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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Carlyle's laugh and other surprises, IX: George Bancroft (search)
fault far more serious than this is one which Mr. Bancroft shared with his historical contemporaries, but in which he far exceeded any of them,--an utter ignoring of the very meaning and significance of a quotation-mark. Others of that day sinned. The long controversy between Jared Sparks and Lord Mahon grew out of this,--from the liberties taken by Sparks in editing Washington's letters. Professor Edward T. Channing did the same thing in quoting the racy diaries of his grandfather, William Ellery, and substituting, for instance, in a passage cited as original, We refreshed ourselves with meat and drink, for the far racier We refreshed our Stomachs with Beefsteaks and Grogg. Hildreth, in quoting from the Madison papers, did the same, for the sake not of propriety, but of convenience; even Frothingham made important omissions and variations, without indicating them, in quoting Hooke's remarkable sermon, New England's Teares. But Bancroft is the chief of sinners in this respect; w