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Qu'il parle donc encore, qu'il parle comme il pourra, et qu'il me dise qui il est, d'où il vient, et d'où il a apporté les étranges curiosités qu'il m'a offertes !
“And so, Mr. Frederic, you are going to set up a periodical ?" “ It is even so, Doctor,-infinitely true.
“ Very meritorious, vastly amusing :-pray, did you ever set up any thing before ?":
“I set up a tandem last March, Doctor!"
“Yes, and lodged me in a ditch last April. Look to it, Frederic, for the Whip and the Editor incur alike the peril of an overturn and the danger of ditch-water."
“And, by the manes of my grandmother's, so they do. I have not been a month in my seat, and the reins are giving way, the wheels playing the devil's tattoo over the stones, and the leader curvetting right and left as if he had no idea of a straight line. Every post I pass threatens death and demolition; every pedestrian I meet looks knowingly at the cattle, and whispers to his companion, 'go it, Sir,--he's in for a smash ! Bah I let me pull up for a second ; and reduce matters to order." Thus then :
Gentlemen Contributors, to drop all metaphor, and to drop all ceremony, it is necessary that I should make a few remarks on the line of conduct you are severally and collectively pursuing.
Here I have before me a pile of papers of sufficient depth and of sufficient obscurity to pose the decypherer of De Republica: quartos of quiet prose, folios of gentlemanly rhyme. What in the name of merriment do you take me for? Bacon or Confucius, Duns Scotus or Doctor Bentley?
What in the name of virtû, do you mean, Shafto, by sending me a critique of twenty pages upon the exhibition at Somerset House, when you know exceedingly well that a considerable expenditure of time, and a considerable acquisition of flash terms, have not yet enabled you to distinguisha Lawrence from a Vandyke or a Wilkie from a Jan Stein? Sir, you may take me at the most unpicturesque moment of my life,-take me from the Crown and Anchor, from the Fives Court, from Tattersall's, and I will back myself at five to one to write a better critique at six pages an hour.
What in the name of common sense do you mean, Pendragon, by sending me a learned treatise, not composed without much labour, not perused without more, and not comprehended with
any labour whatever, for the purpose of overthrowing the existence of Trismegistus, and showing Prince Hohenloe to be a true prophet?—when you know exceeding well, that an university drilling has hardly communicated to you the important basis of all reasoning, that two and two make four ; and has altogether failed in convincing you of the no less desirable theorem, that the doctrines of the Treasury Bench are infallible.- Why, my dear Pendragon, you may arrest me at the most unargumentative period of my life, -arrest me at Almack's in the last quadrille, arrest me at the Opera, (Vestris and the Donna del Lago)arrest me at 's when I win my next thousand, or at Doncaster when the horse I back walks over,--and, at any of these junctures, reason me dumb if I do not knock off a more sober, a more just, a more philosophical essay, in the time you would take to mend your pen.
And, finally, what in the name of the muses do you mean, Willoughby, by sending me two portfolios and one small album crammed to the very margin with sonnets and love verses. If this be the ballast our vessel needs, c'en est fait-I quit the helm! If I were to sanction with my name and authority such an outrageous import of tenderness and tears, where could I find a friend? Who would listen to my judgment in the side-box? Who would look at my Bucephalus in the Ring? Who would laugh at my jokes at Brookes's? Why, my dear Willoughby, I never saw but two beautiful faces in my life and I fell in love with neither of them; yet, by the spirit of Leander the Waterman, you may call me at the most unpoetical moment that ever an unpoetical man passed through, -you may call me from the paying of a ceremonious visit, or from the paying of a tailor's bill; from the lecture room of Dr. Gall, or from the gallery of the House of Commons,--and I will wager Moore to Bowles, or the Chancellor to a filbert, that I beat you at love-rhyming, in the judgment of any bright-eyed Dulcinea from fifteen to twenty and from London to the Land's-end !
Are these the topics to which my attention is now to be devoted? Venison and Champagne, Dice and Collinet, am I to apostatize from you for ever, that I may dabble with manuscripts and proof sheets, that I may be abused by the Critics and adored by the Blues, that I may be cut by the Bloods in Bond Street, and patronized by the Devils in Pall Mall. Be it so!
But I have not done with my distresses.-Gentlemen Contributors, to you I am indebted for restless days and sleepless nights ;--my acquaintance with you has afforded a very rapid introduction to care and to calomel. Ere I engaged in this perilous vocation my slumbers were light, and my digestion was easy; but you have filled my brain with the horrors of promises unperformed, and of talents misapplied. You, Aymer, were
profuse in your vows of attachment; but you kept your proofs. for two months in your pocket :-you, Medley, led me to calculate upon a magnificent Essay, and you beguiled me with an Epigram. My honoured friends of the tribe of Balaam are those only that send an answer by return of post; the wits leave me to moan over rejected petitions and unopened remonstrances.
Down to the ground, Vyvyan Joyeuse, do I bow to your sur-, passing genius. But for three months, Vyvyan, have I been listening in vain for the bounding step of your gaiety, and preparing to hold both my sides at the exquisite points of your
wit. You have left me, Vyvyan, to the consolations of a " virgin muse,” or an infant spectator. What is it to me, when two sheets are kept open for you, that you have been occupied with rubbers, and occupied others with rhetoric---that you have been dreaming of an article at the feet of a little angel at Lady 's, or have lent your manuscript to a superlatively critical Johnian?
Vyvyan, I love you; but may the fiends that have haunted me come, in heaven's good time, across your pleasures may you know the miseries of that “ kope deferred,” over which your unhappy Editor has been weeping any day since the first of April.
