+ ~ -
Please report pronunciation problems here. Select and sample other voices. Options Pause Play
Report an Error

appears to have been subsequent to the reign
of Charles, it probably took place on one
of her visits to England during the reigns
of William the Third and George the First,
on which latter occasion she is supposed
to have endeavoured to get a pension
from the English Governmenton what
ground it would be curious to know. But
the " baby-face" probably thought it all right.
We take her to have been a thoroughly
conventional, common-place person, with no
notions of propriety but such as were received
at court; and quite satisfied with everything,
here and hereafter, as long as she had plenty
to eat, drink, and play at cards with, and a
confessor to make all smooth in case of collateral
peccadilloes. The jumble of things religious
and profane was carried to such a height in
those days, that a picture representing the
duchess and her son (the infant Duke of Richmond)
in the characters of Virgin and Child
was painted for a convent in France, and
actually used as an altar-piece. They thought
her an instrument in the hands of God for the
restoration of Popery.

Adieu to the "baby-face" looking out of
the windows at Kensington House in hope of
gome money from King George, and hail to
that of the good old pedagogue, James
Elphinstone, reformer of spelling, translator
of Martial, and friend of Doctor Johnson.
He is peering up the road, to see if his great
friend is looming in the distance; for dinner
is ready; and he is afraid that the veal
stuffed with plums (a favourite dish of the
Doctor's) will be spoilt.

Mr. Elphinstone prospered in his school,
but failed in his reformation of spelling, which
was on the phonetic principle (one of his
books on the subject was entitled Propriety's
Pocket Dictionary;) and he made such a
translation of Martial, that his friend Strahan
the printerBut the circumstances must be
told out of Boswell:—

"GARRICK. Of all the translations that ever were
attempted, I think Elphinstone's Martial the most
extraordinary. He consulted me upon it, who am a
little of an epigrammatist myself, you know. I told
him freely, ' You don't seem to have that turn.' I
asked him if he was serious; and, finding he was,
I advised him against publishing. Why, his
translation is more difficult to understand than the
original. ! thought him a man of some talents;
but he soems crazy in this. JOHNSON. Sir, you have
done what I had not courage to do. But he did
not ask my advice, and I did not force it upon him
to make him angry with me. GARRICK. But as a
friend, sirJOHNSON Why, such a friend as I am
with himno. GARRICK. But, if you see a friend
going to tumble over a precipice?  JOHNSON.
That is an extravagant case, sir. You are sure a
friend will thank you for hindering him from
tumbling over a precipice; but, in the other case, I
should hurt his vanity, and do him no good. He
would not take my advice. His brother-in-law,
Strahan, sent him a subscription of fifty pounds,
and said he would send him fifty more if he would
not publish. GARRICK. What, eh! is Strahan a
good judge of an epigram? Is he not rather an
obtuse man, eh? JOHNSON. Why, sir, he may

not be a judge of an epigram; but you see he
is a judge of what is not an epigram."

That the readers of Household Words may
judge for themselves, especially as the book is
very rare, and nobody who speaks of Elphin
stone quotes it, we add a specimen or two.
We confess they are not favourable specimens;
but they are not unjust:


"If Martial meekly woo'd Subscription's charms,
Subscription gracious met a Martial's arms;
Contagious taste illum'd th' imperial smile,
And, Julius greater, Martial, won our ile."


"Five for Ten, and for Lusty he greeted you Lean
As for Free he saluted you Bond.
Now he Ten, Free, and Lusty articulates clean.
Oh! what pains can! He wrote, and he conn'd."

Not a word of explanation, though the book
is full of the longest and most superfluous
comments. It is a quarto of six hundred
pages, price a guinea in boards; and among
its hundreds of subscribers are the leading
nobility and men of letters; so
prosperous had some real learning and a good
character rendered the worthy school

Elphinstone had won Johnson's heart by
taking charge of a Scotch edition of the
Rambler. He also translated the Latin
mottoes at the head of the papers; and did it
in a manner that gave little or no token of the
coming Martial. Johnson, Jortin (of whom
more hereafter), and we believe Franklin
visited him at his house.

"I am going this evening," says Johnson,
"to put young Otway to school with Mr.
Elphinstone." — Letter to Mrs. Thrale. Otway
is an interesting name. One would like to
know whether he was of the poet's race.
It is pleasant also to fancy the Doctor, then
in his sixty-fourth year, walking hand in hand
down the road with the little boy.

