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my mind to be more like the force of a balista, a catapulta, or battering ram, or like a right-handed hit judiciously planted by my friend Mr Cribb, than any other species of mechanical force with which I was acquainted. Mr Southdown, however, after some cogitation, declared he had found it out; and rubbing his hands in ecstasy at the discovery, shouted out, "De'il's in't if it can be ony thing else than the tup pet the callants had learned to box," that was the operator in this behind-hand manner of applying physical strength.
Geordy now began to apologize for the part he had taken in the scene, and hoped I wasna hurt, for he would rather have broken his leg than dune me the slightest injury, had he known wha I was; but, 'deed, sir, if ye kent how we're troubled wi' tink fers, and thae kind o' folk, and how Kirsty lost twa dukes no a week ago, forbye the chickens that were ta en awa by the tod, it's eneugh to pit a body in a passion, and hard for poor folk to lose their substance by landloupers, vermin, and vagabonds.” "Ye're ay ower rash wi' your hands, Geordy," said Mrs Christian; "ye're ay ower rash for it's no a year yet till Hallowe'en sin' ye killed our ain dog, striking at a foumart the puir beast was worrying."
By the assistance of my worthy and hospitable friend, I now changed my apparel, which, with blood, dirt, and water of various descriptions, too tedious to be here enumerated, was to tally unfitting for present wear; sub stituting for my own pantaloons, the corduroy breeches of a man twice my size, sliding myself into a coat which might have contained the body of a bailie, and drawing on a pair of blue worsted stockings, which ascended to near my watch-chain. I have no doubt that I made a most grotesque figure; and as I felt some difficulty in mana ging my new appointments, my worthy friend insisted that I should take his poney, "which kent every stane o' the road, though it war the mark hour o' midnight. Ye hae naething to do," said he," but to leave the beast at Reid's, in the Candlemaker-Row, and I'll send a callant in for't in the moin ing." This offer was too much to my taste to be refused. I had rather ride than walk at any time. So the poney was saddled; my fishing-basket, or trout-creel, as Geordy called it, was
slung over my shoulder; and with my rod in my right hand, and the bridle in my left, I was lighted past the cundy, the midden, and the pig-stye, and set fairly on the road to Edinburgh.
I jogged on at a quiet trot, till, coming down a lane near Colinton, and riding near the side of the road, which was at that place overhung by trees, I received a smart blow on the chops with a stick, which seemed to have come from some person on the other side of the dike. As it is the duty of every man to resist all attempts at injury of his person or spoliation of his goods, I raised my fishing-rod, unfortunately my only weapon, and struck with my utmost strength in the di rection from whence I conceived the blow to proceed. My rod broke in two with the violence of the stroke, lea ving part of it in my hand; and being now without other weapon of offence or defence, I hope it is no imputation on my courage to say, that I hurried forward to avoid farther mischief.
I had not much passed the village of Colinton, when I overtook a man, apparently a farmer, on horseback be fore me. As he seemed to be going the same road, I thought I could not do better than join company for mu tual protection, and with that view pushed the poney alongside the horse of the stranger. As soon as I came within hearing, I saluted him by say ing, "Dark night, friend!" He made no reply, but turned his horse to the other side of the road...I followed, or rather the poney followed, for the sake of society likewise I presume. "Will you allow me to bear you company, friend?" again I said. "Mind your
ain concerns and I'll mind mine," said he, setting off at a quick trot. Unwilling to be repulsed by a shew of incivility, I put spurs to the poney, explaining to the stranger, that if he were going to Edinburgh, I should be glad of his company, for the road was, in my opinion, not very safe. "Ye's hae nae company frae me," said he, riding still faster; I dinna like sic associates, an if it be God's will ye's no hae my bluid to answer for this night," continued he, putting his horse to its utmost speed. My poney, whe ther from sympathy or fun, required but little inducement to go at the same pace, and on we splattered as we had been riding for a saddle yeomanry race, the man's breathing
and occasional ejaculations evidently shewing that he conceived he was flying for his life.
