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A MORNING JOURNAL OF LITERATURE, FINE ARTS, FASHION, &c.
GLASGOW, SATURDAY, JUNE 9, 1832.
CUPID'S REGISTER FOR MAY.
When we made an apology for the delay in the appearance of Cupid's Register for April, we did not expect to be obliged to repeat our regrets so soon for having again committed the same offence. This, nevertheless, happens unfortunately to be the case, and however ungallant it may appear in us, to shelter ourselves from the censure of our fair readers, by throwing the blame a second time on the shoulders (blessed be the mark!) of a Lady: yet a scrupulous regard to veracity compels us to say,that Auntie Pyet, and Auntie Pyet alone, has once more been the cause of Cupid's Register for May making its appearance so late as the 9th of June. In extenuation, however, of our fair friend, we have to state, that the stirring nature of the times have had R great share in the delay; her time and attention having been, as we hinted in a former number, so much intruded upon, by the would-be leaders in the affairs of Church and State, that she has had but few hours to devote to those matters which more particularly concern her own sex; besides being employed in composing for the incumbent of St.
an antisoporific discourse—a thing, by the bye, quite out the reverend gentleman's line—and which was delivered with great effect last Sunday. She has since been engaged on—what dost thou think, gentle reader? On nothing less, we assure you, than an essay for the purpose of carrying off the great Barloch medal, to be awarded, in the Andcrsonian University, for the best essay on the fittest representative for the city of Glasgow in the Commons House of Parliament.' In the midst, therefore, of such multifarious labours, it is not to be wondered at if some objects of lesser importance were, to a certain extent, lost sight of.
At the close of the Register for April, we hinted at a very extraordinary match that was expected to take place, and also threw out some obscure hints respecting a letter which had been traced to the possession of Auntie Pyet. On these two subjects we shall now be as explicit as a proper regard to the feelings of the parties concerned will permit. In the first place, we have mentioned this match as "extraordinary," not only from the circumstance of the gentleman being, as it were, an incarnation of ugliness itself, but also from the lady, who is highly accomplished, and "pleasingto look upon," being, but two short years ago, as openeyed to the deformities, mental and corporeal, of her present intended as her neighbours, and expressed her opinion of him in a letter to a female friend, in a manner which we will throw into verse, for the sake of keeping the original document to which we allude as much as possible in the shade. The following is the extract, paraphrased a little, from motives of delicacy:—
"Just as tea had began, who do you think should step in,
Vol. II.—No. 6.
But, dear Ret, had you seen just the look that he gave,—
When Auntie Pyet first heard of the intended match, she gave it a flat contradiction, on the faith of the decided repugnance on the part of the lady, expressed in the above quotation from her letter; and in an unguarded moment exhibited the letter itself. This circumstance came to the ears of all parties, and the young lady to whom it was addressed, was taken to task, as having betrayed the confidence of friendship. This she flatly denied, and, in her own justification, alleged that if Auntie Pyet had such B letter to show, she must have obtained it in a dishonourable manner. Good gracious! what a charge against an amiable, pious and respectable lady—a lady, not only esteemed, courted, and carressed by the first circles, but hand and glove with every clergyman in town—a lady whose reputation is a perfect mirror of modern morality, before which the purest of the pure might sit, and adjust the spiritual drapery of their minds, before they turned up an eye in the discharge of their religious observances. That such a lady should be thus dealt with, and her reputation (that stainless mirror) breathed upon by the mouth of scandal—was a circumstance that to us appeared incredible. Nevertheless, True it is, and of Verity, a report to the prejudice of Auntie Pyet has gone abroad, and to this report we alluded in our 105th number, and pledged ourselves to a refutation of the calumny.
