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find the author jostled by a crowd of intruders, “CROKER," “ MALONE,” “ BLAKEWAY," “ KEARNEY," — his annotations being also belled with his own name, as though he had been introduced, like the others. Even the decency of "enclosing between crotchets" had been dropped, to suit the claims of these importunate illustrators.
After Malone came Mr. Croker, with much knowledge and research, and a new theory of revision. His performance was akin to the labours of enterprising church and picture restorers, and was nearly unique in the annals of editing. Not only did he make interpolations in the text on a vast scale, but he overloaded the whole with a huge bulk of elaborate notes. Obscure allusions guessed at, biographies furnished, blanks filled up, speculations offered, opinions, either of Boswell or of Johnson, refuted in controversial style, contemporary authors largely quoted, and political opinions and prejudices duly ventilated; these were but a tithe of the Crokerian contribution, which, save by a
a few men of true critical instinct, who made early protest, was accepted as a valuable resetting of the old Johnsonian gem. For more than forty years has Boswell's work remained embedded in this mass of concrete and rubble, while Mr. Croker's (the editor's) labours have obtained even more recognition than even he himself could have hoped for. This treatment was long ago good-humouredly exposed. “ Four books," says Mr. Carlyle, “Mr. Croker had by him wherefrom to gather light for the fifth, which was Boswell's. What does he do now, in the placidest manner ? —slit the whole five into slips and sew them together into a sextum quid, exactly at his own convenience. Not till after sideration can you ascertain now, when the cup is at the lip, which liquid it is you are imbibing-whether Boswell's French wine, which you began with, or some of Piozzi's ginger-beer, or Hawkins's entire, or, perhaps, some other great brewer's penny swipes.” As, however, Mr. Croker admitted his mistake, and in a later edition withdrew the bulk of the intruded matter, it would not be fair to say more on this point. Yet he could not bring himself to sacrifice the whole of the foreign element; and his work, which still includes masses of Thrale and other letters, diaries, and the like, is no longer Boswell's
“Life of Johnson,” but Boswell's “Life of Johnson, altered and enlarged by Croker.” This might be tolerated on the ground that such additions are for the most part distinctly marked, and that the reader, duly warned, may pass them by. But the Editor did not stop there, and a diligent examination
warrants saying that he has made serious alterations in the text. Letters have been transposed, and shifted here and there, on account of some assumed inconsistency; dates have been altered, notes re-written, cut up, and distributed, or altogether omitted ; while, with an over-strained delicacy, good Old-English adjectives, of a somewhat coarse flavour, have been struck out, and others substituted. This presents only a general idea of his operations; but a few specimens of these errors, each fairly representing a whole class, will show that the statement is not overcharged.
Notes altered.-One, under date of Nov. 1769, runs thus : “An acute correspondent of the European Magazine, April, 1792, has completely exposed a mistake which has been unaccountably frequent in (of) ascribing these lines to Blackmore, notwithstanding that Sir Richard Steele, in that very popular work, the Spectator, &c." Mr. Croker (single vol. ed. 1862, p. 211) omits all the words in italics, which (especially the compliment to the Spectator) are really characteristic of Boswell. At p. 409, note, “ The celebrated Flora Macdonald, see Boswell's Tour," the words in italics are omitted.
At p. 23, a note, “ Sir John Floyer's Treatise on Cold Baths” becomes “ A letter from the late Sir John Floyer, in recommendation of the cold bath.-BosWELL.” At p. 121 the ceremonious reference in the note, “ Topham Beauclerk, Esq.," becomes “Mr. Beauclerk.--Boswell." p. 113 “Mr. Samuel Richardson, the authour of Clarissa," is shortened into “the author of Clarissa.' ” At p. 155 "soon after this event " is altered into “ soon after his mother's death ;" at p. 475 "a very learned minister" is changed into “the very learned," &c. At p. 9o a note of Warton's, seventeen lines long, on 2. Williams, is omitted ; Mr. Croker re-writes it, compressing it into three lines, and signing it “Warton.” P. 501, a whole note is given to Malone, of which a portion is Mr. Boswell's ; and, p. 527, a note, half Croker's, half Boswell's, is given altogether
to Boswell. At pp. 519, 721, and 376, notes of Boswell's are signed “ Croker.” At p. 342, one note is cut up into two.
Omitted.–At p. 91, a note, “Of the degree.” P. 108, a note, “Now or late Vice-chancellor.” P. 222, two notes, “ Thoughts on the late transaction," and "By comparing the first with the subsequent editions this curious circumstance of ministerial authourship may be discovered.” P. 409, “See Boswell's Tour.” At pp. 117, 165, 266, 410, 508, 590, 556, 494, and at a number of other places, reference notes are omitted. P. 700, a note, “ in both editions of Sir J. Hawkins's “Life of Johnson,' lettered ignorance is printed," omitted. P. 722, the key to the charade on Dr. Barnard, “ Bar," “nard,"
Barnard,” left out. P. 88, a note of Warton's on one of his own letters: “He came to Oxford within a fortnight, and stayed about five weeks. He lodged at a house called Kettel Hall, near Trinity College. But during this visit at Oxford, he collected nothing in the libraries for his dictionary,” becomes—“He came to Oxford, &c. He lodged at Kettel Hall. --WARTON. But during this visit, he collected nothing, &c.—Malone.” P. 298, a long note on the Literary Club is omitted on the ground that “it is incorporated in the life ”_ The substance is, though not the form.
