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more general import interspersed, upon soon after, and therefore we know it is which we cannot remain altogether si- of Mr Henry Brougham the critic lent, or allow to whiggish intolerance speaks. This gentleman is a promithe undisturbed enjoyment of its ridi- nent public character, and in that culous complacency.
point of view, we are warranted to The reviewers complain, that the speak of him with the freedom and conduct of the Education Commit- sincerity of truth. Ill would it be tee has been made what they call come the man who has sought, in poa party question ; and they assert, litical differences, the justification of a that if « moral evidence” can de rancour which survives the stroke of cide the point, there exists such death itself, and disturbs, with its bite evidence in superfluity to prove, that ter murmurs, the consecrated silence the “ distinguished individual” who of the tomb—who has publicly avowed took the lead in its proceedings was a wish that his enmity to the name of influenced throughout by the purest Pitt might be recorded on his epitaph, and loftiest principles. This is in the ill would it become him to complain, true spirit of controversial audacity, that the truce which he refuses to the by which the journal has ever been imputed frailties of the mighty dead, distinguished, and which has prompt- should be denied to his own living ered the ingenious authors in their most rors, now in the full energy of their desperate extremities, to assume a tone mischievous operation. of defiance altogether foreign to the When we review, then, the political character of the transaction which they life of Mr Brougham, we find that he are summoned to defend. If they was, in the infancy of his career, the cannot propitiate favour, they imagine idolator of that same Mr Pitt whose that they can at least overpower re- memory he now assails with deep hos. sistance by this fearless effrontery. It tility-that he was like one bound to is in their hour of darkest perplexity the triumphal car of that master spirit, that they are ever most prolific of mu- till death arrested his magnificent tual and fulsome eulogy
of bold ap- course, and impartially annihilated his peals to character and reputation-of power, either of serving his country, or fierce and contemptuous denunciations rewarding his followers that a sudden of their opponents. There is a sort of light then descended on this fiery padesperate courage in all this which has triot, and transformed him at once, its merit, and, in the case of the Edin- from the worshipper into the severe burgh Review, has already won its censor of the great statesman, who had ample reward for the examples are just paid the debt of nature ; and we innumerable in which that journal find, moreover, that this generous perhas achieved a short-lived useless son, after having crept into the favour triumph, by the mere appalling auda- of the party then momentarily tricity of its assertions; but every arti- umphant, by an unseemly placard afice of this kind has its natural limits, gainst the fame of the departed, has and the Review has now flourished shown himself throughout to be one long enough upon the strength of this of the blindest votaries of factionsimple and witless expedient. It is quaffing to the very dregs the poisoned really too much, after the calm and cup of party rancour and hostility-and careful developement of facts in the carrying his opposition to government Quarterly Review, fixing the taint of to a pitch of extravagant excess, which wayward ambition on the committee has made the more moderate leaders and its learned chairman, with all the of party shrink from his co-operation, precision of judicial inquiry, thus to and has at length reduced him to that assume in limine the exemption of the amphibious rank in politics which ren“ distinguished individual” from that ders it doubtful whether he belongs, reproach which forms the very essence in the general classification, to the vae of this grave and momentous contro- grant insanity of Spafields, or the versy.
