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Hail, generous Magazine of Wit! you bright
SIR ASTON COXAYNI.
To the Lady Mary Vernon, the Mistress of all Harmony,
the Queen of all Wits, the Brightest of all Belles,
we, the undersigned, send greeting: We, the undersigned, are a knot of young men, of various forms and features, -of more various talents and inclinations agreeing in nothing, save only two essential points--a warm liking for one another, and a very profound devotion for your Ladyship.
Some of us have no occupation.
Several of us have never written a linie.
For all these reasons, we intend to write a Book.
We will not compile a lumbering quarto of Travels, to be bound in Russia, and skimmed in the Quarterly, and bought by the country book-clubs ;-nor a biting Political Pamphlet, to be praised by everybody on one side, and abused by everybody on the other, and read by nobody at all ;-nor a Philosophical
VOL. I. PART I.
Essay, to be marvelled at by the few, and shuddered at by the many, and prosecuted by his Majesty's Attorney-General ;
a little Epic Poem in twenty-four books, to be loved by the milliners, and lauded in the Literary Gazette, and burnt by your Ladyship.
But a Book of some sort we are resolved to write. We will go forth to the world once a quarter, in high spirits and handsome type, and a modest dress of drab, with verse and prose, criticism and witticism, fond love, and loud laughter; every thing that is light, and warm, and fantastic, and beautiful, shall be the offering we will bear; while we will leave the Nation to the care of the Parliament, and the Church to the Bishop of Peterborough. And to this end we will give up to colder lips and duller souls their gross and terrestrial food: we will not interfere with the saddle or the sirloin, the brandy-bottle or the punch-bowl;-our food shall be of the spicy curry, and the glistening Champagne ;-our inspiration shall be the thanks of pleasant voices, and the smiles of sparkling eyes. We grasp at no renown-We pray for no immortality; but we trust, that in the
voyage it shall be our destiny to run, we shall waken many glowing feelings, and revive many agreeable recollections; we shall make many jokes, and many friends ; we shall enliven ourselves and the Public together; and when we meet around some merry hearth to discuss the past and the future, our projects and our success, we shall give a zest to our bottle and our debate by drinking a health to all who read us, and three healths to all
We have built up our temple, and installed the priests, and made ready the offerings, and we are looking for the goddess of the shrine. The President of our Club, and the Editor of our writings, shall be no compiler of essays-no eater of oysters ; no bald and bearded gentleman, with a cold judgment and a flippant pen, dreaming of pounds, shillings, and pence, and annihilating the young hopes of an author in all the anonymous authority of the plural number. We must have for our tutelar divinity a more amiable and more interesting being, to whose authority we may pay a voluntary submission, to whose eyes we may breathe our vows and scribble our sonnets, beneath whose influence we may forget the tedium and the toil of bookmaking, and scatter over our revel and our press the magic charm of gallantry and romance.
We kneel before your Ladyship’s ottoman. You are beautiful and very kind ; ą widow and very witty; with a complexion a little flushed, and a nose a little aquiline, and all necessary dignity in your clear high forehead, and all conceivable merriment in your deep blue eye; and you wear white shoes, and diamond necklaces, and dress your long