We went on at this rate for about a mile, I calling out occasionally, Stop, my good friend, till I speak to you: what are you afraid of?" The honest yeoman, however, declined to slacken his pace; and at the going off of a bye road, turned up his horse and disappeared. After this I rode quietly on till I arrived at the Inn in the Candlemaker-Row, where the poney was to be left, and having given him in charge to the hostler, I walked home.
On ringing my own door bell, (it was not much after eleven o'clock,) the servant having come to the door with a candle, no sooner perceived me attempting to enter, than she slapped the door in my face, and shut the bolt, exclaiming, 661 Na, nae farther if you please; there's ower mony of your kind gaun about; gae about your busi ness.If ye're wantin the master, he's no in."-" Betty," said I, "that is very rude, open the door-it's me.' You!-and wha may you be when ye're at hame?" replied Betty."I ken it's you fu' weel; but nae tricks upon travellers; there's ower mony swindlers in the town, and we hae naething for you here:"and she retreated to her domicile in the kitchen. It was excessively hard to be shut out of one's own house, after such a series of uncomfortable adventures; and I made another furious attempt upon the bell. Nobody answered. I rung again-a third a fourth time, before Betty returned."Ye had better gang quietly about your business, man! there's naebody wants you here. If you dinna, I'll gang up the stair, and cry for the police."-" You stupid devil, you won't shut me out of my own house, will you ?-Open instantly."-"Od if that's no like Mr Columbus's voice after a'," said Betty; "and if it be him, what will he think o' me for steeking him out at this time o' night?"-I was then admitted, after a cautious examination of my face and person, by the help of the candle, in my grotesque habiliments; Mrs Co lumbus, as was perhaps natural, recog nized me with less difficulty; and af ter some little sustenance offered and received, I soon forgot the disasters of the evening in the quiet of sleep.
The murdered pig (Mr Southdown can do handsome things) came in a
present next morning,-and for the first time in my life I dined upon an animal that I had assisted to kill. The story itself was almost forgotten amid the bustle of business and the care of more important matters, till it was again revived the following week by a paragraph in the newspapers, the accuracy of which will be best appreciated by those who have read the preceding narrative. The paragraph to which I allude was as follows:
"On Tuesday evening last, as a farmer was returning from Currie, he was attacked by a highwayman near the village of Colinton, who snapped a pistol at him, and demanded his money. The farmer, who was a stout athletic man, knocked the pistol out of the robber's hand by a stroke of his whip, and would inevitably have secured him had he not set off (for he was well mounted) at full speed in the direction of Edinburgh. The farmer pursued him till near the town, but lost sight of him about Merchiston."
I beg to remark, before concluding, in honour of my own humanity, that to ascertain if I had committed manslaughter by the blow which broke my fishing-rod, I visited the spot in the course of next day; and to my joy found no traces which could lead me to think that I had inadvertently embrued my hands in the blood of a fellow creature. The other half of my fishing-rod I found in the inside of the dike, the turf coping of which bore evident marks of the violence of the blow; and I made the further discovery, that the invisible arm which had struck me on the face, was the projecting and leafless branch of a tree which overhung the road.
Reader, thine own good sense will leave thee at no loss for a moral reflection, connected with the subject of the present chapter. This world is a great theatre, in which one has occasionally to play parts as distant from their real character, as that of Sir Joseph Banks from a murderer, or as Christopher Columbus from a highwayman. Judge charitably decide cautiously-act with moderation: And should you ever, in your intercourse with the world, happen to hear any thing to the prejudice of those whom you esteem or love, recollect that in most human affairs, and regarding most human ac◄ tions, "There are aye twa ways o' telling a story."
LETTER FROM THOMAS HOPE, ESQ.