chastised Jacobinism of Hollandhouse. But who is this distinguished indi. One or two things he hus done, which vidual, thus lifted by moral evidence have had a casual, and in a single inso far above the breath of suspicion ? stance at least, a merited popularity; We profess with entire sincerity that and there is no end to the gratts which we should never have guessed, from his friends would thrust into this slenthe language with which the reviewer der stock of political merit. He opdecorates his entrée ; but he is named posed the orders in council ; but it was with the address of an American tra- fare with the proud spirit, and the der, and in the spirit of a French most venerable" institutions of their Douanier; and he followed in the rear country? There has, in this instance, of Mr Wilberforce, and other great been neither misrepresentation nor camen, united for the abolition of the lumny on the part of the Tories ; but Slave Trade. In this last instance, if there had, with what grace would however, Mr Brougham had the merit remonstrance have come through the at least of being well employed-and pages of a journal which has long set we fully give him all the credit that an example of every thing that is can be due to his subordinate services; sour, illiberal, and uncompromising in but, with this single exception, from political discussion? Are the Whigs which he has already derived more à privileged order for circulating all than his adequate portion of fame, we sorts of misrepresentations--a charter. know not upon what occasions he has, ed oligarchy of detraction? Do the as a politician, exemplified the high fouler elements of political controversy, qualities for which his friends so li- by some nice principle of moral affinity, berally give him credit, or laid the form a natural and graceful combinabroad basis of that moral evidence de- tion with their cause, and entitle them ducible from general political charac- to a monoply of such shameful reter, which is to shelter him from the sources? If not, their keen and vindicconsequences of actual and proved mis- tive sensibility on this point is unacconduct.
countable—for we do not remember, The reviewer complains, that per- in the whole range of our periodical sonalities towards Mr Brougham, and literature, a single work which has exmisrepresentations of his views, have hibited more copious examples than been allowed to mingle with this great their own favourite journal of all the public controversy. We are not aware most reprehensible stratagems of polithat there have been misrepresentatical warfare-which has dealt more tions, except on the part of the blan- unceremoniously with the loftiest and dering interpreter of college statutes, most venerable names of our country, who insisted on rating Oxford and both living and dead—which has apCambridge among the institutions proached with more scoffing accent and formed for the education of the lower more unhallowed hand, the consecrated orders. As to personalities, however, fabric of our domestic policy, both sawe have a few words to say. It was cred and civil-or which has so defiimpossible to touch the subject at alled the dignity and generosity of national without personal allusion to Mr Brouge feeling, and madly breathed its pesham-to the learned author of the whole tilent rancour even against the genius stupendous project—the chairman- of our native land. And now that the the head—the guiding power—the very tide of fortune has gloriously turned, soul in fact of the committee-for no and whelmed in its progress every tiny one could consider his civic adjuncts embankment which the reviewers had Sir William Curtis or Alderman Wood, constructed against its majestic revul. for example, slumbering in the com- sion—now that their chilling sophismittee-room-in any other light than try has no ally in the towering despoas the mere vis inertiæ of the anoma- tism which they worshipped, or the lous composition—the ballast liberally alarmed bosoms which they wrung thrown into the great discovery-ship with their eternal comminations-now of reformn. of the conduct of Mr that baffled prediction, and exposed Brougham, therefore, it became neces- delusion, and irretrieveable disappointsary to treat, or to remain altogether ment, and supervening dotage, have silent. Is it the latter alternative that left them naked and imbecile, to susthe Whigs would modestly impose on tain the pelting storm of ridicule which their political adversaries? And is it descends upon them from every corindeed the Edinburgh Reviewers who ner of the land—they complain of the complain of misrepresentation and per destiny which they have wrought for sonalities—of the occasional use by themselves ; but they complain in their opponents of their own wea- vain, for it is “unshunnable as death,' pons, with which they have for twen- and enduring as the memory of their ty years maintained a scandalous war, manifold and stupendous wrongs.
RITSON ON SHAKSPEARE.
