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place, we find that Mr. Jeffrey the seller is also the editor of this work; and however Lord Essex may complain of the manner in which the work is executed, we cannot much participate in his grief when we find that he himself voluntarily entrusted the moral and literary fame of his grandfather to such hands as Mr. Jeffrey's. It
appears, moreover, from Mr. Jeffrey's confession, that the assertions of his title-page and preface are scandalously false; and even the statements of the apology itself cannot be true; for the work does not contain a live answering the description, given in the apology, of Lord Holland's contribution. It contains no letter written by Horace Walpole—no letter addressed to Sir C. H. Williams-no letter from the first Lord Holland: but it does contain specimens of obscenity and blasphemy more horrible than we have before seen collected into one publication.
We believe so flagrant an instance of effrontery has not occurred since the days of Curl; and we cannot think that the apology which Lord Essex required Mr. Jeffrey to publish once in a newspaper, of the 21st of June, makes sufficient amends, when we find in the very next day's paper the work again advertised under the original false pretences, and when we see it every day, still exhibited for sale, with its original fraudulent title-page.
If Lord Essex felt, as we think he ought, for his grandfather's fame, and for public morals, he ought not to have been contented with any thing short of the total suppression of this infamous publication; instead of which it continues to be bought and read, under the authority of his Lordship's nume, by persons who never may have seen or heard of Mr. Jeffrey's apology. But the apology itself, supposing it to be as widely circulated as the book, is far from being satisfactory. It acquits, indeed, Lord Essex and (still more decidedly) Lord Holland of having contri. buted any of the beastly and blasphemous trash which the volumes contain, or of ever having approved their publication ; but it does not acquit them of a most culpable negligence in the affair. The gross license of Sir Charles's pen was well known. Lord Essex could not be ignorant-indeed the apology admits that he knew that in former collections of Sir Charles's works, several pieces which his lordship calls exceptionable, and which we boldly pronounce to be abominable, were printed. Of this Lord Holland must have been equally aware, and we therefore think it manifested a very extraordinary degree of apathy on the part of the grandson of Sir Charles, and the grandson of his dearest friend, thus to countenance and contribute to a new edition of his works without inquiring of the bookseller-editor what he meant to do with the exceptionable pieces contained in the former collection. So far, indeed, as the indecency of the publication is
concerned, we think that Mr. Jeffrey might, with some degree of justice, plead in palliation of his conduct, that he thought himself at liberty to publish what the noble lords had not forbidden; and we must further confess our wonder that Lord Essex should never have thought it worth while to look, prerious to publication, at a work printing under his encouragement, and so nearly affecting the character of his ancestor; and this is the more surprizing to us, because we thought that we saw, in one or two places, marks of a hand more able and niore delicate than that of Mr. Jeffrey, which we were willing to believe might be that of Lord Essex. : Of the life and character of the unhappy gentleman himself, whose vices and whose follies have been, by this pious publication, drawn again into public notice, we shall say nothing; he was a person of great parts, and we are willing to bury in charitable oblivion the misfortunes and frailties of such a man: we shall consider him merely as an author, and even as an author wè shall dismiss, as shortly as we can, the chief and most prominent fault of his compositions--their licentiousness. Archdeacon Coxe, in an interesting and candid account of Sir Charles's life, says that his verses were highly prized by his contemporaries, and the letters of his friend Mr. Fox, (the first Lord Holland,) abound with extravagant commendations of his poetical talents; but in perusing those which have been given to the public, and those which are still in manuscript, the greater part are political effusions, or licentious lampoons, abounding with local wit and temporary satire, eagerly read at their appearance, but little interesting to posterity. - History of Monmouth, vol. ii. p. 279.
In an account of Sir Charles's embassy to Berlin, in 1750, (which has found its way strangely into the middle of the second volume of this publication, and which we do not believe to be from the pen of Mr. Jeffrey,) it is admitted that ' bis prose was as easy and humorous as his verse, though often too licentious for publication,' vol. ii. p. 210; and again, that his letters from abroad were generally disfigured by indecencies.' p. 211.
The prose which is thought too indecent for publication, must have been of a very horrible die if it was worse than the prose
and the poetry now published. We say again, without exaggeration or fear of contradiction, that these volumes contain the grossest indecencies we have ever seen in print; and expressions are put into the mouths of the Muses, which at present, would not be used by common prostitutes.
