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amen, the confession literally stuck in the culprit's throat; and I was left to learn, an hour afterwards, and from another source, that “ Jemmy G *** had fought a duel with himself, and cut his own weazand, about a lady."

For my own part, with the above figure, and all its foolish features vividly imprinted on my memory, I do not think that I could ever seriously attempt “what Cato did, and Addison approved,” in my own person. On the contrary, it seems to me that the English moralist gave but an Irish illustration of “ brave man struggling with the storms of fate,” by representing him as wilfully scuttling his own hold, and going at once to the bottom. As for the Censor, he plainly laid himself open to censure, when he used a naked sword as a stomachic-a very sorry way, by the way, when weary of conjectures, of enjoying the benefit of the doubt, and for which, were I tasked to select an inscription for his cenotaph, it should be the exclamation of Thisby, in the Midsummer Night's Dream-

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“ This is old Ninny's tomb."

Mais revenons à nos moutons, as the wolf said to her cubs. The reception of my letter in the Dublin Newspaper encouraged me to forward a contribution to the Dundee Magazine, the Edi. tor of which was kind enough, as Winifred Jenkins says, to bo wrap my bit of nonsense under his Honor's Kiver," without charging anything for its insertion. Here was success sufficient to turn a young author at once into “a scribbling miller," and make him sell himself, body and soul, after the German fashion, to that minor Mephistophiles, the Printer's Devil! Nevertheless, it was not till years afterwards, and the lapse of term equal to an ordinary apprenticeship, that the Imp in question became really my familiar. In the meantime, I continued to compose occasionally, and, like the literary performances of Mr. Weller Senior, my lucubrations were generally committed to paper, not in what is commonly called written hand, but an imitation of print. Such a course hints suspiciously of type and antetype, and a longing eye to the Row, whereas, it was adopted simply to make the reading more easy, and thus enable me the

more readily to form a judgment of the effect of my little efforts. It is more difficult than may be supposed to decide on the value of a work in MS., and especially when the handwriting presents only a swell mob of bad characters, that must be severally examined and re-examined to arrive at the merits or demerits of the case. Print settles it, as Coleridge used to say: and to be candid, I have more than once reversed, or greatly modified a previous verdict, on seeing a rough proof from the press. But, as Editors too well know, it is next to impossible to retain the tune of a stanza, or the drift of an argument, whilst the mind has to scramble through a patch of scribble scrabble, as stiff as a gorse cover. The beauties of the piece will as naturally appear to disadvantage through such a medium, as the features of a pretty woman through a bad pane of glass; and without doubt, many a tolerable article has been consigned hand over head to the Balaam Box for want of a fair copy. Wherefore, O ye Poets and Prosers, who aspire to write in Miscellanies, and above all, O ye palpitating Untried, who meditate the offer of your maiden essays to established periodicals, take care, pray ye take care, to cultivate a good, plain, bold, round text. Set up Tomkins as well as Pope or Dryden for a model, and have an eye to your pothooks. Some persons hold that the best writers are those who write the best hands, and I have known the conductor of a magazine to be converted by a crabbed MS. to the same opinion. Of all things, therefore, be legible; and to that end, practise in penmanship. If you have never learned, take six lessons of Mr. Carstairs. Be sure to buy the best paper, the best ink, the best pens, and then sit down and do the best you can; as the schoolboys damput out your tongue, and take pains. So shall ye haply escape the rash rejection of a jaded editor; so, having got in your hand, it is possible that your head may follow ; and so, last not least, ye may fortunately avert those awful mistakes of the press which sometimes ruin a poet's sublimest effusion, by pantomimically transforming his roses into noses, his angels into angles, and all his happiness into pappiness

LITERARY REMINISCENCES.

No. IV.

“ And are ye sure the news is true ?
And are ye sure he's well ?"-Old Scotch Song.

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The great Doctor Johnson-himself a sufferer—has pathetically described, in an essay on the miseries of an infirm constitution, the melancholy case of an Invalid, with a willing mind in a weak body. - The time of such a man,” he says, “is spent in forming schemes which a change of wind prevents him from executing ; his powers fume away in projects and in hope, and the day of action never arrives. He lies down delighted with the thoughts of to-morrow; but in the night the skies are over. cast; the temper of the air is changed; he wakes in languor, impatience, and distraction; and has no longer any wish but for ease, nor any attention but for misery.” In short the Rambler describes the whole race of Valetudinarians as a sort of great Bitumen Company, paving a certain nameless place, as some of the Asphalticals have paved Oxford Street, with not very dura. ble good intentions. In a word, your Invalid promises like a Hogmy, and performs like a Pigmy.