have taken their academical degree. Loreer I was much amused with some speci- messes, therefor, adds he, are graduates of
a lower form. last Number, of emen
Mr Steevens, however, beyour dations of the text of Shakspeare, by lieves that lower messes is onely used to
signify the lowest (lower) degrees about the Mr Zachariah Jackson, who seems
A conjecture in which he seems to really to have hit on a principle, by be as right, as Dr Johnson is certainly the application of which the meaning wrong: the word mess, as Mess John, nei. of our great dramatist may very fre- ther being any contraction of master, nor quently be restored. You have spoken having the remotest allusion to academical of the dulness and stupidity of Shak- degrees. It is merely the Scotish pronunspeare's commentators, and vowed ven ciation of Mass, and is only applyed, in geance against any future delinquents vulgar language, to the priest or minister. of that kind. Are you acquainted
MACBETH.-P. 592. with a little volume by the celebrated
Macb. Then, fly, false thanes, Ritson, entitled, “ Remarks, critical and mingle with the English epicurcs. and illustrative, on the Text and Notes of the last edition of Shak- note upon this passage, “ from Dr John
“ It appears," says Mr Steevens, in a speare?" It is an amusing book, and son's Journey to the Western Islands of Ritson belabours the commentators in Scotland, that the natives had neither kail a way that does one's heart good to nor brogues, till they were taught the arts of behold. He does not confine himself, planting the one, and making the other, by however, to the dull ones of the herd, the soldiers of Cromwell; and yet,” adds but kicks and cuffs Steevens and John- he, " king James VI. thought it necessary
to form an act against superfluous banquetson with great spirit and alacrity.
ting.” Ritson was a bit of good stuff, though It is a pity that the ingenious commentahe never eat animal food, and often tor has omitted the very candid and liberal knocks the Doctor about the ring with inference which the great traveler draws the gloves, in a manner highly credi-, from the above circumstance of the kail, i. e. table to a sparrer of his weight and that, “ when they had not that, they had inches. As the book is not a common nothing."?, one, a few specimens of it may amuse
But under the favour of this ingenious
critic, it does not appear :-Dr Johnson, inyour readers.
deed, is pleased to say so, and they who COMEDY OF ERRORS.-P. 266. would have believed him if he had given a Benc. Let him be clap'd on the shoulder, relation of his voyage into the moon, may, and call'd Adam.
if they choose, believe this. It is very sel“ Adam Bell,” says Dr Johnson, “ was dom that we find people teaching to others a companion of Robin Hood, as may be arts of which they are ignorant theirselves, seen in Robin Hood's garland ; in which, if and yet this must have been the case with I do not mistake,” adds he, “ are these Cromwell's soldiers, who were accustomed lines :
neither to eat kail, nor to wear brogues. “ For he brought Adam Bell, and Clim of The truth is, that both articles have, in all the clough,
probability, been known to the Scotish ever And William of Cloudeslee,
since the country was inhabited. So that To shoot with our forester for forty mark, they may safely admit the truth of the above And our forester beat them all three." very candid traveler's good-natured position.
In answer to this it may be observed - Mr Steevens seems to think it altogether 1. That Adam Bell was not a companion of needless to restrain luxury in diet, where Robin Hood ; 2. That it can-not be seen people could get neither káil nor brogues ; in Robin Hood's garland ; 3. That the lines which, to be sure, are the very essence of a quoted prove neither the one nor the other, sumptuous feast. as they do not relate to Robin Hood. It is peculiarly unfortunate that the learned cri.
King Johx.-P. 120. tic should be most mistaken where he is
Sal. New flight, most confident.
And happy newness, that intends old right.
“ Happy innovation," quoth Dr JohnWINTER'S TALE.-P. 305.
son, “ that purposed the restoration of the Leo. - lower messes
ancient rightful government.” What rightPerchance are to this business purblind. ful government ? Does the good old consti
Mess, says Dr Johnson, is a contraction tutionalist suppose it to have been in John, of master, as Mess John, Master John; an a murderer, and a villain-one who had not appellation used by the Scots, to those who the least right to the possession of the crown,
and whom it would have been praise-wor• manner of his predecessor, Dr Warburton, thy in any man, or set of men, to have put who sagaciously observes, that friends of my to death?
soul is a Spanish phrase : Amigo de mi alma.
Query, Which of these two professed critics RICHARD THE SECOND.-P. 211. has displayed the most learning and acuteQueen. Gardiner, for telling me these news ness? I would, the plants thou graft'st may never ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA.-P. 216. grow.
