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Oman's or the Black Bull, or take up his abode in the neighbourhood of stagnant drains, and next door to a close of cow-feeders.
But I hope better things of the public officers, and from the public spirit of the inhabitants ; and I have no doubt, now that the thing is suggested, that if it were properly set about, the Barons of Exchequer would give their aid to its speedy completion. The Palace and its environs have been too long neglected; and I do not flatter myself by saying, that if I, Christopher Columbus, were to be appointed ranger of the King's Park, (and it is my favourite walk,) either with or without a lodging in the Palace, and with any thing of a decentish salary, things would be conducted in quite a different manner. I would, in that case, plant a good deal of the rocky banks; cut many delightful terraces on the acclivities, and strew them with shrubberies; sweep away all the awkward dikes; cover St Anthony's venerable chapel and hermitage with ivy; totally remove the stiles, and replace them with swing-gates where necessary; and put a final stop to the demolition of that superb natural mural crown -Salisbury Crags. No great sum would be required for this purpose; and I am quite sure if his Majesty saw the magnificent grounds round his Palace, or if Mr Williams, or that clever young artist Gasteneaux, would take accurate drawings of them in all their delightful points of view, I should not have to wait long for my appointment. I should then take the liberty of writing to the Duke of Atholl, in my official capacity, as ranger of the park, to request the present of a herd of red-deer; and take measures to let Lord Breadalbane know, that a few scores of fallow-deer would be required to tenant the ornamented lawn.
I take it for granted that the chapel royal is to be repaired as projected, and therefore I say nothing on that head; but to compensate the poor owls who would by this reparation be disturbed in " their silent, solitary reign," I would remove them to St Anthony's Chapel, and even, with the broken fragments, build them a kind of belfry for shelter, and furnish them with one year's supply of mice. The hawks, the ancient inhabitants of the precipitous cliffs, to which they have a prescriptive and indefeasible right, I would not remove, but protect; and even, by the introduction of different species, have always at command a sufficient number of these graceful animals, for the noble and kingly sport of falconry. Every morning I should mount my poney to see that things were going on to my mind, and every evening I should
I was here interrupted, very much to my regret, by the girl opening my chamber door. "Who's there-What do you want, Betty?"-" Sir, Mrs Columbus bids me say that she has been waiting supper for you this hour. The eggs are useless already, and the het water's cauld!"-This interruption broke the thread of my ideas; and though I had a great deal more to say on the subject, yet, so difficult is it to recover a train of thought dispelled by other associations, that I must postpone what I have further to urge till another opportunity.
Treason doth never prosper--what's the reason?
We have discovered a plot. Not a dark-lantern business of gunpowder and matches, like Guy Fawkes's, nor of hand-grenades and sabres, like the Cato-street atrocity-nevertheless it is a treasonable conspiracy, having, fortunately, one point of resemblance to the two plots above-mentioned-that it has been discovered and defeated in time. It was directed against ourselves, it aimed at the subversion of our supremacy in the periodical world, and was intended to bring into contempt us, the contributors' Sovereign Lord the Editor, our Magazine, and dignity. Readers cannot have forgotten an absurd Round-Robin from a shallowpated junto of disappointed correspondents, who had cockered themselves up by a give-and-take system of selfeulogy, till they fancied themselves constrained by an unanimous feeling of their own surpassing merit, to prescribe to us what we ought to insert. We published their appeal, and added notes, by our own individual self, of the most soothing and kindly quality. These gentlemen and ladies, however, are so sore in the chest, with catarrhs, brought on, we presume, by the puffs of flattery, with which they are in the inveterate practice of ventilating_one another, that even the emulsion of our notes, soft and tranquillizing, as if dulcified by oil of almonds, could not be swallowed by them without causing strong symptoms of exacerbation in their disordered breasts. Here, however, it is right that we make a distinction-we must not accuse the whole of those who joined in the petition before declared; some were found still bearing true allegiance to us, to us, their lawful potentate in matters critical, as long as they claim the privileges of that respectable body lite rate, the contributors to Maga. We do not divulge how many out of the fourteen adhere to their loyalty, because we believe that one or two are in a wavering state, and will probably, when they see the disgrace which the rebels incur, quit the debateable land, and come over and entrench themselves on the right side, where they shall enjoy all the advantages of a plenary amnesty. One of the band, however, was
so pre-eminently true to his original fealty, that it was by his means that we were made acquainted with, and enabled to frustrate, the machinations of the evil-disposed. He boldly rushed into their conclave, seized upon their papers, and transmitted the pestiferous bale to us, shewing himself a very Abdiel,
Among the faithless, faithful only he.
