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nature of the gods, or the beauties of the valley; nor does Myrtillo lecture to his dog on the faithlessness of Dorcas—their converse on returning from their labours is on their birth-day festivals, &c., and their style and sentiments, without making us feel that they are out of character with the age, are in keeping with innocence and feeling in 182–; human and unsophisticated nature is always the same.
The First Navigator is but an idyl of a larger growth. The idea is beautiful-and, bating the intervention of gods, &c., when gods were not wanted, the whole is nearly perfect, and the delineation of feeling beautifully minute.
THE FOURTEENTH OF FEBRUARY;
The Returned Letter-Bag. It has come, and is passed away the jubilee of love—the carnival of hearts—the anniversary of passion's declaration—the day of Valentine!
Had it so happened that our publication time was on the Saturday succeeding to it, we must have sold at least a thousand additional copies of No. VII. with a leading article which commences thus, even if only one in ten of the fond swains who, in this city, upon Friday se'ennight, despatched sheets of embossed paper, and copies of desperate verses to their sweethearts, had, when they found the grave SOLOMON SAVEALL bursting out into such eloquence on the congenial theme, instantly forwarded a copy of his lucubrations to their beloved. We do not mean to insinuate, that, in reflecting on Saturday upon what they composed on Thursday, they would have been glad to see that their madness was epidemic, and that wintry age itself felt a spring time of the heart return, as nature and its feathered tribes already begin to experience the approach of brighter days, and more geniat sunshine --St. Valentine's being the day when each bird chooses its mate for the season. That such may be the case, however, we are confidently assured by Bob Hareum-Scareum, who is trying to laugh very heartily, while he sits by our side, at his having been sentimental on this occasion, and inditing a copy of verses to Miss Jessie - Little need he dread her lively wit, or shrink from her repartee on that score ; they never reached her: but yet, if she reads “ The Ant,” she may still peruse them, and Bob may still gratify himself by “ laugh. ing confoundedly at the quiz,” as be affected that he should do, when he next met that lady, provided she did not suspect who was the author. The fact is, we are in possession of it, and a
hundred and twenty-one more of the same stamp, which have just cost us 10s. 2d. for relieving them from inglorious imprisonment in the Penny Post-Office department. Our letter-carrier, on Saturday, told us, in reply to our commiserations on his extra labours of love last week, that he did not grudge these at all, if he could in any way serve his liege lord, Cupid, whose retained messenger he was; but it was provoking, he allowed, to climb two pair of stairs, and find an angry maiden aunt at the door, waiting his arrival, and ready, if there were no billets for her, to pitch him, and all his halfdozen for her niece, down these, much quicker than he ascended. He had been obliged his eyes moistened as he uttered it-to carry back one hundred and twenty-two unopened; but he still had hopes that they would be called for before Monday, when, if not paid and carried off, they would become even more glowing on the outside than they were within. “Upon this hint we spake,"—tendered our ten and twopence-proffered our services for their deliverygot the bundle-and, credat judæus, have perused nearly the fourthpart of the whole. We found many of the addresses so purposely mysterious as to force us to commit this latter breach of confidence, that we might have a chance of fulfilling our pledge, but in vain; and now, having despatched, by half-a-dozen of printer's devils—(sly emissaries these, and most excellent go-betweens)-all those, the residences of whose “ addressees” it was possible to find out, we have no other resource but to print, by way of experiment, a few, say the first six or eight that come to our hand, that those of the fair sex--as they are all to a woman readers of “ The Ant,”—for whom they were designed, may appropriate them as originally intended. This, we are convinced, will not be felt as in the least degree indelicate, since it appears to us tolerably certain, that no one hut “ the intended ” can possibly understand them! As the custom of drawing has ceased, which made up matches by chance, and paired couples on the plan of a lottery, it must be presumed that what follows are sincere and veritable declarations of attachment.
Well, what have we here, in this pretty bit of pink paper? Blank verse, by all that's uncommon !
Winter hath passed-how gently passed away!
