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perfect anagram practically agreeing with the word “ Honorificabilitudino" written on the outer leaf of the famous Northumberland MS. which indisputably belonged to Bacon. The explanation of this anagram is, however, sought to be combated by E. Marriott in her recent pamphlet · Bacon or Shakespeare: an Historical Enquiry,' as follows:
"It is not necessary to enter fully into what Mr. Bucke calls the history of the word. But we may just mention that when referring to the scene in ‘Love's Labour Lost,' in which the full word occurs (Act v, sc. 1), he quotes are you not lettered? Yes, yes; he teaches boys the hornbook. What is a, b, spelt backward with a horn on his head ?' The answer to that of course is ‘Ba, with a horn added. “Now Ba,' continues Mr. Bucke, 'with a horn added, is Bacornu; which is not, but suggests, and was probably meant to suggest, Bacon.'
“ This precious specimen of ingenious argument leads up to, and we must do Dr. Platt the justice to acknowledge is improved upon, by the discovery he thinks himself so fortunate to have made, that the exact twenty-seven letters of the full word Honorificabilitudinitatibus' would render up hi ludi tuiti sibi, Fr. Bacono nati, a specimen of Latin composition which it would scarcely have flattered its supposed author to have fastened upon him, and the English construing is upon the same linguistic level. These plays entrusted to themselves proceeded from Fr. Bacon.' The results of several well-known anagrams are not only ingenious, but really very interesting ; such, for instance, as the 'Cras ero lux' (* To-morrow I shall be light ’), to which Charles I is said to have given utterance when, on the night before his execution, his eye fell upon the · Carolus Rex' inscribed beneath his own portrait at Whitehall! And again, 'Honor est a Nilo,' from Horatio Nelson, and from 'La Révolution Française, "Ôtez le
mot veto et il nous reste un Corse la finira.' But till it shall be thought proof of a prophetical spirit in Lord Nelson's sponsors, when in answer to ‘Name this child' they pronounced a name designedly indicating the battle destined to win an earldom for the infant then presented at the font; or again, of a providentially ordained connection between the birthplace of the first Napoleon and the anagram just quoted, Dr. Platt and his admiring friends must excuse us from accepting ‘Honorificabilitudinitatibus' for authentic evidence as to the authorship of the Plays.”
It may be remarked that “Queen Victoria's Jubilee Year” may be rendered as an anagram, “I require love in a subject,” but it may not be the only possible rendering.
I have but touched upon the threshold of my subject “No, 9,” which it may be that I do but apprehend and not comprehend (as I agree with Dr. Chenevix Trench that one can comprehend Goldsmith but can only apprehend Shakespeare), and I pause in limine with No. 9 as a factor for your consideration, having mentioned, as I conceive, some of its salient points, with neither its fame deposed nor its notoriety increased in the
THE LETTERS OF HORACE WALPOLE.
BY SAMUEL DAVEY,
[Read April 12th, 1899.]
The correspondence of Horace Walpole, extending over a period of more than sixty years, from 1735 until 1797, cannot be better described than in the words of the noble author himself.
" These letters," he says, “are 'gossiping gazettes.' They contain something of the fashions, customs, politics, diversions, and private history of several years. Walpole may have been overpraised when he was called “the prince of letter writers," although Sir Walter Scott, no mean judge, describes him as “the best letter writer in the English language,” and Lord Byron, in praising Walpole as an author, declared his letters “incomparable.” But critics, as perhaps some of us know, rather differ in their judgments upon the merits and demerits of an author. Thus Wordsworth calls Walpole "a cold, false-hearted, Frenchified coxcomb."
Macaulay, in the critical spirit of that review which adopted the sanguinary motto of “Judex damnatur cum nocens absolvitur,” gives the following summary of Walpole's character :-“The faults of Horace Walpole's head and heart are, indeed, sufficiently glaring. His writings, it is true, rank as high among the delicacies of intellectual
epicures as the Strasburg pies among the dishes described in the Almanach des Gourmands. But as the pâté-de-foie-gras owes its excellence to the diseases of the wretched animal which furnishes it, and would be good for nothing if it were not made of livers preternaturally swollen, so none but an unhealthy and disorganised mind could have produced such literary luxuries as the works of Walpole. He was, unless we have formed a very erroneous judgment of his character, the most eccentric, the most artificial, the most fastidious, the most capricious of men. His mind was a bundle of inconsistent whims and affectations. His features were covered by mask within mask. When the outer disguise of obvious affectation was removed you were still as far as ever from seeing the real man."
We do not think that the present generation will endorse these ill-natured though clever criticisms of Macaulay. In the High Court of Appeal to Posterity, how frequently have the judgments of sapient reviewers and contemporary critics been reversed! We are now beginning to be somewhat sceptical of the damnatory clauses of the critic's creed.
After such a sketch of Walpole's character made by so eminent a critic as Macaulay, it may be as well in these days of minute biographies to try and learn something of the real character of Walpole from his own correspondence. Cardinal Newman said that bis life would be found in his correspondence, and nowhere else. The same might be said of Walpole. Yet it is very difficult in his case to fix, as it were, his character. Like Montaigne, he was