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The Correspondents of the EDINBURGH MAGAZINE and LITERARY MISCELLANY are respectfully requested to transmit their Communications for the Editor to ARCHIBALD CONSTABLE & COMPANY, Edinburgh, or to HURST, ROBINSON, & COMPANY, London; to whom also orders for the TVork should be addressed.
Prinded by J. Kulhuen Sona.
Address to the Public.
Ar the commencement of another year, it is customary for Editors to address a few words to their readers: in availing ourselves of this prescriptive privilege, however, it is not our intention to emblazon our own merits, indulge in empty boasts, or parade promises of unattainable excellence: our object is to speak directly and explicitly to the point. In the first place, then, we are, of course, grateful for the liberal support we have hi, therto received, and the continuance of which we shall endeavour, by encreased exertion, to deserve. In the next place, the leading principle upon which this work has been, in time past, and will, in future, be conducted, is impartiality; a word which we wish to be understood both in a literary and political sense. Trammelled by no party feelings or connections, and consequently reckless of the favour or hostility of the hirelings or retainers of faction, with whom independent merit is nothing, the shibboleth of their party every thing,-we have abused no man on account of his political prejudices, attachments, or even tergiversations; nor have we condescended to laud folly, extravagance, or nonsense, merely because they emanated from individuals with whom, perhaps, we hold many opinions in common. In evidence of this, it is only necessary to refer to the bonest and conscientious praise we have, on several occasions, awarded to Mr Southey, and to the well-merited severity of reproof with which we rebuked the atrocious impieties and blasphemies of Lord Byron.
Acting upon this general principle, we have endeavoured to infuse into our pages a reasonable intermixture of the useful and the entertaining of solid information, and of that lighter and gayer literature which has now acquired such charms for the readers of Periodical Works. The pictures of Scottish manners, customs, superstitions, and scenery, contained in “ The Literary Legacy,
Scraps of the Covenant," “ Reminiscences of Auld Lang syne," and other papers of a similar cast, were drawn by masterly hands, and, we have reason to think, have been most favourably received by the public. The papers on Science, which have occasionally appeared in the EDINBURGH MAGAZINE, are the productions of a gentleman, whose extensive and accurate acquirements, joined to his great experience, and taste for general literature, warrant the confidence we repose in him, and the value we set on his contributions. Of the poetry we have published, we consider ourselves justified in asserting, that it is of the very first excellence. This opinion, though confidently, is not rashly, or unadvisedly hazarded ; and were we not restrained by feelings of delicacy, and other motives in which the public can take no interest, from mentioning the names of the distinguished individuals by whom the greater part of it has, been contributed, this would appear to be not a silly or impertinent boast, but the simple expression of what is due to that excellence, which, under the veritable names of the writers, the public have already most unequivocally acknowledged. When any of our contemporaries shall produce poetry superior in merit to the “ Tale of the Secret Tribunal,” the “ Characters omitted in Crabbe's Parish Register," “ The Spartan March," “ The Festal Hour," and the great majority of the lighter pieces which have, from time to time, appeared in our columns, we shall he happy to retract the opinion we have now pronounced, and to atone for arrogating to ourselves this excellence by a hearty acquiescence in the principle of—detur digniori.
With regard to our means of not only sustaining, but, as we flatter ourselves, greatly improving the character of this Magazine, they are not only ample, but superabundant: so much so, indeed, as to render the task of se
lection at once delicate and difficult; delicate, as regards the respective claims of our numerous and able contributors; and difficult, from the general excellence by which the articles transmitted us have been so creditably and so remarkably characterised. We have no hesitation, therefore, in assuring our readers, that we never commenced a year under such fortunate auspices; that the quantity of talent embarked in our service is greater than our most sanguine expectations ever led us to anticipate ; and that no effort shall be wanting, on our part, to bring into action the powerful means which have been placed at our disposal. This much we conceived it allowable to state in our own behalf : at the same time we are convinced that we shall be tried by our works, not by our pretensions ; that, in this enlightened age, the indispensable preliminary to success is to deserve it; and that talent, industry, and enterprize, cannot fail of being suitably rewarded.
