10 s. xii. NOV. 20, 1909.] NOTES AND QUERIES.
Peterborough in 1691 ; a number of his MS. letters in the B.M. show him to have been an eyewitness of the trial of the seven bishops.
The whole of the above will figure in a more or less degree in my ' Annals of St. Anne's, Aldersgate,' with which, or its sister parish of St. John Zachary, they were all in some way connected.
In the meantime I should perhaps state that I have found nothing to connect the two Bartons herein referred to.
[See also ante, pp. 24, 124, 262, 333, 393.]
H ASPIRATE IN FAMOUS ENGLISH
RITCHIE in his ' Life and Writings of David Hume, Esq., ' London, 1807, p. 285, says :
" In 1768, Dr. Robertson published his ' History of Charles V.,' and Mr. Hume took charge of transmitting the sheets as they were printed to M. Suard at Paris, who was engaged in translating that work into French."
The two authors were " on the footing of finding in each other's productions some- thing to blame and something to commend " (p. 286).
I do not know what Robertson says about Hume's style, which was certainly not faultless ; but the latter criticizes the former's in vigorous fashion. Among other things he says :
" But what a fancy is this you have taken of saying always an hand, an heart, an head ? Have you an ear? Do you not know that this n is added before vowels to prevent the cacophony, and ought never to take place before h when that letter is sounded ? It is never pronounced in these words ; why should it be wrote ? Thus, I should say, a history, and a historian ; and so would you too, if you had any sense. But you tell me that Swift does otherwise. To be sure there is no reply to that, and we must swallow your hath upon the same authority. I will see you d d sooner. But I will endeavour to keep my temper." P. 287.
I take it that Swift was the chief offender in bringing again into use the practice which Hume so forcibly condemns. But other writers followed in Swift's footsteps, one of whom, his contemporary Defoe, marched pari passu with him, and may be con- sidered equally blameworthy in this matter. Throughout his ' Tour thro' the Whole Island of Great Britain ' he invariably speaks of "an hill," "an high hill," " an house," &c. The edition to which I refer is in four volumes, and was published in 1762. It was prepared for the press by Richardson
the novelist. I therefore conclude that he offended in the same way, inasmuch as he retained Defoe's spelling.
I now come to Gibbon. Right through the twelve volumes of ' The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,' reprinted by Bal- lantyne & Go. at Edinburgh in 1828, I find " an herd," " an house," &c. In his ' Autobiography,' quoted in the sketch of his life prefixed to the first volume of this edition, he says (p. 15) : "I never handled a gun, I seldom mounted an horse." No one will contend that Gibbon modelled his style on that of Dean Swift, or that it was derived from an assiduous study of the Authorized Version of the Bible. It has long been a matter of wonder to me why the revisers of the Bible who were appointed by James I. stereotyped, so to speak, this " cacophony." This version was published in 1611, wnen Camden, Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, Bishop Joseph Hall, Dr. John Donne, and other writers more or less famous, were still living.
Only one of these is consistently " ca- cophonous." I have a copy of the folio con- taining ' The Works of Joseph Hall, B. of Norwich,' London, 1647, and have glanced over its 1,353 pages, among which his ' Satires ' are not found. On p. 5 we have " an heart " ; on p. 6 " an Heaven and an Hell " ; on p. 641 "an household " - T on p. 657 " an high wind " ; on p. 1016 " an house " ; and on p. 1348 " an higher nature." Strange to say, I find on p. 1346 " a hundred " and " a hand." But with these exceptions and a few more which a diligent search might discover, the same unmusical note prevails from the alpha to the omega of this ponderous tome.
But when I turned to the ' LXXX Sermons preached by that Learned and Reverend Divine, lohn Donne, Dr. in Divinity, late Deane of the Cathedrall Church of S. Pauls, London,' printed there in 1640, and prefaced by Izaak Walton's ' Life ' of the preacher, I did not meet in* the 826 pages which the volume contains with any neglect of the aspirate. Dr. Donne had a finer literary taste than Bishop Hall, and he was besides the friend of Ben. Jonson and other famous men of his time. I therefore attach much value to the evi- dence of these carefully written discourses. He is very fond of the word "holy," to which he always prefixes a. He has also on p. 22 " a humane birth " ; on p. 329- " a husband " ; on p. 788 " a historical! knowledge " ; and on p. 817 " a yard and a halfe of Turfe." It is interesting to note