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now shown to me and marked with the letter A. And I say, that all the statements in the said Preface and Introduction, relative to the discovery, contents, and authenticity of the said folio copy, and the manuscript notes, corrections, alterations, and emendations thereof are true; and that every note, correction, alteration, and emendation in each of the said two editions, and every word, figure, and sign therein, purporting or professing to be a note, correction, alteration, or emendation of the text, is, to the best of my knowledge and belief, a true and accurate copy of the original manuscript in the said folio copy of 1632; and that I have not, in either of the said editions, to the best of my knowledge and belief, inserted a single word, stop, sign, note, correction, alteration, or emendation of the said original text of Shakespeare, which is not a faithful copy of the said original manuscript, and which I do not believe to have been written, as aforesaid, not long after the publication of the said folio copy of the
5. In the year 1811, I attended each of a course of fifteen lectures given by the late Samuel Taylor Coleridge on Shakespeare and Milton, and took, in pencil, short-hand notes of the same. These notes I laid aside, and was unable to find any of them until the year 1854, when I removed from Gey's House, Maidenhead, to my present residence at Riverside, Maidenhead. I then discovered the original notes of the first, second, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, and twelfth lectures, and also transcripts in long-hand of some of the said notes ; but the notes of the remaining lectures I have never been able to find. I also, about the same time, found the original Prospectus of the said lectures stitched to the fragments of a diary of mine, which is now shown to me, and marked B, and which is in the same state as when I so found it. I do not remember when I put the figures in pencil “1812” upon the said Prospectus, or the same figures in ink upon the said Diary; but the writing of the said figures on each of them is mine. Having discovered the said short-hand notes, I transcribed such of them as had not been before transcribed, for the purpose of sending, and afterwards sent articles thereon, and extracts therefrom, for publication in a periodical called “ Notes and Queries,” the numbers of which, containing my communications on the subject of the said lectures, are now shown to me, and marked respectively C., D., E., F.; and I say that the pieces therein purporting to bear my name were written by me, and that the statements therein are true. 6. After I had completed the transcripts of the said lectures, I destroyed
the original short-hand notes thereof, as being of no value, except the two now produced to me, and marked G. and H., which are the original notes taken down by me, from the mouth of the said Samuel Taylor Coleridge, in the year 1811 as aforesaid.
7. Seeing the pencil date “1812” on the said Prospectus, and the same date also on my Diary, I assumed that that was the true date. I had no purpose, desire, motive, or intention to misrepresent the date when the said lectures were delivered, and I verily believed, when I sent the said communications for publication in “Notes and Queries,” that 1812 was the year in which the said Prospectus was issued, and the said Lectures were delivered. And I say, that in the copy of the Prospectus which I sent for publication in the said “ Notes and Queries,” I inserted the date 1812 in brackets, for the purpose of indicating that the said date was not part of the Prospectus itself, but was added by me as the year when it was issued. I further say that I never read or saw “Gilman's Life of Coleridge,” or De Morgan's Book of Almanacks, mentioned in the pamphlet hereinafter referred to, and marked K, and never referred to, or consulted, any book or authority whatever, upon the subject of the date of the said Lectures ;that I did not know, and had not to my recollection ever heard, when I sent the said communications to the said “Notes and Queries,” that any other date than 1812 had been ascribed to the said lectures, or been supposed to be the year of their delivery ;—that my communications to “Notes and Queries” were gratuitous, and my motive for making the same is truly stated in the said communications bearing my name, and contained in the numbers of the said Periodical hereinbefore referred to.
8. The reference in page 58 of the said “Notes and Queries,” No. 247, to the lecture therein called the third, was intended by me of the third in my possession, being the sixth of the said course of Lectures: and I say
that the word “scientific" in the copy of the Prospectus of 1818, printed in the said “Notes and Queries,” No. 245, page 22, is either an error in copying, or a misprint for the word “ specific,” but I cannot state which, as the original manuscript of the said article, sent by me to the Editor of the said “ Notes and Queries,” has, as I am informed and believe, been destroyed.
9. On the 21st day of November, 1855, I was first informed of, and first saw the pamphlet now shown to me, and marked K; and I say that the statements and imputations therein contained refer to me, and to my said Editions of the said “ Notes and Emendations to the text of Shakespeare's
Plays,” and my said notes and publications in the said “Notes and Queries relating to the said Lectures, and that the said statements and imputations, except so far as relates to the mere inaccuracy of date, and of the words in the eighth paragraph of this my Affidavit mentioned, are wholly, and I believe maliciously, false.