The facts connected with the manner in which the letter came into the hands of our ill-used friend are few, and may be soon told. One day, in the course of last summer, Auntie Pyet, while proceeding to Helensburgh, on board of the Clarence steamer, happened to
sit next to Miss E , the young lady to whom the
letter in question was addressed, and with whom she was then on terms of intimacy. After discussing all the topics they were furnished with, Auntie Pyet took up a volume of the Waverley novels, to beguile the tedium of the voyage, and her companion drew the unfortunate letter from her reticule and began reading. The contents, from the glance which Miss Fyet occasionally stole at her countenance, appeared to be amusingly interesting, and, observing that the reticule which she had was extremely like that belonging to Miss
E , Miss Pyet, with the best intentions in the
world, placed her own near Miss E , and, in the
most innocent manner imaginable, drew Miss E 's
towards her. The young lady, after exhausting the contents of the letter, by repeated perusals, actually, with her own hands, put her friend's letter into Auntie Pyet's reticule, in place of her own. That this was
done intentionally on the part of Miss E , Auntie
Pyet, with that spirit of charity so much in accordance with the other amiable traits in her character, forbids us even to insinuate, but leaves the matter between
* We assure our readers that we have taken no liberties with the above name. At the time the letter was written, the Lady was not such a deep blue as she has since become. We presume she means Frankenstien, but this we shall leave to our fair readers to determine.
the young lady and her own conscience. A little while after this mistake had occurred, Miss Pyet proposed going on deck, to which the other agreed, and it was fully ten minutes after they had left the cabin, that Auntie Pyet noticed the exchange of reticules that had taken place; the mistake was instantly rectified, and the two ladies smiled good-humouredly over the affair. This is a plain, unvarnished statement of the matter; and we have no doubt when it meets the eye of " dear Bet," as her correspondent familiarly calls her, but she will feel "quite shocked" at her ungenerous conduct, and will not rest until she has made sufficient atonement, in the way of apology, for the injury she has committed, and the nest of hornets she has raised about the ears of our dear friend Auntie Pyet.
We must now revert to the " very extraordinary match" connected with the letter; and, in doing so, we cannot help expressing our surprise that a repugnance so decidedly, to all appearance, insurmountable, should have been removed by any perseverance within the capabilities of human nature. That the lady, in the paragraph we have quoted, stated candidly the sentiments she Men entertained, we have reason to believe; for, improving on the idea thrown out, she and her companions used to speak of him, who is now the man of her tenderest thoughts, as " the monster that walked about." Good gracious! how fearful and wonderfully made is the heart of woman, where such revolutions, without any apparent cause, can take place! What encouragement this circumstance holds out to all forlorn Benedicts, whose outward man is not of the most prepossessing appearance: and, above all, how cheering will it be to the gentleman with the "enormous red nose," whom we alluded to in our Register for April— him who, in the language of one of the ladies, was about to " dicbt bis neb and flee up"—how will it refresh the cockles of his heart to read, in our present number, the near approach of the union of such an ugly,
heavy-browed, imp of darkness as Mr. , with
such an angel of light and beauty as Miss . Alas!
where either male or female frailty is concerned, how true is the saying of the great Nap, " from the sublime to the ridiculous there is but a step I"
TALES, SKETCHES AND TRADITIONS OF THE
** The rageand stormes ouerwelterand wally seis,
A WET SUNDAY. A Wet Sunday, exclaims the City, that is nothing new of late.
True, my dear friend—but a wet Sunday among the mountains is quite a different affair to one of the same quality in town. No doubt you have your disagreeables—such as Hooded streets, dripping eves, damsels scudding before the wind with inverted umbrellas, hat and wig hunting by elderly gentlemen not much addicted to the chase; while
i "from all parts the swelling kennels flow,
And bear their trophies with them as they go; Drowned puppies, herring heads, all drenched in mud — Dead cats and turnip-tops come tumbling down the flood." In the Highlands,however, it assumes a wilder and more sublime appearance. The dark misty glen, whose rocky barrier is obscured by the vapours that sail along in endless array, gives the first intimation of the coming storm, while here and there the mountain torrent bursts through the haze, and seems to the startled eye as if it dropped from some mighty reservoir in the clouds. The waves, driven by the howling blast, sweep along the bosom of the Loch, appearing in the distance like wreaths of snow weltering amid the dark and troubled abyss; while on those precipices more exposed to the winds, the cataracts are driven upwards by the fury of the gale, till they seem to the distant eye like pillars of light trembling on the verge of their frightful steeps—the streams descending from the deeper and more sheltered ravines, swollen by the continued rain, spread over the road, and present to the illstarred wight, who happens to be abroad, one lengthening sheet of water, through which, if he be a pedestrian, he must plash forward on his weary way.