Mec. And gives his potent regiment to a An execration, Dr Johnson observes, too
trull. ludicrous and unsuitable to the queen's con Trull, Dr Johnson says, was not, in our dition ; and it certainly appears so. But, author's time, a term of mere infamy, but perhaps, (for Shakspeare's highest or lowest a word of slight contempt, as wench is now. characters are never without a quibble) she It may be difficult to know what the learn. means to wish him childless. It is to be re- ed commentator conceives to be a term of membered that the queen was very young, mere infamy. But thus much is certain, Dr Johnson will, therefor, the more readyly that trull, in the age of Shakspeare, signifyed pardon any puerilities of expression he may a strumpet, and so he uses it. find her guilty of. P. 213.
ROMEO AND JULIET.-P. 128. Fitzw. my rapier's point.
Jul. -gentle nurse, Dr Johnson here takes an opportunity to I pray thee, leave me to myself to-night ; censure Shakspeare for deserting the man For I have need of many orisons ners of the age in which his drama is plac. To move the heavens to smile upon my state. ed :—this weapon, he says, not being seen Dr Johnson, with that candour and poin England till two centuries afterwards. It liteness for which he is so remarkable, ob. would be as well, however, though not quite serves, that Juliet plays most of her pranks so easy, for the learned critic to bring some under the appearance of religion. Perhaps, proof in support of this and such like
says he, Shakspeare meant to punish her tions. Without which the authority of hypocrisy. If he had, we should, without Shakspeare is at least equal to that of Dr doubt, have been, some how or other, inJohnson. And even if he could prove what formed of it. But Shakspeare would never he asserts (which, however, it is believed he have given the little innocent excuses her cannot), the poet's friends would still have virtue and conjugal fidelity prompt her to an argument which would render both his make use of so harsh a name. -Sweet assertions and his proofs equally nugatory Juliet! little did'st thou dream, that, in adand ridiculous.
dition to thy misfortunes, the unsullyed
purity of thy angelic mind should, at this KING RICHARD THE THIRD.-P. 33.
distance of time, be subject to the rude Q. Mar. Why strew'st thou sugar on breath of criticism !—But rest in peace, that bottled spider.
sweet saint ! thy fair untainted name shall " A spider,” says Dr Johnson, “ is call. live-live in thy Shakspeare's page when ed bottled, because, like other insects, he has even the critic's memory is no more. a middle slender, and a belly protuberant.' A most rational and satisfactory explana
HAMLET.-P. 258. tion-very little worse than none at all. A
Ham. Then came each actor on his ass. bottle spider is the large bloated spider with a deep black shining skin, generally esteem
This, says Dr Johnson, seems to be a line ed the most venemous.
of an old ballad. He has, therefor, caused
it to be printed in the Italic character. But King HENRY THE EIGHTH.-P. 231.
there appears no other ground for the supOld L. Our content
position, than the good doctor's opinion,
which is not sufficient in these matters to Is our best having:
authorise an alteration in the type. “ That is, our best possession. -In Spanish, hazienda. Johnson."
Ibi. People generally introduce scraps of a
Pol. The best actors in the world, either foreign language to shew their knowledge; for tragedy, comedy, history, pastoral, pasthe learned commentator brings this merely toral-comical, historical-pastoral, (tragicalto display his want of it. For, let the word historical, tragical-comical, historical-pasto. hazienda signify what it may, what has it to ral] scene undividable, &c. do here ? Indeed, “ the professed critic,
“ The words within the crotchets," says in order to furnish his quota to the book Mr Steevens, “ I have recovered from the seller, may write notes of nothing, that is, folio, and sec no reason why they were hinotes which either explane things which do therto omitted." But though the learned not want explanation, or such as do not ex commentator could see no reason why the plane matters at all, but merely fill up so words were omitted before, his readers can much paper ;" a canon, of which Dr John. see one, why they should be omitted now ; son has availed hisself pretty much in the vize that the words historical-pastoral may
not be absurdly repeated. The truth is, injustice and impiety to the manes of his that the industrious editor has entirely lost murdered parent. But, indeed, the reasons the merit of his recovery, by the negligence Hamlet here gives for his conduct, as they of his printer: the folio properly reads : are better than any other person can make
pastoral-comical, historical-pas- for him, will fully justify both him and it, toral, tragical-historical, tragical-comical, against all such hypercritical opposition to historical-pastoral, &c.
the end of time. P. 316.
