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And meet their speedier fate ; whilst he on couch
Here, too, her wanderings o'er, the soldier's wife
Sad scene, farewell! thus numbering all thy tombs,
A LETTER FROM THE MAN IN THE MOON.
A Calendar, a Calendar! Look in the Almanack; find out Moonshine---find out Moonshine!
Midsummer Night's Dream. Thou hast often seen me, Christo- keep up enough intercourse with your pher, I will not say upon earth, though base terrestrial sphere, to know your that is possible enough, but in heaven doings and misdoings.
I am the Man in the Moon. I have You have lately had some report of often had an eye upon thee, when thou a Dr Heidelberg's upward voyage. Of hast been giving no heed to me. But this visit, in our parts, I know nothing. what is come to thee, and to many I cannot think that he came to our others of thy kidney ? for if one were Moon-certain it is that I am not Zuto judge by your supercilious glance, loc. I greatly suspect that the Doctor when
look moonwards, you seem went to some astronomical, mathemato doubt my very existence. Precious tical, prosaic Moon of the natural phisagacity! On the contrary, when you losophers. Now, mine is the Moon of were children, (and wiser, because less the common people—the one which philosophic,) you delighted in making sets the children singing, out my person, and were able to recognize every one of the insignia, with
Both old and young, come out to play,
For the moon it shines as bright as day. which, in popular belief, I was said to be decorated. Whether common re Mine is that, during whose increase port was right or wrong, I shall not country folks kill their hogs, “that stop to explain. This is an epistle of the bacon may prove the better in complaint; and, in order to shew that boiling ;” and also cut their children's I am better fitted to find fault with hair, that it may grow again kindly. folks upon earth, than many would Nay, more, such persons not being suppose, I let you into this piece of ambitious of believing in the philosomy secret history. It is, that the phical doctrine of cause and effect, Moon requires my services only du- turn their money in their pockets at ring the middle fortnight of her revo- the first sight they can catch of her lution, and, of course, I am thus at when she is new, and is, according to liberty for an equal period; so that I a base comparison, like the paring of a
finger-nail ; or, to use a nobler illus- reason why I can speak with such tration (which we owe to Schiller and boldness of your delinquencies, but I Mr Coleridge) at the time, when keep my person unknown; therefore,
who but myself can tell whether thou 66 The sickle of the moon Struggling darts snatches of uncertain thyself, Christopher, hast not all unlight.”
wittingly entered into personal confab
with the Man-out-o'the-Moon. Then is it that these wise ones turn To come, then, to the burden of my their money, in undoubting.confidence complaint--it is, that this mistress of that the said coin, which has been so mine, my well-beloved lady the Moon, magically fumbled about in their is scurvily used by the writers of ficpouches, shall be doubled ere the new tion among you, chiefly by the poets. moon is at the full ; that is, ere the Bards and bardlings, good, bad, and said “ sickle” shall bear more resem indifferent, all take liberties with her. blance to a bright pot-lid. Mine is They say soft nothings to her, and the genuine Moon, the old original rough nothings too, whether they have Moon, at which dogs and wolves have any thing to say or not. I cannot tell an imprescriptible right to bay, and why this is, but the practice is invetewitches to draw her from her sphere rate, and I am almost ready to fancy it by their spells, if they can and lovers is compulsory upon them; and that in to swear by her-and fairy-elves to their indentures of apprenticeship to trip their deft measures in her light; Apollo, there must be some clause to but though she has been still conti- this effect" That the said M. N. nuing overhead to “ wheel her pale shall, within twelve months from the course," I do not learn that any “be- date hereof, excogitate, concoct, write, lated peasant" has latterly reported indite, and clerkly deliver to be printthat he has been a spectator of these ed and promulgated, a true and lawful midnight revels of the tiny crew.- Sonnet of fourteen lines to, of, or conMine is the Moon, to which poets in cerning the Moon, &c.” This is a mere days of yore thrummed their Tyres, in guess of mine, and if, indeed, it be an chaunting her praise; and as lyres old regulation of Apollo's, it must have have long since gone out of fashion, been for the honour of the family, that they now count ten syllables upon he insisted on this abundance of me their fingers fourteen times over, when trical homage to his sister Phæbe; they feel themselves moved by her and heartily sick of it he ought to be influence. Some do it in laudatory by this time. In whatever way we strains, some in objurgatory; some account for it, and I give you earthly are mirthful, some dolorous (the lato people leave to differ from my conjecter being the more favourite mood of ture, yet the fact is certain, that scarce the two); some tuneful, some discord- a poet now-a-days leaves the nest, ant; some extravagantly incomprehen without chirping at the Moon; when sible, and some intelligibly dull and he is sufficiently fledged to take ever soporific. This, then, is the Moon to 80 short a flight into the regions of which I belong. She is my mistress, imagination, the Moon, the Moon is a she finds me, nay, is herself my ha, perch he would fain roost upon. Hence bitation, my lodgings, my watch-tow- it is rather difficult to address her by er, my pedestal, my sentry-box, my any appellation, direct or circumlocucoach, my cutter, for a whole fort- tory, which has not been already emnight at a time--and then my lady ployed even to surfeiting. One way and I kiss and part for a brief season. rack one's wits in vain for a fresh title I am off-I leave my lodgings (but to approach her with Midnight Em. N.B. I am not the gentleman who press-Queen of the Night-Mistress published Essays and Sketches of Life of the silent hours-Fair Lady of the and Character, a little while ago)-I SkyHuntress of the Silver Bowforsake my towers, and relax awhile Lone Wanderer in Heaven's expanse. from this high commercing with the These, and others, are thread-bare in skies. 