'Twas late, on a Saturday night, such as above described, when the writer, wet and weary with buffeting the storm, reached the
comfortable little inn at the head of Loch . Good viand
rousing fire, with the luxury of a clean, dry, and refreshing bed, soon spread oblivion over the discomforts of the day. The morn ing, however, set iu with even a more unpromising aspect than that which closed the preceding uight. The storm was mortvio. lent, and the rain battered against the window with increased fury —the mist on the hills was more dark, dense and threatening, said the wind had gathered up the Loch, till its whitened ridges mingled with the cloudy masses of vapour which had been driven downward from the mountains—not a sail was unfurled evenboat was drawn high up on the beach—and the tempest, as if disap. pointed, raved over the face of nature, seeking for objection which to wreak its vengeance. Such was the prospect without. Within a cheerful fire, a clean hearth, a table replenished with ill the delicate as well as substantial accompaniments of a Highland breakfast, allured the eye from the turmoil of the elements, and, very pleasingly for the time, concentrated the ideas of enjoyment within the walls of the comfortable little apartment. But, alas the pleasures of the table, like the rest of our joys, are fleeting as the thready current of the sand glass—the lovely vision pleased, palled, and disappeared.
The thought of sitting all day, listening to the howling of the winds, and the lashing of the rain, though agreeable enough at first from the sense of security which a comfortable shelter afforded, made the monotonous confinement become extremely irksome. I therefore applied for a book to beguile the tedium till dinner,and my kind and considerate hostess sent up" Dodd's Prison Thoughts,' the " Confession of Faith," and John Bunyan's 11 Groans from the Damned," as being most appropriate for the day; but, whether she meant the day of the week, or the state of the weather, I did not enquire, my attention being withdrawn from her and the delightful companions she had sent me, by the appearance of a travelling cart making for the inn, from which, on reaching the door, descended a tall, thin figure, buttoned up to the chin in a white great coat, and swathed over month and nose with it plentiful assortment of various coloured handkerchiefs, which were still ioaafficient to protect him from the water that streamed from the bat. tered and almost shapeless piece of felt which covered his beadAfter him, carrying a shabby looking portmanteau, came his Highland gillie or driver, in his little blue bonnet and pepper and salt great coat, the tails of which were carefully tucked through the holes in the skirts, to keep them from the mudHere is at least the chance of company, thought I, as I beard the double footsteps on the stair. I was disappointed, however; they turned away, and were disposed of in some other part of the
'Left to my own meditations, I stood gazing through the dim and bedrizzled glass at the scene without, endeavouring, if possible, to discover the prospect of some other arrival—till the pleasing announcement that dinner was ready sounded in my ears, accompanied by the no less welcome intimation, that the gentleman who had lately arrived would be happy to join me.
On his appearance, he gave his "How do you do?" to a tone of familiarity that smacked of acquaintanceship; and I quickly recognised the features of one I had frequently met on the road, and with whom I have occasionally spent an agreeable evening. "Holy Moses!" he exclaimed, before I had time to reply to his salutation, " what weather! I have never been so near drowning in my life—three stages since day-break—part of the road the horse would have swam, if it had not been for the weight of the cart—three times I stopped to get myself dried, and every time I raised a smoke as if I had been burning kelp. After all, I arm here with half a tun of water in the pockets of my great cost, mil I have left a perfect inundation In the room above—I hope it will' not come down upon us before dinner." "I hope not—nor after it either," said I.
