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at once so ill written and so idiomatic, that it sets all your ingenuity at defiance.
Groan 29th. Having accumulated a choice collection of wretchednesses perfectly novel, and being informed that there is not a corner can be spared for their enumeration.
The Maximist. No. VII. If for nothing else, O'Doherty deserves the gratitude of posterity for making public the plan of keeping up drawers, by running the braces through loops in their head-band.
There can be no conviction that you love, till you have suffered for doing so.
He would be the best grammarian who could fashion a system to himself, upon the impulse of his own wants, and from the results of his own observations, although he had never read a page of Lindley Murray.
Women appear more variable and inconsistent than men merely because they more unguardedly exhibit their transitions of emotion.
In conducting a periodical work, it is sometimes necessary to recollect that the vulgar are in a majority on most matters of taste.
There are men of wealth and mind who will not venture to patronize rising talent, even on the cheapest method of stimulating its exertions, by a shake of the band and an invitation to a dinnerparty, and who yet cannot help wishing to purchase its forbearance, if a smile, when no one else is by, could be the price of it.
Give me the man who is cold in his rectitude and stiff in his indiscriminate intercourse with society, rather than him who has suavity without sincerity, or who is even good humoured without knowing why.
The most triumphant moment of a man's existence is that one which immediately follows his success in extracting a seed from between his teeth.
It cannot be a lofty genius which refuses to sympathise with the inspiration of others. Prostration here, like the worship of divinity, elevates rather than abases.
It is possible to make a periodical pay in Glasgow.
Our Readers are informed, that, with next No. the Selected Volume will be complete, as will the Original with the next again, when the Title Pages, Preface, Index, &c. will be given.
Printed by James Curll, 55, Bell-Street, and sold by all Booksellers,
No. XXVI.-SATURDAY, 15th SEPTEMBER, 1827.
ON SOME OF THE PERSONAL PECULIARITIES
OF THE Literary Men of the Last and Present Age. « There are men whose powers operate only at leisure, and in retirement
whom merriment confuses and objection disconcerts.—Johnson. “ What nights we have passed at the Mermaid !” was the exclamation of Ben Johnson, when, in his green old age, he indulged in the delightful reminiscences of the hours spent at that “ hostelry," and at its worthy compeer, “ The Globe Tavern," with “ Master” Shakspeare, and others. As our literature advanced towards refinement, such places of resort got out of fashion; perhaps their mirth was somewhat too boisterous for the is ears polite” of those who relished classical wit and attic humour, more than madcap frolicsomeness and informal heart's ease. The pleasures and relaxations of such were less the offspring of exuberant animal spirits, than mere elegant repose indulged in on an evening, after the labours of the morning in the study or in Temple Chambers. Still there are many delightful recollections associated with The Cocoa Tree, The Smyrna, Old Slaughter's, and Button's Coffee-houses. Their narrow boxed-in precincts have often held, in social enjoyment of the temperate refreshment of a cup of chocolate, Addison and Budgell, Pope and Garth, Rowe and Young. Think of Steel, too, before he was knighted! With what a jaunty air he would call the drawer, and ask for his letters! How carelessly he would sip his coffee and write a " Tatler," and it full, too, of the best timed remarks, and the most poignant and elegant satire! Sometimes, however, a bailiff would disturb his peace; but Tom, the drawer, was up to the art of saying 26 No!” to John Doe's friends. Dr. Johnson was fonder of taverns than these, his im
mediate predecessors. He and Savage, in the time of their early acquaintanceship, when they had half-a-guinea, often sat up all night to spend it; and, when they had nothing, walked about all night for want of a bed, or made one of a bulk-head in an alley. When Boswell and the Doctor were introduced to each other, it was at a tavern; they made a late sitting of it that night, and during their subsequent intimacy, they never wholly abandoned the practice. The Doctor's frame, sickly from birth, required stronger nourishment and more inspiring beverage than toast and chocolate to kindle his wit. These days have passed away; and now, the literary adventurers of the metropolis seem hardly to be aware of the existence of such a thing as a coffee-house; at least, they never let their knowledge become visible, if they have it. Nor are the taverns more fortunate. Why, we country folks know only the names of such places now by irritatingly political, cantingly religious, and impoverishingly charitable assemblages having taken place within their vast walls and halls, for they are large and dreary now. .
In Edinburgh it is different. Bill Young's and the Dilletanti Hall are familiar and household words with us. But London litterateurs seem to have so much personal enmity, and so much pride, as to keep them from associating socially together; and a blue stocking rout now, eclipses the attic suppers-“worthy of the gods”-of the last century! After all, however, on examining the causes of this change in the amusements of our men of letters, we may, perhaps, find reason to congratulate ourselves that it has taken place.