Co Correspondents. “ Atticus SecunDUS and the New Art of Puffing,” is unavoidably postponed, but will assuredly appear as soon as see occasion. The disingenuous trick, to give it no harsher name, to which Verus refers, deserves to be exposed : it is calculated at once, to deceive the public, and injure the respectability of literature.
Madame Necker was a very clever woman, but we would rather decline inserting any more of her Letters or Maxims. They have no direct or immediate interest.
“ The Lucubrations of Geoffrey Plumpington, No. II.” were duly received ; but our previous arrangements rendered iť impossible to provide room for them this month.
We beg to acknowledge the receipt of “ Horæ Scotticæ, No. III.” No. II. has, perhaps, been too long delayed ; but we make no promises.
We have left a letter at our Publishers for the author of the “ Essay on the Contemplation of Nature."
“ The Hall of Saint Clare” is, upon the whole, very good. Towards the commencement, however, there are some halting lines, which we wish the author would remedy: when this is done, we shall communicate our determination.
“ Traits of the French Character” has already been in some measure anticipated by “ Letters from Paris.”
The “ Verses on the Study of Anatomy, by a Student of Medicine,” are very sensible and very devout : but though sense and devotion are very com*patible with, they alone do not constitute poetry. The “ verses” are at the author's service whenever he chooses to call for them.
We have have no wish to “ catch” “ Tom Beavor :" we only desire to understand him; and when we are fortunate enough to do so, we may possibly publish his lucubration. If we were certain he would not take it amiss, we would give him a bit of gratuitous, and perhaps useful advice; and that would be, never to write without an object.
“ The Dying Poet” we have not yet read.
of other matters has rendered it necessary to delay, till our next, the paper on Napoleon's Memoirs. We regret doing so the less, as, by this postponement, we shall, at the same time, be able to give some account of Mr Southey's delightful volume on the Peninsular War.
THE BONDSPIEL DINNER. nailed to a counter,—or presenting, as Vides ut altâ stet nive candidum
it were, a centaur transformation, or * Queensberry” nec jam sustineant onus transmigration, of clerk into downSylvæ laborantes, geluque
ward tripod, and of tripod again inFlumina constiterint acuto.
to the upper extremities of clerk,Dissolve frigus ligna super foco or shivering under a manifest defiLarge reponens, atque benignius ciency of flesh, accompanied by an eDeprome quadrimum Salignâ,
qually manifest redundancy of skin! 0! " Sally, hark ye," whisky diotâ. These, however, are only the allot
Nature having laid out more than ments of necessity; and it were cerone-half of our frame on locomotive tainly cruel to expose the unavoidfaculties—in other words, man being able wretchedness of man, for the evidently a moving animal,-it fol single object of distressing him. But lows, that they who endure a seden such evils “ inwoven with,” are often tary life, counteract her purposes,
exasperated by others that are volunand consequently, expose themselves tarily though incautiously admitted to her displeasure. They forfeit, in into our lot. We are apt to fly from fact, not only the privileges, but even sedentary avocations, to amusements the credit of their caste, and settle equally sedentary; and thus to rendown into something still lower than der the hours which business yields 2. companionship with the king of to recreation, injurious, in place of Babylon, in his grazing excursion.
being conducive to health. What So fully were the sagacious ancients is there, for example, in the marconvinced, not only of the brutal, but shalling of pawns and rooks,-in a even of the infernal character of this blind, and blinding admiration of preposterous mode of existence, that kings, and queens, and castles ? the prince of Latin verse has parti- What is there in the ceaseless and cularised “ sitting” amongst the annoying agitation of ivory cubes, punishments of Avernus.
and in the ever-recurring dash and
rattle on a back-gammon board ? * Sedet eternumque sedebit
What is there even in the inimitable lafelix Theseus !”
