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more worldly wisdom had I abstained from placing anything so resplendent as the above extract in contrast with my own lowly composition; but, I wish to elevate Swift, not myself, in my reader's esteem. I am, besides, desirous of introducing, by this opportunity, an anecdote of the Dean, hitherto, I believe, unrecorded.

When a boy, and somewhere about the year 1783, I accompanied a near connection of mine to pay a visit to an old lady, whose name, I think, was Rice; but her maiden name had been Deane. On our walk homewards, my

conductor told me that the lady who had received us so graciously was a relation of the famous Doctor Swift, and was generally known among her friends by the singular nick-name of “Silly b—:" that in early life she had married imprudently, and, for that reason, been cast off by her family, and that Swift, hearing of this, resolved, by giving her his countenance, to restore the young lady to favour. He accordingly invited all her former friends to a grand dinner, and the poor forlorn one to meet them; desiring her to come latest. On her entering the room, the assembled company stared, and bridled, as the phrase is; but Swift, starting up, met her at the door, took her affectionately by the hand, and said, “Come, you silly b—! sit you down by my side;" and throughout the day treated her with such tender respect, that universal reconciliation followed; and all went well with her afterwards.

This, and many more such testimonies of a feeling heart discoverable in his character, ought, in some measure, to atone for the gross violations of decorum of which Swift's pen was undeniably guilty. But, in fact, his executors and editors should be made answerable for his impurities, rather than the patriotic Dean himself. He ad, in common with numberless men of teeming fancies, and overflowing minds, a habit of committing to paper every vagary which the occurrence of the moment suggested. And had those into whose hands his writings fell, possessed a proper sense of what was due to the public, and to the reputation of their illustrious friend, they would have burned his scribblings, instead of surrendering them to the mercies of rapacious booksellers, and a scandal-loving world.



In “Records of my Life,” by the late John Taylor, in 2 vols. 8vo., published in 1832; and in the second volume, pages 212, 213, is this passage: “ Commodore Thompson was the author of

admired compositions in verse and prose ; and he published a correct and valuable edition of the works of Andrew Marvell, proving that the well-known ballad of Margaret's Ghost was written by that sturdy and disinterested patriot, and not by Mallet, who usurped the reputation; as also that admirable hymn beginning with which Addison has introduced into the Spectator, without claiming the merit of writing it, but nevertheless leaving the world to consider it as his composition.”


•The glorious firmament on high,'

I have before me, while I write this, an edition of the works of ell, in two small mes, published by Mr. Cooke, London, 1726, and can find no such ballad or verses in my copy. Marvell died in 1678.


By the kindness of a friend, I am in possession of a rather curious volume, which some of my readers may never have seen or heard of: “Braddon's Charge against Bishop Burnet, for attempting, in his ‘History of his Own Times,' to make the present and future Ages believe that Arthur, Earl of Essex, in 1683, murdered himself,” &c.

My copy, which is in good condition, is a thin octavo volume, dated London, 1725, and belonged to the late learned, able, and accomplished Sir James Mackintosh.

The frontispiece is a folding print, representing the interior of the chamber in the Tower, in which Lord Essex was confined. In the centre are three men in the dress of the times, employed in strangling a fourth : in the foreground is the dead body of the Earl, as laid out to be inspected by the jury ; and in a remote corner, his Lordship lying on his face, and as seen by those who entered the apartment when an outcry first announced his death. On the floor is represented a knife, (not a razor,) as the real instrument of his destruction.

Braddon's work is full of party zeal, and has evidently been composed for party purposes, and to cast odium on the English adherents to the Church of Rome; and the style of the writer is perplexed and heavy. Yet, after all, he nearly proves the fact, that Lord Essex was murdered by hired assassins, and makes it almost probable that the Duke of York, afterwards King James II. was, at least, privy to the bloody deed.

Inside the cover of my copy of Braddon's book, is a label impressed with the name and arms of Mackintosh : the crest is a cat, salient; the motto

Touch not the cat but a glove:".

The word but implying without ; an old-fashioned usage connected with some observations which I have made elsewhere on the subject of Addison's Translation (if he be the author) of the 19th Psalm, and which in substance I shall briefly repeat here. From the verses as printed in the Spectator, it is obvious that the writer did not execute his task from the original; but merely versified the lines which appear in our prayer-book version of the Psalms; and not understanding the sense of the word but in the Psalm before him, has utterly mistaken that of the sacred poet.

The translation of the misconceived passage in the book of Common Prayer, stands thus:

There is neither speech nor language, but their voices are heard among them :"where the meaning clearly is, that there is no country or region on earth but what has heard their proclamation of the Divine

power. Instead of which, the versifier, not aware of the signification of the word but, has given us

“ What though in solemn silence, all

Move round this dark, terrestrial ball;
What though no real voice, nor sound,&c.

a fatal error, only to be explained, as already said, by concluding that Addison neglected to turn to the Greek or Latin, in composing the lines; but, enamoured of what he conceived a happy thought, pursued it, and consequently went wrong. His misconception is the more surprising, when it is considered that he might have found, at the end of Barker's Bible, called, by collectors, the Breeches Bible, a new edition, printed in 1589, the 19th Psalm, in English rhyme, and the verse in question thus rendered :

“ There is no language, tongue, or speach

Where their sound is not heard;
In all the earth and coastes thereof

Their knowledge is confer'd:"

which, if not poetical, is at least rational.

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