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pillows, was, of course, unable to speak in a tone sufficiently distinct to be heard by our reporter ; but from what we have been able to collect, the facts of the case are pretty nearly as follow.-The prisoner at the bar is one of that class of religionists, who consider that without their saving assistance, their neighbours must, the whole of them, inevitably be damned to all eternity; and this doctrine he preaches at all times and all seasons. He is of opinion that the profligacy of the human race has now arrived at its climax; and that this profligacy is owing entirely to the naughty words, and still more objectionable principles, which are to be met with in the writings of our immortal dramatist and Mr. Edward Gibbon. His first manifestation of his zeal in behalf of the rising generation, was his brutal assault upon that worthy, good-natured, and inimitable poet, Will. Shakspeare, for mutilating whose goodly form he was tried a few years ago, (along with the fanatic who set fire to Drury Lane theatre); but was finally acquitted, to the great annoyance of the court and jury, in consequence of the evidence of a thorough-paced swearer of his own sect, who protested that, so far from having been actuated by any revengeful feeling towards our immortal bard, he had slit his nose, cut off his ears, and broken several of his ribs, from a feeling of the purest friendship and affection, as well for him as for his readers ; and had not this person's testimony proved sufficiently strong, a host of long-visaged gentlemen in black, were in attendance, who were ready to swear that Shakspeare had not experienced any injury whatsoever. Mr. Bowdler was accordingly discharged, with a suitable reprimand. On the present occasion, he was dragged before the justice-seat before he could have time to organize a regular plan of defence, and give the above-mentioned saints a hint that he should require their services. He, however, manifested a degree of presence of mind, amounting to the most consummate impudence; and whilst the case was going on, sat paring his nails with the utmost possible nonchalance, When asked what excuse he had to offer for thus cruelly mutilating a brother author, he replied, with extraordinary calmness and selfcomplacency, that he was led to this gross breach of the public peace by his veneration for religion and morality! He then quoted scripture, to shew that if our “ right hand offend us” we are enjoined to “ cut it off and cast it from us ;” and proceeded to explain that he considered the same injunction as no less applicable to the offensive members of other people. With a view, therefore, to the ultimate benefit, not only of Mr. Gibbon, but of all his friends and admirers, he had attempted to deprive him of all that he deemed peccant in his composition ; and whatever might be the result, he could never, on any account, regret that he had done so. Hereupon, two members of the respectable firm of Messrs. Longman and Co. stepped forward, and offered themselves as his bail, but as Mr. Gibbon's life was by no means out of danger, the magistrates, very properly, remanded Mr. Bowdler to the lock-up. Indeed, it seemed to be pretty generally understood, that Messrs. Longman and Co. were accessaries, at least, after the fact. The prisoner had just left the office in custody, when information was brought in of the treatment that a poor, respectable, harmless old woman, of the name of “ Two Shoes," had sustained from Mr. Bowdler's hands. Goody was
ordered to be in attendance at his next examination. Should he be found guilty, when put upon his trial, he will be sentenced to oblivion, without benefit of the Muses; and will, in that case, be left for execution.
Hear it ye
IV. The Scot's MAGAZINE.-INHUMAN OUTRAGE ON A HIGHLY
RESPECTABLE OLD WOMAN. These are indeed awful times for respectable, jog-trot, matter-of-fact periodicals ; for they are all settling down by the lea, one after the other, like sinking ships in a storm. Magazine readers have entirely lost that wholesome relish for “ truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth,” by which they were wont to be characterized fifty years ago. Facts
may be useful in modern periodicals, as ballast, but we would have our contemporaries be careful not to overload their holds ; for the vessel that may struggle on with twenty tons weight of balaam, will, sometimes, if you attempt to burthen her with another hundred weight, go down head foremost, like the Royal George in the harbour of Spithead.
These remarks have been suggested by a statement published in the Edinburgh newspapers, that the Scot's Magazine, or as Jamie Hogg calls her, the “ ancient woman of the High Street,” was, a few weeks ago, (to the scandal of all true patrons of dullness), “ exposed” (we quote the horrible jargon of these Scotch immolators of innocence) “ to public roup, for the upset price of 501., and not sold !" pitiless denizens of the Modern Athens ! A respectable, unmarried woman, who has conducted herself with exemplary decency and sobriety for seventy eight years, palsied and bed-ridden, is actually dragged into a public auction room, and there “ exposed” to the derision of a mob of barelegged sawnies, under the pretence of selling her by public roup. Pretence, we say ; for the price demanded for her there affords ample evidence that there existed, on the part of her merciless oppressors, no intention whatever to part with her! The excuse assigned for this shameful outrage is, that the poor old body has been unable to pay a farthing of rent for the last eight or nine years, (which is ever since she was foolish enough to take a new lease of her landlord), and that finding nothing saleable on her premises, it had been determined to put her up to auction herself; in the hope that the society of antiquaries would have deputed some one to purchase her.
But report says, that that learned body have made a covert arrangement with the sexton of a certain cemetry in Princes Street for her remains after death. It was also hinted, that Messrs. Oliver & Boyd were to become her future possessors ; in which case she would have been employed in their scribbling mill, in grinding puffs for the Edinburgh Janus; but, happily for her, she was said to be unequal to the task, and they accordingly abandoned their intention : what will become of the old trot it is impossible to say ; but rumours are afloat that she is henceforward to be supported by " voluntary contributions."
