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simplicity, will perhaps be able to explain to them who and what were meant by these oracular advertisements.
Mr Thomas Moore, we happen to know, has written a Satirical Poem upon us and our Magazine, but it is not yet published; and both for his sake and our own, we hope it never will be; but that he will commit it to the flames, and forget it altogether. We are great admirers of Mr Moore's genius-his wit_his sensibility-his fancy-and his imagination. We have said so in a thousand pleasant and delightful ways, and will often say so again. We did not at all like the gross and brutal personalities of many of his political verses, and thought badly of the licentiousness of inany of his amatory effusions. This, too, we have said in a thousand pleasant and delightful ways, and will often say so again. These opinions of ours are certainly more distinguished for truth than originality. We have no wish to be singular; and if all the world but ourselves thinks that the “ Two-Penny Post-bag" is a gentlemanly, honourable, and amiable jeu d'esprit, and that “ Little's Poems” ought to lie below the pillows of all our virgins, why, we must just then eat our words, and entreat Mr Thomas Moore's pardon. Till we have ascertained that the world is on one side, and we on another, we must beg leave to retain our present opinions. Now, Mr Moore being a satyrist himself, should not fly into a fury with us for being now and then of the same kidney,-if indeed it be true, as many worthy people seem to hint, that we are a severe set of people. He really ought not to have writ. ten a sharp poem upon us; and we think, that, upon reflection, he must be sorry for it. Should he really publish his attack, what we intend to do is simply this :—We intend to give copious extracts, so as to fill the right-hand columns of about a dozen pages of the Magazine, and to fill the left-hand columns with verses of our own, (in the same measure, whatever that may be-is it heroic?) upon Mr Moore. It will amuse-probably instruct, the public -to see two such great wits as Tom Moore and Kit North fairly set-to. A clear stage, and fair play, is all that either of us can desire; and umpires may be ar
and umpires may be appointed from the friends of the distinguished combatants. We appoint for ourselves Neat and the Rev. William Lisle Bowles--and we suggest to Mr Moore, in the true spirit of British courage, Gas and Mr Montgomery, the “ Author of the World before the Flood.”
Lord Byron, too, has written something about us but whether a satire or an eulogy seems doubtful. The Noble Lord-great wits having short memories, and sometimes not very long judgments—has told the public and Mr Murray that he has forgotten whether his letter is on or to, the Editor of Blackwood's Magazine. From this we fear his Lordship was in a state of civilation when he penned, it; and if ever he publishes it, as we scorn to take advantage of any man, we now give his Lordship and the public a solemn pledge, to drink one glass of Sherry, three of Champagne, two of Hock, ditto of Madeira, six of Old Port, and four-and-twenty of Claret, before we put pen to paper in reply. At the same time, Lord Byron should res collect that we are now an old man just as Jeremy Bentham is now an old woman; and that he, who has youth on his side, ought not to throw up his hat in the ring, and challenge us for a bellyful. We think we can fit him with the gloves, and that is pretty light play for one at our time of life. But we have still a blow or two left in us; and if a turn-up with the naked mauleys there must be, a hit on the jugular may peradventure do his Lordship's business. Should his Lordship be dished in the ring—like Curtis or O'Leary—let the Reviewer who tries us remember that we wished to decline the contest.
Some people will say, “ here is a pretty Preface.” “ Oh! what for a Preface ?” quoth Feldborg the Dane, No matter, worthy Readers. If we should prose for a twelvemonth, we could not put you more completely in posséssion of the facts of the case just at present. When Mr Francis Jeffrey, editor of the Edinburgh Review, has given you his opinion of us, as he will do one of these days, we promise you one thing, in which you run no risk of disappointment-Our opinion of Him.
