Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

and occasional ejaculations evidently present next morning,—and for the shewing that he conceived he was fly- first time in my life I dined upon an ing for his life.

animal that I had assisted to kill. The We went on at this rate for about story itself was almost forgotten amid a mile, I calling out occasionally, the bustle of business and the care of “Stop, my good friend, till I speak to more important matters, till it was you :-—what are you afraid of?” The again revived the following week by a honest yeoman, however, declined to paragraph in the newspapers, the acslacken his pace; and at the going off curacy of which will be best appreciof a bye road, turned up his horse and ated by those who have read the predisappeared. After this I rode quietly ceding narrative. The paragraph to on till I arrived at the Inn in the which I allude was as follows : Candlemaker-Row, where the poney On Tuesday evening last, as a was to be left, and having given him farmer was returning from Currie, he in charge to the hostler, I walked was attacked by a highwayman near home.

the village of Colinton, who snapped On ringing my own door bell, (it a pistol at him, and demanded his was not much after eleven o'clock,) money. The farmer, who was a stout the servant having come to the door athletic man, knocked the pistol out with a candle, no sooner perceived me of the robber's hand by a stroke of his attempting to enter, than she slapped whip, and would inevitably have sethe door in my face, and shut the bolt, cured him had he not set off (for he exclaiming, Na, nae farther if you was well mounted) at full speed in please ; there's ower mony o' your the direction of Edinburgh. The farkind gaun about; gae about your busi- mer pursued him till near the town, ness. If ye’re wantin the master, he's but lost sight of him about Merchisno in."_" Betty,” said I, “ that is ton.' very rude, open the door--it's me. I beg to remark, before concluding,

You !-and wha may you be when in honour of my own humanity, that ye're at hame ?" replied Betty.-"I to ascertain if I had committed manken it's you fu' weel; but nae tricks slaughter by the blow which broke upon travellers; there's ower mony my fishing-rod, I visited the spot in swindlers in the town, and we hae the course of next day; and to my naething for you here:"-and she re- joy found no traces which could lead treated to her domicile in the kitchen, me to think that I had inadvertently It was excessively hard to be shut out embrued my hands in the blood of a of one's own house, after such a series fellow creature. The other half of my of uncomfortable adventures ; and I fishing-rod I found in the inside of made another furious attempt upon the dike, the turf coping of which bore the bell. Nobody answered. I rung evident marks of the violence of the again—a third—a fourth time, before blow; and I made the further discoBetty returned. “Ye had better gang very, that the invisible arm which had quietly about your business, man struck me on the face, was the projectthere's naeboly wants you here. If ing and leafless branch of a tree which you dinna, I'll gang up the stair, and overhung the road. cry for the police.

You stupid Reader, thine own good sense will devil, you won't shut me out of my leave thee at no loss for a moral reflecown house, will you ?-Open instant- tion, connected with the subject of the ly.”—“Od if that's no like Mr Colum- present chapter. This world is a great bus's voice after a',” said Betty ; "and theatre, in which one has occasionally if it be him, what will he think o' me to play parts as distant from their real for steeking him out at this time o'character, as that of Sir Joseph Banks night?”—I was then admitted, after a from a murderer, or as Christopher Cocautious examination of my face and lumbus from a highwayman. Judge person, by the help of the candle, in charitably--decide cautiously--act my grotesque habiliments; Mrs Co- with moderation: And should you ever, lumbus, as was perhaps natural, recog- in your intercourse with the world, nized me with less difficulty ; and af- happen to hear any thing to the preter some little sustenance offered and judice of those whom you esteem or received, I soon forgot the disasters of love,-recollect that in most human the evening in the quiet of sleep. affairs, and regarding most human ac

The murdered pig (A1r Southdown tions, “ There are aye twa ways o' tellcan do handsome things) came in a ing a story."

SIR,

LETTER FROX THOMAS HOPE, ESQ.
Author of Anastasius.

for whom, by a high literary compli As an article in the last Number of ment, I have been mistaken; adopted your Magazine, entitled, “ On Anas- a fictitious hero, in order to embody tasius — by Lord Byron,” contains my observations on the East in a form some assertions which, though proba- less trite than that of a journal ; avoidbly only meant by the writer as face- ed all antiquarian descriptions studitiousness, might be mistaken by some ously, as inconsistent with the chasimple reader for fact, I beg to state, racter assumed; for the same reason, that in the course of long and various omitted my own name in the titletravels, I resided nearly a twelvemonth page; had finished my novel, (or at Constantinople ; visited the arsenal whatever else you may be pleased to and bagnio frequently; witnessed the call it,) as to the matter, long before festival of St George ; saw Rhodes; Lord Byron's admirable productions was in Egypt, in Syria, and in every appeared ; and need scarcely add, other place which I have attempted to though I do so explicitly, that I am describe minutely; collected my east- the sole author of Anastasius,ern vocabulary (notwithstanding the And your very humble servant, gentleman at Gordon's Hotel may be