and most bewitching of all sedentary Indeed, in entering into the work- games, whist, to compare, in point shop of a tailor, in diving into the of exhilaration, with those more ac="? sub-pavement office of a W. S., ortive out-of-doors amusements, to in combating the overpowering air which every season, in some meawhich meets you at the room-door sure, and under some modification, of the mere student, there has of- and to which the present season in ten visited my very soul a pang of particular, so directly and urgently commiseration for the “ poor inha- solicits us? bitant within," flattened, and batter- One very prominent advantage ed down to a board, like a base coin which these latter amusements pos
sess over the former, consists in that tive tipsiness on the one hand, and buoyancy of spirit, and elasticity of positive sobriety on the other, the imagination, which exercise under region and domain, we shall term it, the
open air is sure to produce. of hilarity,—a passing, indeed, but Whilst the draft,-or chess, -orcard- a powerful hour of open-heartedness player, rises from his seat, sore with and boundless fancy, when the necsitting, and absolutely stupified by a tar begins first to catch the blood, wasteful and a useless expence of and long ere it has reached the brain, thought,—whilst he yawns himself or tripped up the heels of the coninto a chair at meal-time, and swal- sonants, this is the time when a man lows his dinner more from habit than is conscious of a soul within him, and from appetite,—whilst he remains rejoices in the consciousness, when flat, absent, or forced in conversation, the blood flows so easily and so raand is sure to suffer in his health by pidly, that the heart escapes every any, even the slightest degree of ar instant, on a tide of feeling, to the tificial excitement,--the votary of very extremities of the system. open-air amusements, whether he has inhaled his spirits on the land
“ Sweet is the breath of Morn; her rising
sweet ; or on the water, under all the ex
With charm of earliest birds, pleasant citement and manly emulation of a golfing, quoiting, or curling contest,
When first on this delightful land he is sure to bring home with him, to
spreads the social board and hour, an extra
His orient beams, on herb, tree, fruit, and supply of spirits and vivacity. And
flower, if you place him under the addition
Glist’ning with dew;" al excitement of a “ companion and a bottle,” you have made him hap- and when the “ fair Lady Moon" pier, I verily believe, than ever was walks forth in her pale virginity, and the successful candidate at a contest- her chastened lustre “ sleeps on all ed election, or than all the discover the hills,”-how sweet, too, to ramers of all the problems in Euclid. ble in that long hollow valley of Bag
Amongst the exclusive privileges dad, which separates Arthur's Seat of which they who have been com from Salisbury Crag! and if the panions in the day's sports are pos- shadow of her on whom your heart sessed, that of discussing at table the has fixed all the intensity and purity feats of the day is by no means the of a first love, darken the green pathleast. On this subject every one is at way side, commixed with your own, home, and every one is enabled, as -if
and well as entitled to speak. The silent hand of her who clings to you like an man now becomes loquacious, the ivy, and awakens your very soul, in diffident acquires assurance, and the the justlings and mutual dependenconfident and overbearing meets with cies of every step,-oh! how envious his match. All that stiffness, and your situation ! how exquisite your shyness, and jealousy of talent or bliss! Yet, after all, speaking like acquirement, which, in literary com a rational and a common-sense man, panies in particular, sometimes in a character I have done much to duces weariness and disgust,--all that acquire, and to preserve which I have absolute poverty of invention, and made more sacrifices of exquisite downright dulness, which lies like folly than all, I believe, it is really an incubus over common-place par- worth,-a smoking bowl, two good ties,-all that monopoly in con- moulded candles, a clean hearth, a versation, which some talking indi- clear Newcastle-coal fire, with a vidual so frequently usurps and a suitable accompaniment of blyth, buses ;-all these evils under the sun and familiar, and friendly faces, are a are here unknown,--and the full match for a deal of whispering, and and unrestrained swing of heart and justling, and moonlight rambling. soul comes down in the boasted
The good lady, of whose residence achievement, the recollected incident, and employment, at Kippletringen, and the challenged mistake or failure. even childhood and bed-rid-age have There is a critical juncture, Mr heard, having some friends, male or Editor, equally removed from posi- female, I really forget which, in the