But, before proceeding farther, I may give the reader what little information I may possess respecting the individual those brought under his notice. My tall friend, who for good re*401" shall be nameless, is a native of the Emerald Isle, and, accordin; to his own account, has seen every capital in Europe, aod been >
every clime from " Indus to the Pole." Engrossed in comme cial pursuits, he has for a long time been a familiar and wellknown character in almost every town in Scotland. In his journies he is frequent and regular as the tides—that is to say, he always makes his appearance among the customers on the day announced in the circulars of the house he represents: and, though sometimes peevish in his manner, and eccentric in his ideas, yet his convivial talents, his varied collection of amusing stories, and marvellous relations of hair-breadth escapes which he has experienced in his various journeying*, have rendered him so great a favourite among the friends of the house, that his arrival is look forward to as a sort of a festival. It must, however, be allowed that, like most of the votaries of Momus, his stories and personal adventures are told at a discount something similar to that at which be sells certain descriptions of his goods, varying from 5 to 25 per cent, on his stories, while his adventures may be fairly entitled to an abatement equal to that made on Paisley thread, viz. 50, GO, 75, or what you please. But let it be mentioned to his credit, that in all relations where confidence is implied, integrity requisite, or the character of a gentleman concerned, the terms are nett. Possessed of a sound discriminating mind, aided by the advantages of education, and improved by continual intercourse with the world, with all his petty humours, his predilection for throwing the hatchet, and his little unmeaning expletive of Holy Moses, with which he interlards his conversation, he is a very decent, companionable sort of fellow.
To my enquiries after dinner respecting his peregrinations, he gave me, among other little stories, the following, which, as it is in some degree illustrative of the Highland character, as well as of the class of anecdotes that form honest Pat's collection, I shall give it as nearly in his own words as possible, leaving the reader, however, to put in the expletive we have alluded to where he feels disposed:—
*' You may think it a lie," said he, "but I have scarcely had any rest these six nights. Two nights ago, I was at Ardrisaig, where I expected to have slept like one of the seven; but just about day break, I was waked by a yell that might have raised the dead. Starting up, I made one jump from my bed into my trousers, and hastened down to the kitchen, where I found a great yahoo of a Higblandman standing on the middle of the floor, in a state of nudity, with his hair erect, his teeth chattering, aud every member of his body shaking as if he had the ague. I snatched up a petticoat that lay on a chair (Highlanders of his grade seldom sleep in their shirts), threw it over his head, and enquired the cause of his alarm. By this time the kitchen was crowded, and all the answer we could get, was something which he mumbled in Gaelic, with the look and tone of a maniac, that served rather to puzzle than explain the affair. After a good deal of investigation, however, the mystery was unravelled. The poor fellow, it seems had come from the braes of Locbaber for the purpose of emigrating to Canada, and being tired, had gone to bed at an early hour. It happened that a merchant, who was proceeding to Oban, or some other town in that direction, with a general assortment of goods in order to open shop, had arrived by one of the Inveraray boats, aud being obliged to wait for a northern conveyance, he had his goods taken to the Inn. Among the various articles which composed the miscellaneous collection, was a carved head of a Blackamoore, which he intended to put over his door as a sign, to attract the snuff and tobacco fanciers of his neighbourhood. It chanced, either by accident or design, that the ominous head was taken to the bedroom of the poor emigrant, and placed on the top of a chest of drawers, where blackey had a full view of the unconscious sleeper. In the dusk of the morning, when every object assumes a dubious appearance, the eyes of the shirtless Celt, who had never beheld a sable complexion before, were fixed in horror on the awful apparition; and he gazed in silent agony on what he reasonably believed to be the grand enemy of his soul. At last, raising himself on his hands and knees, and keeping his eyes immovably fixed on the object of his terror, he crawled, crab-like, over the opposite side of the bed, and continued his judicious method of retreat, till his hand came in contact with a heavy poker; this he grasped as a drowning man would a straw —and, making a rush at the foe, he, in the desperate energy which his fear inspired, let fall a blow which sent the demon in splinters about the room. Without waiting to renew the conflict, he sprung screaming from the room down stairs to the kitchen, at a hopskip-and-leap pace, clearing a distance that would have gained the
prize at any of the Strathfillan games. His mumbling now became intelligible—and his exclamation "Mharbh mi an diabhol" (I have killed the devil)was perfectly understood, aud excited roars of laughter from the bystanders. How the merchant and he settled about the damage, I did not wait to enquire; but I thought to myself, what consternation would have taken place among the English Bishops, if Donald had turned out a man of his word. They would no doubt have thought the tithe question had been set at rest, and 'Othello's occupation's gone.'"