1, like Pope's walking statue, their lays. . Then, as for epithets, she
step from my pedestal to take the has them of all sorts of dimensions, air, "I get relieved from guard-I and they have been so often put off ręsign the reins and jump off the and on, that they fit as easy as old dicky--I step ashore and am among shoes. The materials of which she is you terrestrials in a trice. This is the composed are sometimes precious, she
is silver, pearly, crystalline-but, alas! (for my sight is preternaturally good,) she is fickle, inconstant, cold, icy, I should see whole hosts of poetasters frosty, and dewy—but then to make gazing and gloating, if not upon me, up for it, they often make her figure yet upon my brilliant vehicle, every away as beauteous, bright, glorious, night that we shew off to advantage? lustrous, &c. &c. &c. ad infinitum— Far from it; scarce one in fifty ever or, if you like doublets better, a sort of composes a couplet in our presence, hook-and-eye appellatives, why you but hurry home, and find a good fire may find precedents for calling her full a more congenial source of inspiration. orbed, high-sphered, heaven-hung, Unless thou imaginest that the followclear-shining, star-encircled, &c. &c.; ing classes are of a poetical cast, we and then, too, her motions and actions have little observance paid us by the are much celebrated, for she travels, votaries of the muses. Those whom climbs and rides, swims and floats, I discern as closest in their attendance fades, beams, gleams, and streams, upon us, are watchmen, mail-coachpeeps, creeps, and weeps, hides and men, soldiers on guard, and sailors winks, and does many more tricks in on watch, deer-stealers, poachers, and poets' numbers, than I have space to smugglers, shooters of wild-fowl on the recount.
sea-coast, and other well-occupied men. Now, with all this I do not find I fancy there are not many sonnetteers much fault, and many of the celebra- among these ; yet these alone keep
tions of my mistress I cannot too high- abroad, and rejoice in the moon-shine. i ly praise. Those who have an eye for As for the professed “ builders of the
her beauties, and who really do scrape lofty rhyme,” some half a dozen or so acquaintance with her in good earnest, may have written what the actual view before they presume to write about her, of my mistress's charms suggested, and such have my good will, and, in many have really delivered themselves to the instances, their performances win my fancies which thickly thronged at the hearty commendation also. But then sight of her, pursuing her silent jourthese do not compose one-twentieth. ney, and tenderly gleaming upon flood part of the crew who point verses at and fell ; but as for the rest of the verher ;-the other nineteen-twentieths sifying tribe, how should they be right rhyme and rave about her loveliness, in delineating the witchery of moonor whine and sob, and yell out sylla- light views which they never see? If bles of dolor at the iciness of her bo- they be right; it is by plagiarism, and som, and do it without going out to there hangs about their work the dulpay their obeisance, when she is plea-. ness of a twice-told tale; and if they sed to be visible-no! many of them attempt to be smart and original upon sit muffled up within doors, and note the subject, we have a fancy-piece with down their raptures upon paper under a vengeance. Hence it is that my lady's no alarming symptoms of ecstacy, or complexion is described as if in aupen
their lamentations in very tolera- tumn she became a perfect Blouzelina ble spirits, and would seem to be ad-da -- the ruddy harvest-moon !"dressing the moon as if they were be- Would not any one suppose, that she holding her, while, at the same time, turned as red as a strapping lass, who, they must have eyes that can penetrate in a farmer's service, has worked herself a brick wall, to see her from the sta- into invincible health, cherry cheeks, tion where they composedly remain. and elbows where crimson and purple From this it comes, that their descrip- have a struggle for mastery? I do altions are all made up at second-hand, low, that my gentle lady is at that time or else it is sheer guess-work, and of year less saintly pale than usual, therefore frequently erroneous. Now and that, at rising, she has a more this, I must own, moves my spleen. heightened glow than at other seasons; When we see such cart-loads of verse but I deny that she can be called rudlicked into the shapes of
dy when she has mounted a few steps Ode, and Elegy, and Sonnet,
of the firmament; and when she has Tricked in antique ruff and bonnet-
ascended to mid-height in heaven, and
“ towering in her pride of place," and all taking “ the bright regent of she is as snowy-pure as ever; so that the night” for their there,--wouldst this description of her is overdone thou not suppose, Christopher, that through inattention.
