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make them. There was no elevated seat for the Croupier, but on a platform at the foot of the room were stationed the band of the 7th Hussars, who tried to prevent us from feeling that our bellies were empty, in as far as delightful music can make man oblivious of hunger, during the weary hour we had to wait for the cold soup, and neither hot nor cold mountains of beef which preceded fish that, for any good one got of them, might as well never have fallen victims to the wicked arts of Captain Carnegie. Never was dinner so delayed, or so little worth being so waited for, till the company was stupified, and in that mood taken by surprise on the entrance of Sir Walter Scott, Lord Fife, and other gentlemen, by the centre door. When they were recognised, every man stood up and cheered, as the Chairman, with his "peers," halted his way up the middle passage to the elevated seat beDeath the royal canopy at the cross table, looking down the room. There was no grace before meat, and very little at it, believe me, for we were all as ravenous as wolves, and every man was there “ his own carver."
As I sent you more than one of the Edinburgh papers of the following day, it is needless for me to recapitulate the afterproceedings of the evening, as, upon the whole, they were faithfully reported; although it was impossible for them to convey an idea of the intense spirit of sociality, and intimate brotherbood of feeling, as it were, which speedily pervaded the meeting, and distinguished it from the stiff formality and ostentatious parade of public dinners in general. All that I can do, is merely to gather up a few crumbs of intelligence that escaped the regular caterers for the public, or were deemed too trivial for their notice.
Sir Walter spoke of the memory of the Duke of York with the feeling of one who had lost a friend, but we were obliged to pledge it and many other toasts with empty glasses. Mr. Robertson, the jolly Croupier, even whose rotundity hardly made him visible to one-half of the company, so lowly was he seated, did not relish this, and prevented Sir Walter from going farther till he, at least, was supplied. At a later period, he rose up and declared, with rich emphasis, that “the room was still full of waiters, but empty of wine," and at last we all got to Port. The Chairman hesitated considerably in his opening or formal speech. He seemed to have written and forgotten it; but no sooner was the task-work over, than he felt at his own ease, and made his auditors be at theirs. In fact, each of us very speedily experienced the same agreeable feeling that would have been ours had we been seated at table with Sir Walter, and been on terms of perfect intimacy with him. At length, Lord Meadowbank got up and petrified us all by his direct and, as it at first appeared, scandalously rude allusion to his friend's being the Author of " Waverley." The next sensation was that of wonder, how Sir Walter, so involved, would contrive to extricate himself from the dilemma. He rose up; a smile played upon his rough and shagged, but expressive face; and in a low tone, which yet was heard in the remotest corner of the room, revealed the truth that no one there had doubted, but that every one was electrified to hear from his own lips-that he was the author or, as he added, the sole author of the writings that have placed “ Waverley" and its successors at the head of the Romance literature of the world. There was, as you may guess, cheering at this till the roof sent back the thundering plaadits; but yet, methinks, Tom, bad such an announcement been made in Glasgow, we would have been more hearty and vehement in our expressions of joy and congratulation. Many round about me seemed as if afraid to derange their prettily starched cravats, or discompose their beautiful and laboriously dressed heads—" curled like to Jove's"_by their enthusiam, which, accordingly, they appeared almost to check midway.
But I may have been wrong; and the youths of Edinburgh may not be pappyish after all. Be that as it may, I must conclude. Mackay's speech was well written ; but he has only one way of delivery, whether of “ my conscience !” or “ the immortal Garrick,” &c. He can sing plaintively, however, and with feeling, as well as comically and with mirth, as he that night evinced. The badinage between him and Sir Wal. ter, was highly dramatic-so much so, as to appear premedi. tated to some. Good-nature, rather than very good taste, at all events, prompted the giving a second-rate actor's health next, after such a ceremony as the revelation of the “ Veiled Prophet."
The more minute touches-in which it was that the Chairman excelled, of course could not be detailed in the newspaper reports--as where he alluded to his son's being a hussarwhere he spoke of auld Scotland, and “every lass in her cottage, and countess in her castle”-and of Mrs. Siddons, Mistress Anne Page, and “her probabilities "--and Lord Ogilby and his “ twinge”-nor can they convey to you the . Northumbrian raciness of his “burra”-or P. Robertson's mellow tones, sinacking of old port and good living—or Mr. Dundas's affected pronunciation of Hume for Home. These I will gossip of when I see you; and till my next I must defer noticing the rival exhibition of the works of living artists which I visited, for, faith, there is hardly room to say that I am thine.