JOHN PAYNE COLLIER. Sworn at the Judge's Chambers, Rolls Garden, Chancery
Lane, this eighth day of January, 1856, before me,
As it is probable that few of my readers will have seen the pamphlet entitled “Literary Cookery,” more especially as it was withdrawn from circulation, when it was known that it was about to be made the subject of a judicial proceeding, it may be fit for me to say something in farther explanation of portions of my affidavit. I will first advert to those paragraphs which particularly relate to Coleridge's seven Lectures on Shakespeare and Milton, and which fill about the first half of the succeeding sheets.
The Lectures are, as nearly as possible, transcripts of my own short-hand notes, taken at the close of the year 1811, and at the opening of the year 1812. My father taught me at an early age the use of abbreviated characters, and I hardly know any species of instruction that, in after-life, has stood me in greater stead. It has, it is true, made ordinary writing more wearisome; but, in as much as we have not yet arrived at the period when people will be sensible of the absurdity of persevering in the present dilatory and complicated method, I have been obliged to conform to the established practice. If printers could have decyphered my marks and symbols, as they really might have done (and as I learned them) by a very brief study, I should have been spared an infinity of labour in my time. Among other things, I should have had to do little more than hand over to an intelligent compositor my notes of Coleridge's Lectures, with some obvious corrections, instead of having had to write out the whole of them by a tedious and irksome process.
Knowing the great advantage of short-hand, I say this, not at all as a matter of complaint, or even of regret, but with a view to induce fathers of families to have their children taught stenography with as much diligence as they are now instructed in any other branch of knowledge. Only let us once agree upon a system-let the simplest and the clearest be ascertained and preferred,—and we may soon make this mode of recording thoughts or opinions in some sort compete with the rapidity of railroads, and almost with the lightning of the telegraph.
This topic is not altogether beside the subject, because, as my affidavit serves to show, some persons have, not long since, more than insinuated that my notes of the Lectures of Samuel Taylor Coleridge are pure inventions; and as they maintain that he never uttered such criticisms on Shakespeare and Milton, they may easily go the farther length of insisting that I never wrote short-hand, and, therefore, could never have taken down what I assert was delivered. I am fully aware that my memoranda, of forty-five years standing, are more or less imperfect: of some of the Lectures I appear to have made only abridged sketches: of others my notes are much fuller and more extended; but I am certain, even at this distance of time, that I did not knowingly register a sentence, that did not come from Coleridge's lips, although doubtless I missed, omitted, and mistook points and passages, which now I should have been most rejoiced to have preserved. In completing my transcripts, however, I have added no word or syllable of my own; and with regard to the whole I may be permitted to observe, that it is a compliment I heartily wish I merited, to have it supposed (as must have been supposed by the writer of “Literary Cookery,'') that I possess taste, knowledge and originality, sufficient for the composition of such productions. Many of the Lecturer's opinions will, I apprehend, be new, even to those who, at this day, are best acquainted with his works.*
I was a very young man when I attended the Lectures in question ; but I was not only an enthusiast in all that related to Shakespeare and his literary contemporaries, but a warm admirer of Coleridge, and a firm believer in his power of opening my faculties to the comprehension, and enjoyment of poetry, in a degree beyond anything that I had then experienced. I had seen something of him, and had heard more about him; and when my father proposed that all his family, old enough to profit by them, should attend the Lectures advertised in 1811, I seized the opportunity with eagerness. The series was delivered extemporaneously (almost without the assistance of notes) in a large room at what was called The Scot's Corporation Hall, in Crane Court, Fleet Street; and on applying for tickets, Coleridge sent us a copy of his prospectus, which, many years afterwards I was glad
* I should, perhaps, state, that I have referred to none of Coleridge's subsequent publications to ascertain whether he has there broached, modified, or altered any of his opinions. Some points, in the two volumes of his “ Literary Remains,” 1836, may possibly accord; but, although I have them by me, I have purposely not consulted them with reference to my present transcripts, since my object was to give Coleridge's sentiments precisely as, I believe, they were pronounced in 1811-12.