Sunday, 10 June 2012

Haywood Confusing Garth for Harvey and Juvenal

Over the last couple of weeks I have been editing the text of Marriage A-la-Mode: An Humorous Tale (1746; Foxon M110; ESTC: t61540) for my eighteenth-century unit ATS3487 "Mayhem and Madness in the Age of Reason: English Literature 1698-1798."

The poem—"in Six Cantos in Hudibrastic Verse"—is the only poetic gloss of one of Hogarth's series to have been reprinted in the last century. It appears as an appendix in Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, Hogarth on High Life, trans. Arthur S. Wensinger with W. B. Coley (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1970), 131–47. I scanned it, proofed the OCR text, and am now adding a few extra glosses to those supplied by W. B. Coley.

Reading through the text I was struck by a few quotes that I recognised as Haywood's favourites. The first is this one (Canto 6, ll.21–24):

"On Wings immortal Scandals fly,
Whilst good Deeds are but born and die:”
Says Garth: — By This ’twas plainly shewn,
For soon ’twas spread thro’ all the Town

Coley notes "Not located" before explaining who Sir Samuel Garth was.

* * * * *

A bit of digging online (this is the sort of thing the internet was made for from an editing point of view) turned up something interesting. Garth did not write these words, but Haywood quotes them at least twice, and on one occasion, attributed them to Garth. In Ab.64 Epistle for the Ladies (1748; Epistle 112, "From Cleora to Ardelia, on the Wickedness of Scandal") Haywood writes

I replied, that I had always observed the left Hand Trumpet of Fame was more sonorous than the Right; that the fatal Blast, once sounded, reached through every Quarter, and with repeated Echoes, silences the softest Notes of Gentleness and Humanity.—As one of the best of our English Poets justly expresses it:

On Eagles Wings immortal Scandals fly,
While virtuous Actions are but born, and die.

Haywood had quoted, and named, "one of the best of our English Poets" twenty-four years earlier in Ab.18 Bath-Intrigues (1724), 18:

how fond is every one of censuring and condemning her! Which admirably well verifies what the late inimitable Doctor Garth says in his Dispensary on that Occasion:

On Eagles Wings immortal Scandals fly,
While virtuous Actions are but born and die.

Interestingly, the motto on the title-page to Bath-Intrigues, also attributed to Garth, reads:

There is a Lust in Man, no Awe can tame,
Of loudly publishing his Neighbour’s Shame.

The two quotes go together, and both of them are from Stephen Harvey's translation of Juvenal, specifically "The Ninth Satyr of Juvenal" in The Satires of Decimus Junius Juvenalis. Translated into English Verse … By Mr. Dryden and Several other Eminent Hands (London: J. Tonson, 1693), p.184, ll.193–96. (Online here.)

So, the attribution to Sir Samuel Garth is an error. It is not clear whether Haywood was alerted to the fact that it was an error but the whole quote (ll.193–96) appears as the motto to third volume of the Dublin editions of her Female Spectator. In Ab.60.3 and Ab.60.4, the first and "third" Dublin editions, the text reads:

There is a Lust in Man no Charm can tame,
Of loudly publishing his Neighbour’s Shame:
On Eagles Wings immortal Scandals fly,
While virtuous Actions are but born to die.
Harv. Juv.

* * * * *

So, here's the thing. No one else seems to have made Haywood's 1724 mistake of attributing a chunk of Harvey's translation of Juvenal's Ninth Satire to Garth. So, either the anonymous author of Marriage A-la-Mode: An Humorous Tale made the same mistake (coincidence) or they were indebted to Haywood's Bath-Intrigues for the quote.

Of course, there is a third possibility—common authorship—but that is a long bow, and not even my enthusiasm for The Hunger Games will make me pick it up. It can stay in the cornucopia while I run for the hills.

* * * * *

BTW: in the Pickering & Chatto edition of Ab.64 Epistle for the Ladies, edited by Alexander Pettit and Christine Blouch, the verse is not identified. The relevant footnote reads:

The lines are prefaced to Richardson Pack, "To Mr. Addison, Occasioned by the News of the Victory" (1719), where they are credited to "Dryd. Juv." They do not, however, appear in Dryden's translations of Juvenal or, evidently, elsewhere in Dryden's work.

The Pickering & Chatto edition was published in 2000, back in the before time, the long-long-ago. When the internet was young and you had to read whole books to find a quote, or miss one, as the case may be. Oh how far we have come in only a decade …

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