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cies as thése in one's noddle ;-but, on for a mere jeu-d'esprit. --for my friend the subject of the Chaldee manuscript, was a humourist, and was in the habit let me now speak the truth. You your of saying good things. The Chaldee self, Kit, were learned respecting that was the last work, of the kind of which article; and myself, Blackwood, and a' I have been speaking, that he lived to reverend gentleman of this city, alone finish. He confessed it and the murknow the perpetrator. The unfortu- der, the day before he died, to the nate man is now dead, but delicacy to gentleman specified, and was sufficienthis friends makes me withhold his ly pénitent; yet, with that inconsiste name from the public. It was the ency not unusual with dying men, alsame person who murdered Begbie! most his last words were, (indistinctly Like Mr Bowles and Ali Pacha, he mumbled to himself,) “ It ought not was a mild man, of unassuming man to have been left out of the other edi. ners,--a scholar and a gentleman. It tions." is quite a vulgar error to suppose him After this plain statement, Hogg a ruffian. He was sensibility itself, must look extremely foolish. We shall and would not hurt a fly. But it was next have him claiming the murder a disease with him “ to excite public likewise, I suppose; but he is totally emotion.” Though he had an amiable incapable of either. wife, and a vast family, he never was Now for another confounded boun. happy, unless he saw the world gaping cer! like a stuck pig. With respect to his 6. From the time I gave up. The Spy,' murdering Begbie, as it is called, he I had been planning with my friends to knew the poor man well, and had fre commence the publication of a Magaquently given him hoth small sums of zine on a new plan; but for several years, money, and articles of wearing appa

we only conversed about the utility of such rel. But all at once it entered his a work, without doing any thing farther. brain, that, by putting him to death mention it to Mr Thomas Pringle ; when

At length, among others. I chanced to in a sharp, and clever, and mysterious I found that he and his friends had a plan manner, and seeming also to rob him in contemplation of the same kind. We of an immense number of bank notes, agreed to join our efforts, and try to set it the city of Edinburgh would be thrown a-going ; but, as I declined the editorship into a ferment of consternation, and on account of residing mostly on my farm there would be no end of the “public at a distance from town, it became a puzemotion,” to use his own constant ling question who was the best qualified phrase on occasions of this nature. among our friends for that undertaking. The scheme succeeded to a miracle. We at length fixed on Mr Gray as the He stabbed Begbie to the heart, rob, and I went and mentioned the plan to Mr

fittest person for a principal department, bed the dead body in a moment, and Blackwood, who, to my astonishment, I escaped. But he never used a single found, had likewise long been cherishing a stiver of the money, and was always plan of the same kind. He said he knew, kind to the widow of the poor man, nothing about Pringle, and always had his who was rather a gainer by her hus- eye on me as a principal assistant; but he band's death. I have reason to believe would not begin the undertaking, until he that he ultimately regretted the act; saw he could do it with effect. Finding but there can be no doubt that his him, however, disposed to encourage such enjoyment was great for many years, a work, Pringle, at my suggestion, made hearing the murder canvassed in his out a plan in writing, with a list of his own presence, and the many absurd supporters, and sent it in a letter to me. theories broached on the subject,

which Lenclosed it in another, and sent it to Mr he could have overthrown by a single Pringle and he came to an arrangement

Blackwood ; and not long after that period, word. Mr wrote the Chaldee Manu. in the country. Thus I had the honour

about commencing the work, while I was script precisely on the same principle of being the beginner, and almost sole inon which he murdered Begbie ; and stigator of that celebrated work, BLACKhe used frequently to be tickled at wood's MAGAZINE.". hearing the author termed an assassin. Hogg here says, he declined the Very true, very true," he used to say editorship of Blackwood's Magazine. such

occasions, shrugging his shoul. This happened the same year that he ders with delight, “ he is an assassin, declined the offer of the governor-gesir; he murdered Begbie:”—and this neralship of India, and a seat in the sober truth would pass, at the time, cabinet." These refusals on his part

on

due that of Friesser Wilkie, tee of volume in in
winchey author of the Epigomad. Mir Hogg Weite all their

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No, nor the notes either. They are all ries, may change their characters, so as to oribbed out of books, without even the disgrace the estimate at which I have set grace of inverted commas. Destroy, them, and my social companions may alter therefore, these two volumes. The their habits.of my own productions, I Winter Evening Tales “ were written have endeavoured to give an opinion, with in early life, when I was serving as a

perfect candour ; and, although the parshepherd-lad among the mountains," the preceding pages, yet I trust every ge.

tiality of an author may be too apparent in -50 charge not against an elderly

nerous heart will excuse the failing, and man the sins of his youth. This yields make due allowance.” the relief of two volumes. His guilt, therefore, lies within the conspass of

Heaven knows that I had no intenseven volumes, or a volume per year when I began this letter ; but I have

tion of subjecting you to double postage, since the 1813.