"On Monday, April nineteenth, seventeen
hundred and seventy-three, he called on me
(says Boswell) with Mrs. Williams, in Mr.
Strahan's coach, and carried me out to dine
with Mr. Elphinstone, at his Academy at
Kensington. Mr. Elphinstone talked of a new
book that was much admired, and asked Dr.
Johnson if he had read it. Johnson: ' I
have looked into it.' 'What,' said Elphinstone,
' have you not read it through ? Johnson,
offended at being thus pressed, and so
obliged to own his cursory mode of reading,
answered hastily, ' No, Sir; do you read books

It is said in Faulkner's History of Ken
sington, that Elphinstone was "ludicrously
characterised in Smollett's Roderick Random,
which in consequence became a forbidden
book in his school." But none of the brutal
schoolmasters of Smollett resemble the gentle
pedagogue of Kensington. The book might

Profile Information

Application afterLoad: 0.000 seconds, 0.28 MB
Application afterInitialise: 0.019 seconds, 1.00 MB
Application afterRoute: 0.022 seconds, 2.05 MB
Application afterDispatch: 0.072 seconds, 3.65 MB
Application afterRender: 0.110 seconds, 3.99 MB

Memory Usage


21 queries logged

  1. SELECT *
      FROM jos_session
      WHERE session_id = '739c8dac6b6e75e86fc936dc021b897e'
      FROM jos_session
      WHERE ( TIME < '1656439580' )
  3. SELECT *
      FROM jos_session
      WHERE session_id = '739c8dac6b6e75e86fc936dc021b897e'
  4. INSERT INTO `jos_session` ( `session_id`,`time`,`username`,`gid`,`guest`,`client_id` )
      VALUES ( '739c8dac6b6e75e86fc936dc021b897e','1656441380','','0','1','0' )
  5. SELECT *
      FROM jos_components
      WHERE parent = 0
  6. SELECT folder AS TYPE, element AS name, params
      FROM jos_plugins
      WHERE published >= 1
      AND access <= 0
      ORDER BY ordering
  7. SELECT id
      FROM jos_toc_pages
      WHERE alias = 'page-14'
  8. SELECT id
      FROM jos_toc_pages
      WHERE alias = 'page-14'
  9. SELECT *
      FROM jos_toc_pages
      WHERE id = '75'
  10. UPDATE jos_toc_pages
      SET hits = ( hits + 1 )
      WHERE id='75'
  11. SELECT template
      FROM jos_templates_menu
      WHERE client_id = 0
      AND (menuid = 0 OR menuid = 85)
      ORDER BY menuid DESC
      LIMIT 0, 1
  12. SELECT *
      FROM jos_toc_pages
      WHERE alias = 'page-14'
      AND id_volume = 44
  13. SELECT *
      FROM jos_toc_volumes
      WHERE id = '44'
  14. SELECT *
      FROM jos_toc_magazines
      WHERE id = '1160'
  15. SELECT id, title,alias
      FROM jos_toc_pages
      WHERE  id_volume = 44
      ORDER BY ordering ASC
  16. SELECT id, DATE, id_page
      FROM jos_toc_magazines
      WHERE  id_volume = 44
      ORDER BY ordering ASC
  17. SELECT *
      FROM jos_toc_parameter
      WHERE `group` = 'voice'
  18. SELECT *
      FROM jos_toc_parameter
      WHERE `group` = 'voice'
  19. SELECT id, title,alias
      FROM jos_toc_pages
      WHERE id_volume = 44
      AND ordering > 22
      ORDER BY ordering ASC
      LIMIT 1
  20. SELECT id, title,alias
      FROM jos_toc_pages
      WHERE id_volume = 44
      AND ordering < 22
      ORDER BY ordering DESC
      LIMIT 1
  21. SELECT id, title, module, POSITION, content, showtitle, control, params
      FROM jos_modules AS m
      LEFT JOIN jos_modules_menu AS mm
      ON mm.moduleid = m.id
      WHERE m.published = 1
      AND m.access <= 0
      AND m.client_id = 0
      AND ( mm.menuid = 85 OR mm.menuid = 0 )
      ORDER BY POSITION, ordering

Language Files Loaded

Untranslated Strings Diagnostic


Untranslated Strings Designer