THE MORGUE AT PARIS.
Every person who has visited Paris must remember the Morgue, the place where so many unfortunates, who either commit suicide or are found dead in the streets, or drowned in the Seine, are carried, and exposed for the purpose of being claimed by their relatives or friends. M. Leon Guzman has lately given the Parisians a powerful picture of this melancholy place, and we feel inclined to transfer it to our columns. The author, after describing the exterior—the "Salle de 1'Exposition,"—which is the only portion of the building with which the public are acquainted, conducts us into the inner recesses of this house of death, the apartments of the superintendent:—
M. Perrin is a little old man, who coughs incessantly. When I explained to him the object of my visit, he very politely offered to show me all the details of his administration, regretting much, as he said, that there was not so much variety as could be desired. "But I will show you what I have—be pleased to walk up."
As we were climbing the narrow stairs, and he was informing me that his establishment was connected both with the prefecture and the police, with the one on account of the local expenses, with the other from its connection with the public health, we were obliged to stand close against the wall to allow a troop of young girls to pass, well dressed, gay, but shivering with the cold, which blew from the river through the chink which lighted the stair.
"These are four of my daughters. I have eight children. Francois, the keeper, has had four, and he has had the good fortune to get them all married. Francois is a kind father."
"So," said I, "twelve children then have been born in the Morgue. Dreams of joy, and conjugal endearments, and parental delights, have been experienced in this chamber of death. Marriage with its orange flowers, baptism with its black robed sponsors, the communion and the embroidered veil, love, religion, virtue, have had their home here as elsewhere. God has sown the seeds of happiness everywhere."
"Papa, we are going to a distribution of prizes. My sisters are sure to get a prize. Don't weary, we will be back in good time."
"Go, my children,"—and all four embraced him.
I thought of the body of the little Norman in the dreary room beneath, and of the mother who even now, perhaps, was anxiously looking for her from the window.
"This is the apartment of Francois." Francois did the honours with the activity of a man who is not ashamed of his establishment. His room is comfortably furnished; two modern pendules mounted on bronze, a wardrobe with a Medusa's head, a high bed, and a handsome rose-coloured curtain. If the room was not over-burdened with furniture, if there was not much of luxury, yet, to those not early accustomed to superfluities, it might even seem gay. It represented the tastes, opinions, and habits of its master. Vases of flowers threw a green reflection on the curtains, for Francois is fond of flowers. Among his gallery of portraits were those of Augereau and Kleber, both in long coats, leaning on immense stores, with peruques and powder. Napoleon is there three times.
"Look at these jars," said Francois, "these are sweetmeats of my wife's making; she excels in sweetmeats." I read upon them, "gooseberries of 1831." We left Francois's apartment, which forms the right wing of the Morgue, while the clerk's house is on the left, and entered the cabinet of administration of M. Perrin.
If Francois is fond of flowers, M. Perrin has the same penchant for hydraulics and the camera obscura; he draws, he makes jets from the Seine, by an ingenious piece of machinery of his own invention; while he was retouching his syphon, I asked permission to turn over the register, where suicides are ranged in two columns.
The fatal "unknown" was the prevailing designation; "brought here at three in the morning, skull fractured, unknown"— "brought at twelve at night, drowned under the Pont des Arts, cards in his pocket, unknown,"—"young woman, pregnant, crushed by a fiacre at the corner of the Rue Mandar, unknown ;"—-" newborn child found dead of cold, at the gate of an hotel, unknown."
I said to M. Perrin that he must weary here very much occasionally during the long winter nights.