SUPPLEMENTARY. DEAR TOM-I open my packet-delayed in its arrival to you by the weather for the purpose of giving you the chitchat of the hour, which may get stale before my next com
munication, should the frost continue long. Well, then, I have just had five-and-twenty scolloped Lough Foyles-a single tumbler of gin-twist-and one pipe of Azzoher,--and here I am, with my feet in my slippers, and my slippers on the rug, beyond which a famous fire is blazing and crackling with a living spirit of merriment. I am just returned from seeing Melrose and Mangeon. The one, you know, is a clever Scotch singer, six feet high, and a little awkward and rustic in his motions, as occasionally he is “ Norlan” in his twangthe other is a little, blowsy, fat, florid, ill-made, and worse dressed woman, with the burr of a Newcastle coal-heaver-the lisp of a cheesemonger's apprentice at a Sunday bean-feast at Richmond--the airs and affections of a spruce landlady of a gintap, dispensing carraway to her customers and the pertness of a bar-maid in an oyster-cellar in Wych-Street. Melrose was at the theatre-Mangeon at what its manager calls, the Caledonian-why, beaven knows, unless that it be from his wardrobe having such goodly store of dirty tartan, and broken broad-swords; but I discussed both enjoyments in one evening. Nothing, however, could contrast more than the nature of the two, and it is, perhaps, hardly fair to mention them together. Melrose is a gentleman-though a Forfarshire one-in his inanners; possessed of great natural capabilities, much feeling, and considerable skill-nor is he destitute of taste. The other is an incarnation of vulgarity, perpetrating abominable outrages on the helpless melodies of the day-making two bites of every“ Cherry ripe,” and asserting that she's “ been woaming,” and “ will enchant the ear, or like a faiwy twip," &c. in dirty white satin, its “ one hundred and twenty-first appearance” since it was last made-up. There are other points of contrast, too. The gentleman played to nearly empty benches-the lady enraptured hundreds of writer's clerks, tipsy with muddy ale and whisky-punch, who button up their coats to the throat, that they may save from their washerwoman's bill the shilling that enables them to sit with their hats (which rould be wet but that they are greasy) cocked on one side of the wilderness of curled hair on their heads, and above, but almost in contact with, the forest of frizzles on their cheek and chin, on the same bench with female trumpery, whose breaths and reputations are equally odorous—and laugh at Alexander's gaggery, and study forensic eloquence in his nightly orations on the present state of the Scottish Law. Charles Kemble is in Edinburgh, and is coming here. You know what a treat I shall esteem it to feast myself as often as I can with the personations of the most accomplished, versatile, and graceful actor on our stage. If the Glasgow play-goers do not better support him than formerly they did, they deserve never to have a loftier specimen of chaste and correct acting than Alexander in Dugald Dalgetty, in
Percy Yorke's “ Montrose " or, of elocution, than Kirkland in his “ Proopsis," who advertises himself as a “disciple of the most eminent orators, and having, from his earliest years, habitually traversed all the ranges of this profound and extensive department of literature, drawn from tradition, the arts and customs of mankind, and the unlimited fields of Nature !” This specimen is about as exquisite as Jemmy Cameron's paragraph, introduced as “ An Apology for the freedom of the Publisher,” in the last number of the “ Collegian," which contains, besides, a portion of an exceedingly able article on Epic Poetry, and the whole of a figure--for it is a fulllength one-of a prophet, which is truly invaluable as a gem of art—and obscure as the Demotic inscriptions of Egyptian lore. I send a copy for Mary's scrap-book through you, for, "faith, I can hardly summon courage till I have taken another tumbler-to confess to her that it was with your consent and mine, certain excerpta from my billets to her found their way to that collection of good things, “ The Ant.” She has sent me an exceedingly well-written and playfully angry letter about it. Do pacify her-and—but no-I won't write again till I see herself, and make my peace, should Moore's new songs those of Greece-not succeed in doing so. The poetry of them is so-so, however, for such a theme-but the music will suit her. Moore is positively imitating L. E. L.--the most exquisite performer on the lyre, copying the graces of a pretty whistle-player! For yourself, I send a delightful little volume, quaintly called “ The Poetry of Milton's Prose," a string of pearls snatched from his polemical and political writings, where they were thrown before the swine of vulgar party, and strung together in as fine a fervour as a devotee reckons his beads with. My Blackwood, too, you will find in the bundle if, indeed, you don't devour it before you open my letter. The Noctes is inimitable, and the number contains a powerful array of tremendous facts regarding that “ vast lazar-house of many woes,”-Sierra Leone by the indefatigable Mr. M'Queen, whose name should become identified with the chief town on the now colonized island of Fernando Po, whose ad. vantages he was the first, and, till the officials of the Admiralty followed in his wake, the only man to discover and point out.
I am of your mind : Almack's is a farrago of wretched jargon, as unlike even the cant of fashionable life, as the slipslop of a lady's maid is to the style of Lady Wortley Montague.
The Tongue so prettily sent by our friend, was so mischievously good, that its existence was as short as this letter is long.
IT C. H.
To Correspondents.-Alexis is improving, though not quite at our admission mark yet.
Printed by James Curll, 55, Bell-Street, and sold by all Booksellers.
No. IX.-SATURDAY, 24th MARCH, 1827.
THE ONE-LEGGED BOOKBINDER. It is ten to one, if you chance to pass the Piazzas of the Exchange buildings any night at twelve o'clock, but, beneath their friendly shelter, you may see the OneLegged Bookbinder. Should he be there, you will hear his sounding pace, long before you come within sight of his person, for though but possessed of one leg of flesh, blood, bone, and sinew, he occasionally has another of good fir timber. I say occasionally, for I have learned, in the course of my acquaintanceship with him, that it as frequently happens that he is without as with this substitute, his credit with the lords of the glue-pot being somewhat broken-as is often the leg which they alone can mend. When, however, he has two pins to stand upon, or stride with, how manfully he uses them! Clack, thudclack, thud, alternately goes the foot with the affectation of a shoe upon it, and the stick which needs not such a ragged covering, but, in the naked and simple majesty of its utility, disdains a nearer approach to the semblance of a leg, than, in so far as a slight bellying out in the centre may be regarded as assimilating to the roundness of a calf. Barnaby Gleery is certainly, despite of this imperfection, a most majestic walker, and has an air, when sober—which is as seldom as he can help—that would do honour to a court levee, or a quarter-deck stride. Upon the latter, Barnaby has often, hat in hand, stood, and beneath it he still boasts that he fella leg the lessbeside the gun that he assisted in manning, like a true British tar. It was his princely port in these midnight airings that induced me to seek for and cultivate his acquaintanceship, desire to learn his adventures, and study his character. “ He must be a philosopher,” said I, “and in spite of accidental dismemberment, which would have damped the ardour of inferior minds, a disciple of the Peripatetic school, as well as a student of the Porch.” I made up to him-introduced myself-began to question him on sundry matters; but, for a long time,