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boatswain. Haud a little, Sir Deel, cries the bonny Scot, twaw words to that bargain: Upon which the bear, who had an admirable knack of metamorphosing his shapes, put himself of a sudden into a terrible posture, as if he was just going to seize the Scotchman as a prey; at the sight of which, away ran Sawney headlong down stairs, as much frighted as the rest.
The picture of ill luck having thus dispersed the society, whipped out two or three card matches, which he had brought for that purpose, and lighting them at a candle, perfumed the room with his infernal breath, and so returned to his company, to make themselves merry with their comical transaction. The frighted society were all fled for refuge into the public kitchen, where, half bereft of their senses, they stood staring at one another as if they were gallied. The doctor not happening that night to come so early as was usual, lost his share of the devil's entertainment; but stepping in with another gentleman just as the frisk was over, being told at the bar what a sad confusion the whole society had been put in by a strange apparition, was conducted into the kitchen to the rest of his associates; where he found them gazing in such a frantic consternation, that he cried, Z-ds, gentlemen, has one poor devil frighted ye all out of your wits?-By my saul, doctor, replies the Scotch gentleman, had your sel been there, by Chris and St. Andrew, I believe the faw fiend wad have tain you with him a pickpack;
for, by my saul, if I had not run for't, I had been but a morsel with him. Prithee, Frank, says the doctor to the gentleman that came in with him, let you and I step up, and try if we can have a sight of this terrible hobgoblin. The gentleman agreeing, up stairs they went;, where finding a damnable stink of sulphur, and seeing every thing in disorder, they did not care for staying, but returned presently. Did you see the devil? cries their frighted companions. Not I, replies the doctor; but I believe he has been there, for he has left a damn'd stink of fire and brimstone behind him. So all the whole company being strangé ly surprised, they just sat long enough to recover their senses, and so dissolved their Club, and never met afterwards; most of them conforming from that time to a sober Christian life, believing that the devil, by divine mercy, was really let loose from his infernal chains, on purpose to worry them out of those atheistical mazes in which they had been be→ wildered so that what was intended for the diversion of the one company, proved the reformation of the other. NED WARD'S HISTORY OF Clubs.
THE EDINBURGH BOOKSELLERS (1802),
BY HECTOR M'NIELL, ESQ.
SIR,-Booksellers have been termed, with some degree of propriety, the midwives of literature; on the manner in which they perform their office, the
healthy or sickly state of literature in a great measure depends, and for the exercise of their functions they are amenable to the public. To the public I therefore appeal, through the intervention of your publication, for the redress of an impropriety, which, if not timely corrected, may swell out into an abuse. The booksellers of this city are no doubt a respectable set of men, and their plump and jolly visages show how well they fatten on the fields of literature. Literature, which to other men is the food of the mind, to them is the food of the body, and apparently a very thriving sort of food too. But let the public be on their guard with these literary accoucheurs, and beware of finding among them a rival to the fame of Edmund Curl. His is a fame that will never die. He is gibbeted to immortality in the full blazon of his literary infamy. But it is not my present purpose to compose a satire on the booksellers of this city; I only intend to remind them of the duty they owe the public, in consequence of its patronage. Notwithstanding the number of booksellers' shops that meet us by twos and threes, in almost every street, the delay in procuring London publications of merit is altogether astonishing. Every literary man in this city who does not communicate directly with a London bookseller, must have experienced the inconvenience resulting from this neglect. After calling a dozen of times at the booksellers, his first answer is generally as good as his last. "The parcel which contains it, is on its way;" and thus, the length of
the journey chills the spirit of inquiry, damps curiosity, and extinguishes that ardour which ought to animate a literary man. Could any person, a priori, have thought it possible, that lately, all my inquiries after a copy of Kirwan's Geological Essays would have been ineffectual. I first called at a very elegant shop in the Parliament Close, and asked for Kirwan's Geological Essays. There was only a little boy behind the counter, and while he retired to examine his shelves, I was accosted by a very civil intelligent gentleman, who informed me the book was not in the shop; but who appeared very willing to enter into a discussion of its philosophic principles, in which I could only regret my inability to join him. While I lingered, we were joined by the other gentleman of the shop, who had not hitherto perceived me, having been assiduous in his attention to half a dozen of young ladies. When I entered, I had been extremely puzzled with the words Mammy, Lammy, Tammy, which I overheard frequently repeated by the party; but I soon perceived that this gentleman was a connoisseur in music and poetry, and had been eagerly contending for the comparative merit of John Anderson my Jo, and the Lammie."
I immediately left this seat of the Muses, and next proceeded to a shop on the right hand side of the Square. The gentleman who, I presume, was Major Domo here, was standing in the middle of the shop, and superintending the packing of a large bale. He went round it and round it repeatedly, without ap
pearing to see me; and when at last he came forward, and I asked for my book, he stood silent for some time, then looking askance, but not to me, abruptly answered, "We hav'nt the book!"-stepped back to his packing business, and I packed myself off, afraid that I had popped into a Temple of Silence 'instead of a Temple of Science.
My next attempt to procure the volume, was at a conspicuous shop near the Cross. Behind the counter I found a handsome little boy. When I inquired for my book, his eyes flashed eagerness to furnish it; he looked over the shelf appropriated to such books, and brought down Kirwan's Mineralogy, two volumes. By this time a good looking little gentleman advanced from the back apartment, half bowing, with his hands in his breeches pockets. Turning to Mr. -, who was coming down the interior staircase, I informed him of the object of my research. "O! Kirwan! the very best author we have on Mineralogy. When he was in Scotland, I had the honour of introducing him to Dr. Black, and was highly entertained with their conversation. They had a long discussion concerning TRAP, our whinstone, you know, and on the formation of the Giant's Causeway. We really, sir, have no author who describes things, as they are in the specimens, so well as Mr. Kirwan. I have a good many specimens myself, sir, and am highly delighted with his descriptions. No Mine¡tralogist should be without Mr. Kirwan's books. Boy,