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Page:Notes and Queries - Series 12 - Volume 10.djvu/565

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12 s x. JUNE IT, 1922.] NOTES AND QUERIES. 463 deserted. But you must be tired at least, I really am myself, so God bless Dad, Mother and Chick. Ever yours, T. F. DIBDIN. P.S. on last page : Could you procure me a good copy of the phy- sician in the St. John's Library who loved Caxtons : and of Dr. James, the first public librarian atBodleyf's] ? Simply obtain the terms on which such copies can be procured but keep the intelli- gence to yourself. More anon. P.S. written across page 5 : Page ye Fifthe. Keep all this to yourself at present : but give your sentiments. Many of the allusions suggest explanatory notes, but I infer that all the writer's books and contemporaries are known to the readers, so they can be dispensed with. AXECK ABRAHAMS. MARAT IN ENGLAND. (See ante, pp. 381, 403, 422, 441.) THE more discreet of these chroniclers say as little as they can about him, until the curtain rings up on the great drama of 1789. They all, however, concur in keeping him in France. Let us see how far the disguise of Le Maitre, which sug- gested a solution for former riddles, may help in this final one. We know that, since 1784, he had been without the salary, al- lowances and backing of his Court appoint- ment, and also that, from all it is possible to gather, his books, instead of yielding him an income, had involved an outlay only. In the absence, then, of any evidence of his presence in Paris during these two years, it appears likely enough that he carried out the intention, more than once expressed to Brissot, of trying his luck in Great Britain again. On this subject, therefore, we may now usefully refer to The Star newspaper of London, dated March 24, 1793, in which, under the heading of ' Glasgow,' there ap- pears the following historiette : From an investigation lately taken at Edin- burgh, it is said that Marat, the celebrated orator of the French Convention, the humane, the mild, the gentle Marat, is the same person who, a few years ago, taught tambouring in this city under the name of John White. His conduct, while he was here, was equally unprincipled, if not as atro- cious, as it has been since his elevation to the legislator-ship. After contracting debts to a very considerable amount, he absconded, but was ap- prehended at Newcastle and brought back to this j city, where he was imprisoned. He soon after j executed a summons of cessio bonorum against his | creditors, in the prosecution of which it was found' that he had once taught in the Academy at War- rington in which Dr. Priestley was a tutor ; that he left Warrington for Oxford, where, after some j time, he found means to rob the museum of a num-

her of gold coins and medallions ; that he was

| traced to Ireland, apprehended at an Assembly i there in the character of a German Count, brought back to this country, tried, convicted, and sen- tenced to some years' hard labour on the Thames. He was refused a cessio, and his creditors, tired of detaining him in gaol, after a confinement of several months set him at liberty. He then took up his residence in this neighbourhood, where he continued about nine months and took his final j leave of this country about the beginning of the year 1787. He was very ill-looking ; of : a diminu- tive size ; a man of uncommon vivacity ; of a very turbulent disposition, and possessed of a verv uncommon share of legal knowledge. It is said that while here he used to call his children . which he said was his family name. This account, which, if accurate, would clear up several material points in the in- quiry, is not quoted by, and does not seem to have been known to, the writer in The Monthly Repository. The two, therefore, may be taken as independent and concurring records, though neither emphasizes the con- siderable interval that in fact occurred be- tween the Warrington and Oxford incidents. The cessio proceedings, however, appear to. be open to some little doubt, since the Edin- burgh records, which we have had carefully searched, contain no trace of them, nor are any references to be found in the local Press. It is possible, therefore, that the proceedings, which failed, may never have matured into recordable shape, or may have been merely informal, or may have been based entirely on rumour. However this may be, the other details of The Star article substantially tally with what we already know of Jean 1?aul Edinburgh and Newcastle being his favourite haunts, the personal characteristics accu- rately duplicating his own, and the " un- common knowledge of law " being also a well-marked feature (see, e.g., his ' Essay on the Reform of the Criminal Law,' which deals at length with proofs, presumptions and procedure ; and his summary of the Eng- lish forensic system in the supplement to his Offrande a la Patrie '). The " tambour - ng " by John White, it will be recalled, co- incides with the " tambouring," or " draw- ing for tambour," of Le Maitre at Oxford. Though this was not, it is true, a known ac- complishment of the real Jean Paul, it may possibly have been taught him by his father, who, we know, worked as a designer at Boudry. The point is further referred to in a satirical poem called * Topsy Turvy/