ENGLISH IN ENGLAND.
THE worst English that I have ever heard spoken I heard in England. There, however, I also heard the best that could be spoken,--not better, indeed, than is spoken in New England, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania; but of this best English I must acknowledge that I found much more among my British than among my "American" acquaintances, in proportion to their numbers. The standard of comparison in all cases is a British standard; for it is a postulate in the discussion of this question that the best English is that which is accepted as the best by people of the best education and social standing in England. What is accepted by them; not necessarily what is spoken by them. For, as we shall see, they are somewhat remarkable for variation by individuals from their own undisputed standard.
Almost all "Americans" who live in cities have opportunities now and then of hearing English spoken by natives of Old England, which, however, is not therefore necessarily the best English. For, as many Frenchmen, even many Parisians, speak very bad French, so many Englishmen and many Londoners, in fact most Englishmen and most Londoners, speak bad English. I think that the vilest French that I ever heard was from a Parisian born and bred; and a sociétaire of the Théâtre Français agreed with me