my watch-tower in the skies," Again, the Moon is often representVOL. VIII.
ed as showering down a yellow light; pression, nor " overstepped the modesand though I own, that, on some oe- ty of nature." And the reason of Pope's casions, there is reason to attribute a failure was, that his
puny constitution very faint proportion of this colour to did not permit him to be out at night, the tint of her beams, nevertheless I and his artificial inclinations and haaffirm, that it is not the prevailing hue bits estranged him from any deep and which she diffuses over the objects lover-like attachment to the scenery
of which she illuminates. Her beams the country, and from any susceptibihave quite as much of the blue ray in lity of emotion from rural sights, and them, and, of course, the mixture will scents, and sounds, so that, by this desometimes afford what may be called a fect, he was disqualified for picturesque green light. Delicate, and almost im- poetry. To complete the discomfiture perceptible as the colour is amid the of poor Nature in this passage, poebrightness, yet distantobjects on which tic diction" was then firmly believed the light of the moon falls more broad- in as an indispensible auxiliary, in a ly than on nearer objects, where it is translator especially. Deserting, therefrittered into parts, have surely more fore, poor Homer, and embellishing of a greenish-grey appearance than of without any regard to truth, we have, a yellow look. Yet some writers of in these much talked-of lines, a gilt authority have gone as far as truth will and glowing pole,”—" yellower verwarrant them, and sometimes perhaps dure” than common upon"dark trees,' beyond it, in celebrating the yellow -shining vales below, and “floods of lustre of the queen of the sky; and the glory bursting from all the skies.” tribe of parlour moon-admirers have Now these mistakes would not have deepened her colour, till, in their me- happened, had he but kept close to his tre-mongering, she has become as yel- original ; or, if he must amplify, had low as a guinea, and then they have he but put on his great-coat, and gone made her give the jaundice to whatever out upon his terrace, he might have her rays have fallen upon. Even Pope, added without disfiguring; nay, ifhe excellent poet as he is in some depart- had looked out of the window attenments, has treated my divinity rather tively, he might have been prevented strangely in a famous passage of his from committing himself. But, no! Homer, book 8th ; and although it was he wrote this, while snug and cozy in formerly quite fashionable to cocker his villa at Twit'nam, with the shutters him up with praise even for this very closed, curtains down, a couple of burpiece of mistranslation, yet of late he nished candlesticks bearing their tapers has deservedly gotten more raps on the aloft, and that very silver standish knuckles than pats on the back for it. which Lady Frances Shirley gave him, The original is allowed by all to be a lying on his right hand, and most intrue and natural description of a de- vitingly supplying him with pen and lightful, clear, serene moon-lightnight, ink, to overlay, and dizen out, and misaptly introduced, and the sentiment it represent Homer, and his modest moon elicits unforced and pleasing. The rea- and mine. No, no! it would not have son of old Homer's success in the pas- been a very easy job to have made him sage was, that in his siinpler times, and stir forth. . Even if his man John had in the benignant climate of Greece, rushed in with news like that of Hufolks lived almost wholly in the open bert to King John, “ My lord, they air, so that they had all the benefit say five moons are seen to-night;": of being in the constant presence of he would not improbably have replinature; and, having lively watchful ed to him, as he addressed the same minds, they drew accurately what they worthy in his Epistle addressed to Dr perpetually witnessed. Before the old Arbuthnot,“ Shut, shut the door, poet of the Tale of Troy had lost his good John,”-especially if, in John's eye-sight, I have often seen him watch- eagerness to tell the wonder, he had ing us, (that is, the Moon, and myself left it open ;-how much less, then, in it,-not, indeed, that he ever had could we expect the valetudinary poet the kindness to mention me); and, to have looked forth at the solitary therefore, after ruminating upon what moon which he might see every month, he had so often rejoiced in beholding, and the solitary Man in the Moon, he produced this little cabinet-picture, moreover, high mounted with her. in which he neither wrested the ex Here, then, I conclude for the pre
sent. I shall take another opportuni- fare thee well, Christopher. These ty of complaining of the maltreatment are from, we get from the novelists. I have al
Thine, so some remarks to make upon the
THE MAN IN THE Moon. voyagers to our lunar quarters of the
From the Crescent, solar system, as it is called ; till when, Monday, (more properly Moon-day.)