June 20th, 1822. - 6
Nota Bene.-By default of the decypherer, we are forced to leave the blank space before " Numeris" unfilled ; a part of the work, we fear, still remaining in the Encephalic character, a sort of SANS-SCRIPT, much used, we understand, by adepts in the occult sciences, as likewise for promissory notes. We should also apologize for the indiscretion of our author in his epistolary preface (seduced by the wish of killing two birds with one stone,) in shutting up vis a vis, as it were, so respectable and comprehensive (not to say synodical,) a personage as THE READER with Dick Proof, corrector-of what press, we know not, unless, as we grievously suspect, he is in the employ of Messrs Dash, Asterisk, Anon, and Company. Nor is this all; this impropriety being aggravated by sundry passages, exclusively relating and addressed to this Mr Proof, which have an effect on the series of thoughts common to both the parties, not much unlike that, which a parenthesis or two of links, made of dandelion stems, might be supposed to produce in my Lord Mayor or Mr Sheriff's gold chain. In one flagrant instance, with which the first paragraph in the MSS. concluded, we have, by virtue of our editorial prerogative, degraded the the passage to the place and condition of a Note. -EDITOR.
Motto. « How wishedly will some pity the case of ARGALUS and PARTHENIA, the patience of GRYSELD in Chaucer, the misery and troublesome adventures of the phanatic (phrenetic By lovers in Cleopatra, Cassandra, Amadis de Gaul, Sidney, and such like! Yet all these are as mere romantic as Rabelais his Garagantua. And yet with an unmoved apprehension, can peruse the very dolorous and lamentable murder of MiLCOLUMB the First, the cutting off the head of good KinG ALPINUS, the poisoning of FERGUSIUS the Third by his own queen, and the throat-cutting of King FETHELMACHUS by a fiddler ! nay, and moreover, even the martyrdom of old QUEEN KETABAN in Persia, the stabbing of Henry Fourth in France, the sacrilegious poisoning of Emperor Henry Seventh in Italy, the miserable death of MAURICIUS the Emperor, with a wife and five children, by wicked Phocas, can read, I say, these and the like fatal passages, recorded by holy fathers and grave chroniclers, with less pity and compassion than the shallow loves of Romeo for his Juliet in Shakespeare_his deplorable tragedies, or shun the pitiful wanderings of Lady Una in search of her stray Red-cross, in Master Spenser his quaint rhymes. Yea, the famous doings, and grievous sufferings of our own anointed kings, may be far outrivalled in some mens minds by the hardships of some enchanted innamorato in Ariosto, Parismus, or the two Palmerins."
Foulis's History of the Wicked Plots and Conspiracies, fc.
MOTTO II. “ Pray, why is it that people say that men are not such fools now-a-days as they were in the days of yore? I would fain know, whether you would have us understand by this same saying, as indeed you logically may, that formerly men were fools, and in this generation are grown wise. How many and what dispositions made them fools ? How many, and what dispositions were wanting to make 'em wise? Why were those fools? How should these be wise? Pray, how came you to know that men were formerly fools? How did you find that they are now wise? Who made them fools ? Who in Heaven's name made them wise ? Who d'ye think are most, those that loved mankind foolish, or those that love it wise? How long has it been wise ? How long otherwise? Whence proceeded the foregoing folly ? Whence the following wisdom? Why did the old folly end now and no later? Why did the modern wisdom begin now and no sooner ? What were we the worse for the former folly ? What the better for the succeeding wisdom ? How should the ancient folly have come to nothing ? How should this same new wisdom be started up and established ? Now answer me, an't please you."
Francis RABELAIS' Preface to his Fifth Book.
EPISTLE Premonitory for THE READER; but contra-monitory and in reply to
Dick Proof, Corrector. Of the sundry sorts of vice, Richard, of Ormus—there would be something that obtain in this sinful world, one of to say for it, verisimilitudinis causâ, or the most troublesome is advice, and no on the ground of lessening the improless an annoyance to my feelings, than bability of the narrative. But in the a pun is to thine. “ Lay your scene history of Maxilian !Why, the lofurther off!!” Was ever historian be- cality, man, is an essential part of the a fore affronted by so wild a suggestion? priori evidence of its truth! * * * * If, indeed, the moods, measures, and In a biographical work, + the proevents of the last six years, insular and prieties of place are indispensable, continental, or the like of that, had Dick. To prove this, you need only been the title and subject matter of change the scene in the History of the work; and you had then advised Kob Roy from the precipices of Ben the transfer of the scene to Siam and Lomond, and the glens and inlets of Borneo, or to Abyssinia and the Isle the Trossacs (the Trossacs worthy to
* Which Postcrity is requested to reprint at the back of the title-page, for the present, Quo' North, quo' Blackwood, quo' conccssére Columna.
