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The first account of Elwes' life was Edward Topham's The Life of the Late John Elwes: Esquire (1790), which was initially published in his paper The World.The popularity of such accounts is attested by the seven editions printed in the book's first year and the many later reprintings under various titles.According to the parable of the Elm and the Vine in the quasi-Biblical Shepherd of Hermas, the rich and the poor should be in a relationship of mutual support.Those with wealth are in need of the prayers of the poor for their salvation and can only earn them by acts of charity.
More modern times yield the Chinese example of an 80-year-old affronted by being called a miser in a poem by his son-in-law.Two more of the misers mentioned made their way into other literary works.John Hopkins, known as Vulture Hopkins, was the subject of a scornful couplet in the third of Alexander Pope's Moral Essays, "Of the Use of Riches": John Overs, with a slight change to his name, became the subject of a three-act drama by Douglas William Jerrold, John Overy or The Miser of Southwark Ferry (1828), roughly based on an incident when he feigned death to save expenses and was killed by accident.Accounts of misers were included in such 19th century works as G. Wilson's four-volume compendium of short biographies, The Eccentric Mirror (1807).Such books were put to comic use by Charles Dickens in Our Mutual Friend (serialised 1864/5), with its cutting analysis of Victorian capitalism.
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Others include John Little (who appears in Merryweather), Reverend Mr Jones of Blewbury (also in Merryweather) and Dick Jarrel, whose surname was really Jarrett and an account of whom appeared in the Annual Register for 1806.