(But this we qualify according to the statement above; nevertheless, he deserves to be reported of as)
Among innumerable false, unmoved, Unshaken, unseduced, unterrified, His loyalty he kept, his love, his zealand perhaps it is solely through him, that we, at this present moment, are sitting on the throne of these realms of Maga, (scilicet, the great-chair in Ebony's back-shop,) and in undisturbed control over demi-gods, angels, devils, and men.-Our demi-gods are those Titans of wit and learning, Odoherty, Wastle, Kempferhausen, and Co.-Our angels are the ladies, whose crow-quills indite delicate articles on pink-edged Bath wove, and very pretty reading they are.-Our devils flit on sooty pinions around the presses of Messrs Ballantyne ;-and our everyday subjects are the myriads in the three kingdoms, whose half-crowns are, without grumbling, paid monthly into our exchequer. Yes, to Abdiel, (for in compassion to some of his party he wishes not to be named,) we are indebted for all this; and to a discerning public we commit our vindication and defence; so to the end that the community at large may see the villainy of the designs of these conjurators, (not conjurors-we acquit them of all expertness in that way,) we shall hereunder pillory some of the documents in our possession; thus giving over to utter scorn the railing invectives of these foul-mouthed chaps, their futile imprecations, and their other impotent attempts against our peace.
It appears that the lever by which these Round-Robin men, this Archimedes corporate, meant to move the world of Christopher North's renown, was to be a book. By means of a
desperate jerk of this paper lever, propped on the fulcrum of public opinion, these our dominions in fame were to be tilted up and sent
Ten thousand leagues away Into the devious air-upwhirl'd aloft, The sport of winds.
So that we, (who, vanity apart, are without controversy Editorum facile princeps,) were to be left as bare of literary reputation, as Jeremy Bentham for instance, or any other unreadable, and ergo unread, writer of the present day. It is not quite clear what was to be the title-page designation of this declaration of war, and its authors seem to have tampered with a good many. As far as we can make out from some blurred sheets, it looks as if " Vindi. ciæ Asinine" had been submitted by a wiseacre, but had been struck out by a more clear-sighted colleague-it =would however have been very appropriate. Another Latin prefix was "Northius Obsessus," but probably, as =all did not understand it, it met with the luck of the preceding. One wag had put down
"A rod for the back
Of Kit and his pack."
And there is reason to believe that this might have been adopted, had not the snake been scotched, before it was ready to issue from its hole. After all, the prosaic enunciation of "Christopher's Downfall, or Northern Stolidity in disgrace," may have had their votes, for it is written in a conspicuous hand.
What was to come first in the farrago, and what last, we do not know, because the capture of the rebels' goods was made before they were duly disposed in order-so we must put forth our specimens quite at random. We first then give the misdoings of Omicron, who (it will be in the recollection of our friends,) was the fabricator of
"Celestial Tour." He still has a hankering after preterhuman powers, and here assumes the magical influence of Kehama, making us the Ladurlad of the occasion. He is, however, but a sorry imitator of that wholesale deal er in phlogistic curses, as his imprecations do not take effect-for, (be it known to him, and we thank him,) we have felt our rheumatism rather less troublesome this autumn than usual. Notwithstanding, hear what cruel
things he would accomplish, if he could.
"THE CURSE OF OMICRON.
"I DOOм thy foot
To the torment of gout,
In tone more emphatic,
Of a visit rheumatic,-
So that when thou goest forth
Keep in, then, KIT NORTH,
Damp feet make thee shrug,
Neither carpet nor rug.
And Editors woo me,
So appalling the view!
Don't your teeth chatter with horror and trepidation, like Corporal Trim's, or Harry Gill's, our pitying Public? But, to relieve your apprehensions for our foot's welfare, (put up your white pocket-handkerchiefs, dear readers of the gentler sex! your sympathy is overpowering, and withal, needlessly excited,) we can assure you, and we call on Mr Blackwood to corroborate our
declaration, that we have both our good, serviceable, thick-soled leathern shoes upon our feet at this very epoch of being calumniated; so what becomes of his condemnation of us to the crippled state of being only able to wear half a pair at a time? Nay, we possess a pair of boots, which we scorn to leave behind whenever we jog over to Glasgow, and which, indeed, have incased these legs, and done good service, within the last three weeks. So you see, deeply-interested and partlytearful audience, how wretched a performer Omicron is in the part of Kehama, being his first appearance in that character. But I see, righteous Public, what your opinion is, and what is his destiny,-you are determined to hiss him off the stage, he is slinking away, well he is done for.