To a hale hearty man, a perfect picture of health in an oaken frame, such abortions seem sufficiently unaccountable. A great hulking fellow, revelling, as De Quincey used emphatically to say, “in rude BOVINE health,”-a voracious human animal, camel-stomached and iron-built, who could all but devour and digest himself like a Kilkenny cat,-can neither sympathize with nor understand those frequent failures and down-breakings which happen to beings not so fortunately gifted with indelicate consti

oyage, there

tutions. Such a half-horse half-alligator monster cannot judge, like a Puny Judge, of a case of feebleness. The broad-chested cannot allow for the narrow-breasted; the robust for the no-bust. Nevertheless, even the stalwart may sometimes fall egregiously short of their own designs—as witness a case in point.

Amongst my fellow passengers, on a late sea was one who attracted my especial attention. A glance at his face, another at his figure, a third at his costume, and a fourth at his paraphernalia, sufficed to detect his country: by his light hair, nubbly features, heavy frame, odd-colored dressing-gown, and the national meerschaum 'and gaudy tobacco-bag, he was undeniably a German. But, besides the everlasting pipe, he was provided with a sketching apparatus, an ample note-book, a gun, and a telescope ; the whole being placed ready for immé. diate use. He had predetermined, no doubt, to record his Ger. man sentiments on first making acquaintance with the German Ocean; to sketch the picturesque craft he might encounter on its surface; to shoot his first sea-gull; and to catch a first glimpse of the shores of Albion, beyond the reach of the naked eye.

But alas ! all these intentions fell—if one may cor. rectly say so with only sky and water—to the ground. He ate nothing-drank nothing-smoked nothing-drew nothing—wrote nothing-shot nothing-spied nothing—nay he merely stared, but replied nothing to my friendly inquiry (I am ill at the German tongue and its pronunciation), “ Wie befinden sea sick ?

Now, my own case, gentle reader, has been precisely akin to that of our unfortunate Cousin German. Like him I have promised much, projected still more, and done little. Like him, too, I have been a sick man, though not at sea, but on shoreand in excuse of all that has been left undone, or delayed, with other Performers, when they do not perform, I must proffer the old theatrical plea of indisposition. As the Rambler describes, I have erected schemes which have been blown down by an ill wind ; I have formed plans and been weather-beaten, like another Murphy, by a change in the weather. For instance, the Comic Annual for 1839 ought properly to have been published some forty days earlier; but was obliged, as it were, to perform quarantine, for want of a clean Bill of Health. Thus, too, the

patron of the present Work, who has taken the trouble to peruse certain chapters under the title of Literary Reminiscences, will doubtless have compared the tone of them with an Apology in Number Six, wherein, declining any attempt at an Auto-biography, a promise was made of giving such anecdotes as a bad memory and a bad hearing might have retained of my literary friends and acquaintance. Hitherto, however, the fragments in question have only presented desultory glimpses of a goose-quill still in its green-gosling-hood, instead of any recollections of "celebrated pens.” The truth is that my malady forced me to temporise :-wherefore the kind reader will be pleased to consider the aforesaid chapters but as so many

“ false starts,” and that Memory has only now got away, to make play as well as she can.

Whilst I am thus closeted in the Confessional, it may be as well, as the Pelican said, to make a clean breast of it, and at once plead guilty to all those counts and some, from long-standing, have become very Old Baily counts—that haunt my conscience. The most numerous of these crimes relate to letters that would not, could not, or at least did not answer. Others refer to the receipt of books, and, as an example of their heinousness, it misgives me that I was favored with a little volume by W. and M. Howitt, without ever telling them how-it pleased

A few offences concern engagements which it was impos. sible to fulfil, although doubly bound by principle and interest. Seriously I have perforce been guilty of many, many, and still many sins of omission ; but Hope, reviving with my strength, promises, granting me life, to redeem all such pledges. In the meantime, in extenuation, I can only plead particularly that deprecation which is offered up, in behalf of all Christian defaulters every Sunday,—“We have left undone those things which we ought to have done,-And there is no Health in us.

It is pleasant after a match at Chess, particularly if we have won, to try back, and reconsider those important moves which have had a decisive influence on the result. It is still more interesting, in the game of Life, to recal the critical positions which have occurred during its progress, and review the false or judicious steps that have led to our subsequent good or ill fortune. There is, however, this difference, that chess is a matter

me.

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