There can be no doubt-although the apology seems to imply some -that most of these indecent pieces are genuine : if there were no other proof, the admission that his private correspondence, written while he was an ambassador, and towards the close
of his life, is still more licentious, would be sufficient; and indeed we lament to say, that, with one or two exceptions, none of his works are so well authenticated as these disgusting sallies : but we must be just, and not charge altogether on the individual what was one of the vices of the age he lived in. The conversation and the correspondence, the jeux d'esprit and the pasquinades of that day, were all excessively gross. We have before us private letters of the polished Chesterfield, and the eloquent Pulteney, full of terms which the lower classes of society would now blush to use; and alas ! we must even own that, in too many instances, female conversation and letters were not much more decorous. We have sometimes heard our times scoffed at as over-squeamish, and we have been asked, with a triumphant sneer, whether we think the world is better now than it was when people spoke plainer, and, as Swift coarsely says, ' called a spude a spade':-into this discussion we shall not enter; but sure we are that loose conversation must, in some degree, contribute to a looseness of manners, and that the incitements to licentious conduct are diminished by every check which is imposed on licentious expressions. Pope says, in one of his earliest works
Immodest words admit of no defence,
For want of decency is want of sense. Yet, in riper age, and in his intercourse with ladies of the highest rank, and, we are willing to believe, of the purest virtue in essentials, we find him indulging in gross obscenity. Swift, though so often filthy and disgusting, falls less frequently, but he sometimes falls, into this extreme license; and even Addison himself, with all his taste, his judgment, and his piety, has admitted into his moral essays expressions which a modest woman could not now read without a blush. In short, from Milton to Dr. Johnson, we know not that we could name a single author whose works are so unexceptionably correct as to justify their being placed unreservedly in female hands. We, therefore, are ready to make some allowances for Sir Charles Hanbury Williams, and although his pieces are, as we have said, the grossest ever published, they probably are not much grosser than many others which were circulated in his day; and his reputation now stands so disgracefully distinguished rather through the indiscretion and effrontery of his publishers than through any superior wickedness of his own. should have thought a new edition of his works not only pardonable, but laudable and useful, if it had been made the opportunity of separating his better from his worse productions, and consigning the latter to obscurity and oblivion. It may not be even now too late. Some of Sir Charles's verses must live; they are not merely witty and gay, but they are the best examples of a particuVOL. XXVIII. NO. LV.
lar class of poetry, and are not without their importance in the history of social manners and political parties. We wish that they were collected into a volume, which one could open without being shocked by the juxta-position of the horrors to which we have alluded.
Dismissing this branch of the subject, we are obliged to animadvert on the ignorance and negligence with which Mr. Jeffrey has performed the other duties of an editor. He has, in no one instance, told us the authority on which he assigns any of the pieces to Sir Charles. He ought to have marked those whose authenticity was proved by the original papers communicated by Lord Essex; for that all which his volumes contain are not so, the apology admits; and we did not need that proof, for we can show whole pages with which Sir Charles evidently had, and could have, nothing to do.
The former collection of his works was made by some Jeffrey of that day, who swept together, with blundering ignorance, from the Foundling Hospital for Wit
' and similar collections, all that was attributed to Sir Charles, and a great deal that was not. This trumpery volume Mr. Jeffrey; with congenial spirit, has pillaged in the lump, and he has added to it about an equal quantity of pieces no better authenticated; some of them probably have been furnished by Lord Essex, but many of them are certainly not Sir Charles's; and it would have been no more than respectful to tell us on what authority they are attributed to him.
Our readers must have read (for it has appeared in all the miscellanies) a bantering Address to Sir Hans Sloane, beginning
Since you, dear Doctor, saved my life,
To bless by turns and plague my wife. and concluding,
other patients teach To do, as had done, Your's, -C. H.' The style of the verses is not unlike that of Sir Charles; they are gay, easy, and have a slight touch of indelicacy; but on what authority they are attributed to him we know not. The signature C. H., for Charles Hanbury, may, perhaps, in addition to the style, have led to this supposition; but Sir Charles had assumed the name of Williams as soon as he came of age, and long before he had any 'wife to plague.' In Bell's Fugitive Poetry, vol. ii. p. 41. the same verses appear with the signature T. H., and in other collections are attributed to Mr. Hedges; but what seem's to put the matter out of all doubt is, that they are to be found in the second number of the London Magazine for May 1732, which was published before Sir Charles was married. Having thus se
• Which may your
lected a poem which is certainly not Sir Charles's, Mr. Jeffrey contrives to print it in a way which shows his utter incapacity even for the mechanical part of an editor's duty. A distich, in which the poet says that he has some rure pills, is thus given by Mr. Jeffrey: • With the receipts too how to take 'em.
vol. i. p. 128. This suppression looks like discretion; and one, who did not know how little squeamish the editor is, would suppose that something very naughty had been omitted; but, lo! we find in all the former copies, that the whole distich is perfectly inoffensive, and indeed the most unmeaning one of the poem :
• With the receipt too how to make 'em,
I leave the time to take 'em.' Again ;-the principal value of this sort of verses consists in their personal allusions, which often elucidate public characters by traits which graver history, forgéts. In this same poem, amongst other curiosities which the author offers to the collection of Sir Hans Sloane, are
Some strains of eloquence which hung,
Till found them out again.'-vol. i. p. 127. We should be a little anxious to know who it was that his wittiest contemporaries thus matched with Cicero; but all clue to that information Mr. Jeffrey prudently suppresses. The older editions indeed, not quite so discreet, give us at least the initial and final letters, thus, c-r; and others have gone so far, as to print C-w-r; by which we are enabled to guess that the panegyric was meant for Lord Cowper: another proof that the poem is not by Sir C. H. Williams, for Lord Cowper had been dead many years before Sir Charles was married.
With the same bold ignorance, an imitation of Horace, addressed to Philip Yorke, afterwards second Earl of Hardwicke, iš attributed to Sir Charles ; though in the Gentleman's Magazine for 1747, p. 587, where we first find it, it is 'subscribed with the initials S. J. Sir Charles H. Williams had no friendship for Mr. Yorke, and the verses were probably written by Soame Jennings, who has been somewhere facétiously denominated the poet-laureate of the House of Yorke.!
In the same way, the editor has scattered through the volumes, and attributed to Sir Charles, a dozen of pieces, which not only are not his, but which, as every person of the least judgment must have seen, could not be his. Some of them are bitter lampoons