LETTER TO PIERCE EGAN, ESQ.
(Confidential.) MY DEAR EGAN,
practise on us. Were an M.D., (alYou are well aware that there is no ways excepting my honest old compoman in the empire, who has taken tator Jamie Scott, who visits me poetso deep an interest in your writings as ically, not medically, and a few others I have. I flatter myself that I have of his kidney), to come within a yard been the means of introducing you of me, I should instantly summon the much more generally to the notice of whole posse of my household, the literary population, than your un
Shoulder my crutch, and shew how heads patronized merits, great as they un
are broke, questionably are, would have done. In fact, I have made
and send him out of the nearest win
dow. The name of Egan, like an evergreen,
I am bad enough ; but were I To blow and blossom in the northern sky; been long ago in the bills of mortality,
to mind the physicians, I should have and a pretty sort of a plant, I think, it is. which, you know, would be an irrepaAnd now my esteem for you leads me to rable loss to the empire. Out of mere give you some good and wholesome ad- patriotism, therefore, I resist the docvice in this confidential letter, dropping, tors. Eating and drinking are the as you perceive, the princely pronoun grand panacea, the elixir vitæ, and I we, and taking up the plebeian, but more
never knew one of these whey-faced familiar singular, much after the manner of my good friend Frank Jeffrey, rations by cutting down one or the
tadpoles, who did not commence opewhen he wrote his veracious apology other. After so glaring an absurdity, to Coleridge, for having caricatured his is it any wonder that the breath of Christabel, in one of those articles theirlips is destruction—that they slay which have so completely done up the their thousands, after the manner of character of the Edinburgh Review: Sampson, by the wagging of the jawbut, I think, that my motive is some
bone of an ass ? what better than that of Francis the
Instead of looking over their potLittle.
hooks and hangers, therefore, I spend You are acquainted with the nature
my time in writing articles which deof my malady, and may well wonder
light the world, or in reading books how I can possibly survive it in this which delight myself. That I have metropolis of pharınacy. It is indeed perused with satisfaction your striking a difficult thing for a sick man to keep volumes, you know—the universe inalive in a city, where, besides a regu- deed knows it. By some accident, not lar vomitory for doctors of medicine, worth explaining, your neat little colthere are at least 417 graduates of plıy- lection of Sporting Anecdotes, (which sic, resident and stationary, not to I had the honour of receiving from mention the subordinate rank and file
you, with your other admirable works,) of the faculty--apothecaries, druggists, had fallen aside until the day before oculists, aurists, bonesetters, bleeders,
yesterday; but I got hold of it in good dentists, and other guides to health,
time. I was just seized with a twinge (Destroyers rightlier call'd, and plagues of of the rheumatism, which was intolemen,)
rable. I lay upon my sofa, making in multitudinous aggregations, suf- wry faces, and thinking Cicero and the ficient to depopulate the dominions of other ancient philosophers, who mainthe celestial Emperor Kang-hi, whom tained that pain was no evil, a set of God preserve. But practice is every insufferable coxcombs ; --when your thing, and our's is never to let them book, with a lot of others, for nyamuse