of Time, and forcing that general Robber to a Restitution of his ill-gotten Goods.