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Not many days ago, I read in the news, that some good men put up an advertisement on a statue, with this superscription, pro patria mori, and that the superscription rejoiced all honest hearts. I enquired of our deacon, who received the rudiments of his education at the grammar-school of Lesmahagoe, what was the meaning of the words? and he made answer that the words were Latin, and that he thought they would be found in the Latin Dictionary ; the which having got, I, on searching, discovered that pro signified “ for the sake of," and that patria signified « a man's native country, and that mori signified “ foolish and silly persons."
Wherefore, by joining together the words, I conjectured, moreover, that the interpretation of pro patria mori was “ foolish or silly persons for the sake o of their native country; or that “ they who act “ for their native country are foolish and silly per
Now, Sir, if so be that this is so, I moreover conjecture, that the honest men who put up the advertisement, that they who rejoiced thereat, were deceived through ignorance of the Latin tongue, and that to them
there was no cause of rejoicing. Of that tongue I think no good : it is reported amongst us, that the mass is written in it, the which I renounce, and also abominate, &c. I am Sir, your honour's, to serve you at command,
P. S. Weaving performed in all its branches at reasonable rates ; also, cloth taken in for the Dalqu. harn blcachfield.
My worthy correspondent Mr. Shuttleworth, in the after-part of his letter, intrusts me with his sen., timents concerning some very momentous subjects ;
but I should not deserve the honour of his friendship, were I to impart to the public what has been communicated to me in confidence.
Not knowing his direction, and not having been favoured with a cypher from him, I can only say, that a n. p. had no more influence in the matter of the 6 č. p. and the p. b. than th.... M....n of the m....n; " and of this Mr. Shuttleworth may rest assured.”
With respect to the Latin words, which have been the innocent cause of so much uneasiness to him, they are taken from a Roman poet, but no Roman Catholic ; in metre accommodated to the course of my friend's studies, they signify,
That for our father's land to die, it is a comely thing.
As, indeed, " Imeddle not with the high matters of “politics," I shall only add, that it is to be hoped there are very few who consult Shuttleworth's dictionary
Since I have been desired to advise the authors of newspapers to write intelligibly, I must say something on that subject, lest my silence should be construed into an acknowledgment of my little credit with those gentlemen.
Of their skill in the learned languages, I pretend not to give any opinion. Thus much, however, I. may be allowed to say without offence, that they are the historians of the vulgar ; that, in our country, the persons who pass under the name of the vulgar, are not unconcerned spectators of national events ; and, “ that what relates to all ought to be under6 stood of all."
A man may write in the native language of his readers, and yet be unintelligible. For example, when contrary propositions are positively asserted, when paragraphs encounter with paragraphs, and “ jostle in the dark;" what must be the state of him
who sits down to spell the newspapers with the determined resolution of believing whatever he sees in print ?
There is a pleasure in giving good advice, and therefore I must take this opportunity of going à little beyond my friend's commission.
A witty statesman of the days of our fathers ob. served, « that John Bull was always in the garret, " or in the cellar." John's own sister Margaret, although not quite so delicate in her sensations, has much of the family disposition. If the wind sets in to the east, then we are a betrayed, and abandoned, and lost people ; but on the wind coming round to the west, what nation so glorious and well governed as ours ? Our perfidious enemies shall know what it is to rouse the Lion, and annoy the Thistle, or to put the Harp out of tune.
Such being the disposition of readers apt to be depressed or elevated on every occasion, or on no occasion, the writers of newspapers ought to be cautious as well in slackening as in overbracing the nerves of their customers; and the only method I can recommend for attaining this happy medium, is, “ that they report nothing but what they believe " to be true ;”. or, if that be to require too much of flesh and blood, “ that they report nothing which “ they believe to be fictitious.”
66 The Britannia, Captain George Manly .com“ mander, is totally lost on the coast of Barbary ; “ every soul on board perished.”
On board the Britannia there was the only son of a widow, whose single fund of subsistence depended on that pittance of his wages which her dutiful child allotted to her. In the same ship there was a sober and industrious young man, who had quitted his wife a few months after marriage, that he might provide for a young creature whom he hoped to see in its mother's arms at his return.
** It is confidently reported, that six or seven men “ of the crew of the Britannia got safely to shore, " and that they were made slaves, unless, as is to “ be feared, they were murdered by the natives." Here there is a gleam of miserable and dubious hope darting on the minds of those who had relations on board the Britannia.
“ The Britannia is safely arrived at Port Mahon i « so that the report of her having been lost is with“ out foundation.”.... The inference is most logical !
In the very next paragraph it is said, “ We have “ the pleasure of informing the public, that a capital « figure-dancer will soon make his appearance on 6 the stage.”
Are not such things to be found in the newspapers of every week; and is it not a cruel sporting with the sensibilities of human nature, thus to wring the souls of parents and wives, of the aged and helpless, and that merely to fill up, the columns of a newspaper ?
It is of high national importance that the very carliest notice should be given of the near appearance of a figure dancer ; but, surely, there was no necessity of saying any thing of the Britannia, in whose fate the fates of so many little families were involved, until it should have been certainly known whether she was wrecked, or had safely arrived in port.
Of late years there has a practice crept in, of making the newspapers not only the vehicle of public intelligence, but also of the misfortunes, real or imaginary, of private families.
For example, “ We hear that Mrs. Gadabout was lately detected “ in an illicit commerce with her husband's postil“ lion, and that a process of divorce will be brought, " &c."
Invention immediately busies itself in accounting for this incident. After the first ceremonies of sur
prize and deep regret, the education of the lady is scrutinized ; it was too strict, or it was too loose : the character of the husband is laid before the inquest of gossips : he was morose and sullen, or he set an example of extravagance and libertinism, which poor Mrs. Gadabout inconsiderately followed. Then some one more expert in tracing effects to their cause, recollects having heard, that something of a like nature befel the family many years ago ; and the grand-aunt of Mrs. Gadabout's father, if common fame lie not, stept aside with the Duke of Buckingham, when he attended Charles II. of Scotland,
In this state of uncertainty things remain for a week or two, when fresh intelligence is communicated to the public. “ The report of Mrs Gadabout's
affair is premature..... The former article was 6 copied from another paper. We hope that all
concerned will accept of this apology." Doubtless a most satisfying apology to all concerned !
The writers of newspapers are the historians of the day, but I see no cause why they should be the historians of the lie of the day.
REFINEMENT and delicacy of mind are not more observable in our serious occupations, than in the style of our amusements.
Of those who possess them, the most vacant hours will generally be informed by taste, or enlivened by imagination ; but with men destitute of that sentiment which they inspire, pleasure will commonly degenerate into gross