+ In biography, (which, by the bi, reminds me of a rejoinder made to me, nigh 30 years ago, by Parsons the Bookseller, on my objecting to sundry anecdotes in a MS. Life, that did more credit to the wit and invention of the author, than to his honesty and veracity. “In a professed biography, Mr P." quoth I, pleadingly, and somewhat syllabically._"! Biography, sir," interrupted he, *. Sellography is what I want."
have made a W. S. but that a W. S. monsters, and the anomalous accidents is only of God's making, “ nascitur of nature. non fit,") to Snow Hill, Breckneck Thus, Richard, might I multiply Stairs, or Little Hell in Westminster thy objection, but that I detest the com --by going to which last named place, bono, when it is to be a substitute Dick, when we were at the for the quid veri. Nor will I stop at school, you evaded the guilt of fore- present to discuss thy insinuation swearing for telling of me to our mas against the comparative wisdom of the ter, after you had sworn that you sires of our great grandsires, though would go to , if you did-well at some future time I would fain hear knowing where you meant me to un- thy answers to the doubts and queries derstand you, and where in honour in my second motto, originally started you ought to have gone--but this may by Master Rabelais, in that inodel of be mended in time.
true and perpetual history, the Travels And lay the time further back! of Garagantua and his friends. But why, Richard ? I pray thee tell me, Without condescending to non-suit why? The present, you reply, is not you by the flaws in your indictment, the age of the supernatural. Well, and I assert the peculiar fitness of this age, if I admit, that the age at present is in which, by way of compromising the so fully attached to the unnatural in claims of memory and hope, the rights taste, the præternatural in life, and the both of its senior and of its junior contra-natural in philosophy, as to members, I comprize the interval from have little room left for the super-na- 1770 to 1870. tural- yet what is this to the pur- An adventurous position, but for pose? I cannot antedate the highly which the age, I trust, will be “ my respectable personage, into whose com- good masters"—the more so, that I pany I have presumed to bring you- must forego one main help towards I may make THE READER sleep, but establishing the characteristic epithets I cannot make hiin one of the Seven rightfully appertaining to its emblaSleepers, to awake at my request for zonment--namely, an erpose of its own the first time since he fell into his long notions, of its own morals and philonap over the Golden Legend, or the sophy. But Truth, I remember, is Vision of Alberic ! Or does the reader, reported to have already lost her front thinkst thou, believe that witch and teeth (dentes incisores et prehensiles) by wizard, guome, nymph, sylph, and barking too close at the heels of a restsalamander, did exist in those days; ive fashion: a second blow might leave but that, like the mammoth and me- her blind as well as toothless. Besides, gatherim, the race is extinct? Will a word in your ear, Richard Proof, i he accept as fossiles, what he would do not half trust you. I mean, therereject as specimens fresh caught- fore, to follow Petrarch's example, herein differing widely from the old and confine my confidence on the se woman, who, as the things were said points to a few dear friends and reve. to have happened so far off and so long red benefactors, to whom I am in the ago, hoped in God's mercy, there was habit of opening out my inner man in not a word of truth in them? Thou the world of spirits—a world which mayst think this, Richard, but I will the eyes of " the profane vulgar" Deither affront the reader by attribu would probably mistake for a garret ting to him a faith so dependent on floored and wainscoated with old dates, nor myself, whose history is a books; tattered folios, to wit, and concave mirror, not a glass case of massive quartos in no better plight. mummies, stuffed skins of defunct For the due nutriment, however, of
• The passage here alluded to, I should, as an elevated strain of eloquence warm from the heart of a great and good man, compare to any passage of equal length in Cicero. I have not the folio edition of Petrarch's works by me (by the bye, the worst printed book in respect of blunders I know of, not excepting even Anderson's British Poets) and cannot therefore give any particular reference. But it is my purpose to offer you some remarks on the Latin Works of Petrarch, with a few selections, at a future opportuni. ty. It is pleasing to contemplate in this illustrious man, at once the benefactor of his own times, and the delight of the succeeding, and working on his contemporaries most beneficially by that portion of his works, which is least in account with his posterity S. T. C.