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anations of Allan Cunningham hurrying from Chantry's atelier to conjure up the shade of Michael Scottof another Alaric, who annually gives from poetry and romance the finest subjects for the pencil and the burin
-and of a literary “ Bequest,” of which the public may become the legatees whenever they please. Then as for the precious things, of which even these are but the covering, as if the silks of Persia were enveloping the rubies of Hindostan—why is there not a new poem of Campbell's another rainbow in the heaven of song? a review by Sir Walter ? a piece where poetry and fun are for ever married by Hood ? a-prose tale-ay, even that, from Delta's pen ? a battle scene by Gleig ? a jeu d'esprit by Smith ? and an article upon every thing that eloquence can embellish or mirth adorn-in short, a “ Noctes” by Wilson ? And, with the exception of their authors, four editors, six compositors, and one curious printer's devil, who stands in gateways to read the proof-sheets, there is not more than sixteen people have read one syllable of these, and of that number, five were Booksellers' Wives-nearer to the place of publication than our fair Katherine resides. Two hours is not an unconscionable time for a bookseller's breakfast on magazine day, when he is expected before dinner to be able to tell twenty-two inquirers whether there be any thing firstrate in the contents of seven separate excellences, each with as much type on its pages as there is commonplace in a volume of Rae Wilson's Travels. He takes a slashing, but yet solid and pregnant article in the London -and then swallows a whole fresh herring; a pretty tale by Miss Jewsbury “ Magnetizes” him till his next cup of coffee is cold; but he sips it with complacency as he reads a “ London Lyric,” or wonders into what other shape of humour a Modern Pythagorean will next transmute himself. Breakfast over—for until she saw every thing fairly removed, and that her husband and instructor did not forget the wants of the body in gorging the appetite of the mind, she would not open a page more than to ascertain what contributions L. E. L. and Mrs. Hemans had in the New Monthly—the Bookseller's Wife now admires the portraits in La Belle Assemblée, the views in Ackermann, and the impudent plagiarisms from the Sketch Book in the Museum; and, with the intuitive glance of good taste, seizes upon the best patterp in Townsend's Costumes, which she will wear before the wife of the richest in the place has heard of its existence and settles down into the more solid portions of the mental feast, while the bookseller himself turns to the two business departments of these monthly miscellanies, balancing the severity of the London against the tenderness of the New Monthly, to decide upon how many copies he should order of Vivian Grey's new volumes; and from their “ price currents” and “ anticipations of crop," as it were, fashions out in his mind's eye the probabilities of sale for the next month's stock. But beards must be shavenand eleven o'clock will come-s0, while the one is moving off and the other wearing on, the Bookseller's Wife, in the adjoining parlour, touches a plaintive, and rattles off a lively air, equally favourites with her lover-husband. In the middle of the latter-“ M‘Lean's Invitation”-he recollects that he has that morning invited six friends to dinner, “in an easy way.” There is a distinguished musical composer-a rising artist-an amiable editor-a fiery poet-a successful dramatist—and a humorous antiquarian to dine with him at four; and so it is well that the Bookseller's Wife has already skimmed the cream of the magazines, as she must now look after culinary operations. However, she has Meg Dods, and a willing and hospitable but not ostentatious love of making the guests of her husband happy, by and at heart. At twelve she looks in to lighten his labour with a meridian smile; sits amid the sacred confusion of the Muse's fane for a few minutes; sees some more novelties; suggests a new pattern in extra binding; and goes to the Mutton Market. At six she rises from the table she has covered with good cheer, adorned with affability and intelligence, and her husband surrounded with guests of a grade of mind and a concentration of talent no tradesman but one of whom it has been so happily said, that to “smell of the shop” was the noblest compliment that could be paid to him—could ever call together, but at the cost of more wine and ostentation than he could either afford in purse or commend in taste. At eigbt-it is the evening upon which M‘Diarmid's Courier and the Literary Gazette arrive-she is ready to entertain them with a cup of delightful twankay -an admirable trait of Scottish character and humoura reference to an interesting book not to be ready for a week, yet ably analysed—and a repetition of a touching passage from Miss Landon's latest. There are no orgies, even literary ones, since the Bookseller's Wife came home, so, at nine, with all the complacency of a man who has just taken four glasses of sherry, a thimbleful of Glenlivet,
I can no more; the tide of love
Will not be longer stemmed !
