« PreviousContinue »
Toductose dynasty--the saviour of Europe and of their lordly eye. But just observe d origina" piness, all over the world. For ourSe of Elizx ployed surgeon in a country town, do, have often felt excessively mortified - the old but Jeffrey, and the agreeable gossip of erudition. Though we forget many
the grade and substance of all that ever ap- the writer into noble blank verse, or, wildse peared in the Edinburgh Review on as in the case of Faustus, into metres nature at the old Drama. And to what does accordant to the wild measures of the mble be it amount?
To this--that neither original. We, that is, Christopher matully sl the editor nor any of the writers North, then string the diamonds of = when the in the Edinburgh Review know any poetry on a well-spun prose-string, dead been thing about the
old English drama — adding admirable head and tail-pieces. Whate and were originally disposed to think The effect is prodigious. Mullner, e to natzand speak of it with contempt--that Grilparzer, and Ehlenschlaeger, are s of natu: long afterwards,
when all the men of all writing away at tragedies now, like of old Eg knowledge in England had, in all perfect devils, under the inspiration puerile
, tie publications of note, spoken with zeal of our praise, and old Goethe's autoon wretebil and power of that mighty drama, the graph is to be seen lying at 17 Prince's o the liters Edinburgh Review fell into their street, in the form of a grateful letter Il the old da wake,-and by and by, finding itself of thanks to us for what he calls the me time
, a left behind and alone, hoisted its flag “Gar umschaffende Verpflanzung meiatempt-a somewhat pertly, and with a great ner Tragædie auf das Brittische Bodrision of 0. press of sail, but in a vessel by no We are too deeply impressed reat spirit means well-trimmed, kept firing away with the awful uncertainty of human shose rere guns, as if returning from a successful life, to venture ourselves into an exaen unteve voyage of discovery, of strange hands. mination of our articles on general li
The truth is, that the study of the terature. Suffice it to say, that some ten by år old dramatists had for a long time of the best informed men we know ras–in the been revived in England before the have, for some years, confined their such fert Edinburgh Review had been set a- reading entirely to Blackwood's Magand. We going; and has, indeed, been one zine; if
, indeed, for the word “ s were great cause of the surpassing excel- fined,” it would not be adviseable to se was bus lence of our modern poetry. But we substitute " extended.” In conversats. What must not be led into disquisition ; so tion such men talk like angels, or Mr an increase let us just hint, that the Edinburgh Coleridge : they seem pure ethereal er to disco Review seems to us to have about as essences--mere spiritual knowledge nakspeare:
good a title to be declared the regene- impersonated the breath, as it were, s sed di rator of the true spirit of dramatic lic of intellect—They have become great native, a terature, as to that of the defender of simple Ideas. Others, again, there
the faith--the supporter of the altar are, of quite a different stamp, whom ainst Misty the upholder of the throne-the li- you hear railing “at us and at our
berator of Spain--the destroyer of Na- Magazine," as if they would not conjewolds poleon-the restorer of the Bourbon descend even to look on us with the tail the prophet of peace, liberty, and hap- them when they begin to open their
mouths a little wider, and you find that selves, we frankly confess, that we are they do nothing butcovertly quote Ebod thate more indebted to the old dramatists ny. They have
evidently applied to the than they are to us; and this all will Magazine Feinagle's Art of Memorythe old ce acknowledge who have read the admin and have all its treasures under their
