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THE LION'S HEAD.

The close of the year, coinciding with the completion of the Fourth Volume of the LONDON MAGAZINE, agreeably reminds us, that a few words of acknowledgment are due, first, to our numerous friends and the public for their firm and increasing support; and next, to our kind Contributors in general, whose exertions have raised the London MAGAZINE to its present distinguished rank in periodical literature, and have procured for it so large a share of public favour.

As, on the one hand, we are happy to say, that greater encouragement could not have been expected than we have experienced; so, on the other, we are proud to affirm, that a greater number of men of talent than the LONDON MAGAZINE now unites in its support, were never before combined in furtherance of any undertaking of a similar nature.

But gratitude for public patronage is best evinced by increased endeavours to deserve it; and the most agreeable return we can make to our contributors for their individual exertions is to associate their labours with productions of kindred talent. As evidence of our zeal in these endeavours, we present the following account of a part of our resources for the ensuing year ; from whence it will appear, that the future Numbers of the LONDON MAGAZINE will be enriched, not only by the continued exertions of its present Correspondents, but by papers from new Contributors on important and interesting subjects, the very nature of which will be an earnest to the literary world that they proceed from men of the highest intellectual ability.

1. The Essays of Elia.
2. The Essays of the Author of Table Talk.

3. TWELVE TALES OF LYDDAL Cross, by the Author of TRADITIONAL LITERATURE.

4. The Continuation of Dr. Johnson's LIVES OF THE ENGLISH Poets.

5. Notices of the Early French Poets; vide Clement MAROT," in the present Number.

6. LEISURE Hours: Translations of Select Poems from Classic Au. thors of Greece and Rome, with critical Remarks.

7. TRANSLATIONS in Prose and Verse from the most eminent of the FINE WRITERS of Modern GERMANY, with a CHARACTER of the Genius of each Author, forming an ANTHOLOGY of their finest Passages. By the Englisu Orivu-LATER; vide the Articles on Richter in our present Number.

8. EDWARD HERBERT'S LETTERS.— The Subject of the next will be The GREEN Room of the London Theatre.

9. The Beauties of the Living DRAMATISTS, A Series of humorous Papers, the first of which will appear in the Number for January.

10. The BEAUTIES of the TERM REPORTS. 11. Osmyn, a Persian Tale. Part II. 12. Essays on the Fine Arts, by CORNELIUS Van VINKBOOMS, Esq.

13. LETTERS to a Young Man of TALENT whose Education had been neglected.

14. Essays by Thurma, Author of the Article on “Westminster Abbey," in the present Number.

15. The Third Part of the ConfessIONS OF AN ENGLISH Orium-EATER.

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In reference to the last Article, we have to lay before our Readers the following Letter:

To the Editor of the London Magazine.

SIR,

But to leave this subject, and to pass to another more immediately con, nected with your Journal:-I have seen in the Sheffield Iris a notice of my two papers entitled. Confessions of an English Opium-cater. Notice of any sort from Mr. Montgomery could not have failed to gratify me, by proving that I had so far succeeded in my efforts as to catch the attention of a distinguished man of genius: a notice so emphatic as this, and introduced by an exordium of so much beauty as that contained in the two first paragraphs on the faculty of dreaming, I am bound in gratitude to acknowledge as a more flattering expression and memorial of success than any which I had allowed myself to anticipate.

I am not sorry that a passage in Mr. Montgomery's comments enables me to take notice of a doubt which had reached me before: the passage I mean iş this : in the fourth page of the Iris, amongst the remarks with which Mr. Montgomery has introduced the extracts which he has done me the honour to make, it is said — whether this character," (the character in which the Opium-eater speaks) “ be real or imaginary, we know not." The same doubt was reported to me as having been made in another quarter ; but, in that instance, as clothed in such discourteous expressions, that I do not think it would have been right for me, or that on a principle of just self-respect, I could have brought myself to answer it at all; which I say in no anger, and I hope with no other pride than that which may reasonably influe ence any man in refusing an answer to all direct impeachments of his veracity. From Mr. Montgomery, however, this scruple on the question of authenticity comes in the shape which might have been anticipated from his own courteous and honourable nature, and implies no more than a suggestion (in one view perhaps complimentary to myself) that the whole might be professedly and intentionally a fictitious case as respected the incis dents—and chosen as a more impressive form for communicating some moral or medical admonitions to the unconfirmed Opium-eater. Thus shaped - I cannot have any right to quarrel with this scruple. But

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on many accounts I should be sorry that such a view were taken of the narrative by those who may have happened to read it. And therefore, I assure Mr. Montgomery, in this public way, that the entire Confessions were designed to convey a narrative of my own experience as an Opium-eater, drawn up with entire simplicity and fidelity to the facts ; from which they can in no respect have deviated, except by such trifling inaccuracies of date, &c. as the memoranda I have with me in London would not, in all cases, enable me to reduce to certainty. Over and above the want of these memoranda, I laboured sometimes (as I will acknowledge) under another, and a graver embarrassment:- To tell nothing but the truth-must, in all cases, be an unconditional moral law: to tell the whole truth is not equally so: in the earlier narrative I acknowledge that I could not always do this: regards of delicacy towards some who are yet living, and of just tenderness to the memory of others who are dead, obliged me, at various points of my narrative, to suppress what would have added interest to the story, and sometimes, perhaps, have left impressions on the reader favourable to other purposes of an auto-biographer. In cases which touch too closely on their own rights and interests, all men should hesitate to trust their own judgment: thus far I imposed a restraint upon myself, as all just and conscientious men would do: in every thing else I spoke fearlessly, and as if writing private memoirs for my own dearest friends. Events, indeed, in my life, connected with so many remembrances of grief, and sometimes of self-reproach, had become too sacred from habitual contemplation to be altered or distorted for the unworthy purposes of scenical effect and display, without violating those feelings of self-respect which all men should cherish, and giving a lasting wound to my conscience.

