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book which I purchased for you. It was long ago discharged; for, believe me, I intended the book as a present. Or if you rather chuse that it should be held as an exchange with the epitaphs which you sent me, I have no objection. Dr. Goldsmith's death would affect all the club much. I have not been so much affected with any event that has happened of a long time. I wish you would give me, who am at a distance, and who cannot get to London this spring, some particulars with regard to his last appearances. Dr. Young has a fine thought to this purpose, that every friend who goes before us to the other side of the river of death, makes the passage to us the easier. Were our club all removed to a future world but one or two, they, one should think, would incline to follow. By all means let me be on your list of subscribers to Mr. Morrell's Prometheus. You have enlivened
. the town, I see, with a musical piece. The prologue is admirably fancied arripere populum tributim; though, to be sure, Foote's remark applies to it, that your prologues have a culinary turn, and that therefore the motto to your collection of them should be, Animus jamdudum in Patinis. A player upon words might answer him, “ Any Patinis rather than your Piety in Pattens." I wonder the wags have not been quoting upon you, "Whose erudition is a Christmas tale." But Mr. Johnson is ready to bruise any one who calls in question your classical knowledge and your happy application of it. I hope Mr. Johnson has given you an entertaining account of his Northern Tour. He is certainly to favor the world with some of his remarks. Pray do not fail to quicken him by word as I do by letter. Posterity will be the more obliged to his friends the more that they can prevail with him to write. With best compliments to Mrs. Garrick, and hoping that you will not punish me by being long silent, I remain faithfully yours,
JAMES BOSWELL. To David Garrick, Esq., Adelphi, London.
SIR ROBERT AYTOUN.
The following verses are from the Poems of Sir Robert Aytoun, edited by Charles Roger : Edinburgh, 1844. The volume contains a memoir of the author, and a genealogical tree of the family. He was the second son of Andrew Aytoun, proprietor of Kinaldie in Fifeshire, and was born in 1570. He was, according to Dempster, (who gives an account of him in his Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Scotorum,) a writer of Greek and French, as well as of Latin and English verses.
He was acquainted with many of his learned and poetical cotemporaries. Ben Jonson made it his boast, that “Sir Robert Aytoun loved him dearly.” He was a member of the royal household of King James I., and afterwards became secretary to Henrietta Maria, Queen of Charles I., and enjoyed the favor of that monarch till his death, which took place in the palace of Whitehall, in March, 1638. His remains were consigned to Westminster Abbey. A monument, with bust, was erected to his memory by his nephew Sir John Aytoun. They are still in good preservation.
In a note to the poem the editor says :
This poem is reprinted from Watson's collection, where it appears anonymous, as well as in many others of our earlier collections of English poetry. From its similarity to Aytoun's other productions, it has been often ascribed to him, and little doubt can be entertained as to its authenticity. It is undoubtedly one of Aytoun's best productions: and it so attracted the notice of the poet Burns that he made an attempt s to improve the simplicity of the sentiments, by giving them a Scottish dress.” Burns' alteration, however, was a complete failure.
I do confess thou'rt smooth and fair,
I do confess thee sweet, but find
The morning rose that untouch'd stands,
Such fate ere long will thee betide,
FALSE SPELLINGS ARISING OUT OF SOUND.
A curious list might be compiled of English words convey. ing in their present form meanings totally in discordance with their derivatives. The sound of such words has given birth to a new idea, and this new idea has become confirmed by a corresponding, but of course erroneous, mode of spelling. Such are the following, some of which have been already noticed by Dr. Lathom in his large grammar :
Buffetiers has been transformed into Beef-eaters.
Dent de lion has been corrupted to dandylion, from an idea of the bold and flaunting aspect of the flower, whereas its name has reference to the root.
Contre-danse is spelled country-dance, as implying rural or common life pastime, instead of the position of the dancers.
Shamefastness, altered by our modern printers of the authorized version of the New Testament to shamefacedness, though the connection of the passage shows it to have reference to the attire and not to the countenance. Query, has not Miss Strickland, in her life of Mary of Lorraine, fallen into the same error, in a quotation which states that while the court ladies were dressing gaily on one occasion, the princess (afterwards queen) Elizabeth preferred keeping to her own shamefacedness ? This must surely be an alteration from shamefastness.