rable articles on them in this work, command, at the beck of symbols. articles which, though absolutely writ. They soon talk us down when we beten by one single individual, a well-em- gin to speak; and we confess that we without question, combine the learning to be so snubbed before company, till and acuteness of Gifford, the fine tact of we recollected that out of our own Lamb, the deep originality of Cole- mouths had we been outargued—and ridge, the ingenious speculations of our ignorance exposed by our own J. G. Collier. As to the German Dra- of the fine and profound things we are ma, it is to be found almost exclusive- so constantly saying, they do not. ly in our pages. We, (that is, Mr When we give battle, it is distressing Gillies, and an accomplished young to meet our own troops drawn up aDublin gentleman,) take, every now gainst us, and one is apt to lose histem. and then, one of the finest German per 'at being taken prisoner, woundTragedies, and selecting all the best ed, or killed by his own men. It passages, transfuse the very soul of was only last Thursday that we were
e fine and ut DOFTEN knows we
in the It
er on Form Fever, was to be brs
Te ; though! ve geninsai
rd aftermar of ignoraze ve believed
driven from a strong position by not of wretched persons unborn are so afmore than half-a-dozen young Whigs, fecting, that the weeping public bath by a fire kept up on us, without inter- no tears to bestow on men and women mission, for two hours, from a battery actually in poor circumstances and bad which we ourselves erected in the health. Crimes of so deep a dye are month of July last, for though the committed by persons unknown berogues were but sorry artillery-men, yond the pages of our Magazine, that the guns were most excellent, and we murders at Woolwich, and other small had left, on the redoubt, a vast quan- brick towns, are deemed incomplete, tity of the strongest ammunition. and create little or no sensation. And
Sixthly, We have created, spread, after the marriage of our housekeeper and rendered everlastingly popular, å with the Bagman, elderly maiden warm, cheerful, jolly, unaffected, and ladies are seduced into matrimony by bounding spirit of glee, not formerly young gentlemen, without a single supposed to be possible under our whisper. In short, nobody can well cloudy clime, and which, we have not tell what to make of us, farther than the slightest doubt, will do more than that we are a set of delightful Incomeven Sir John Sinclair's Code of health prehensibles, that keep the whole and longevity, to antediluvianize the world in hot water, or the tepid bath ; term of man's life, and make octoge- and then all of a sudden, down comes narians appear to be men cut off in the shower bath upon our readers, early youth. We are, certainly, the making them hurry off in puris natuwittiest of human beings. That our ralibus. This, by the way, is an exjokes are often extremely bad is but ample of our absurd mode of writing. too true, but then we are always It has little or no meaning, and yet you aware of that, and out we come with observe, that you cannot help being them, slap-dash, not caring a doit amused with it. though they lose us a score of sub Seventhly, We have destroyed the scribers. It is scarcely possible to reign of Fudge. With all our great abihelp being pleased with us even in lities we assume no airs of superiority our most unsuccessful moments, and over others, and we do not suffer often have we seen people laughing, others to assume any over us. This is, like to burst their sides, at things of itself, an improvement sufficient to of ours, which we almost wished un
create a new era in periodical criticism. said, they were so very poor or ill- What pompous affairs, editors and contimed. But when we are really in the tributors were before we flourished ! key, we cannot deny that we are irre- How prodigiously they mouthed, sistible. We have not unfrequently · rotundo"written long articles, of which every “ Deep from the vault the Loxian murmurs sentence was perfectly witty. We
flow, could point out some papers, that seem And Pythia's awful organ peals below." to us models of grave humour, others Though invisible to mortal eyes, of delicate irony, others of attic salt, what awful ideas the world had of others of outrageous fun, others whim- men dressed in black, with mighty sical to a degree, others most comic, wigs, and spectacles reflecting all and not a few without a vestige of created things ! No one knew where meaning, that yet address themselves they dwelt.-Voices! to some mysterious part of man's na
“ Mortalia corda ture, and throw whole districts into Per humiles gentes stravit Pavor.” convulsions. We have a power pecu.
