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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 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!
Not in the frowning mail of arctic ice-
Not in a stainless robe of fleecy snow
Did it come habited amongst us!

No! its first-born-the dew-distilling Spring-
Trod in its course, and, as aspiring princes,
Who deem the time 'twixt hope and heritage
Dreary and lagging as the hours of pain,
Broke in upon the tyranny of custom;
Smiled gentleness beneath the iron visor;
And gleamed a watery sunshine 'mid the storms,
The hoary monarch fitful growled to prove
The will still bore the sceptre of the power!

Spring is enthroned !--the anthems of the year
From budding boughs are pealing, even now:
Quickness and life heave through the lab'ring earth;
Green is the meadow-green the mountains' slope,

The air is balmy; heaven's high arch is blue;
And haggard Winter now is passed away!

But, lady, 'tis not that the Spring is sweet,
Though its bland beauty ever seems to me
Like unto thine; it is not that the sun
Long lingers with us,-(twilight come again
The hour of lovers!)--that I hymn its praise :
-No! 'tis that the custom of the dear old time
Hallows one day of Spring's first month to love;
Breaks down a moment fortune's frowning walls,
And makes ranks equal, (hearts love always makes so,)
Yea, lady, and permits-who else dare not,
Even while they fascinate me-look upon
Thy charms—to whisper, in the breathings of my lyre,
An humble, but imperishable love!
Then, lady, hail!

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,
And I'll cull the sweet violet, the rose, and jonquil,

To enwreath a gay garland for him I hold dear;
Then away will I hasten to love's sacred shrine,
And deck with a garland my dear Valentine.

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.
What! do you fancy all mankind are blind,

Or beauty-proof, that they may, quiet, endure
The liquid sweetness of your speaking eye,
And never love or breathe one hoping sigh!
Why, 'tis impossible as well I know-

To see and not to love you. Oft I gaze,
Unnoticed by you, on the healthful glow

Of blushing beauty that around you plays;
Lights up your eye, and blooms upon your cheek,
Thrilling, but tender; sparkling, yet how meek!
Oh! it is sweet to love in life's young dawn,

When the warm blood runs wildly through the veins !
The chords of feeling then are finely drawn

We quaff love's raptures-often taste its pains.
Yet even the wo of love to me is dear;
Mirth's idiot laugh, what is it to love's tear!
The joy is deeper still in secret love;

We nurse the passion which we dare not show
With all the fondness of the turtle dove

For its young brood. What though its hidden glow
Burns while it warms, and robs us of our peace,
Has one e'er felt it who would buy release ?
-But I'm too grave, perhaps you'll say too mad;

Perchance I am; in jest, then, let me close;
But, seriously, I ask, is't not too bad ?

Yet I will not complain, although, God knows,
Each day you condescend our shop to enter,
My thoughts on you, instead of business, centre.

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You cannot know me-and shall never know

I’m masked, and therefore with more freedom write;
This month's love's carnival, and one may show,

Unnamed-without offence-on black and white,
What else, he ne'er would whisper, nay nor look.

If I've offended, pr’ythee smile rebuke!
It would be wonderful if there were no acrostics in this bundle.
That is a model sacred to silliness—and here is actually one:

F-rom whence proceed the charms men mark in you?
A rt cannot give what fancy never drew,
N-or in its wildest dreamings could conceive-
N-ay, till I saw you, ne'er would I believe,
Y-outh, beauty, mind, could, even in union, throw
S-uch nameless charms around one as I know
A-re thine, peculiar thine; for though I've oft
M-arked and admired the fair, yet ne'er so soft-
P-leasing-nay 'witching beauty have I seen,
S-ince I could love, or have a wooer been.
0-h! heaven grant but to be for ever mine;

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,
Need-I repeat, I wish you well.
1-who was made a friend to be,
Say,--need I swear I'm that to thee?
I-need not; looks outlanguage books;
Love-may not be, thou'rt far above me,-

Thee!-yet, yet, oh! “ Agnes, need I say I love thee?”
The next is very figurative :

When I wander by the stream,
Of thee, and love, and doubt; I dream;
For, ah! the stream my thought supplies
With contradictory similies;
Does not its face reflect the sky ?
And is not heaven in thine eye?
Deep and clear it keeps its course,
Reflecting light with gentle force;
So does that lucid soul of thine

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;
The silent grief has made me weak,

My love, I find, is stronger.
So, if your mind is like your form,

You cruel, sure, can't be,
But deign to love a wretched man

Who lives alone for thee;
Or else to end my life this night

Is really my design,
With pistol Icaded, and well primed-

Your constant Valentine,
We confess the interesting confusion of the next baffles while it


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
Love's gentle impulse lurking steal,
On downy pinions, to his breast;
Vainly I hail the pleasing guest,
Except, in offering of my heart,
Yours take in mine an equal part
O tell me this, and love shall soon

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,
Whose love through all the year but lives one day,
Have breathed their annual vows before thy shrine,

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.”


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

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