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Another of these proverbial sayings,
“Incidit in Scyllam, cupiens vitare Charybdim," I, some years ago, in a note on a passage in “ The Merchant of Venice,” traced to its source. It occurs (with a slight variation) in the “ Alexandreis” of Philip Gaultier (a poet of the thirteenth century), which was printed at Lyons in 1558. Darius is the person addressed ;
" Quo tendis inertein,
Incidis in Scyllam, cupiens vitare Charybdim." The author of this line was first ascertained by Galleottus Martius, who died in 1476, as is observed in Menagiana, vol. iii. p. 130, edit. 1762. For an account of Philip Gaultier, see Vossius de Poet. Latin., p. 254, fol. 1697.
A line, not less frequently quoted than any of the preceding, was suggested for inquiry, several years ago, in a note on “ The Rape of Lucrece: ”
“Solamen miseris socios habuisse doloris." But the author of this verse has not, I believe, been discovered. -MALONE.
MALONE'S NOTE REGARDING THE REV.
[P. 145 ante.] The reader will recollect, that in the year 1775, when Dr. Johnson visited France, he was kindly entertained by the English Benedictine monks at Paris. One of that body, the Rev. James Compton, in the course of some conversation with him at that time, asked him, if any of them should become converts to the protestant faith, and should visit England, whether they might hope for a friendly reception from him: to which he warmly replied, " that he should receive such a convert most cordially.” In consequence of this conversation, Mr. Compton, a few years afterwards, having some doubts concerning the religion in which he had been bred, was induced, by reading the 110th Number of “ The Rambler" (on REPENTANCE), to consider the subject more deeply; and the result of his inquiries was, a determination to become a protestant. With this view, in the summer of 1782, he returned to his native country, from whence he had been absent from his sixth to his thirty-fifth year; and on his arrival in London, very scantily provided with the means of subsistence, he immediately repaired to Bolt Court, to visit Dr. Johnson; and having informed him of his desire to be admitted into the Church of England, for this purpose solicited his aid to procure for him an introduction to the Bishop of London, Dr. Lowth. At the time of his first visit, Johnson was so much indisposed, that he could allow him only a short conversation of a few minutes; but he desired him to call again in the course of the following week. When Mr. Compton visited him a second time, he was perfectly recovered from his indisposition ; received him with the utmost cordiality; and not only undertook the management of the business in which his friendly interposition had been requested, but with great kindness exerted himself in this gentleman's favour, with a view to his future subsistence, and immediately supplied him with the means of present support.
Finding that the proposed introduction to the Bishop of London had from some accidental causes been deferred, lest Mr. Compton, who then lodged at Highgate, should suppose himself neglected, he wrote him the following note :
56 October 6, 1782. “SIR,
“I have directed Dr. Vyse's letter to be sent to you, that you may know the situation of your business. Delays are incident to all affairs; but there appears nothing in your case of either superciliousness or neglect. Dr. Vyse seems to wish you well. I am, &c.,
6 SAM. JOHNSON.”
Mr. Compton having, by Johnson's advice, quitted Highgate, and settled in London, had now more frequent opportunities of visiting his friend, and profiting by his conversation and advice. Still, however, his means of subsistence being very scanty, Dr. Johnson kindly promised to afford him a decent maintenance, until by his own exertions he should be able to obtain a livelihood; which benevolent offer he accepted, and lived entirely at Johnson's expense till the end of January, 1783; in which month, having previously been introduced to Bishop Lowth, he was received into our communion in St. James's parish church. In the following April, the place of under-master of St. Paul's school having become vacant, his friendly protector did him a more essential service, by writing the following letter in his favour, to the Mercers' Company, in whom the appointment of the under-master lay:-
“Bult Court, Fleet Street, April 19, 1783. “ GENTLEMEN,
"At the request of the Reverend Mr. James Compton, who now solicits your votes to be elected under-master of St. Paul's school, I testify with great sincerity, that he is, in my opinion, a man of abilities sufficient, and more than sufficient, for the duties of the office for which he is a candidate. I am, &c.,
Though this testimony in Mr. Compton's favour was not attended with immediate success, yet Johnson's kindness was not without effect; for his letter procured Mr. Compton so many well-wishers in the respectable company of mercers, that he was honoured, by the favour of several of its members, with more applications to teach Latin and French than he could find time to attend to. In 1796, the Rev. Mr. Gilbert, one of his majesty's French chaplains, having accepted a living in Guernsey, nominated Mr. Compton as his substitute at the French chapel of St. James's; which appointment, in April, 1811, he relinquished for a better in the French chapel at Bethnal Green. By the favour of Dr. Porteus, the late excellent Bishop of London, he was also appointed, in 1802, chaplain of the Dutch chapel at St. James's ; a station which he still holds —MALONE.