Twelve times per annum the whole liar to ourselves, of souttering the most race of authors fell flat upon their wild fictions, as not only to make faces till the breath of the Monthly them infinitely more credible than the had passed by. How completely is tamest truths, but absolutely to give the scene now changed ! There is noany truths that happen to appear in thing terrible in our tones. We reign the same number of the Magazine very by love, not fear. We have not the much the appearance of falsehoods. monotonous voice of a despot, who Thus, we review and give most in- speaks in the same accents to all his teresting extracts from books that have slaves. Now we speak earnestly and no existence, and these reduce to non- fervently—then with a grave solemni, entities large volumes, published at a ty—to some we are facete--and to very heavy expense. Our biographies others jocose. When people misbe
have, we chastise them sharply, but The Standard-bearer gives us his arm not cruelly-their amendment being till we reach our arm-chair, by the
the final cause of our stripes. When fire-side--and with all the softness of Ewe praise, we do it with all our heart; one of the other sex, places the little
when we censure, with all our spleen! red stuffed stool under our most rheuOur sincerity is seen both by saint and matic foot. Our health is always the sinner and we have often received second that is drunk and a dozen presents of books from writers whom snuff-boxes are, in a moment, at our we had cut up, till they had scarcely a command. “ You will find this leg to stand upon. Nothing but the pear ripe, I believe," murmurs a. consciousness of great abilities, as was Use the nut-cracker, my dearest well remarked by one of our contem- North," quoth Tickler~" Allow me poraries, could have suggested to us to recommend to you the red her this mode of conduct, and enabled ring,” says Odoherty_" Tak a sook
us to persevere in it. We know o an orange, my man,” urges James our strength, and despise Humbug. Hogg, they're as fu's they can
That personage, so well stricken in haud !" It is thus the great interests years, would not do at Ambrose's, of mankind are, once a month, arOdoherty and he quarrelled first time ranged at Ambrose's—and the world they met. The Adjutant accused him kept from standing still. Let not the of being the editor of the British Re- Public, we beseech her, imagine that view in disguise--and though he we never dine any where else than at maintained doggedly that he had been taverns. We are intense family men, conductor of many other periodical and dine not in any taverns above once works, the Standard-bearer insisted a fortnight-twenty-five times a year. upon his making himself scarce. Let This leaves quite sufficient of home no one think that our dignity is les for any person reasonably domestic. sened by this theory and practice. Neither let the public imagine that we It may
be true that no man seems a dine at no other taverns than Ama hero to his valet-but we are always brose's. This would be a fatal misan Editor to our contributors.
No, no. Our In our case familiarity breeds respect grand dinners are at Ambrose’s nor can any thing be conceived more and ever shall be. So are our month touching than the filial tenderness ly suppers. But when the Dilettanti with which we are treated by all our are not sitting in their hall, we rejoice coadjutors. A dinner at Ambrose's likewise to feed at Young's, than is a fine moral lesson. With what which a better and more reasonable benignity Mr Tickler, who is generally house is not. We have seen four at the head of the table, and by whose complete courses-soups, fish, fesh, side we love to sit, makes a long arm, fowl—at four shillings a head (with and brings to our plate, from afar, with drams) and then a brace of contributa yard-long ladle, most choice pease ors may dine, cheek by jowl, right soup, that steams so fragrantly, in a well, for two shillings per contributor. vast turin, in the middle of the feast! Then we are always happy when How like a cherub smiles the Adju
comes to town, for he will tant, when requesting Mr Ambrose to dine no where but at Oman's—and it bring Mr North's plate for fowl! He may, without exaggeration, be said knows our little tastes--and sends us, that he who has never dined at Oman's,
with a slight wink of his nether peeper never saw, strictly speaking, A DINi-both Jiver'd wings. Sweet is the In our waking hours we think
voice of A when it breathes “ Mr of the dinners of many men-but it is North-may I have the honour of of Oman's alone that we dream in our drinking with you a glass of stingo?" sleep. A few nights ago we had a viAnd when the Shepherd asks us, in his sion of a table spread for us in the new honest blunt way, « if we wull hae a Waterloo Tavern; it would require cawker,"
the pen of the author of Khubla Khan No nightingale did ever chaunt to describe it: just as we were site
So sweetly to reposing bands ting down before a dish of mysterious Of travellers, in some shady haunt, beauty--such as youthful poets and Among Arabian sands.
