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people of these countries, praise, and prate about Shakspeare, without knowing more of his writings than may be gathered from volumes of extracts, &c.; and that females who boast, as many of them do, of having (for so they phrase it) Shakspeare by heart, should resign their etensions either to truth-or modesty, and confess that they have not Shakspeare by heart, or if they have, they had better keep that circumstance to themselves.
Should any notice be taken of my observations, one remark will probably be, that I have attributed to Shakspeare, much which belongs, not to the poet, but his editors. To this my reply is, that I advert to Johnson's edition, as at once the least bad, and the most frequently understood to be meant, when one speaks of Shakspeare: every one who has a shelf of books possesses a copy of Johnson's Shakspeare.
I dare not be more particular ; but am compelled to deal with my subject in general terms; and can only venture to tell my reader, that, if so resolved, he may discover innumerable passages in the plays of Shakspeare, which respect for public feeling will not allow me to do more than thus to hint at. I cannot, therefore, so far as I have gone, be justly accused of violating propriety, even as much as Mr. Bowdler has done, in his purified edition of the dramas in question. His publication is, I willingly admit, both for motive and execution, worthy of great praise ; but it cannot be denied that his work has, in many instances, operated in a manner hostile to his goodly intentions, and shed a still stronger light than they already reflected, on parts designed benevolently by Mr. B. to continue in the shade.
ΕΙΚΩΝ ΒΑΣΙΛΙΚΗ. .
At the sale of the Earl of Anglesey's library, by auction, there was a book exposed, in which Millington, who managed the auction, read a note in the Earl's hand-writing, which was as follows :
“King Charles II. and the Duke of York did both, in the last sessions of parliament, (when I showed them, in the Lords' house, the written copy of this book, wherein are some corrections and alterations written with the late King Charles I.'s own hand) assure me that this was none of the said king's compiling, but made by Doctor Gauden, Bishop of Exeter, which I here insert for the undeceiving others in this point, by attesting so much under my hand. ANGLESE Y."
In Bishop Burnet’s “History of his Own Times,” and in the prefatory portion relative to what occurred before the restoration, the author seems inclined, on the whole, to believe the Eikon Basilike to be actually written by King Charles. The fact probably is, that Doctor Gauden recorded the king's opinions, and even some of his very expressions, and so made out his book. That the work is not bona fide by the king himself, will be manifest by an attentive perusal of the composition.
In the year 1822, a correspondent of Mr. Urban's states that the character of Pamela was drawn by Richardson from that of Hannah Sturges, afterwards the lady of Sir Arthur Hesilrige, baronet, of Nosely Hall, county of Leicester.
Hannah Sturges was mother of Mrs. Hannah Hesilrige, who died at Saint Martin, Stamford Baron, August 18th, 1822, aged 87.
It is no longer the fashion to read Richardson's novels; and, in some respects, so much the worse ! All his personages are not only fine poetical creations, but inexhaustible and inestimable moral lessons: and I have the satisfaction of thinking that my often avowed admiration of Richardson is sanctioned by that of Doctor Johnson. The character of Pamela, particularly, should be applied as a sort of test of the female mind. The young woman who condemns and derides the motives and deportment of Pamela, is already corrupt, and may read any book she pleases, without danger.
TRANSLATED BY CHARLES JARVIS, ESQ.
Sir John Hawkins, in his Life of Johnson, says that the translation of Don Quixote, said to be the work of Jarvis, the painter, is by a man of the name of Broughton, employed for the purpose by Tonson,
the bookseller. Be it whose it may, it is a book in English, very fairly done. Less racy and vigorous indeed, but more elegant and endurable, than the old translation by Motteux, yet much more like the original than that by Smollett, who is suspected to have executed his task from the French.
Walker, in his directions for properly pronouncing the English language, is generally right, and, of course, a most useful guide. He pronounces, and correctly, knowledge and either-nolledgemeether. And it were to be wished the clergy would attend to this, which, nevertheless, few of them do. Some of the dull and well-meaning among them (dull persons mostly mean well) shall be constantly heard, when engaged in their office, to say-no-ledge, and i-ther ; while the same individuals, in their ordinary discourse, deliver the words as they usually are, and ought to be, sounded; conceiving that piety requires the deviation, and is greatly promoted by it. But Walker is not always to be relied upon; for instance, he spells the pronunciation of substantiate, ingratiate, &c. sub-stan-she-ate, in-gra-she-ate. This is, I apprehend, absurd : ti cannot spell she : tia might spell sha; and therefore the words should be pronounced, either sub-stan-shate, or sub-stan-ti-ate, and so on.
I have the pleasure of remembering that one of the most accomplished men, and one of the foremost among our English tragedians, on being questioned upon the subject of correct speaking, gave an opinion in favour of the remarks I have ventured to make. And it should be observed, that the actor is alone the person in society who has a right to decide the point. We have no academy to lay down the law for speakers, as they have in France. An orator in the British parliament cannot be called to order for mispronouncing words, or for grammatical slips in his own tongue.
The preacher in his pulpit, the pleader at the bar, and the courtier in the drawing-room, are, for the time, safe from the possibility of censure. But the performer on the stage is liable to be arraigned on the spot for errors in orthoepy, by any competent auditor. I recollect, for example, that one night at Bath, and early in his opening scene, Cooke inadvertently used the vulgarism, conkered; instantly a voice from the pit pronounced the word properly; and Cooke as instantaneously bowed, said, emphatically, conquered, and went on with his business.
Though at variance with my plan of not connecting one article with another, in this note-book of mine, I must infringe a little in the present instance, by transcribing a memorandum made immediately after witnessing the exertions of a popular preacher ;