As an article in the last Number of your Magazine, entitled, " On Anastasius by Lord Byron," contains some assertions which, though proba bly only meant by the writer as face tiousness, might be mistaken by some simple reader for fact, I beg to state, that in the course of long and various travels, I resided nearly a twelvemonth at Constantinople; visited the arsenal and bagnio frequently; witnessed the festival of St George; saw Rhodes; was in Egypt, in Syria, and in every other place which I have attempted to describe minutely; collected my eastern vocabulary (notwithstanding the gentleman at Gordon's Hotel may be ignorant of the circumstance,) on the spot, and whilst writing my work; had at one time an Albanian in my service, as well as the celebrated poet
for whom, by a high literary compli
To the Editor of Blackwood's Magazines
On the Personalities of the Augustan Age of English Literature.
lic, whom the Whigs are so sedulously again trying to gull, that what is now called personality is a very ancient, perhaps an inveterate quality of all criticism. I do not mean, however, that you should write a regular history of personalities, but only in a cursory way convince some of your faint hearted readers, that the heinous sin of personality, which the Whigs, wor thy souls! are so piously trying to rail out of fashion, was quite as gross in former days as in our own.
MY DEAR KIT, JI SYMPATHISE with the indignation you feel against "those pluckless Tories," who having smarted so long themselves under the Whig cat-o'nine tails, viz. PERSONALITIES, had at last mustered courage to attack their adversaries, but, failing in the science, and wanting bottom, have cried peccavi. Courage, my old friend-stick to your own principles, and still wield your crutch undismayed. The new outcry against personalities, ought only to make you the more explicit in manifesting your determination to adhere to the rule you have adopted, namely," to use against your adversaries the wea pons which they have themselves used; and I therefore again take leave to reiterate what I urged in my last, namester (the Poet,) had espoused some ly, that you should shew the Whigs, from their own oracles and organs, that they have far exceeded, both in spite and venom, the utmost malice of your bitterest resentment, and, in many instances, without one allaying drop of your generous good humour; and also to remind the credulous pub
Old Dennis, the Jeffrey of Queen Anne's time, says of Pope, in his Reflections, Critical and Satirical, on a Rhapsody called an Essay on Cri→ ticism, printed by Bernard Lintot," "One would swear that this young
antiquated muse, who had sued out a divorce from some superannuated sinner upon account of impotence, and who being pd by the former spouse, has got the gout in her decre pid age, which makes her hobble so damnably." This is pretty plain and free criticism. Match it if you can
even from the writings of the Whigs of our own time. Cobbett himself has nothing so rich and perfect. But this, it will be said, is only metaphorical, and applicable to The Essay on Criticism." The author is spared, indeed! Then read on, "He is a little affected hypocrite, who has nothing in his mouth but candour, truth, friendship, good nature, humanity and magnanimity. He is so great a lover of falsehood, that whenever he has a mind to calumniate his cotemporaries, he brands them with some defect which is contrary to some good quality, for which all their friends and acquain tances commend them." But did Pope prosecute Dennis for this? No he had more sense he did as you would have done in his age and situation; he wrote the Dunciad. Pope was also elsewhere described as a creature that is "
once a beast and a man ; a Whig and a Tory, a writer of Guardians and Examiners; a jesuitical professor of truth; a base and foul pretender to candour.' Theobald, in Mist's Journal for 22d June, 1728, declared that "he ought to have a price set on his head, and to be hunted down as a wild beast." In Gulliveriana, he is desired to cut his throat or hang himself. So much for the critics of the Augustan age of Eng lish literature. But let us now look at Pope's retaliation-for his satire, like your own, was retaliation, with this difference however, that as the proVocation was personal, the revenge was personal. Yours was party, and your retaliation is also party, and of course the more innocent of the two, for you have attacked only public principles, offensively put forth, and public conduct, nefarious in its practices, or ludicrous by its folly. I will begin with the Dunciad.
There has been some doubt among the commentators as to who was the hero of the poem, and therefore let us pass him over. But what is to be said of the personality in the description of Bedlam?
"Close to those walls, where folly holds
And laughs to think Munroe would take
Where o'er the gates, by his famed father's hand, "Great Cibber's brazen brainless brothers stand."
