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our manager to bring him here, while his fame is yet but rising, and deserves much more encouragement than I am told he has meet with, since the lady who never held a country en. gagement till she had been “at Court,” left him.- Alexander's Fustain Warehouse—the Minor Theatre-has opened, I perceive. As I never go there, I can say nothing about it.
The New Monthly and London are poor this month. The Chronicle has extracted from the former two jokes of Parr's I would else have sent you.--Blackwood is good. Read Di Vasari : it is a story of entrancing interest.
Did you see a delicious advertisement in one of our papers, from a sage who wanted “ Boarding and Lodging" in a family where there are daughters--and tumblers of toddy every night at eleven? Talking of daughters and sages,-one of the former eloped last week, and I see one of the latter-of Athens though-has died “ Surgeon to the King of Woahoo!”
By the way, I know every thing relating to the Fine Arts is a matter of interest to you, and therefore I am sure you will rejoice to learn that our indefatigable friend, William Brown, has just completed, with the greatest success, a commission for a view of Loch Lomond, from the summit of the Whangie Craig, of the very largest size of which water-colour painting on paper admits. It is, I assure you, equally creditable to the artist who executed and the amateur who ordered it. He is preparing a series of views of the Royal Palaces of Scotland, on a scale of magnitude corresponding. „I have barely room to sign
c. H. P.S.-Wednesday Night. I have seen Rayner's Giles, and would not miss seeing it again for any thing. Can you believe that the power and pathos of the last scene of the Miller's Maid, where he appears as the rustic whom love elevates to a noble being, moistened even my eyes? He has been prevailed on to repeat it on Monday night; when Miss Edmiston (an old and deserved favourite) makes her first appearance.-C. H.
nor honourable to sed friends (we omit the portant labours
To Correspondents. We mean in future to occupy very little of our limited space in reply to these; but a scurrilous anonymous letter has been handed to us by a gentleman, to whom it had been written as if he were Editor of the Ant, but who is no more accountable for our faults than we for his. It is neither manly nor honourable to send such-and somewhat troublesome, he bids us say, for even good-natured friends (we omit the epithet) to address that person when occupied with far other and more important labours than ours." _We despise the petulance that would wound an author's feeling to show an editor's wit, and shall not, therefore, add to the pain of rejecting well-meant communications the insult of taunts, where impudence does not call for a like reply; but truly the Acrostics from the “ Island of Coll” want fire sadly, and Poetry“ quite extemporaneous," and “needing explanation," wont suit us.-By and bye, we shall endeavour to do justice to those portions of “ An Intended Contributor's” paper that are not feeble and common. place.-Clio gives some promise of success. The author of " Can I forget thee," more than mere promise: but really the liberality of our Correspondents cannot make us forget that we are a thing of fewer pages than the number of days that elapse between each of our publications.
Printed by James Curll, 55, Bell-Street, and sold by all the Booksellers in
Glasgow, Paisley, Greenock, Ayr, Kilmarnock, &c.; and in Edinburgh, by R. Chambers, India Place, and J. Sutherland, Calton-Street..
No. III.-SATURDAY, 30th DECEMBER, 1826.
The Martyr Student. One of our number; that is, a member of the body who divert the leisure of one night in the fortnight by suggesting Selections for “ The Ant,” and writing the trifles which are printed on the four leaves that form the cover of these,besides discussing sundry boards of Lough-Foyle oysters, tumblers of gin-twist, and dresses of young ladies is the gentleman who, as “ An Old Stager," was to contribute some Sketches and Recollections of these important, and, in the opinion of their members, singularly influential institutions, Debating Societies. He tells us, however, that he finds it to be impossible for him to compress these into two, or even three papers fitted for our limits; but that, if our printer chooses, he will, from time to time, as the articles seem to take, endeavour to fulfil his promise, by noting down a series of reminiscences connected with the intercourse he has had with such associations, for a goodly period of his now middle-aged life, prefacing the whole by a paper in which he shall glance at the prevailing objections to, and prominent defects of, them, as well as enter upon the more kindred theme- the great and lasting benefits they are, under proper regulations, and in their proper place, fitted to confer upon those who join in their formation and support. Were it not that we fear our friend may become tedious in writing on a subject where, when talking of it, he is excessively garrulous, we think something piquant might be extracted from the lumber-closet of his memory and observation, since we have heard him--often enough, God wot!-describe with enthusiasm the meetings of the Literary Forum and Academic Society, which were both held within the
walls of our University, about the years 1811 and 1812. There might nightly be heard a Russell, the German traveller and rising advocate; a Jardine, now at the Chancery Bar; a John Young, now of Belfast, but soon, we should hope, to be of some Moral Philosophy chair in more than an“ Institution,” however respectable; a Fox, one of the most eloquent preachers in England; a Harris, one of the first even where Chalmers has been heard; a George Sym, now no more; and a host of others of nearly equal talent. The meetings of the Historical Society of Trinity College, Dublin, or even of the wits who, in Curran's time, assembled at the “ Devil's Tavern," Temple Bar, to exercise themselves in oratory and extemporaneous speaking, could hardly surpass these in interest, if described as these have been. But that is, of course, out of the question here.