The next production is by a conspirator of a very white-livered complection, who signs himself Domesticus. It is entitled "A Familiar Essay on the Character and Conduct of Blackwood's Magazine, with especial reference to No. LIV." It opens in this lack-adaysical tone:-"I was sitting at tea, on the second of September-a balmy evening, and we had the window open, so that a box of mignonette blended its fragrance with that of the nine shilling hyson. This was extremely pleasant; but I cannot say that I think it altogether so comfortable as tea-time in winter, when one nudges close into the corner of the sofa, and has the toast kept hot on the fender; indeed, we do not have toast to tea in the summer, which omission alters the whole features of the thing; however, in spite of all this, it was agreeable enough, and so I expressed myself to KateBut there is no end to this. In brief, after wallowing in an ocean of sentimental small-talk, he tells us that the Nos. for August arrive: he falls into a wonderment at not meeting with his "Hearth-Rug Promptings;" then he simmers in a warm-watery transport of rage and grief at discovering the
note which indicates our will that they shall not appear at all; after which he cools down into a fit of the sullens, in which he attempts to pick holes in No. 54, complaining of "that eternal Steam-boat," whining over the strangeness of our admitting the "Travels of Columbus," while his own superfine compositions are black-balled. În fine, what with lifting up his hands in consternation, shewing the whites of his eyes in amazement, and drawing down the corners of his mouth in affected reprobation of all he finds, he works himself into a little heat again, and thus bursts out: "This Magazine is fated to be the destruction of all that is lovely and engaging in the literature of this remarkable era. If infant genius, with the tottering step, and mantling blush of diffidence, ventures to approach, it is mercilessly strangled,-if buds of talent shew promise of bloom in its neighbourhood, they are rapaciously plucked and trampled upon,-if a gem is disclosed, which, in proper setting, and worn on the finger of beauty, would refract the aerial light most charmingly, it is smashed to atoms by Christopher North's heavy hammer, and mingled with the dust. Oh! sickening thought, said I, as I rose and looked out at the open window, and saw not a leaf stirring upon our three poplars, and all nature, indeed, as tranquil as if this domineering Editor did not infest the earth with his hated presence, Oh, my poor heart! I ejaculated, nature truly has bowels of sensibility, but man has none !" These are riddles; but if our refusal to print his articles be kept steadily in view, the halfmeaning of the shadowy nothings is discoverable: but really we can devote no more space to the spooney and his maudlin lamentations. In consideration of his imbecility, we shall deal leniently with him.
The galvaniser of frogs comes next, and he endeavours to give us a shock with a sonnet, but his battery is a poor one.
"TO BLACKWOOD'S MAGAZINE, NO. LIV.
Meet emblem of the lot which Christopher, (Because he'll bear no rival near his throne,) Assigns an evil-starr'd Contributor:
Hence 'twas Hortensius' fair fame was stifled, Kit fear'd his sonnets would eclipse his own; So he suppress'd them, but their thoughts he rifled!" Suppressed!-What d'ye mean? as matter of merriment. "With all Didn't we print, (we forget in which the fierce endeavour of his wit," not No.,) your sonnet " To the half of a indeed " making the pained impotent broken pair of Scissars," beginning" Ah to smile," but seducing the bystanders me, thou helplessest of helpless things?" to sneer at a "soul in agony." To The reading public did not approve of it effect this, he misrepresents us most -the thermometer of popular opinion shamefully. We complain not of his was down at 32, under its frigorific in- depicting us as a victim of the gouty fluence, so that we were abundantly and rheumatic virus, for to our sorrow, justified in stuffing no more of Mr "'tis true 'tis pity, pity 'tis 'tis true,' Twitch's sonnets down the regurgita- that we are enfeebled by its attacksting throats of the literary multitude. but he does this by broadly asseveraHe may have a whole quire of his four- ting that our malady deteriorates our teeners by applying in Prince's Street; temper; that we do not bear our faand, moreover, as to the charge of culties meekly under the stings and trifling the thoughts they contain,-of arrows of this outrageous foe, that we our enacting the busy bee in the nec- are rendered by it peevish, snappish, qtareous cups of these flowers,-why, testy, tyrannical, unreasonable, and we can only say this-that Mr Black- unbearable. Instead of likening us, wood has orders to pay a guinea with when seated in our divan, to a father every one of these sonnets, in which among a devoted family, or to a paMr Hortensius Twitch shall point out triot king presiding over a united peoto the satisfaction of any chance passer- ple-he makes it appear as if we bore by the shop-window, (whom he and Mr more resemblance to a sour, crusty B., without collusion before-hand, are pedagogue among an unruly crew of to lay their paws upon for his purpose,) striplings too big for his management, that there is actually a thought con- -and who, with every inclination to tained! It must be a definite thought, wield the rod, is fain, out of prudence, -one which has been regularly brood- to let "I dare not" wait upon ed on in Mr T.'s brain, has chipped would." Can there be an example of the shell in the said sonnet, and there greater malignity? but fortunately stands visibly and intelligibly fledged, the venom will do no harm, as the and recognizable as a distinct thought point of this libeller's shaft is blunt, by ordinary capacities. If he can only and his arm not so potent as his mapoint symptoms of approximation to- lice. We laugh at the spleen of the wards a thought, Mr B. is, in that case, wretch, and treat our readers to a sight only empowered to remunerate the dis- of the caricature he has drawn, conconsolate poet at the rate of half a crown scious that not even an approach to a per sonnet so qualified. ludicrous resemblance can be discovered-it is, however, quite as good as any dramatic sketch of his which has heretofore solicited our approbation.
V. D. B.'s share in the crime is of a deeper stain. He is diabolically desirous of setting forth our infirmities
Scene-Ambrose's. Time-After Supper.
Chr. (Pettishly.) Plague on those herrings, they were nought but salt—
this ale? 'tis innocent of malt
I'd quench this thirst, if there were wherewithal
Better than poison'd be, ne'er drink at all.
I'll taste no more of it, this blessed night-
The Odontist. Cheer up, my man, the yill is no that bad.