P. 408. “ This speech,” says Dr Johnson, « in which Hamlet, represented as a virtuous
Ham. I am afraid you make a wanton of character, is not content with taking blood for blood, but contrives damnation for the i. e. you trifle with me, as if you were play. man that he would punish, is too horrible ing with a child. Dr Johnson onely ob. to be read or to be uttered."
serves, that a wanton was a man feeble and How far it detracts from the virtue of effeminate. He might as well have said it Hamlet to be represented as lying in wait was a horse or an elephant. for an opportunity to take an adequate and
I would have thee gone, complete revenge upon the murderer of his father, is a question not, with submission And yet no further than a wantons bird, to the great moralist, quite so easyly decided. That lets it hop a little from his hand, The late king has reported hisself to have
And with a silk thread pulls it back again. been destroyed in the most deliberate, hor
Romeo and Juliet. rid, and diabolical manner;
I wish poor Ritson were alive now. Cut off evin in the blossom of his sin,
He would have made an excellent Con. Unhousel'd, disappointed, unancald, No reckoning made, but sent to his account, said that the Edinburgh Review kill
tributor to your Magazine. It was With all his imperfections on his head : O horrible ! O horrible! most horrible ! ed him, but his friends know that to
Under such aggravated circumstances, for be fudge. I will send you, for your Hamlet to be content with having what Dr
next Number, an account of his “RoJohnson calis blood for blood, would have bin Hood”-a work full of very amusbeen taking an inadequate and imperfect ing matter. Meanwhile, I am yours revenge, and, consequently, doing an act of sincerely.
A PARALLEL BETWEEN THE MASTER DEBTOR's side of NEWGATE, AND THE
SEVERAL SPONGING HOUSES IN THE COUNTY OF MIDDLESEX.
mixture of short miscellaneous articles, I LATELY found among some lumber with those of more grave and importin an old garret, a little treatise on ant discussion ? Extracts from curiNewgate, as it existed about a hundred ous old books—rare tracts, &c. would, years ago and as the public attention I am sure, amuse many persons whó has been much turned to the subject might be disposed to turn from a reof prison discipline, perhaps an extract gular essay. I am,
&c. from it may not be unacceptable. This
A Parallel, fe. treatise was “ written for the public good by B. L. of Twickenham,” who “ Most certain it is, that the Laws of seems unfortunately to have had ex- this Realm, were first Instituted, for the cellent opportunities of making himself effectual maintaining and executing of E. acquainted with the subject, and was
quity and Justice, between Man and Man; printed for T. Warner, at the Black Property, Equity, Justice and Liberty; and
and therefore, every Subject is intituled to Boy, in Paternoster-Row, 1724. The those who execute any thing to the concruelty and impositions of Bailiffs, trary, are not only Oppressors of the Subagainst which B. L. directs his artil- ject, but also Violators of the Law. lery, are, as many of your readers “ And since there are many wicked Perhave doubtless experienced, still to be sons (called Bailiffs) whose Daily Study and deplored, and, perhaps, I ought to Practice, is to oppress the Distress'd; theremake some apology for awakening pain- fore, I shall endeavour to detect all such ful recollections. But private feelings vile and wicked Impositions which those must be made to give way to public profligate Wretches inflict on such unfortubenefit. Will you permit me to add, nate Persons as fall into their Hands. that your Magazine would, in my opi- “ And as the Execution of our Laws, is nion, be greatly improved by an inter- justly performed by the Learned Judges,