THOMAS HOPE. ignorant of the circumstance,) on the Duchess Street, spot, and whilst writing my work ; Oct. 9, 1821. had at one time an Albanian in my To the Editor of Blackwood's Magazine. service, as well as the celebrated poet

FAMILIAR EPISTLES TO CHRISTOPHER NORTH,

From an Old Friend with a New Face.

LETTER IV.
On the Personalities of the Augustan Age of English Literature.
My Dear Kit,

lic, whom the Whigs are so sedulously I SYMPATHISE with the indignation again trying to gull, that what is now you feel against “ those pluckless To- called personality is a very ancient, ries,” who having smarted so long perhaps an inveterate quality of all themselves under the Whig cat-o'. criticism. I do not mean, however, nine tails, viz. PERSONALITIEs, had that you should write a regular history at last mustered courage to attack their of personalities, but only in a cursory adversaries, but, failing in the science, way convince some of your faintand wanting bottom, have cried pec- hearted readers, that the heinous sin cavi. Courage, my old friend-stick of personality, which the Whigs, worto your own principles, and still wield thy souls ! are so piously trying to rail your crutch undisinayed. The new out of fashion, was quite as gross in outcry against personalities, ought only former days as in our own. to make you the more explicit in ma Old Dennis, the Jeffrey of Queen nifesting your determination to adhere Anne's time, says of Pope, in his to the rule you have adopted, namely, “Reflections, Critical and Satirical, to use against your adversaries the wea- on a Rhapsody called an Essay on Cripons which they have themselves used; ticism, printed by Bernard Lintot," and I therefore again take leave to re * One would swear that this youngiterate what I urged in my last, name ster (the Poet,) had espoused some ly, that you should shew the Whigs, antiquated muse, who had sued out a from their own oracles and organs, divorce from some superannuated sine that they have far exceeded, both in ner upon account of impotence, and spite and venom, the utmost malice who being p—d by the former of your bitterest resentment, and, in spouse, has got the gout in her decremany instances, without one allaying pid age, which makes her hobble so drop of your generous good humour; damnably.” This is pretty plain and and also to remind the credulous pub- free criticism. Match it if you can

[graphic]

even from the writings of the Whigs Or still more of these verses, of our own time. Cobbett himself

“ Know Eusden thirsts no more, for sack has nothing so rich and perfect. But

or praise, this, it will be said, is only meta. He sleeps among the dull of ancient days; phorical, and applicable to “ The Safe where no critics damn, no duns moEssay on Criticism.” The author is

lest, spared, indeed ! Then read on, “ He is Where wretched Withers, Ward, and a little affected hypocrite, who has no

Golden rest, thing in his mouth but candour, truth, And high-born Howard, more majestic sire, friendship, good nature, humanity and with fools of quality complete the quire. magnanimity. He is so great a lover Thou, Cibber I thou, his laurel shalt supof falsehood, that whenever he has a

port, mind to calumniate his cotemporaries, Lift up your gates, ye princes, see him

Folly, my son, has still a friend at court. he brands them with some defect which

come! is contrary to some good quality, for Sound, sound, ye viols! be the cat-call which all their friends and acquain dumb. tances commend them.” But did Pope

Here is both personality and paroprosecute Dennis for this? No-he

had dy; but was Pope prosecuted by Eusmore sense—he did as you would have den for calling him a drunkard, or redone in his age and situation ; he wrote viled like your excellent Chaldean for the Dunciad. Pope was also elsewhere the allusion to the 24th psalm ? And described as a creature that is “ at

pray when did you send forth any once a beast and a man; a Whig and a Tory, a writer of Guardians and Exaa thing like the account of Curl's mis

hap? miners; a jesuitical professor of truth h; a base and foul pretender to candour. “ Full in the middle way there stood a lake, Theobald, in Mist's Journal for 220 Which Curl's Corinna chanced that morn June, 1728, declared that“ he ought to

to make : have a price set on his head, and to (Such was her wont, at early dawn to drop be hunted down as a wild beast," In Her evening cates before her neighbours

shop.) Gulliveriana, he is desired to cut his Here fortuned Curl to slide ; loud shout the throat or hang himself. So much for band, the critics of the Augustan age of Eng- And Bernard, Bernard ! rings through all lish literature. But let us now look at the Strand. Pope's retaliation-for his satire, like Obscene with filth, the miscreant lies beyour own, was retaliation, with this wray'd, difference however, that as the pro- Fallen in the plash his wickedness had laid. vocation was personal, the revenge was I shall neither advert to the coarse personal. Yours was party, and your ness of this passage, nor offend the deretaliation is also party, and of course licate organs of some of your friends, the more innocent of the two, for you by quoting what follows about Curl's have attacked only public principles, being offensively put forth, and public conduct, nefarious in its practices, or lu

