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Edition: originally given to the Scottish Parliament, November 1706.
Source: 'The first Parliament of Queen Anne (continued): Further material relating to the Act of Union', The History and Proceedings of the House of Commons : volume 4: 1706-1713 (1742), pp. 1-45.
Contributor(s): AllanHainey
Level of progress: 75%.svg
Notes: Archaic spelling & some obsolete Scottish words (spelling hasn't been changed), however reasonably reliable. Should be checked against a copy of speech from another source.
Proofreaders: AllanHainey


I have some concerns that it should be anabaptists rather than "anahaptists" and ANNE rather than "ANN" but I don't have another copy of the speech to check it against so haven't changed any spellings. If it was rendered this way in the original that's how it should stay. AllanHainey 12:19, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

I proofread this text against the speech as presented in Project Gutenberg's The World's Best Orations, Vol. 1 (of 10), by Various, with appropriate regex formatting. Upon carefully comparing the two, several discrepencies became apparent to various degrees. I've listed these below; I'll be referring to the two editions as "History and Proceedings" and "Gutenburg" for simplicity.

Minor differences and corrections

  • Gutenburg is far less liberal with capitalisation, which seems an improvement.
  • They differ between British and US spelling (Gutenburg writes "Neighbor", History and Proceedings writes "Neighbour").
  • Gutenburg _emphasises_ several phrases, which from the context I've formatted as italics. History and Proceedings does not emphasise anything.
  • History and Proceedings adds a single quote at the beginning of every paragraph; Gutenburg does not.


Line History and proceedings Gutenburg
16 anahaptists anabaptists
26 a reward the reward
28 honest industrious honest, industrious
28 Manufactures manufactories
34 Partners; and partners, and
36 Cæsar Caesar
38 Predecessors Valour predecessors' valor
38 rouze rouse
38 Predecessors Souls predecessors' souls
38 Cabbage-stock cabbage stock
38 Colliflowers, cauliflowers
38 shew show
38 deafned? deafened?
38 settered fettered
39 Man's man's
39 Ballance; balance;
39 will say, Why will say, "Why
39 Brethren? brethren?"
39 Rem ram
39 will be will he
39 we know not how we know not bow
39 enter unto enter into
44 Motives shewing motives showing
44 Lords Commissioners lord's commissioners
50 applanded applauded
50 pussed puffed
52 entrusted intrusted
54 Queensbary, Queensbury,
54 represents presents
54 Sovereigne; sovereigns;
54 an Union a union
54 Trustees Wall trustees will
58 threatning threatening
58 chuses chooses
60 enquire inquire
62 a Statesman; in Scotland, a statesman in Scotland,
62 otherwise, otherways,
64 loyal, Home-made loyal-made
78 Queen ANN Queen Anne

I got as far as "Now, my lord, from these divisions"; I'll continue another time. Since the Gutenburg seems to be the more correct text, I've saved that version over the equivalent text for now. Note that Gutenberg does not include the section after the note, "After having sat down,..."; I've left that in. // [admin] Pathoschild (talk/map) 23:17, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

Pathoschild, thanks for doing this. I wasn't aware that this speech (or the volume of speeches) was on Gutenberg. However I have to disagree with your assertion that "Gutenburg seems to be the more correct text", just reading it it's obviously not. Dealing with your minor differences & corrections first
  • While the more consistent capitalisation on gutenberg is an 'improvement' to readability it strongly implies the text has been edited to remove non-modern usage of capitals. If you look at any primary sources from around that time you'll see that they are a lot freer with usage of capitals than now. They also use much less consistent or 'modern', standardised spelling. The old-style spelling in H&P rings a lot truer than the gutenberg spelling which is all modern.
  • British not American spelling would have been used in the original source (American spelling hadn't been formulated in 1706), again implying editing by the compilers of "The world's best orations" (who apart from the, presumably, honourary presence of Charles Dilke were completely American so the book was probably intended for an American audience & the spelling amended to suit them). This is annoyingly common in published speeches, as is changes in capitalisations.
  • I would suspect that emphasis was added by the editors. Being a record of a spoken speech it would have been taken down without any itallics, as in it's original source "History and Proceedings" which I believe was made at the time.
  • Doesn't really matter I'd say.
On the discrepencies:
  • It's fairly obvious that, over & above the editing of the original source for the book "The world's best orations" there are errors in the gutenberg text. For example (bold formatting added by me):
  • In Gutenberg's introductory info on Belhaven it says "Lord Belhaven's speech against surrendering Scotch nationality was worthy

of so remarkable a scene as that presented in he Scotch Parliament"

  • In the speech (not actually on line 39 as your computer comparer says) "There will be a Jehovah-Jireh, and some ram will he caught in the thicket," (H&P word was be)
  • and "let our noble patriots behave themselves like men, and we know not bow soon a blessing may come." (H&P word was how).
I could go on but it is obvious that the gutenberg text, unfortunately, isn't an accurate record or transcription of the speech. As such I'll revert the change to the gutenberg text in the article. AllanHainey 08:23, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
Since this is a spoken work, I don't think capitalisation or which particular variant of English spelling we use matters. Using the correct sentence case improves readability quite a bit, however, at no disadvantage. Differences which do not affect the actual words spoken are irrelevant to the accuracy of the work. For example, we are free to correct spelling mistakes found in a transcribed speech without worrying about accuracy, since they were not present in the speech itself.
The errors are present in both texts, although there seems to be more in the History and Proceedings version. I suggest we use the Gutenberg version, with its improved readability, and correct any mistakes we find by comparing the two. If you think it's important, we could also change the spelling back to British. // [admin] Pathoschild (talk/map) 16:29, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
As we are hosting the speech rather than any specific transcribing of the speech I agree that capitalisation isn't really significant. However I'm not so sure about spelling as transcription is an attempt to render the words spoken (& the way they are spoken) into a written format, hence otherwise rather than otherways; enquire rather than inquire; Sovereigne instead of sovereigns & Queensbary rather than Queensbury. I think changing all of these spellings to modern spelling could compromise our recording of what was actually said.
On the slightly different issue of American & British spelling I'd prefer to avoid using American spelling simply because it is a British text and I dislike the cultural imperialism of converting one form of spelling to the other. It's also likely to result in lots of comments on the talk page saying "Belhaven never wrote ... that's American, how can this be an accurate source".
I don't think there are more errors in H&P, though frankly it is hard to determine what is an error in that source & what is perfectly accurate spelling/grammer/punctuation for that period. Taking into account these factors I'd say Gutenberg has the most errors (& a lot of these are obvious transcription errors). I think using gutenberg & correcting it we'd have a lot of problems with the 'modernised' spelling as this has changed the meaning/pronunciation/sense of the words used by Belhaven, I'd prefer working from the H&P as it seems the most accurate (if now slightly archaic in its usages) source. AllanHainey 11:48, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

Just a quick note that I did some minor wikification of the work, to lend context. Especially there are quite a few biblical references that a modern reader may miss, so should be highlighted. I did want to doublecheck on the "Since the days of Nimrod" reference, since I don't see how the King Nimrod would've been relevant to what he was saying, unless it's an old saying I haven't heard of? Also, is "Princess Sophia" a reference to w:Sophia of Hanover or w:Sophia Dorothea of Hanover? Sorry I edited before reading this discussion page, so now I worry that removing all the 's at the beginning of paragraphs was perhaps incorrect, or shouldn't they be there? Sherurcij (talk) (CRIMINALS ARE MADE, NOT BORN) 08:22, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

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