"No," replied he, good humouredly, "the children sing, we all work, Francois and I play at draughts or piquet; the worst of it is, we are sometimes interrupted; a knock comes, we must go down, get a stone ready, undress the new comer and register him: I that spoils the game; we forget to mark the points."
"And is this the way you generally spend your evenings?" C( Always, except when Francois has to go to Vaugirard at four o'clock; then he must go to bed earlier. Perhaps you do not know that our burying ground is at Vaugirard: as that burying ground is not much in fashion, we have been allowed to retain our privilege of having a fosse to ourselves."
"I understand—it is a fief of the Morgue."
"You saw that chariot below near the entrance gate, in which the children were hiding themselves at play—that is our hearse."
"And rich or poor, all must make use of your conveyance? If for instance a suicide is recognised, his relations or friends may reclaim him, take him home, and bestow the rites of sepultre on him at his own house?"
"No, the Morgue does not give back what has been once deposited here. It allows the funeral ceremonies to be as pompous as they will, but they must all set out from hence; one end of the procession perhaps is at Notre Dame, while the other is starting from the Morgue. The Archbishop of Paris may be there; but Francois' place is fixed. It is the first."
"And the priests of Notre Dame, do they never make any difficulty about administering the funeral rites to your dead?"
*■ Not even to the suicides?"
"There are no suicides for Notre Dame; one is drowned by accident, another killed by the bursting of a gun, a third has fallen from a scaffold. I invent the excuse, and the"conscience of the priest accepts it. That's enough."
So, thought I! Notre Dame, which formerly witnessed the execution at the stake of sorcerers, alchymists, and gypsies on the Grande Place, has now no word of reprobation for the carcase of the suicide, once allowed to rot on the ground, or be devoured by birds. She asks not here what was his faith. The priest says mildly, "Peace be with you."
We walked down, and Francois opened the first room, that which contains the dresses; habits of all shapes, all dimensions, hideously jumbled together; gaiters pinned to a sleeve, a shawl shading the neck of a coat; dresses of peasants, workmen, carters and brewer's frocks, women's gowns, all faded, discoloured, shapeless, flap against each other in the current of air which entered through the windows. There is something here appalling in the sight and sound of these objects, sou less, body less, yet moving as if they had life, and presenting the form without the flesh. Your eye rests on a handkerchief, the property of some poor labourer, suddenly seized with the idea of suicide, after some day that he has wanted work.
Francois, who followed the direction of my eyes to see what impression the picture produced on me, sighed heavily.
"Does it move you too," said I ?" Are you discontented with your lot.—Unhappy?"
"Not exactly! But, sir, formerly, you must know, the dresses, after being six months exhibited, became a perquisite of ours ; we sold them. Now they talk of taking the dresses from us."
I reassured Francois as to the intention of government, and assured him there was no talk of taking away the dresses.
The second room, that which adjoins the public exhibition room, is appropriated for the dissection of those, the mode of whose death appears to the police to be suspicious. Its only furniture is a marble table, on which the dissections take place, and a shelf on which are placed several bottles of chlorate. This room is immediately above the room of M. Perrin. The dissecting table above just answers to the girls' piano below.
In this room, which I crossed rapidly to avoid as much as possible the sight of a body extended on the plank, I saw the little girl, who had been stifled the night before in the diligence; she was a lovely child. The other figure was frightfully disfigured; scarcely even would his mother have recognised him.
There remained only the public room. It is narrow, ill-aired; ten or twelve black and sloping stones receive the suicides, who are placed on it almost in a state of nudity; the places are seldom all occupied, except perhaps during a revolution. Then it is that the Morgue is recruited; two more days of glory and immortality in July, and the plague had been in Paris.
"It is true," said M. Perrin, "we worked hard during the three days, and we were allowed the use of two assistants. Corpses every where, within, without, at the gate, on the bank." .
"And your girls?"
"During these days they did not leave their apartment, nor looked out to the street, nor to the river; besides, you are mistaken if you think the spectacle would have terrified them
Brought up here, they will walk all night without the light in front of the glass, which divides the corpses from the public, without trembling; we become accustomed to any thing."
