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wish I durst transcribe these inimitable hits, but the fact must be confessed, that, to be plain like himself, they were too filthy to be written, although they came with inimitable effect from his cadaverous mouth, and with the leer of green and grey old age to set them off. But I have done. Shade of departed Driddle! thy spirit will be soothed by this sincere but tardy homage to thy genius. If ever thou revisitest the glimpses of the moon, all the reward I seek for this labour of fond love is, that you would drop me-not your mantle—but your last pair of drab-coloured breeches!
“ A FOND ADORER OF DEPARTED Fame."
BAXTER'S WORKS: A TALE.
The board then cleared—“the King" was given
" In Glasgow, once, when Sabbaths were
C. H.-Yes. I look for her to-morrow; but she will not remain here, as she means to make a round of visits to friends at the different watering places which stud the silvery shores of our firth. I wrote, for the last time, to her a week ago.
H. W.-Oh! for the last time, did you ?
C. H.-Yes : but mean to visit her while she “ is on the circuit."
H. W. With the assistance of “ Venus and the Graces," I presume, who are to pass by Gourock and Helensburgh, and go to Kilmun. But Love will take up his quarters with Mary, I suppose.
C. H.-I trust he has done so. They are fine steam boats, however, these mythological ones. The Venus fitted up from the plans of Watt might have been the barque of Cleopatra for taste and splendour.
H. W.-Splendour and perhaps— but while you have allowed a silk mercer to mutilate, with the addition of a clumsy wooden cornice above his door and windows, what you justly describe as the finest street-building in the city, I must be sceptical as to the taste.
C. H.-Watt is a dilletanti—and there is such a thing as taste in Glasgow. Look to what the genius of Hamilton is overcoming in the new St. Enoch's Church - which is built to fit an old steeple ;-and as to silk mercers, there is a friend of mine, one who is deservedly esteemed the “ Brydges ” of Glasgow-besides being an artist himself of great talent.
H. W.-Ay, ay! you have ingenious gentlemen in trade, I must admit. There is your crony, Tom,-and here is a masterpiece, in its way, that I had put into my hand to-day—a shop-bill like the epics of some “ middle aged” poet, the first and last letters of each line of which read acrostically, “ Campbell & Howie,” &c. &c.! Talking of shops, I am glad that at length you are to have a couple of fashionable cigar ones : I see two newly opened, in the “ Gliddon" style, with hookers in their window, which, with the addition of a cup of my namesake Whyte's exquisite coffee, would almost transport me to the Dardanelles.
C. H.-I see we are. They must pay, since every body with a dirty face smokes a “cutty" in the Minor Theatre and on the street,—and every one with a starched cravat puffs a cigar. Formerly they could only be had in Urquhart's, where, the other day, a fierce-looking Captain Gridiron, or some such name, deliberately lighted one, and puffed it in the face of some ladies who accompanied him—just as you saw him do to the same belles in the Botanic Garden, at the promenade, to the astonishment of all, and the offence of those who old fashionedly hold gallantry to be a deference towards the weaker sex.
H. W.- They would not have ventured to pass vulgarity off as high fashion in any other place than Glasgow, which swallows any bolus with that gilding on it. She was a fine joyous-looking creature that that made you whistle “ The Maid of Islay,” as she bounded past you-but still, for a lady, the dark-eyed damsel from Edinburgh bore the palm away.
C. H.-I admit it,—but you there saw little of Glasgow beauty. The turn-out was poor; but those that were young, you will admit, were interesting.
H. W.-Yes,ếand as gaudy as the hues of Iris could make them.—You spoke of Urquhart. Does he cut you? I must have a friz.
C. H.-No,-Kerr, the pink of civility, does it; and without blustering.
H. W.-Do you go to the theatre in this weather ?
C. H.-0 yes. It is the coolest place to rest after an evening's walk I know of. But the only novelties of late have been such as one sees at benefits. Miss Pearson's house was deservedly respectable.
-Boddie somehow or other had the sympathies of the children of Israel in his favour—the boxes being filled with dark-eyed Rebeccas, and the pit with gentlemen with great noses and great coats.