Having replied to the question involved in the passage quoted from the Iris, I ought to notice an objection, conveyed to me through many channels, and in too friendly terms to have been overlooked if I had thought it unfounded: whereas, I believe it is a very just one :—it is this : that I have so managed the second narrative, as to leave an overbalance on the side of the pleasures of opium; and that the very horrors themselves, described as connected with the use of opium, do not pass the limit of pleasure.-I know not how to excuse myself on this head, unless by alleging (what is obvious enough) that to describe any pains, of any class, and that at perfect leisure for choosing and rejecting thoughts and expressions, is a most difficult task: in my case I scarcely know whether it is competent to me to allege further, that I was limited, both as to space and time, so long as it appears on the face of my paper, that I did not turn all that I had of either to the best account. It is known to you, however, that I wrote in extreme haste, and under very depressing circumstances in other respects.-On the whole, perhaps, the best way of meeting this objection will be to send you a Third Part of my Confessions : * drawn up with such assistance from fuller

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* In the Third Part I will fill up an omission noticed by the Medical Intelligencer, (No. 24,) viz.—The omission to record the particular effects of the Opium between 1804–12. This Medical Intelligencer is a sort of digest or analytic summary of contemporary medical essays, reviews, &c. wherever dispersed. Of its general merits I cannot pretend to judge: but, in justice to the writer of the article which respects myself, I ought to say, that it is the most remarkable specimen of skilful abridgement and judicious composition that I remember to have met with.

memoranda, and the recollections of my only companion during those years, as I shall be able to command on my return to the north : I hope that I shall be able to return thither in the course of next week: and, therefore, by the end of January, or thereabouts, I shall have found leisure from my other employments, to finish it to my own satisfaction. I do not venture to hope, that it will realize the whole of what is felt to be wanting : but it is fit that I should make the effort, if it were only to meet the expressions of interest in my previous papers, which have reached me from all quarters, or to mark my sense of the personal kindness which, in many cases, must have dictated the terms in which that interest was conveyed.

This, I think, is what I had to say. Some things, which I might have been disposed to add, would not be fitting in a public letter. Let me say, however, generally, that these two papers of mine, short and inconsidere able as they are, have, in one way, produced a disproportionate result though but of a personal nature, by leading to many kind acts, and generous services, and expressions of regard, in many different shapes, from men of talents in London.

To these hereafter I shall look back as to a fund of pleasant remembrances. Meantime, for the present, they have rendered me a service not less acceptable, by making my residence in London, in many respects, agreeable, at a time when, on other accounts, it should naturally have been far otherwise.

I remain, Sir,

Your faithful friend and servant, London, Nov. 27, 1821.

X. Y. Z.

Lion's Head regrets that it must defer many Answers to Correspondents till next Month.

TIIE

London Magazine.

N° XXIV.

DECEMBER, 1821.

VOL. IV.

The Early French Pcets. [an article appeared in a former Number of the London MAGAZINE, entitled “ Notices of the Early French Poets,” which, had the writer completed his design, would doubtless have been followed by several others of the same kind. We are happy to announce, that one of our Correspondents has taken up the subject with the intention, as will be seen in the following paper, of continuing it.]

CLEMENT MAROT. In the course of this last summer, ready to pardon, in consideration of I happened to reside for some weeks higher excellence, or even to welin a place where I had free access to come, as so many means of aiding a large collection of books, which us in that escape from the tameness of formerly belonged to the kings of common every-day life, which it is France; but, like other royal pro- one great end of poetry to effect. I perty, having been confiscated at the do not know of any other people Revolution, still continues unre- who have set up an exclusive standclaimed, and is now open to the use ard of this sort. What would the of the public. Of this occasion I Greeks of the age of Pericles have gladly availed myself, to extend my said to a literary censor, that should acquaintance with some of their have endeavoured to persuade them earlier writers, whose works are not to throw aside the works of Homer commonly to be met with in our own and Hesiod, because he could have country; and amongst these, fixed pointed out to them, in every page, my attention principally on such of modes of expression that would not their poets as were of most note at have passed muster in a coterie at the restoration, or more properly Aspasia's ? What reply should we speaking, the general diffusion of pó- make to a critic, that would fain put lite learning in Europe. What the us out of conceit with some of the result of this inquiry has been, I in- finest things in Spenser and Shakvite my readers to judge.

speare, because they were cast in a The French of the present day, I mould utterly differing from that imknow, set but little store on these pressed on the language of our porevivers of the poetical art. Their liter circles, though similar enough to extreme solicitude for what they call the stamp of our country-folks' talk ? the purity of their language, makes Let any one take up Voltaire's comthem easily offended by phrases, the mentary on the tragedies of Corneille, irregularities of which we should be and he will see to what a pitch this Vol.IV.

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