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not by the circumstance of his being a great poet, but by the
friendships which he enjoyed with distinguished men.

It cannot be necessary, after the edition of Massinger, to en-
ter into a very detailed account of the manner in which Mr.
Gifford has discharged his editorial duties. The plays of Jonson
are accompanied, on the same plan, with notes, and reflections on
the conduct and character of the dramas. These display, as
might have been anticipated, an exercised critical sagacity; a
knowledge of manners and of books; a characteristic and some-
what caustic pleasantry, and under a surface of occasional as-
perity, a sterling rightness of principle. The text has been
looked through with much care; and in some instances brought, as
near as happy conjecture can effect it, to its original purity. The
scenes also are better digested than in Whalley's edition; where
the exits and entrances are often so inaccurately or ambiguously
marked as to perplex the reader.

But we have a word or two to say to Mr. Gifford on the asperity at which we have just hinted: and we wish to ask him whether he really sees an over-ruling necessity for such extremely outrageous dealings?


That Jonson should be rescued from the very undue obloquy under which he has lain, was a point of honour in an editor of his works and a little sarcasm would not have been out of place. From the line which we have taken in our review of the publication, it will have been seen that we have chiefly directed our attention to the removal of gross prejudices, both popular and critical and to bringing general readers into a better acquaintance with this neglected worthy of "England's Helicon." But we cannot look upon bad taste or bad criticism in the light of moral delinquency: nor are we disposed to include a violent breach of honesty and principle in questions of poetic preference. We would not have had Mr. Perrault sent to the galleys because he thought the French Fairy Tales superior to Homer: and the religious horror of Boileau, in his defence of the ancients, has always excited in us an irreverent disposition to laughter. It may be said that Shakspeare's idolaters have touched Jonson's qualities in private life; but they would not have cared a jot about Jonson's private life had not Jonson, like Shakspeare, been a dramatic poet; and the motive for this malignity is nothing more or less than that sort of party zeal which obtains in poetry as in politics.

We really think, therefore, that Mr. Gifford, in heaping such moral odium on the purblind and blundering depreciators of Jonson, rather overshoots his mark: his readers absolutely feel some compassion for the poor culprits who are writhing and twisting under his flaying-knife; and this feeling is nearly akin



to taking their part, and siding against so rigid and inexorable an inflicter of justice. Mr. Malone is "the bolsterer up of a recorded lie:" the editor of the Biographia Dramatica, "a wholesale dealer in absurdity:" and we have "the stupid hostility of Mr. Jones," and the "wanton malevolence of Steevens, and others: who must have known the falsehood of the slander which they encouraged their zanies to propagate.'

One charge against Mr. Malone will afford a specimen of what we are animadverting upon.

"Malone affirms that Jonson endeavours to depreciate this beautiful Comedy (the Tempest) by calling it a foolery.' The depreciation remains to be proved: but (I regret to say it)-indeed!—I have a heavier charge against Mr. Malone than a too precipitate conclusion: a charge of misrepresentation. Foolery cannot indeed be applied to any work without an intent to depreciate it: but this was not Jonson's word. The term used by him is drollery: a droll or drollery is an appropriate term for a puppet-show. The term continued in use down to the last century: for Dennis says that he went to see the siege of Namur, a droll at Bartholomew Fair.-The reader now sees all the advantage derived to Mr. Malone from his sophistication."

Note on the Introduction to Bartholomew Fair.

Now it might charitably be supposed that Mr. Malone mistook the word used by Jonson, or that he did not understand it. This impeaches either his carefulness or his scholarship; but this does not satisfy Mr. Gifford: it must be a sophistication from malice prepense. Yet, for the possible carelessness of Mr. Malone, Mr. Gifford himself has supplied us with a plausible plea; when he says, that "Mr. Malone probably never opened Jonson in his life, except to run his finger rapidly down a particular page.' He might then easily have mistaken drollery for foolery.

We have to complain also that Mr. Gifford does not, by any means, "let the great axe fall" on great delinquents; but that towards humble and often harmless offenders he is often fiercer than the occasion warrants. To Mr. Gifford's research; to his green and vigorous powers, and valuable attainments, we should Be the first to render justice; but is he himself never caught tripping? and might he not learn, from occasional failures of his own, that every poor commentator, who makes an unlucky conjecture, is not therefore to be sneered out of countenance, as a dolt and an idiot? We shall take the liberty to illustrate our meaning by one or two instances.

Catiline, Act iv. Sc. 2.


Thyself closed in

Within my strengths, so that thou couldst not move
Against a public reed.

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"The ingenious Mr. Sympson (Mr. Sympson again!) observes that we should read against the public weal:' and so it actually stands in Whalley's edition, together with a grave comment on the errors of printers and transcribers: Catiline was so closely hemmed in by Cicero's precautions that he had not power to shake even a reed belonging to the republic: this is the OBVIOUS sense of the passage which runs THUS in the original: 'commovere te contra REMPUBLICAM non potuisse."

Mr. Gifford, on another occasion, observing, on a trip of "Poor Sympson," as he somewhere calls him, says, "I have silently thrown out much of their lumber of course, though it has cost me some pains to abstain from exposing their absurd temerity." Now really we think that poor Sympson, in the present instance at least, though wrong in the particular misreading, which he imagines that he has detected, was stumbling on the verge of truth; and that Mr. Gifford might, like Falstaff, have "babbled of green fields" to as much purpose as of reeds.