Cap-à-pie, armed from head to foot : this has given rise to the homely term of apple-pie order.
Folio-capo (Italian), first size sheet, suggestive of foolscap.
Farced-meat balls. The notion of their containing essence artificially concentrated has occasioned the spelling forced, whereas the meaning is simply chopped. French, farole.
Spar-hawk (or rock-hawk), sparrow-hawk.
Double-doré, double-gilt ; from his bright yellow spot, the bee called in the west of England the dumbledoor, still further softened into humble-bee.
Engleford, or the Englishman's ford, modernized into Hungerford; but the corruption in the names of places is a very wide field.
Laak (Ang.-Sax.), play, has been turned into lark, and even tortured into sky-tark. Lathom.
Sambuca, altered (through a French medium), though certainly not euphonized, into sackbut, treated by Miss Strickland in the work above mentioned as a Scottish bagpipe. Her version is not positively disputed, but merely the doubt raised whether or not the original chronicler intended to suggest the mode of inflation. Furthermore, is it likely that, as Miss Strickland surmises, the bagpipe was used at church? The meanings of ancient musical terms are doubtless very obscure. In some parts of England the sackbut is even identified with the trombone.
Massaniello is universally recognized as the name of the celebrated Neapolitan insurrectionist, who at one time nearly overturned the government of that kingdom. How few who use the word are aware that “ Mas-Aniello" is but a corruption of Thomas Aniello, so pronounced by his vulgar companions, and now raised to the dignity of an historical name.
Hougoumont is a conspicuous feature of the great field of Waterloo, and a name familiarly used in speaking of the famous battle ; in course of time it will be forgotten that this is a mere mistake, said to have originated with the great general who achieved the victory, catching up from the peasantry around, the sound of Chateau Goumont, and the real name of the little rural demesne in question. Nobody doubts, however, the right of the “Great Duke” to call a place he has made so famous by any name he might please to apply, and so Hougoumont it will remain while history lasts.
On the 21st of July, 1828, the corpse of John Hampden was disinterred by the late Lord Nugent for the purpose of settling the disputed point of history as to the manner in which the patriot received his death-wound. The examination seems to have been conducted after a somewhat bungling fashion for a scientific object, and the facts disclosed were these : "On lifting up the right arm we found that it was dispossessed of its hand. We might therefore naturally conjecture that it had been amputated, as the bone presented a perfectly flat appearance, as if sawn off by some sharp instrument. On searching under the cloths, to our no small astonishment we found the hand, or rather a number of small bones, inclosed in a separate cloth. For about six inches up the arm the flesh had wasted away, being evidently smaller than the lower part of the left arm, to which the hand was very firmly united, and which presented no symptoms of decay further than the two bones of the forefinger loose. Even the nails remained entire, of which we saw no appearance in the cloth containing the remains of the right hand. .. The clavicle of the right shoulder was firmly united to the scapula, nor did there appear any contusion or indentation that evinced symptoms of any wound ever having been inflicted. The left shoulder, on the contrary, was smaller and sunken in, as if the clavicle had been displaced. To remove all doubts, it was adjudged necessary to remove the arms, which were amputated with a penknife (!). The socket of the left (sic) arm was perfectly white and healthy, and the clavicle firmly united to the scapula, nor was there the least appearance of contusion or wound. The socket of the right (sic) shoulder, on the contrary, was of a brownish cast, and the clavicle being found quite loose and disunited from the scapula, proved that dislocation had taken place. The bones, however, were quite perfect." These appearances indicated that injuries had been received both in the hand and shoulder, the former justifying the belief in Sir Robert Pye's statement to the Harleys, that the pistol which had been presented to him by Sir Robert, his son-in-law, had burst and shattered his hand in a terrible manner at the action of Chalgrave Field ; the latter indicating that he had either been wounded in the shoulder by a spent ball, or had received an injury there by falling from his horse after his hand was shat