With Warton's notes on his own letters, a portion of Boswell's work, other freedoms are taken. As at p. 93, where the note runs, “ The words in italics are allusions to passages in Mr. Warton's poem," &c., which is wholly omitted, and a quotation from the poem itself substituted. At p. 99 is found a short note signed "Warton," but which is Mr. Croker's own composition, and the hint for which is supplied by a long note of Warton's to the letter of November 21, 1754, which is also omitted. To the same letter Boswell has given a note—“communicated to me by Mr. Thraston, who had the original"—which is again omitted. At p. 108 a new letter of Warton's is inserted by Mr. Croker without distinguishing crotchets, so that it reads as part of Boswell's text; and at p. 91 another note of Warton's is omitted. At p. 222, there should be a note of Boswell's on the word “perusal," qualified by one of Malone's, and both are omitted.
Text altered.-P. 30, a list of Johnson's residences is brought from its place at the end of the book, and, to suit this alteration, the text, “I shall before this work is concluded,” is turned into “I shall
here." P. 458, “I am returned” for “I now returned."
At P. 703, a note of forty lines, at p. 742 a note of twenty-eight lines, with at p. 773 a pas
ge from Boswell's controversy with Miss Seward, are introduced into the text. This latter is, however, marked with crotchets. P.789, a note brought into the text. P. 539, a note of thirty-six lines brought into the text. P. 535, a letter of Dr. Vyse's introduced into the text, though placed by Malone between brackets. P. 187, four paragraphs from “Prayers and Meditations" inserted as part of Boswell's text, without brackets or other mark. P. 623, Boswell's “ I wrote to him again,” Mr. Croker alters to “I had written to him again.” P. 622, a letter is placed between brackets, as if from the “ Reynolds's MSS.," but it really belongs to Boswell's text. P. 697, a note of Malone's, beginning “ The following letters,” &c., is brought into the text; so at p. 666, where a long note is thus treated. P. 386, Mr. Croker has “ This refers to the Epitaph on Philips, and the verses on Geo. II. and Cibber as his Poet Laureate, for which see ante." The original runs: "of which imperfect copies are gone about, and will appear in my Life of Dr. Johnson.” P. 270, "Mr. Johnson has since told me" changed to “ Mr. Johnson told me.” This alteration, and many others, were made to suit Mr. Croker's arbitrary insertion of the - Tour to the Hebrides” in the body of work. P. 784, “ the effect of certain medicines, as taken, and adds," altered to "as taken, that." P. 778, “compliment” made “compliments.” P. 291, Embru is put for Enbru, the Scotch abbreviation for Edinburgh. P. 344, a long passage relating to Lord Lovat is thrust out of the text, made into a note, and signed “ Boswell.”
Mistakes in dates and references.-P. 698, Pr. and Med., p. 198 should be p. 201. P. 639, Oct. 22 should be Oct. 20. May 3rd should be May 5. P. 788, July 12 should be July 1. P. 787, Oct. 27 should be Oct. 20. P. 702, Pr. and Med., p. 206 altered to p. 203. P. 459, Sep. 14 should be Sep. 24. Sep. 27 altered to Sep. 21. P. 213, p. 100 put for p. 101. Mar. 3 put for Mar. 23. P. 565, Nov. 29 put for Nov. 25. P. 450, p. 138 altered to p. 128. P. 179, Aug. 10 put for Aug. 21. P. 245, Aug. 13 for Aug. 31. P. 246, Feb. 22 for P.
I for Mar. 8. P. 265, Pr. and Med., p. 191 for p. 129. P. 469, a date introduced, “ Dec. 17, 1775."
P. 215, P. 441,
But the list of touchings and polishings, by which it was thought that the general appearance of Mr. Boswell's work would be improved, would cover pages. The dates all are brought from the end to the beginning of every letter. The addresses, invariably set out with all formality by Boswell, such as “ Dr. Johnson to the Right Honourable William Gerard Hamilton," or to “Mr. Langton, at Langton, Spilsbury, Lincolnshire," are cut down by Mr. Croker into “ Johnson to Hamilton,” and “ Johnson to Langton.” Even so trifling an alteration is out of harmony with the dignified tone of the book. The use of italics and capitals, which lent effect to certain places, is abolished by Mr. Croker. At p. 433,
«The Irish are a fair people" should be printed in large capitals, Mr. Boswell intending to convey a more than usually full-mouthed emphasis on the part of the speaker. On the other hand, some proper names in the Hebrides, such as Donald Roy, are capriciously printed in italics. At p. 289, we must be at Aberdeen" becomes
we must be," with a loss of effect. So in the rebuke to Hannah More (p. 778), where she is bidden to consider what her flattery is worth before she choked him with it, the italics are removed by Mr. Croker, with loss of point. The arrangement of paragraphs, too, is altered, several being fused into one.
These, as I say, are merely selected specimens. The whole work is so defaced that the only course for future editors of Mr. Croker's edition, will be to collate his work carefully and laboriously with the original, and ascertain the amount of these prunings and abbreviations. What, too, can be said for consigning to an appendix, established specially for the purpose, the various legal “ Arguments," quotations, letters, which had been fixed in their proper places by the author himself. Such removal does violence to the text; passages such as “ Dr. Johnson then dictated to me the following argument for the negro' having to be altered to suit the omission. But it is strange that it did not occur to Mr. Croker that there was a special interest connected with these essays, from the fact of their having been dictated by Johnson, and taken down on the occasion described. They are, therefore, a faithful record of the situa. tion; we seem to hear the great sage rolling forth his full periods; we see his follower recording; and it must have been