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NOTES AND QUERIES:
Medium of Inter-Communication
LITERARY MEN, ARTISTS, ANTIQUARIES,
WILKES AND THE
LONDON, SATURDAY, JULY 4, 1857.
neighbourhood, he was so much struck with the taste and elegance of a house that he asked per
mission to see the inside of it. The request was Nates.
politely complied with, and the owner, who it ESSAY ON WOMAN." subsequently appeared was the brother of Lord
Sundwich, conducted him through the apartments, The following is the account of this Essay and dwelling with especial emphasis on the merits of of the writer given by Earl Stanhope in his His
his pictures. The subject, I suppose, was caviare tory of England, vol. v. p. 66. :
to the Chancellor; for at length Mr. Montagu “It appears that Wilkes had several years before, and in said, pointing to “two female figures, beautifully some of his looser hours, composed a parody of Pope's • Essay painted, in all their native, naked charms,” “These on Man.' In this undertaking, which, according to his
ladies own account (Examination of Michael Curry at the Bar of
you must certainly know, for they are most the House of Lords, Nov. 16, 1763), cost him a great deal striking likenesses.”
The Chancellor again acof pains and time, he was, it is said, assisted by Thomas knowledged his ignorance. “Why, where have Potter, second son of the late Archbishop of Canterbury, you led your life, or what company have you who had been secretary of Frederick Prince of Wales, and had since shown ability and gained office in the House of Murray and Kitty Fisher.” This was the “Fanny
kept ?” said Mr. Montagu, “not to know Fanny Commons, but was (as well became one of Wilkes's friends) of lax morals in his private life. The result of their joint
to whom the Essay, which Lord Stanhope has not authorship, however, hus little wit or talent to make any seen, was inscribed. amends for the blasphemy and lewdness with which it I believed, and believe, that not more than a abounds. As the original had been inscribed by Pope to
single copy of so much of the Essay on Woman as Lord Bolingbroke, so was the parody by Wilkes to Lord Sandwich; thus it began, • Awake, my Sandwich !' instead
was printed at Wilkes's press is in existence; and
as to the existence of that single copy I bave great of Awake, my St. John!' Thus also, in ridicule of War. burton's well-known Commentary, some burlesque notes
doubts. We know, on the oath of Curry the thief, were appended in the name of the Right Reverend the Bishop that only twelve copies were printed for Wilkes, of Gloucester.
and a thirteenth surreptitiously by Curry for him“ This worthless poem had remained in manuscript, und lain in Wilkes's desk, until in the previous spring he had
self - Lord Stanhope says fourteen, a difference occasion to set up a press at his own house, and was
of no consequence, but I believe a mistake; that tempted to print fourteen copies only as présents to bis
the work was never completed that so far as boon companions."
printed every copy was kept under lock and key It is obvious, from the critical opinion here of
that the few other pages submitted by Lord fered, and the positive assertion as to the inscrip
Sandwich to the House of Lords were a proof, tion, that Lord Stanhope spoke, or believed that
or a revise with manuscript corrections, which he spoke, after an examination of the work; the
another of the printers had stolen; and I believe more certainly as The Athenæum, in its review, that the copies in Wilkes's possession were subhinted a doubt on this subject, notwithstanding
sequently destroyed. I have, however, been aswhich the statement was repeated verbatim in the
sured by a gentleman that he many years since second edition. It struck me as strange — and I saw a copy of the original edition. With all still think it strange that Lord Stanhope was
respect for my informant I doubt it. The only not startled to find that the parody to which he proof that I could make out was, that the copy referred a parody on Pope's Essay on Man, in- he saw was printed in red letters, and so far anscribed to a man - St. John, was an Essay on
swered the description given by Curry the thief. WOMAN, not inscribed to a woman, but to Sand
But another description, by a contemporary, is wich. This indeed was only sufficient to raise a
somewhat more particular : suspicion, for there may have been such blunder
· Tis printed ing pårodists and I shall show that there were
In letters red, on paper fine, but they were not the writers of the Essay for
On copper curiously engraved
The title of the work ;” which Wilkes was prosecuted, and on which Lord Stanhope passed judgment, for that is inscribed and so says the indictment, “a frontispiece or to a woman, and begins - Awake, my Fanny.” sculpture prefixed." This fact was actually set forth in the indictment, I thought it possible, however, that the stolen which describes the work as a libel" entitled An proof - or the stolen copy — might be in existEssay on Woman, and purporting to be inscribed ence; but all I could discover from the indexes to Miss Fanny Murray.'
to the Journals of the House of Lords was, An anecdote often told by the great Lord Chan. that the copy laid on the table by Lord Sandcellor Hardwicke (Life, vol. iii. p. 159.) may plea
wich had been delivered to Webb, the solicitor santly illustrate who this Fanny was; and it is to the Treasury, to enable him to carry on the curious in itself
, seeing the relationship of the prosecution that it was returned — then redeparties. One day, soon after the Chancellor had livered—and not returned. It is possible, therepurchased Wimpole, and when riding round the fore, that Webb, who was an antiquary — a
THE FIRST SANSCRIT BOOK.
curiosity collector-may have retained this unique copy, and it may bave been sold with his collection, and be still in existence.