“ Renew'd by ordure's sympathetic force, dicrous by its folly. I will begin with As oild by magic juices for the course. the Dunciad.

Vigorous he rises, from the effluvia strong, There has been some doubt

Imbibes new life, and scours and stinks among

along.”
the commentators as to who was the
hero of the poem, and therefore let us

I have not looked into the Dunciad pass him over. But what is to be said since we were chums together at Dame of the personality in the description of Norton's, and I had no remembrance Bedlam ?

of its obscenity and grossness. Surely ** Close to those walls, where folly holds Smalls” when he eulogized the moral

Byron must have been quizzing “the her throne, And laughs to think Munroe would take has he himself ever been considered as

taste of Pope ;-and I would here ask, her down, Where o'er the gates, by his famed fa,

a libeller, for his “ English Bards and ther's hand,

Scotch Reviewers?"-But, for the preGreat Cibber's brazen brainless brothers sent, our business is with Twicken.

ham.

[ocr errors]

stand.”.

The two celebrated statues of Raving and Melancholy Madness, were by Cibber's father.

[graphic]

thinking.

turn.

“Fearless on high stood unabash'a De Foe, Again, look at the famous sketch of And Tutchin flagrant from the scourge the Duke of Buckingham,

below; There Ridpath, Roper, cudgell'd might ye “ A man so various, that he seem'd to be view,

Not one, but all mankind's epitome ; The very worsted still look'd black and Stiff in opinion, always in the wrong ; blue.”

Was every thing by starts, and nothing I do not mean to defend the allu- But, in the course of one revolving moon,

long; sions in these verses to the punish- Was chemist, poet, statesman and buffoon: ments which some of the parties men Then all for women, painting, rhyming, tioned suffered, for all such things are drinking, in båd taste, but merely to remind your Besides ten thousand freaks that died in thin-skinned friends, that when you have happened, once or twice, in some momentary fit of spleen, to sneer at the legal 'misfortunes of some of the Thus wicked but in will, of means bereft, Cockney libellers, you have had the He left not faction, but of that was left." classical authority of Pope for your example. But what is the foregoing And what's this to many others? to the following ?

And when did you ever say any thing “ A second see, by meeker manners known, to Dryden's Shimei ? But is Dryden,

comparable against Mayor or Alderman And modest as the maid that sips alone ; From the strong fate of drams, if thou get considered to have exceeded the an

for that character of Slingsby Bethel, free, Another Durfey, Ward ! shall sing in thee. cient charter of the satirists? Thee shall each alehouse, thee each gill But to leave the Absalom and Achi. house mourn,

tophel, (every verse of which is a drop And answering gin-shops sourer sighs re- of the genuine aquafortis of personal

ity,) what have even the Whigs of our But I am disgusted with the ribaldry

own time, gross as they have been, ever of the Dunciad, a work, both on ac

written to match Dryden's character count of its absurdity and malicious of the Duke of Marlborough in Tarspirit, long since justly consigned to quin and Tullia. contempt and neglect. I will there “ Of these, a captain of the guard was fore throw it aside, and dip a little into worst, Dryden. In which of all your piquant Whose memory, to this day, stands aye pages, can you shew me any thing half accurst ; so keenly personal, as fifty extracts This rogue, advanced to military trust, which may be made from his Absalom By his own whoredom and his sister's lust, and Achitophel? Take, for example, And plotted to betray him to his foes."

Forsook his master, after dreadful vows, the character of Lord Shaftesbury.