No! its first-born-the dew-distilling Spring-
Spring is enthroned !--the anthems of the year
The air is balmy; heaven's high arch is blue;
But, lady, 'tis not that the Spring is sweet,
This is surely sufficiently solemn. The spring and buoyancy of the next is a relief, however :
I'll bie to the valley that's down by yon hill,
Where blooms every flow'ret that's fragrant and rare,
To enwreath a gay garland for him I hold dear;
There is no silly blinking of the name of “ Valentine" here. It has its legitimate rhyme too : “ shrine" is sanctified to the purpose. -Our next friend is evidently a grocer, and attempts to be playful ; let us ask him a candid question-does he not wear six neckcloths in one roll, and sell sugar in the Gallowgate, of which crooked street he is the straight Adonis ?
Upon my word, dear Julia, 'tis unkind
To wound so many, yet ne'er think of cure.
Or beauty-proof, that they may, quiet, endure
To see and not to love you. Oft I gaze,
Of blushing beauty that around you plays;
When the warm blood runs wildly through the veins !
We quaff love's raptures-often taste its pains.
We nurse the passion which we dare not show
For its young brood. What though its hidden glow
Perchance I am; in jest, then, let me close;
Yet I will not complain, although, God knows,
You cannot know me-and shall never know
I’m masked, and therefore with more freedom write;
Unnamed-without offence-on black and white,
If I've offended, pr’ythee smile rebuke!
F-rom whence proceed the charms men mark in you?
N-ought else I ask-the initials of each line! As luck will have it, the next is “ another of the same," and yet “it hath its difference.” The fellow has actually aimed at originality in the style of driving a hackney, and dared to substitute words for letters :
Agnes!-if one's looks can tell,
Thee!-yet, yet, oh! “ Agnes, need I say I love thee?”
When I wander by the stream,
Embellish and illumine mine. It is a home question that—“ Does not its face, &c. ? ”—The next has a fearful sublimity in its denunciations. The condescending on the instrument, too, heightens the effect wonderfully :
For three long months I've strove to hide
What now I can no longer;
My love, I find, is stronger.
You cruel, sure, can't be,
Who lives alone for thee;
Is really my design,
Your constant Valentine,
ke in ming of my guest,
excites our curiosity. It must have a meaning ; but what that is, the happy fair one for whom it was meant alone can tell :
Is there a heart that does not feel
Unite our two fond hearts in one. But what have we here; an apology for delay, although the letter is but dated a day too late :
Now that the crowd who formal homage pay,
Say, will you listen to a lay like mine? Well, this is surely a tolerable sample. We only want one in the burlesque style to complete our specimens, and, strange to tell, we have not received one this year from a coterie of young fellows who used to invade our hermit-hillock with their jibes and caricatures: they are surely either dull or dead. - We know not what proportion our samples may bear to the annual cargo of tenderness committed to our city letter boxes' confidence; probably it is about a thousandth part. In London we are assured that 200,000 addi. tional letters pass through the Post-Office on that day, and if so, in the logic of a little girl who heard the statement, “ there must be double that number of true lovers in the neighbourhood.”
THE HERON CORRESPONDENCE. No. VI.
MY DEAR Coz. MARY,- If I have not been able to please you in respect to the accompanying articles of costume, which you commissioned me to buy, I must resign your “ agency,” even although you enclose patterns as numerous, along with directions as minute as those I last received. I had excellent advice in the selection that of a matron friend-and the silks are quite apostolical-you'll guess then who they were bought from. The ball you were to have remained for, went off so well, that, if possible, it even added to my regret for your sudden departure. After all, Mary, there is nothing in the way of a party that can surpass a bachelor's ball. There you have as much ceremony as keeps dignity in its proper place-only bending gracefully and gently forward now and then and you have all the light-headed gaiety and freedom which bachelors alone can feel ;-besides, don't the ladies always look most bewitching at these, when the chief prize to be snared is—the landlord ? The last Assembly was a poor one-but it was little to be wondered at after the brilliancy of the Baron of Renfrew's, which