Methought I heard the poor children, so familiar with the idea of death, so accustomed to this domestic spectacle of their ex* istence, asking innocently of the strangers whom they visited— as one would ask where is your garden, your kitchen, or your cabinet—" where do you keep your dead here?"
These were all the facts I could gather with regard to the establishment, I was opening the glass door to breathe the fresh air again, when the entrance of the crowd drove me back into the interior; they were following a bier, on which lay a body, from which the water dripped in a long stream. From one of the hands which were closely clenched, the keeper detached a strip of
coloured linen, and a fragment of lace. "Ah!" said he, "let me look, 'tis she!" "Who is it?"
"The nurse who was here this morning; the nurse of the link Norman girl. Good! they may be buried together." And M. Perrin put on his spectacles, opened his register, and wrote in his best current-hand—unknown /"
Horace In Glasgow.—The Odes of Horace, done into English Verse, with Critical Remarks on his Writings, a Short Account of his Life, and also Notes, and an Index. Glasgow, pp. 5g, 1832.
This amusing work, with a few sheets of which we have been favoured,will notbe published before October, and we therefore congratulate ourselves that we are able, at this early period, to present our readers with a portion of its contents. As far as we have examined this production, we consider it worthy of approbation. The union of the odes with the names of our citizens, seems happy and appropriate, and they are occasionally adapted with a spirit which, if not Horatian, at least, shows our author possesses discrimination of characterf and that he is capable of a judicious management of his subject. w Horace in London," published some years ago, by the authors of 11 The Rejected Addresses," was not the first attempt to apply the odes of the Augustan to the eminent men of a more recent age, and when we find the names of Milton, Dryden, Cowley, Congreve, Otway and Temple, all appended to imitations of a similar character with those of our author, we not only consider him as following an excellent example, and his attempt as highly laudable, but we think the field he has chosen affords sufficient variety of talent and character to exhaust, in dedications, more of the odes of the original, than be has been pleased to select In a mercantile community, characters are more easily marked, and may be more faithfully delineated than in society where fashion and literature are the only objects of attraction. In such society, the graces of the man of fashion may be as easily imitated as the style of his dress, or the formality of his bow, but, in the pursuit of wealth, character cannot be concealed—pounds, shilling and pence at once discover the man under whatever mask. Self-interest never will be silent. Some men may appear less solicitonsthan others in the auri sacra fames, but the student of character will never want subjects, either for preservation or dissection, where shops line every street, and the idol of wealth is surrounded with devotees at every corner, and in every situation.
Our merchants have also, in many instances, assumed characters, peculiar to those who have had much intercourse with foreign society. Many of them having, at one time, been abroad, they have insensibly acquired peculiarities and prejudices which make them stand out from those by whom they are surrounded, whilst others, by their success, and others, by their want of it, display various points which the acute observer at once perceives, form » many aspects of character, calculated to excite his interest, his imitation or dislike. Those, therefore, who suppose that Glasgow does not present^a field sufficiently extensive for such a work, as our author's, are mistaken. There are abundance of names in Glasgow, and its vicinity, that may, and ought to be thus immortalised, names that would add respectability to any community, and which are admired and honoured in their own, and although, in some instances, we think he has dedicated his odes to persons who, although highly respectable, in their own circle, are, notwithstanding, almost unknown to the public—yet, upon the whole, his selection is judicious, and the most of the citizens, to whom odes have been appropriated, are not unworthy the distinction.