Many of our greatest living poets, a class who must always rank first among those who make literature a profession, do not now reside in the metropolis. They have left “the dinsome town,” and fled to the quiet and lovely haunts of nature. This change in their habitudes has, perhaps, been the prime cause of that “ young greenness" and vigour with which our poetry has lately shot forth; and it may also have originated that fine and tender domestic feeling, which much of it now displays. Biting satires, polished to the utmost keenness, and flowery epics, in all the pride of harmonious prettiness, may be created in the purlieus of “ The Row;" but deep feelings, of, and love for, the beauties of nature, most frequently have their rise among its sequestered haunts, steep mountains, and romantic dells.
THE PHRASEOLOGIST. No. II. He is an author, and, of course, a bad man of business.
This is an expression which at once stamps the person who utters it as a Common-place. Because, forsooth, some authors have been, or have affected to be, confused in their arrangements, whether household or literary, it is sagaciously inferred by the merely silly, and slyly insinuated by the maliciously stupid, that every man who wields a pen in original composition is more or less incapacitated from superintending those details which whether of profit, good order, or economy-are fitly enough ranked under the head of “ business.” In what does a capacity for business consist? In powers of application, of arrangement, and of comprehension; and in habits of minute accuracy. Can any man, even a poet, become a permanently successful author without an allotment of these, much above the average possession of mankind ? Do the rogues who invent this phrase, or the drivellers who repeat it, ever consider what a physical toil there is in the mere mechanical labour of writing down one's ideas after they are created and arranged, even without any reference to preparatory study, or collateral reference ? Few people are aware that even the letterpress of one volume of a novel, comprises as many words which have first to be written, as will be found in a merchant's annual ledger and journal. The correcting of the press for it, too, is as laborious a task, and requires as minute an attention to accuracy as the verifying of an interest account, or the search for an error in an extensive balance. Who is, ex facie, so likely to be able to arrange complicated details, if you can only make them worth the devotion of his attention, as he who has digested a summary of an extensive portion of history, or combined the jarring elements of human character and action into a consistent narrative, or, a still more difficult task, into a well contrived play? It is idle to point out individual exceptions: as well might we allege from Dirty Dick's having made a fortune, that filth and disorder were necessary elements in a successful trading establishment. Was Lord Bacon an indifferent man of business? Would Adam Smith have been unsuccessful if he had been forced to study pin-making, instead of the Wealth of Nations ? What gained Ricardo his fortune and his fame? His
surpassing all his competitors as a man of business. Away, miserable machine, who can only utter this gibberish-equally ignorant of the history of literature and of the philosophy of mind! Because a man of parts does not choose to bring down his mind to your puny level-it is because he cannot bend it, forsooth-as if the trunk of the elephant, which can rend up the oak of the forest, could not also pick up the minutest coin
he tramples in the soil. He is a good soul.-Said of one whose mind is of too
small a calibre to fire off impulses, either good or bad; but who is harmless merely from being inefficient. In mental matters, a good soul is a driveller; in money ones, mean and miserly. His friendship is a habit ; his love, an unsublimated selfishness; his hospitality, an accidental exhibition of tea, toast, and vanity. His morality is dependent upon the peculiarities of his organization; his religion upon the situation of his birth-place, or his
ideas of negative interest. He is very friendly—a true friend.-Terms often indis
criminately used, and yet felt to be essentially different in their compass and meaning. The friendly man is one who will do every thing to oblige you—that costs him no money. He will speak well of every one when directly asked his opinion, for he knows to a fraction the value of his own unmeaning generalities. No man so eagerly seeks to get you an advantage, if at the cost of somebody else, as, that procured, may save you from needing any assistance from him. He is clannish, because the principle may re-act to his own advantage, but never generous, where there is not a chance that such display may buy golden opinions somewhere or other. The true friend, in contradistinction to the simpler term of friend only, as if emphasis added to meaning, or heaping up comparatives did not ultimately weaken the expression they are meant to sustain under the weight of expanded signification, is one who watches your actions lest you should do any thing he may disapprove, because unable to participate in it; studies your thoughts, lest you venture to stray beyond the mental railway he finds it convenient to travel along, and meddles with your pleasures if they can in their nature by possibility be enjoyed without him. He visits you often, because he cannot elsewhere bestow his tediousness; and when he makes a sacrifice of time or any thing else, however small it may be, in your behalf, he