H. W.-Have you a synagogue here?
C. H.-No-although several respectable Jews, -but let me finish.-Gaunt Kirkland was to have played Macbeth, but never got the length of the blasted heath.— And I saw Dorsey running across the street in the dress of Belcour, to drink a bottle of porter, in his cocked hat and steel buttons.
H. W.-By the bye, you were telling me that Mr. Curll had got a threatening call from Alexander. How did the affair end ?
C. H.- Why, in kindred burlesque to its beginning. He called -demanded the name of the editor of “ The Ant”-threatened prosecution, and a speech-and binted something interestingly mygterious about “the satisfaction of a gentleman!” Mr. C. advised him to write, in case he had mistaken the purport of his half-hour's harangue. He was silly enough to commit himself to paper, and here is his letter.
H. W.-(Reading. ) -—“My time is too much occupied in recapitulating what I thought was firmly understood-libellous," &c. &c.-hum! Poor man, he writes a clerkly hand, if his pen could spell. — And what ensued ?
C. H.-Oh! to correspond with him was out of the question with old Saveall, or any of our club; but, as his bill stated, that “ In the course of the evening, Mr. Alexander will take his leave for the season in a Farewell Address, in the course of which, he will expose and refute several libellous falsehoods published in a work called 'The Ant,' the success of the season, and other matter," I, and some hundreds more, went to hear the rigmarole, and see the row. He got what he wanted, a full house--and a better dressed auditory than ever had been within its walls. After sitting three suffocating hours, looking at beastly antics, and a laboured and vulgar attempt to make light of larceny-at last, a dreary pause elapsed, the orator came forward, and stood at full length beside a red baize table-cloth, covered with papers like the study of a villagemayor's portrait-and began, “ Ladies and Gentlemen, the performances of this evening has concluded a season of one hundred and forty-two nights !”
H. W.-Spare me, Charles, I get sick- "refute the success of the season!”
C. H.-Why, man, he spoke and read—for he had written his speech—from twelve till one in the morning--praising himself, and assaulting Lindley Murray. Even the scrap-book of newspaper puffs, and play-bills where his name was mentioned, which he read from, became tainted with nonsense and bad grammar, as the words passed over his lips-as pure water is stained by running through a kennel; and the very sweeps and bottleblowers, whose "respectability" he laboriously defended, grinned hideous ridicule in his face, and noticed his door-keepers crying “ bravo” at the appointed pauses, as the whole house roared at the fidelity of my description of its auditory-as the passages were read, and the listeners looked round, and saw the living and unwashed realities steaming in the atmosphere of summer, through the filth of a week's begriming.
H. W.-It must have been doubly a treat to you. The rieh absurdity of his grandiloquence--and the proof it afforded that your laudable doses, either for purifying or amending a disgusting and baleful source of annoyance to good taste, and ultimately to good morals, had had some effect. Criticism is never better employed, nor severity more wholesome, than in such cases. But you have more letters there.
C. H.-Yes. There is one seriously asking if we mean to reprint in “ The Ant” the whole of Mr. Knowles's tragedies ! This may serve as a specimen of the folly penny-post letters sometimes unfold to our notice. And there are some touching and poetically conceived verses signed R. R.-but obviously written by a fair hand-which, it is pity, want only a little mechanical accuracy to be excellent, and here is a story which I have not had time to read.
H, W.-Why, you have no lack of “copy," it would appear.
C. H.-0, none; although few of the communications” find favour in our sight. But, next week, we shall publish a number wholly made up of Original matter, and, from time to time, intersperse four or five of these, alternately with those on the mixed plan, so that our two contemplated volumes shall be of equal size, and finished at the same time.
H. W.-Why, I like the plan, and will take one bumper more of punch to drink success to it-to the Work-to its Editor-its Writers—its Printer-its Sellers and its Buyers !
[Henry White drinks a huge bumper ; Charles quaffs corres.
ponding thanks, and the two agree that a walk, on a fire evening, is admirable after tippling and talking. ]
Printed by James Curll, 55, Bell-Street, and sold by all Booksellers.