The introductory chapter of the work before us, may, perhaps, form an article on another occasion. It contains a short, but comprehensive life of the Roman poet, and then introduces us to " Scenes in the Shades." Here, Horace and Virgil are represented conversing together on various topics, when Virgil suddenly enquires why Horace has been so frequently absent of late, and, at length, Horace informs him that, so many eminent character* were continually arriving from the Venice of the West, he had been induced to visit it, and having gained Pluto's permission, by the dedication of some very exquisite lines to him, he had ranged the surface of the earth, until he arrived in Glasgow; that, astonished by the magnificence of the city, and the multitude of its inhabitants, and not a little gratified with their hospitality and good cheer, he had mingled long enough amongst them to form a just estimate of their characteristics, and applying himself to the muse, she had smiled propitiously—during his absence, he had written above fifty odes, aud the manuscript was, by the liberality of his bookseller, to be printed immediately, after the demand for "Henderson's proverbs" had subsided. After this explanation, Virgil enquires the name of his new work, and being informed that its title is Horace in Glasgow, he then requests a specimen of the composition, which is immediately given, accompanied with some notes from the Latin work of the same author, as well as others of an original character. Horace then reads as his odes are arranged in his Latin edition, but we give the following at random:—
HORACE IN GLASGOW. Ad Makienatem.—To James Oswald, Esq. of Shieldhall. Vile potabis modicis Sabinum,
Ode xx. Book i.
When next you with our Council* dine,
Proud to see one whose generous name,
Hivall'd indeed, by few.
When late amongst reformers' ranks,
No claret yet, " The Day" can boast,
HORACE IN GLASGOW.
Ao Siftihium.—To James Ewing, Esq. L. L. D. Lord Dean of Guild of the city of Glasgow.
Septimi gades aditure mecum,
Ode vi. Book ii.
Oh! go with me to that sweet shore,
Where rear'd by serfs of proud Argyll,
Where Dunoon's ruin'd castle stands,
I'll trace the rUl§ with thee.
Upon the fields, in heathery bloom,
Oh, days, all free from pain!
Dunoon|| is sweeter to my eye
The hills of Arran in our view—
• Council of Ten. t The original may be thus translated, "applause so loud was given you, in the assembly, that the banks of your family river, and the mountain echoes replied to your praises."
i Ubi Maura semper
HORACE IN GLASGOW. Ad Mazcenaiem—To James Smith, Esq. of Jordanhill, F. R. S. Maecenas atavis regibus,
Ode i. Book i.
Sole owner of a noble place—
While others please their stubborn will,
Now busy with the Ardrossan race,
Or, fearful of the raging main,
Are sighing for the shore again.
While some are quafiing racy port,
Others to guns or swords resort,
And sigh for Buonaparte, once more—
Unmindful of their loving dames,
To Eaglesham, the coursers fly—
Another, six to one on " Di."
These move me not—I'd rather spill.
To view thy architect'ral plans,
What alterations ought to be—
At Andersonian soiree—
HORACE IN GLASGOW.
To David Hamilton, Esq. Architect, M. G. D. S.
Exegi monumentum aere perennius,
Book iii. Ode xxx.
Let others court the breath of modern fame,
We propose soon, to make farther extracts from this volume, and, in the meantime, take leave of it with expressions of approbation.
KEAN versus KEMBLE.
FROM MY THEATRICAL NOTE BOOK. No. V.
The spirit of rivalship between the separate interests of DruryLane and Covent-Garden was never more formidable than at the time when Kean and Kemble were the leading attractions of the two theatres. Each was considered the master, if not the founder, of a distinct school of acting; consequently, each had his admirers. Each was, besides, the object of adulation, sufficiently obsequious at times, to the proprietors and retainers of the respective establishments, who were ready, on every possible occasion, to blazon forth the comparative strength or weakness of the rival houses. It is known to many that, after the death of Kemble, Kean was weaned over from Drury to the service of the enemy. About this time, several others of the same company, also received engagements at Covent-Garden; and, it was no uncommon occurrence, to witness, at rehearsals, some dozen, or more, of the old and new members of the company discussing, apart from the public gaze, the respective merits of Kean and Kemble, and endeavouring to draw a nice distinction betwixt the peculiarities of each other's style of acting.
One day, while a controversy of this sort was in progress, Kean happened to be a near by-stander. The wing screened him from observation, while the loud and interested tone in which the different speakers delivered themselves, caused them to be overheard.
"Look at Kean's Overreach, or his Richard," says one.
"Ay," says another, "or his Othello, the third act of which is admitted, by all critics, to be the finest specimen of acting the present generation has ever seen. And, then, his Shylock—where