In the meantime, however, we gladly avail ourselves of the permission of Mr. Curll to inform the gentleman who addresses the very sensible letter to us, requesting that the letter-box of our industrious little caterer, might be allowed to become the focus, for receiving, at once, the expression of sentiment, the suggestion of plans, and the real signature of such writers as, like himself, are desirous of cultivating the little power or experience they may have acquired in extemporaneous public speaking, by joining with others, possessed of the same wish and capabilities, in the formation of a society exclusively devoting its attention to that, as it can be exercised upon subjects of present pith and moment, rather than upon the usual hackneyed generalities of academical discussion,—that WE ACCORD HIS WISH. The idea we think not only good, but, in a free state, laudable in the highest degree; and, provided a dozen young gentlemen can be found, who have learned, in the experience of passing through the different grades of debating societies, to smile at the solemn and venerable, though frivolous trifling which often characterises the meetings, not merely of those clubs of striplings who, at fifteen, for the hundred millionth time, settle the question whether “ Ambition be laudable ?” and if “ Man is a Free Agent?” or “ Caesar was a Tyrant ?” but of the grown-up pillagers from the last number of the Edinburgh Review, who dilute into twaddle the latest notions on the novel subjects of Catholic Emancipation or the Corn Laws; men who will have courage to confess that they are not altogether “ unaccustomed to public speaking,” nor wish to remain
so, but rather seek to be able to do it with ease, as those who may sometimes have opinions to promulgate, and rights to defend; we must confess that a few hours in a fortnight spent in preliminary investigation and afterargument at such meetings, would be almost as well disposed of as those we devote to concocting an “ Ant," or our readers to perusing it.-Can we say more?
This gentleman, who has favoured us with his address, may rely upon our prudence, as may those who address, through us, private notes to him as “ Loquendi.” The readers of “ The Ant” shall receive a hint as to the success his offer of co-operation meets with—a success of which we cannot doubt, convinced as we are, that in Glasgow there are as many qualified by experience, ability, and zeal, as might form and support with spirit twenty such societies, provided they could be brought together, or knew of a common centre to which to resort, or even of the existence of eight or ten who were of their own mind on the matter. Nay, more, we shall stipulate that, if these bodies meet in an elegant room—not in an inn, tavern, school-house, or ball-room-but in halls such as those of Anderson's Institution, the Annuity Society, or the College, we shall stipulate that every one of our regular subscribers—the fair sex, who form ninetenths of the number, excluded, of course, as we wish the meetings to be those of a hundred patient listeners, to half-a-dozen talkers—so long as they buy our book, and praise it, shall have free admission to the discussions of the society first established, by simply presenting the last number, as their ticket at the door. In the meantime, as there are numerous associations with the name of Debating Societies already in existence in Glasgow, and surrounding towns, whose objects are laudable, if their management be sometimes defective, we have resolved in each of our numbers, for some time, to insert statements of two or three questions for discussion at their meetings, with a view, first, to supply a want which we know to be felt in almost all of these to a great degree-we mean a copious list of interesting topics, fitted for discussion in such assemblages, and adapted to the varied tastes of those who may, in turn, be compelled to introduce a subject; and next, to supersede the necessity of resorting to that string of scholastic nothingnesses, or worn-out and wearisome trifles, on the one hand, and established points on the other, which are found to fill up those leaves of many minute-books, which follow the
“ Laws” of literary societies, under the title of “ List of Questions,” and are remorselessly transcribed by the son, from that the “ father copied from the grandfather's memoranda, who attended the university in 1751 !”
These shall be of four classes :
Mankind, and to the Progress of Society.
In addition to their simple statement we shall, from our own notes and experience in reference, occasionally point out those works, and parts of treatises, or portions of volumes-especially those of periodical literature-in which the subjects are handled in such a way as to become sources of information as to facts, and elements for reflection as to the formation of opinion, without holding out facilities to the indolent to adopt ready-made notions and second-hand arguments. We anticipate that the small portion of room this department may occupy, shall not only not be grudged by our fair and elderly readers—the two classes least likely to profit by it in the most direct and obvious way—but be esteemed of peculiar value, since to many they may recal agreeable recollections of hours spent in reading, debating, or reflecting on similar themes --may refresh their memory as to the instructive results of these, and even present to the laborious inquirer after truth, in their very abruptness, positions disencumbered of the numerous related and collateral inquiries in which he has found them enveloped in regular treatises, and women may learn that young men can sometimes think about even far more important matters than their charms, dress, or temper. 1.—“ Is it beneficial or injurious to limit by Law the rate
of Interest?” AUTHORITIES_Bentham's Defence of Usury; Adam Smith; Sir
James Steuart's Political Economy; Hannay on Usury; Graham's Remarks; Sergeant Onslow's Speeches in Parliament; Edinburgh Review, &c. &c. 11.—“ To what causes are we to ascribe the Varieties of
the Human Race?”. AUTHORITIES- Article “ Complexion,”- Brewster's Encyclopædia ;
Buffon, by Smellie, Vol. III.; Smyth’s Essay on the Varieties of the Human Race; Lord Kames ; Dr. Pritchard's Researches on the Physical History of Man, &c. &c.