V. CHILD OF MANY FATHERS.—REMARKABLE AFFRAY.
The time of his honour the Vice Chancellor has been occupied for some time past in settling whether the Mechanics' Magazine be the lawfully-begotten offspring of its own father, Mr. Robertson, the editor, or Messrs. Knight and Lacey, its god-fathers ; and he has at length decided this very knotty point in favor of the latter gentlemen; thereby establishing an important fact, viz. that although a person may always be liable to have children fathered upon him, he must forego his own flesh and blood, provided it be really likely to prove of advantage to him, and a bookseller should take it into his head to lay claim to it. In the present instance, the dispute between the two candidates for parental authority ran so high, that the poor child who was the innocent cause of the disturbance had like to have been torn to pieces in the scuffle. It was, we are told, left for dead for one whole week; but has at length recovered from its perilous situation, by the application of steam. Circulation is, however, far from being restored as yet; the blows it has received will, we fear, turn out to be mortal; for Mr. Robertson does not seem to have been in the smallest degree influenced by that feeling which led the bereaved mother who sought the decision of a far wiser judge than “His Honour,” to give up her living child to the woman who claimed it, rather than see it divided, in order that each might have her share.
THE LEITH PACKET.
BY THE LATE MRS. ELIZABETH HAMILTON.
While rural bards, in lofty strains,
Or from the lockers, filled complete
The cabin next would you survey,
Now, with the muse, darest thou presume
Behold, o'er all, in site sublime,
Its height but doubles every danger. [We have considerable pleasure in being enabled to lay before our readers this unpnblished poem, by the late celebrated Mrs. Elizabeth Hamilton, authoress of “ The Cottagers of Glenburnie.” Independently of its intrinsic spirit, which occasionally reminds us of Prior, and of Swift, it is not a little curious, as the production of one who has not, as far as we are aware , indulged in the sin of rhyme on any other occaston.
Having been written on board the vessel, and presented to a fellow-passenger, the picture inost probably possesses strong traits of vraisemblance; and may, among other things, serve to shew the immense improvement in accommodation and comfort, which has taken place within these last few years in water conveyances. -Ed. Lit. Mag.
LITERATURE OF THE MONTH. REJECTED ARTICLES *. -As if the accepted articles in most of the leading magazines were not sufficiently unreadable, we have here a post octavo volume, professing to contain a series of papers which have been rejected from " at least one celebrated journal of the day.” These articles, nine in number, are intended as parodies of the styles of Charles Lamb, Cobbett, Professor Wilson, the Smiths, Hazlitt, P. G. Patmore, Leigh Hunt, Christopher North, and the Editor of the Edinburgh Review. The idea is not a new one; in an extremely clever and popular work, published last season, under the title of “ Phantasmagoria," there was a very smart paper, consisting of parodies of the styles of our most celebrated reviews and magazines. The idea of these “first efforts of criticism,' has here been expanded throughout an entire volume, and what was a yery tolerable joke when confined to a few pages, has thus been rendered a very tedious and indigestible affair. A parody should always conclude the moment its object is accomplished. The styles of the various persons referred to in this book, might all have been caricatured effectively in as brief a space as. is here devoted to a single chapter. Again, if we except the parodies of two or three authors whose manner of writing is more than ordinarily colloquial, or interspersed with phrases of a very peculiar character, we cannot say we think the imitations remarkably clever, or palpable. There are parts of the caricature of Blackwood, which are excellent; whilst the articles, with the prefix Leigh Hunt and P. G. Patmore, might have been written by the persons to whom they are attributed, so full of affectation, absurdity, and conceit, do they appear to be. The great blemish of the book, independently of its dullness as a whole, is, that whilst it aims at the grossest caricature in its imitations of the styles of those writers who are not contributors of the New Monthly Magazine, it does not dare seize hold of the equally offensive characteristics of the New Burlington St. coterie. Such of the papers as are said to be written by the Smiths, Charles Lamb, Hazlitt, &c., are really nothing more than grave imitations of their several styles, intended to flatter their self-love. There is no parody of the gew-gaw paradoxes, the weathercock opinions, the nauseously indecent slip-slop, the ferocious and maliguant invectives of Mr. Lecturer, Pygmalion, Frank Speaker Hazlitt. Nor is there any manly ridicule of the lumbering “ Farringdon without” wit of the authors of Gaieties and Gravities : whilst on the other hand all the absurd phrases which have been employed in the nineteen volumes of Blackwood now before the public, are industriously brought together.
ALLA GIORNATA; or, TO THE Day.t This novel, as indeed is every thing from the pen of a person of fashion, has been most outrageously puffed. It is said to be the production of lady Charlotte Berry, better known as lady Charlotte Campbell"; the person of whom Madam de Stael observed, that although she was aware she excelled her in wit, she would willingly have exchanged existence with her, could she have secured her beauty and accomplishments. The story is pleasingly told; but if we except the absence of those vulgar incidents and affectations of language, which deform so many of our modern novels, “ Alla Giornata ” is not very superior to the general productions of the Leadenhali press. The scene of the novel is Tuscany; and the heroine Ildegarda, a high-minded and fascinating lady, who is the enemy and intended victim of priestly persecution. Some poetical pieces are interspersed throughout the work, but they are but of a mediocre order. The book will probably last the season, but we question if it will survive it.
* Rejected Articles, Post 8vo. pp. 353. Colburn. + Alla Giornata: or, To the Day, 12mo. 3 vols, Saunders and Ottley.