Our #SolveItDickens challenge for November 2022 was headed by a longhand date – ‘Sunday Night 5 February 1860’ – rather than a longhand title. Like other recent challenges, this page came from the notebooks of Dickens’s shorthand pupil, Arthur Stone, at the Free Library of Philadelphia.
Initially, we wondered whether this was a personal note in shorthand, dated like a diary entry. However, it has now emerged that the longhand is simply the date when the exercise was undertaken. Thanks to some brilliant ‘hunt the source’ work by Dickens Decoders Shane Baggs and Ken Cox, we now know that like the ‘Sydney Smith’ transcript, this text is taken almost directly from a printed source.
The text is from Lecture XIV, On the Beautiful – Part II, by Sydney Smith. The opening passage is a direct quotation from a lecture by Sir Joshua Reynolds entitled Seven Discourses Delivered in the Royal Academy by the President, or Seven Discourses on Art, by Joshua Reynolds (14 December 1770). You can download a line-by-line transcript below.
Many congratulations to Shane and Ken on this latest discovery!
Download the line-by-line transcript for ‘Sunday Night 5 February’ part I
The same file is provided in .docx and .pdf format for your convenience.