aged editors fancy when they love, but After dinner the most marked atten- for which they can never after form tion is paid to every thing we say. an intelligible receipt-the glorious
shew was at once dissolved—the hoarse forgot at last the very meaning of the voice of an infernal fish-wife came in- word anonymous, which is certainly distinctly bawling by “ fine caller not synonymous with onymous. There haddies,"--and the image of her great were we all gathered together in every greasy creel took place of a vision of Number, writing away, each man with all most exquisitely edible to the sto a name of at least two syllables, yet mach of man.
But not such an emp was the cry of the pack still kept up. ty dream was the feast we enjoyed on North, Wastle, Tickler, Morris, Lauerthe 16th instant with our noble friend winkel, Kempferhausen, 4, Odoherty, the Thane, at the Royal Hotel-royal the two Mullions, the Shepherd, the indeed in all things—both in its per- Dentist, and others equally with their manent and transitory furniture. We own names, were all most impertinenthad not had the delight of seeing the ly declared anonymous by persons of Thane since he brought Prince Leon whom the world know not the appelpold to our tent—for last time he was latives even unto this day. And while in Edinburgh our rheumatism was so it is no unusual thing to hear of publie bad, that Liston positively forbid us cations strictly anonymous, and pubto stir out. We were delighted to lished only once or twice, such as Don find him in high health and spirits, Juan and Anastasius, talked of with and with all his usual flow of graceful the names of the authors, an attempt conversation, that, after all, we liter was made to fasten anonymity on Blackary men can never acquire. It is not wood's Magazine, (wonderful anomato be acquired-and when nature does ly!) though monthly graced by at least not give the gift, art may seek to win a dozen of the very highest names in the accomplishment in vain. We our British literature. Most assuredly lived over again that happy and joyous cool impertinence can go no farther evening of the tent-his Lordship told than this. us that Old Parr never ceased praising Ninthly, We just now felt rather “, those wild Tory dogs," as he calls exhausted, having never laid down the us, and that Prince Leopold has got the pen for more than a single half minute frontispiece of the August Number, and at a time these last six hours, and then also his “ Arrival at the Tent," framed only to fling over copy to the little inand hung up in his study. Such is the visible devil behind the high back of delightful picture of our private hours. our most blessed easy-chair, whose That every editor may have such con- place, soon as he evaporated, was filled tributors—and that all contributors by another strange rizzard speldron.* may strive to deserve such an editor, We say that we just now feel rather is the ardent prayer, my Public, of exhausted—so, with your leave, we your sincere friend and well-wisher, shall take a tiff of Campbell and SomChristopher North.
merville's best black strap, without ocEighthly, We cannot but now short- casional aid of which, it is our faith ly insist on the merit due to us, for that no periodical work can be successbeing the first to carry on a periodical fully carried on in these emulous times. work, without that vile anonymous And, while the reader is waiting for us disguise, under which such unwarrant to go on again with our article, which able liberties are frequently taken with we divine he thinks almost insupportyou, my Public. It is true, that at ably entertaining, we cannot offer him first we wore the veil-but that was a a better advice than just to lay down mere temporary whim, and the face of the Magazine, and follow our example. old Christopher North now gladdensthe If Campbell and Sommerville are not open day. But not only are we ony- his wine-merchants, let him drink off mous ourselves, but so are all our con- his stock as fluently as possible, and tributors. People had contracted such get a supply instanter from Clydea constant habit of talking of anony- street.+ Well, having wiped our mouths, mous slander and so forth, that they let us proceed, and observe (we think)
See Dr Jamieson. + Let it not be thought that we have any sinister view in thus eulogizing the port-wine of Messrs Campbell and Sommerville. Our object is the happiness of mankind in general. We never even saw these gentlemen, though we have dealt with them since the establishment of the Magazine ; and were they to send us a present of wine, we should return it with our compliments. But we wish our readers to be happy—and therefore it is that we now recommend to them a liquid, under whose influence, if they are not doubly blest, this world is not for them, and we fear that we cannot long calculate upon them as subscribers.