This, I think, is a tolerable specimen 56 A name to all succeeding ages cursed ; of the licensed licentiousness of the For close designs and crooked councils fit, press of former days; but what shall Sagacious, bold, and turbulent of wit ; Restless, unfix'd in principles and place; and his Consort Mary.

we say to the account of King William In power unpleased, impatient of disgrace ; A fiery soul, which, working out its way,

“ The states thought fit Fretted the pigmy body to decay. That Tarquin on the vacant throne should Great wits are sure to madness near allied, And thin partitions do their bonds divide; Voted him regent in their senate house ; Else why should he, with wealth and ho. And with an empty name endowed his nour bless'd,

spouse, Refuse his age the needful hours of rest, The elder Tullia ; who, some authors feign, Punish a body which he could not please, Drove o'er her father's corpse a fumbling Bankrupt of life, yet prodigal of ease.

wain. And all to leave what with his toil he won, But she, more guilty, numerous wains did To that unfeather'd two-legged thing—a drive,

To crush her father and her king alive; Got while his soul did huddled notions try, And, in remembrance of his hasten'd fall, And born a shapeless lump, like anarchy; Resolved to institute a weekly ball. In friendship false, implacable in hate, The jolly glutton grew in bulk and chin, Resolved to ruin, or to rule the state." Feasted on rapine, and enjoy'd her sin ;

[ocr errors]

sit ;

son ;

remorse ;

time;

[ocr errors]

1

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

With luxury she did weak reason force, worthy silly personages who complain Debauch'd good nature, and cramm'd down of your quizzical allusions to the pubYet, when she drank cold tea in liberal personalities of the present day are as

lic follies of public characters, that the sups, The sobbing dame was maudlin in her

oil and honey, compared with the vinea

gar and salt of Pope and Dryden's cups. But brutal Tarquin never did relent,

and that nothing can be more Too hard to melt, too wicked to repent ;

demonstrative of their own puerile and Cruel in deeds, more merciless in will,

pitiful judgments than to speak of the And blest with natural delight in ill.” elegant satire of the one and the spiEnough.—I do not call your atten- most the very least of their touches

rited sarcasms of the other, when altion to these extracts as examples to would set the whole Parliament House practise personality, but to support my aghast. opinion, that personal as controversy has become, it has still participated in present ; at some other time, when I

So much, my old friend, for the the general refinement of manners ; have more leisure, I will perhaps reand that few things now actually prosecuted, are, in reality, so bad as many direct application; that is, make it

sume the subject, and give it a more things that were formerly tolerated.

tell But, in the days of King William and have in my eye. I shall not, however,

upon certain individuals whom I Queen Anne, the circulation of satire mention them by name-they have and libel was comparatively very cir- made themselves sufficiently notorious cumscribed, and the taste of the age in --butonly quote a few things, of which such things was much grosser than that of the present. Besides, the recipro- tice, and rejoice in the application.

every one will at once admit the jus. 1 cities of social intercourse were more

In my last, I exhorted you to enterstrictly confined to particular classes tain your readers with two or three tit and families; so that the abuse of sa- bits from the Edinburgh Review and tire was then, in fact, less mischievous. the Morning

Chronicle—the two great But now, when commerce has broken vehicles of Whig pretension and intodown the fences of the privileged lerance. But in this you have been classes, and mingled all orders and pro- partly anticipated by a clever article fessions into one general multitude, in «'The John Bull;" and I now the peace of society is much more endangered by the additional chance of earnestly beg you to subjoin it to this

letter, in order that your readers may conflicting interests and individuals

see how false in fact, and fraudulent coming into contact with each other. in motive, are those cries about your And it is upon this consideration that I would justify, were I in your place, creatures are making at every corner,

personalities, which the discomfitted the necessity of restraining the licentiousnes of the press, and not upon

the

as if they had not long ago incurred

the contempt of all honourable minds, paltry pretext of its having become by the libertine license which they more libellous and blasphemous than have taken with private characters. of old, which it has not, as the extracts Meantime, I remain, my dear Kit, I have quoted abundantly testify.

Your
But I am wandering from the ob-

OLD FRIEND WITH A New FACE. ject of this letter, which was certainly not to point out the defects of the law,

Cliff-House, Ramsgate, or to justify the prevalence of person

}

October 2, 1821. alities, but simply to apprise those

We adopt the suggestion of our correspondent, and the more readily, as we may thereby be the means of preserving what might be lost in the columns even of such a newspaper as John Bull. The following is the very able and striking article alluded to:

“When the Chronicle says, “ We HAVE that they presume to make such bare-faced HEARD OF NO Whig who has made the assertions—but quote we must. We have press a vehicle for inroads into the bosom to apologise to the noble and illustrious of families, and that the Whigs are stran. personages libelled by them, for doing so ; gers to this rancour and meanness that the necessity will plead our excuse

eit is they loathe the idea of detraction, and more our duty, and it must be done. especially when female reputation is the “ At the 59th page of the Fudge Fami. subject of it,'—it is from a supposition that ly in Paris, we find this stanza:we shall be unwilling to quote their filth Vol. X.

2 R

« VorigeDoorgaan »