Speaking of some other unhappy commentators, Mr. Gifford somewhere remarks on the epithet, "inhabitable," for " inhabitable.". "This trite word is sure to draw forth a note on its singular import, as often as it occurs. The commentators seem to forget (if they ever knew), that much of our language is Norman." Might it not be retorted, that " Mr. Gifford seems to forget (if he ever knew), that much of our language is Saxon?" Rad in Anglo-Saxon is COUNSEL. Burh-rad is state-counsel: the very version of the very word of Cicero, which Mr. Gifford insists that Jonson translated, by this pastoral periphrasis! Jonson unquestionably wrote:

"So that thou could'st not move

Against THE public REDE."

The use of read for counsel in general is common enough: Spenser in his " Hymne on Heavenly Love," says:

"Such mercy he, by his most holy reede,

Unto us taught:

And Ophelia in Hamlet talks of the officious counsellor, who "Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads,

And recks not his own read."

In the Fox, Act i. we have the following passage with the following comment from Mr. Gifford:

"Is your pearl ORIENT, Sir?"

i. e. bright; sparkling, pellucid. Thus Shakspeare:

"Bright orient pearl, alack! too timely shaded!"

And Milton:

"His orient liquor in a crystal glass." Comus. As Shakspeare had called his pearl bright, he would not want

to call it also sparkling: Milton's orient liquor was rosy liquor: allusive to the blush of the dawn. But what sort of a question is that of "is your pearl sparkling ?" or has Mr. Gifford EVER SEEN a sparkling and pellucid PEARL?--Mosca inquires naturally "Is your pearl Indian ?"—(oriental) Is it the finest sort of pearl? Alchemist, Act iv. Scene 2.

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"I am unable to explain this. It may mean that the Spanish fashion of evincing politeness is the most respectful: (for garb is sometimes used for a mode of behaviour) or stoup may signify some article of dress.→→ But this is all at random."

We think so too. Does Mr. Gifford really wish us to understand that stoup is literally stooping; a bend of the body, or Gil Blas salutation, as we see it in the print? He might as well have said that stoup was a cup of liquor, and that this was an allusion to the respectful mode of drinking healths among the Spaniards; or have said-" any thing-but to the purpose." That it is an article of dress seems sufficiently plain, from its connection with the "Spanish ruffs," and Spanish perfumed gloves. As to the meaning of the term, we also confess our inability to explain it. There is no word in Spanish that gives us any help. Estopa is hemp; and it is curious enough that stoup in Armoric is tow. We suspect it to be a false reading. That the term should not be found in any of the contemporary dramaticks, nor in any of the antiquarian writers on old English_dress is quite unaccountable. Chaucer, in his Parson's prose Tale, speaks of the "horrible disordinate scantnesse of clothing as ban those cutted stoppes or hanselties.' The annotators of Chaucer explain this breeches; but the garment is censured as not covering that part of the person which breeches were contrived to cover. The word occurs later in our history, as a jacket with short skirts; and to this the hose, or breeches and stockings in one piece, were fastened with tags or points. Stubs, in his "Anatomy of Abuses," speaks of the English as wearing cloaks of "white, red, tawny," &c. cloth, silk, velvet, &c. whereof some be of the Spanish, French, and Dutch fashions: some short, scarcely reaching to the girdle-stead, or knee." This is the same stoppe -called also the pattock, of which John Rows of Warwick complains; and against which, on account of its supposed unseemliness, a sumptuary law was enacted by parliament in 1463. Hall, in his account of a pageant of Henry VIII. speaks of Portugal stopps. We venture to recommend to Mr. Gifford,

Your Spanish stopp

Is the best garb—

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and he may put us, if he pleases, with the other unlucky wights, who, for having guessed differently from him are committed to "peine forte et dure" in sundry holes and corners of the notes to Jonson re-edited, like the captives of the giant Barbarico in the Fairy Tale.

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These parting hints at the trenchant fury of Mr. Gifford's hostility, and the biting edge and undistinguishing sweep of his ridicule, are intended rather for the consideration of future critics, than of himself. He is past the time when remonstrance is either useful, or apt to be much heeded; and it is somewhat too late to expect that the author of the Buviad should roar you as gently as any sucking dove." We desire also not to be reckoned among those who make no exceptions in favour of a man, whose life commenced in struggles against oppression; whose powers were first called into action by folly, which he chastised and reformed; whose genius cradled in adversity, was nursed on the lap of satire. They who respect honesty of purpose will find something to pardon in the aberrations of indignant spleen.

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1. The History of the Holy Bible, from the Beginning of the World to the Establishment of Christianity; with Answers to Infidel Objections, Dissertations on the most Remarkable Passages, and most Important Doctrines, and a Connexion of the Profane, with the Sacred Writings. By the Rev. Thomas Stackhouse, A. M. &c. The whole corrected and improved, and dedicated by Permission to His Grace the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury. By the Right Reverend George Gleig, LL. D., &c. 3 vols. 4to. Longman and Co. London, 1817.

2. A Discourse on the Doctrine of Original Sin (occasioned by an Appendix to Stackhouse's Dissertation on that Subject, dedicated with Permission to His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury, by the Rev. Dr. Gleig, a Bishop of the Scotch Episcopal Church) preached in St. Paul's Cathedral, on Sunday, the 9th of March. By the Rev. Thomas Wilkinson, M. A., &c. Rivingtons. London, 1817.

THIS great work of Stackhouse has been so long in the hands of the public, and so fully appreciated by readers of the most differ

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