My dear friend, Haselfoot, your criticism is full of grace and philosophy ;-you write like an ardent admirer of the tasteful and the true. There is no ill-nature in your censure, and there is no daubing in your commendation. But, Haselfoot, there is a fearful delay in your epistles, and a terrific gap in your MS. Are you conscious of an awful chasm between pages 10 and 17, which no labour or ingenuity of mine can ever hope to fill ? Has the post failed, or has the coach broken down? Has your messenger sold his precious packet to some watchful rival, or has he worn it to threads, like Sancho, between his heel and his shoon? O! I cry you mercy-I did not understand you were as absent as Parson Adams. Who would have thought that eight solid pages
of your fairest copy would have lain perdus for three weeks in the first volume of your Stephens's Thesaurus ?
Gerard Montgomery, my " tower of strength”—my glorious Troubadour, who will lead me in your train to gather the honours
“ Of all maner of mynstralsye
That any man can specifye,” you are the most punctual of contributors; your heart is inditing,” and you have therefore no tardy pen. But, Gerard, how have you periled me! There is not a line of you that even a Thomson would have blotted ;-but we live in a canting age, Gerard ; and a man must write in gyves to please the votaries of waltzing and the praisers of pirouettes. Gerard,
there are three sentences and a half of your delightful Tryamour that will not escape the microscopes of the prudes. These virtuous ladies will never rest till they have hunted out a
Cytherea all in sedges hid:"" Lady Mary laughs at them all ;-but they have worried me into a bilious fever, Gerard.
And why, Haller, could you not let the calm light of your ennobling philosophy shine out, and the full stream of your historical knowledge flow on, without disturbing us with a hit at the Whigs ?-And you, Merton, was it necessary to interrupt the glorious rush of your eloquence, to make a sly fling at the Tories?-You will not part with these passages. Well, sirs, I respect every man's opinions when they are founded on principle ;- but if you get me into broils, be the sin and the danger upon your own heads!
And now that I have disgorged my spleen, let me hail my friends, with the courtesy of a Sylvanus Urban.
Gentlemen Contributors, we shall amply redeem the hopes that ourselves and the public have cherished. One and all I thank
you. I am a very Hotspur in my anticipations. When some cold-headed proser has said to me, “ the purpose you undertake is dangerous ; the friends you have named uncertain ; the time itself unsorted; and your whole plot too light,”-I have answered the lack-brain that “ our plot is as good a plot as ever was laid ; our friends true and constant; a good plot, good friends, and full of expectation." Though Montagu, and Ellis, and Heron, and Payne, and Frazer, and Tell, and Bruce, and Mills, and Medley, and Lovell, have not yet brought up their forces,- is there not Villars, and Cecil, and Merton, and Montgomery, and Heaviside, and Murray, and Aymer, and Joyeuse, and Courtenay, and a dozen “great unknowns” in the field ? “We are prepared.” For myself, I will say with honest Skelton,
the helme, loke up
I wolde be merrie, what winde that ever blowe.” Gentlemen Contributors, once more I thank you ;-our bark is launching-our fates are intertwined - let old Michael Drayton declare how:
“ Like as a man on some adventure bound.
His honest friends, their kindness to express,
Some venture more, and some adventure less ;
They his good fortune freely may partake;
Yet, like good friends, their's perish for his sake.”
LIGHTS AND SHADOWS OF SCOTTISH LIFE.-THE TRIALS OF
MARGARET LYNDSAY.--SOME PASSAGES IN THE LIFE OF
The transcendent success of the author of the Scottish Novels an developing the poetical capabilities which lay hid in the history, inanners, and scenery of his country, has had the natural effect of calling into action a swarm of inferior minds, to pursue the track which he has opened, and to gather the rich gleanings of the harvest. It is true, that there is scarcely a part of the vast prospect which has been left wholly untouched by the Scottish Homer; but it is also obvious, that the very grandeur and expanse of his design would prevent him from dwelling on many minutiæ, highly interesting in themselves, and susceptible of much embellishment; and it is equally evident, that many of the objects which his master-hand has delineated, are capable of being placed in very different lights from those in which he has exhibited them, and of assuming another and a less dazzling, yet scarcely a less beautiful colouring, in the hands of an artist of a different kind. Accordingly the individual strata of Scottish life (if we may use the expression) have been explored by adventurers of various talents, and in various directions, but with equal success. We need only refer to Hogg, whose untameable vigour, homely truth of portraiture, and richness of fancy, almost persuade us to overlook the brutal coarseness of some of his delineations; the rich romance of Allan Cunningham, his healthy and unsophisticated feeling, his fine peasantly chivalry, and the delightful and (to use an old and expressive word in its original sense) kindly glow with which he animates and realizes all he describes; the sprightly tenuity and happy manners-painting of the author of the Entail; and last, though certainly not least, and forming in some measure a separate class by themselves, the authors of these three works whose titles we have placed at the head of this article. We have included the memoirs of Adam Blair under the same head with the Lights and Shadows and the Trials of Margaret Lyndsay, as they confessedly emanate from the same junto of writers, and also because that worthy but ill-judging personage, the public, has chosen to attribute all the three works to one individual hand; an opinion which, as it is founded on report, an authority for which we profess no respect, we take upon us unceremoniously, and on our own ipsi diximus, to contradict. We are aware that the right, now arrogated by critics, of making positive assertions without proof, is an unconstitutional usurpation; it is, however, the custom, and so long as it is permitted to exist, we do not see why we should not avail ourselves of the established abuse, and dogmatize like other people; especially as it saves us the trouble of giving a reason for what we say. Not
VOL, I, PART I.