I bave often reflected on the circumstance That other copies of the poem were at the time, which prompts me to write this note. A lanor soon after, in existence, is beyond question; and guage which boasts of vast antiquity - a lanthe scoundrels who bribed the poor journeyman guage which, as affirms M. Eichhoff
, “contient le to betray and rob bis employer, were very likely germe de toutes les langues et de toutes les littépersons to take a copy before they delivered the ratures de l'Europe was first made patent original to Lord Sandwich ; or copies may have through the medium of the press at the close of been taken, as Wilkes said, after Sandwich, hav- the eighteenth century. ing blazoned forth his indignation, laid the poem The work chosen on that memorable occasion on the table that the clerks and others of the must be noticed in our best biographical and other House might take copies.
collections, and preserved in many public libraries : It is more to my purpose to show, what is such, at least, are the fair inferences. Inquiry equally indisputable, that there were spurious proves the reverse. copies soon after sold as genuine some with a
The Seasons of Cálidás, as edited in Sanscrit by few genuine passages, probably copied from the sir William Jones, are not noticed in the Nouveau Bill of Indictment, worked into them, and others dictionnaire historique, nor in the Biographie uniwithout one genuine line. Some of these are in our verselle, nor in the General biographical dictionary. public libraries ; but as they are more vile than The same censure applies to the Cyclopædia of the original, I need not specifically refer to them. Rees, to the Edinburgh cyclopædia, to the EncyEnough for me to show that it was one of these clopædia Americana, to the Penny cyclopædia, to to which probably my informant referred, cer- the Encyclopædia Britannica, and to the National tainly one without a genuine line in it, which Lord cyclopædia; also, to the bibliographical works of Stanhope has mistaken for the original.
Watt, and Lowndes, and Ebert, and Brunet. I will now proceed to proof; and for this proof The precious volume is not in the British MuI am indebted to “N. & Q.”. An intelligent cor. seum, nor in the Bibliotheca Marsdeniana, nor in respondent referred, some time since (2nd S. iii. the Bodleian Library, nor in the Bibliothèque 308.), to works in his possession printed in red Impériale at Paris ; nor does it appear to bave letters, and mentioned incidentally the Essay on been in the private collections of Langlès, De Woman. Under
very proper conditions, I was Chézy, Haughton, Silvestre de Sacy, or Bournouf. permitted to see this unique volume; and it I shall now describe it from a copy which came turned out to be the very copy, or a copy of the into my possession on the sale of the library of sir very edition, seen and commented on by Lord William Jones in 1831. It is entitledStanbope, inscribed to Lord Sandwich, and be
“The seasons: a descriptive poem, by Cálidás, ginning, " Awake, my Sandwich."
in the original Sanscrit. CALCUTTA : M.DCC.XCII.' How, it may be asked, under the circumstances I have stated, can I be sure that this red-letter The volume is in royal octavo, and consists of copy is not genuine ? For many reasons.
It thirty-four leaves of wove paper of very firm does not even pretend to be genuine. Instead of texture. An anonymous advertisement occupies being the work printed at Wilkes's press, and laid
the recto of the second leaf, and bears the autoon the table of the House of Lords in 1763, it is graph initials of the illustrious sir William Jones. declared on the title-page to be “ Printed for The text, as, professor Horace Hayman Wilson George Richards, MDCCLXXII. ;" and it declares assures us, is in the Bengali character. The typethis in type, whereas the genuine title-page was
founder is not named, nor even the printer. The on copper curiously engraved.” Again, there is paper has the water-mark J. WHATMAN, and is in not one single note throughout, whereas, as the Par. spotless condition. liamentary History shows, and my Lord Stanhope
The advertisement, though reprinted in the admits, " burlesque notes were appended” to the works of its author, must not be omitted on this genuine edition in the name of the Right Reve- occasion. rend the Bishop of Gloucester.” Farther and
“ ADVERTISEMENT. conclusive, the indictment sets forth copious ex- This book is the first ever printed in Sanscrit; and it tracts both from the poem and the notes, and not is by the press alone, that the ancient literature of India one line of these numerous parugraphs is to be
can long be preserved : a learner of that most interesting found in the copy printed for George Richards language, who had carefully perused one of the popular
grammars, could hardly begin his course of study with an and commented on by the historian.
easier or more elegant work than the Ritusanhára, or I will hereafter, with your permission, consider Assemblage of seasons. Every line composed by CALIDAS the evidence as to Wilkes having “composed" or
is exquisitely polished, and every couplet in the following written the poem.
D. poem exhibits an Indian landscape, always beautiful,
sometimes highly coloured, but never beyond nature: (To be continued.).
four copies of it have been diligently collated; and,