With which awhile 'twas hemmed.
Boils o'er its brim in fire,
That would have chained its ire.
My stoic soul's resolves ?
In clammy sweat dissolves !
Whate'er stern manbood may,
On winter's gustiest day.
Melt in the furnace-glow
Learn that I dare not bow.
As conscious demons feel;
For that to which I kneel,
MYSELFthat is, my consciousness
Of noble thoughts within ;-
To these, were deep to sin
Which wall a lofty soul
This brooks not your control.
To the Editor of “The Ant." SIR, I have often experienced delight in returning to the perusal of the writings of those periodical essayists who flourished during the last century, and I esteem the uniform edition of their papers, with the interesting biographies, and comprehensive general index of the indefatigable George Chalmers, as one of the greatest ornaments of my library, which, for Glasgow, is not contemptible. I can also, with some complacency, revert to the glancing over of the minor local imitations of these which, during the first quarter of this century, have successively appeared in Edinburgh and Glasgow, loung. ing an hour in “ The Sale-Room”-climbing to “ The Attic Stories " --strolling along the Trongate with “ The Wanderer”-sitting down with “ The Enquirer”-and, whilst I “ consider The Ant,'” smiling good-humour. edly at its playfulness, and allowing myself to be diverted with its variety of contents. Diversified, however, as is the subject matter of its pages, it has appeared to more than myself as somewhat singular, even although its conductors obviously eschew an imitation either of the style or contents of the works of their elder brethren, seeking rather to impart to their journal the variety and spirit of a newspaper, than to sustain the dignity of an essayist; that, throughout its miscellaneous contents, there is not to be found, as yet, one page, devoted to a species of descripto-didactic writing, first made familiar by its illus
trious predecessors, often resorted to by them, as will at • a glance be seen by the aforesaid index, and laboriously imitated by every other of their numerous successors. I allude to the Allegory-Dream-or Vision, the very names of which have not till now appeared in one of your numbers.
I confess my partiality for the method of conveying instruction indicated by these, and have desiderated a
specimen in your work. It has occurred to me, that, in conformity with that, allow me to say, silly love of originality which characterises the writers of the present day, you have purposely avoided giving any Letters from old Maids-Fathers with Large Families— Bloods upon the Town-Members of multifarious Clubs, &c., or details of the Misfortunes of Sempronias-Loves of EugeniosOpinions of Alciphrons—or Dreams of Somno, Seniors.
'If it be that your inventive faculties are deficient, and that, though you can describe circumstances and paint character, you cannot invent incident or arrange situation, I would have cheerfully assisted you in this department, in so far as a combination of minute portions from every dream of notoriety, between “ The Vision of Mirza," and the fond and ill-requited Persian allegories of the poetic and gifted Peregrine Pic-Nic, with all of which, as I have said, I am familiar, could have availed; and, believe me, much of what passes for invention in the present day, is but a kaleidoscopical combination of atoms detached from bodies which have long had a distinct existence. I admit it has often distressed me that I could not, after repeated trials, actually slumber into wisdom, in the manner of these models. But I am now happy, Sir, that, without the slightest literary insincerity, or needing to have recourse to the smallest assistance from imagination or preceding models, I am able to offer you the narration of a dream which actually occurred to myself—not after perusing one of your papers—discoursing with any one upon its theme-or meditating on a subject which evaded my waking acuteness, but yielded to my sleeping perspicacity- the established preparatives for didactic dreaming; but that took place in the middle of the night, and during a common-place sleep of an unusual soundness, superinduced by a day of unusual fatigue. If its detail may want much of the obvious point and laborious terseness of the visions which have been invented while wide awake, all I can say is, that I have so much reliance on the force of simple truth, as to believe that the presence of that may counterbalance many other defects. On the succeeding sheet I transcribe a memorandum of what appeared to occur on the occasion in question; and, never dreaming but you will be glad to supply by a reality what was, even in fiction, a want in your work,
I am, Sir,