MR. CROKER'S TREATMENT OF MISS
“On Monday, May 26 (1783), I found him at tea, and the celebrated Miss Burney, the author of Evelina' and · Cecilia' with him.”
To this simple statement of Boswell, Mr. Croker appended a note (1831-1847), which did not redound to his credit, and which has proved a scandal to those who would preserve literature from the intrusion of unworthy personalities. “It was stated and believed," wrote Mr. Croker, “ that she was only seventeen, when she surprised the world by her · Evelina'; it now appears that she was near twenty-seven-an important difference.” It now appears, since, we suppose, the publication of an article in the “ Quarterly Review" April, 1833, reviewing Madame d'Arblay's Memoirs of her father, Dr. Burney. In that article Madame d'Arblay was charged with the deliberate suppression of every fact bearing on the determination of the question of her age when she commenced her literary career. “No allusion to what we had always considered the most extraordinary ingredient in the story—the author's age. This induced us to look into the matter a little more closely, when we were additionally surprised to find that every little incident which could have led to an exact calculation of the interval between the burning of the manuscripts when the author had attained her fifteenth year, and the publication of "Evelina' in 1778, and, in short, every clue to the date of Madame d'Arblay's birth, had been curiously obliterated” (p. 110). This led the reviewer to search either directly or indirectly the parish register of St. Margaret's, Lynn, to determine yet more accurately than his inferences could, the age of this lady, then (1833) living. There in the register of baptisms, of St. Nicholas Chapel, in the parish of St. Margaret's, King's Lynn, was found an entry, of which the following is an exact copy.
? See antè, p. 156.
1752. St. Nicholas. Baptisms. July 17. Frances, D. Mr. Charles and Esther Burney.
Rev. Thomas Pyle, Minister.
This determines, of course, only the fact and the date of baptism. In all probability the infant was about one month old at the time; was born therefore before the middle of June, 1752. “ Evelina ” was published in 3 vols. 12mo, in the month of January, 1778. Fanny Burney, therefore, was twenty-five years, seven months, old, when her novel was issued from the press. But younger when it was written. In the Memoirs of her father, vol. ii., p. 127, and foll., there is an ainusing account of negotiations, first with Dodsley, who refused it, and then with Lowndes, who declared his readiness to purchase and print it, when it should be finished. As the first two volumes only were in hand, a third had to be written before Lowndes would go to press. The third volume accordingly was written before the year 1777 was concluded, and in the early weeks of January, 1778, “ Evelina" was actually published. We flatly deny then, on the evidence of the baptismal register, that Fanny Burney was “near twenty-seven " when“ Evelina” was published. She was short of twenty-seven by nearly eighteen months. This is very miserable work, but let Mr. Croker's literary reputation bear the blame of it.
“Evelina," too, was a growth. After Fanny Burney had destroyed all her stories when she was fifteen, she tells us that another story arose in her mind and, so to speak, demanded to be written; which she wrote by snatches, nay, that she carried in her memory passages and incidents she had composed and devised, till she could find opportunity to write them down.
In Mrs. Ellis, Fanny Burney has found one of her ablest and most sympathetic defenders. Herself a novelist of no mean order, Mrs. Ellis writes thus admirably of the growth of a work of fiction and imagination in the mind of an author : “ Those who have written a work of imagination alone can tell how it grows, and even they would find it hard to tell. One scene presses to be written; another must be wooed to be won. This passage flashes on the mind; others must be sought. It is not unlikely Frances was telling herself this story for years, while hemming and stitching. An expert might say some pages were written by a girl, others by a young woman. Some may have been re