a ninthly, that we have hugely im our personality as an attribute of ours : i proved the tone, spirit, and character We have a personal existence, and our 3 of general conversation in Britain. name is North. But our enemies as2. But, in the mean time, let us confine sert that our style of writing is persone
ourselves to Edinburgh. Till we be- al, and that we make too free with
gan to flourish- and while the aloe people's names and private characters 1 flourishes only once in the hundred --nay, some folks have gone the length
years, we flourish once a month--the of saying that we are impertinent
Edinburgh conversation had got very slanderous. This is us charge i distressing. The talk was not of cat so let us examine it a little. en tle, but of criticism, which was much Personality, in all its bearings, is a s worse; and blue-stockingism was in subject by much too wide for discus* its cerulean altitude. Every female sion in a work of this kind 50 we di leg was azure absolutely painted blue must be both brief and general, which I like a post. A slight beard was be- is difficult.
coming visible even on young women If by personality be meant the dragI still marriageable-a certain conse- ging of private individuals before the i quence of incipient literary habits ; so public, and attacking their characters, es you may imagine the upper lip of wello personality, to say the least of it, is s informed women of forty. A single quite indefensible. But, pray, what i number of the Magazine was equiva- private gentleman have we dragged
lent to a thousand razors--for as our before the public, and what particufair friends gave up book-reading, that lars of his domestic hours have we
of which we found so much reason to been graciously pleased to lay before 3 complain subsided into a pleasing the world ? Is the Edinburgh Review
down--and then from such lips“ not a private gentleman? Why, certainly,
words alone pleased us." We still per- he is less out than he used to be still is mitted a little poetry-by way of po
we cannot think that we were the first te matum- and even let the sweet crea to give him publicity. Is there a sin
tures continue to smooth their cheeks gle author in great Britain who wishes
with a novel. But politics and politi- to be considered as a private gentlei cal economy were strictly prohibited, man? If so, he has only to publish
under pain of being inserted in the his love of privacy a little more exten
Magazine. Of all sorts of labour, sively, till it reaches our ears, and we de productive or introductive, we cau- pledge our word of honour, that we
tioned young ladies, never more to never shall mention his name again speak; and we behaved tenderly to while we breathe. We wish we had such as shewed a becoming ignorance a list of these sensitive plants, which of all forms of government whatever, we would paste upon our screen, that except an absolute monarchy, and a when drawing ourselves in near the total indifference to the present alarm- fire, in those happy moods when we ing state of the nation. By such gentle are most apt to be cutting, our eyes and judicious treatment with the may meet the names of such lovers of young disease, in its first symptoms- the shade, and our souls soften towards and occasionally too by sterner prac- them in their deep seclusion. tice with those whose legs were not Having thus satisfactorily shewn only blue, but had begun to swell that we never, since our name was we came at last almost to extinguish North, which it has been upwards of the epidemic ; and it is now confined threescore years, attacked, or even in nearly to some of the higher flats of the most distant manner alluded to the eighteen-storied houses, from which the private character of any man-We the inhabitants very rarely come down beg leave to lay down a distinction. to town.
When a person publishes a book, in Tenthly, We seem to be led very prose or verse, encouraging, upon prinnaturally, by these remarks and re- ciple, all kind of licentiousness, or membrances, to take notice of one sup- seeking to undermine the foundation posed feature in our character which of religious belief, is it an attack on his our enemies represent as excessively private character, to say that such an unbecoming, but of which our friends author deserves the hatred and scorn altogether deny the existence-we of all good men ? If a poet recommean, our PERSONALITY. We do not mends incest-is it an attack on prisurely intend, in one sense, to deny vate character to call him incestuous ?