Obscene with filth, the miscreant lies bewray'd,
Fallen in the plash his wickedness had laid,
I shall neither advert to the coarse
ness of this passage, nor offend the delicate organs of some of your friends, by quoting what follows about Curl's being
"Renew'd by ordure's sympathetic force, As oil'd by magic juices for the course. Vigorous he rises, from the effluvia strong, Imbibes new life, and scours and stinks along."
I have not looked into the Dunciad since we were chums together at Dame Norton's, and I had no remembrance of its obscenity and grossness. Surely Smalls" when he eulogized the moral Byron must have been quizzing "the taste of Pope; and I would here ask, has he himself ever been considered as a libeller, for his "English Bards and Scotch Reviewers?"-But, for the present, our business is with Twickenham..
The two celebrated statues of Raving and Melancholy Madness, were by Cibber's
"Fearless on high stood unabash'd De Foe, And Tutchin flagrant from the scourge below;
There Ridpath, Roper, cudgell'd might ye view,
The very worsted still look'd black and blue."
I do not mean to defend the allusions in these verses to the punishments which some of the parties mentioned suffered, for all such things are in bad taste, but merely to remind your thin-skinned friends, that when you have happened, once or twice, in some momentary fit of spleen, to sneer at the legal misfortunes of some of the Cockney libellers, you have had the classical authority of Pope for your example. But what is the foregoing to the following?
"A second see, by meeker manners known, And modest as the maid that sips alone; From the strong fate of drams, if thou get
Another Durfey, Ward! shall sing in thee. Thee shall each alehouse, thee each gill
And answering gin-shops sourer sighs re
But I am disgusted with the ribaldry of the Dunciad, a work, both on ac count of its absurdity and malicious
spirit, long since justly consigned to contempt and neglect. I will therefore throw it aside, and dip a little into Dryden. In which of all your piquant pages, can you shew me any thing half so keenly personal, as fifty extracts which may be made from his Absalom and Achitophel? Take, for example, the character of Lord Shaftesbury.
"A name to all succeeding ages cursed;
age the needful hours of rest, Punish a body which he could not please, Bankrupt of life, yet prodigal of ease. And all to leave what with his toil he won, To that unfeather'd two-legged thing-a
Got while his soul did huddled notions try, And born a shapeless lump, like anarchy; In friendship false, implacable in hate, Resolved to ruin, or to rule the state."
Again, look at the famous sketch of the Duke of Buckingham.
"A man so various, that he seem'd to be Not one, but all mankind's epitome; Stiff in opinion, always in the wrong; Was every thing by starts, and nothing long;
But, in the course of one revolving moon, Was chemist, poet, statesman and buffoon: Then all for women, painting, rhyming, drinking,
Besides ten thousand freaks that died in thinking.
Thus wicked but in will, of means bereft, He left not faction, but of that was left."
And what's this to many others? And when did you ever say any thing to Dryden's Shimei? But is Dryden, comparable against Mayor or Alderman for that character of Slingsby Bethel, considered to have exceeded the ancient charter of the satirists ?
But to leave the Absalom and Achitophel, (every verse of which is a drop of the genuine aquafortis of personality,) what have even the Whigs of our written to match Dryden's character own time, gross as they have been, ever of the Duke of Marlborough in Tarquin and Tullia.
"Of these, a captain of the guard was
Whose memory, to this day, stands aye
This rogue, advanced to military trust, By his own whoredom and his sister's lust, And plotted to betray him to his foes." Forsook his master, after dreadful vows,
This, I think, is a tolerable specimen of the licensed licentiousness of the press of former days; but what shall and his Consort Mary. we say to the account of King William
"The states thought fit That Tarquin on the vacant throne should sit;
Voted him regent in their senate house; And with an empty name endowed his
The elder Tullia; who, some authors feign, Drove o'er her father's corpse a rumbling wain.
But she, more guilty, numerous wains did drive,
To crush her father and her king alive;