The swineherd frequently alludes to been led on, drivelling away paragraph a larger work, of which the present is after paragraph, in my good natured only an abstract, or rather a collection old style, till there is not above an inch of ® elegant extracts.” He concludes of candle left, vapouring away in the the present autobiography thus :

socket of the save-all. The truth is, “ In this short mémoir, which is composed ness for Hogg ; and, to shew how

that, after all, I have a sneaking kindof extracts from a larger detail, I have confined myself to such anecdotes only, as re

completely free I am, of all malicious late to my progress as a writer, and these thoughts, I request that you will send I intend continuing from year to year as

out to him this Letter by the Selkirk long as I live. There is much that I have carrier, and oblige, written that cannot as yet appear; for the An OLD FRIEND WITH A New Face. literary men of Scotland, my contempora..

[COURTEOUS READER,-If thou art one of the numerous family of “ THE SMALLS," the consternation which thou hast suffered in reading the foregoing epistle, can receive no alleviation from any palliative in our power to apply. But if thou art, as we believe the generality of our readers are, a person endowed with a gentlemanly portion of common sense, and can relish banter and good humour as well as curry and claret, thou wilt at once discover that the object of this “ deevilrie," to use an expression of the Shepherd's, is to add to the interest which his life has excited. Indeed if the paper has not come from Altrive Lake itself, it has certainly been written by some one who takes no small interest in the Shepherd's affairs ; for, in the private letter which accompanies it, the virtues and talents of Hogg are treated with all the respect they merit ; and a hope is most feelingly expressed, that by this tickling the public sympathy may be awakened, so as to occasion a most beneficial demand for his works, and put a few cool hundreds in his pocket. At all events, if the Shepherd himself is not the flagellant, we may forthwith expect such an answer as will leave him quits with the writer, whoever he may be ; and certainly, as his autobiography sufficiently proves, his fame can be in no hands more friendly than his own. Let us not, however, be misunderstood. To those who will, “with lifted hands, and eyes upraised,” regard this as one of those wicked, and we know-not-whatto-call-them, things, which afflict the spirits of so many of our co-temporaries, we can offer nothing in extenuation of the playful malice of this “ attack.” But seriously we do think, that among all those whom it must constrain to' laughter, none will “ rax his jaws" more freely than the Shepherd himself.

C. N.

01

THE MODERN BRITISH DRAMA.

No. I.

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THE FATAL UNCTION. A Coronation Tragedy-By LAELIUS ******* M.D. We have great pleasure in doing our Do wreak their wrath upon the stedfast i utmost to bring this singularly beau

hills.” tiful production into notice. It has After some further conversation of redeemed, in our opinion, the literary this kind, the archbishop sayscharacter of the age from the impu

" But why, my good Lord Count, are tation of the players, to whom we may The spark of life in Carlo Aurenzebe

you thus shaken? now confidently assert a true dramatic genius does exist in English literature. Is surely not eterne. He is a man : Not only is the subject of this tragedy At any time,

my lord, at any time,

The posset or the poniard may suffice chosen in an original spirit, and the

To give him his quietus.' fable constructed with the greatest “ Peace, fool, peace,” is the abrupt skill, but the versification and dialogue and impassioned reply of Count

Butero are equally entitled to unqualified to the archbishop, and then the folpraise. The plot is founded on the unhappy

lowing animated colloquy ensues :

Archó. I am no fool, you misapply coronation of Carlo Aurenzebe, King of Sicily, a prince of the Austrian dy- I ne'er was such, nor such will ever be.

nasty, who was put to death during Oh, if your Lordship would but give me FAC

the solemn ceremony of the anoint hearing, ment, by the conspirators substituting I would a scheme unfold to take him off,

a corrosive oil, of the most direful na That ne'er conspirator devised before. To ture, instead of the consecrated into

Count Butero. Thy hand and pardon. ment; and the medical author, with a

?Tis my nature's weakness . rare felicity, has accordingly called to be thus petulant ; ah, well you know, his tragedy“ The Fatal Unction.” As My Lord Archbishop, for I oft have tolů

you, the story is well known, we think it Told in confession how my too quick ire unnecessary to say more respecting it, Betrays me into sin. But thou didst speak than that the Doctor, with a judicious Of taking off, hinting at Aurenzebe fidelity to historical truth, has stuck What was't thou wouldst unfold ? close to all the leadingincidents, as they Archb.

To-morrow, Count Hi

arenarrated in Ugo Foscolo's classic his- Look round.
tory, in three volumes quarto, a tran-

Count Butero. There's no one near. slation of which, with ingenious anno

Archb. Heard ye not that ?

Count Butero. 'Twas but the mountain tations, may speedily, we understand, be expected from the animated pen of

belching-out upon't. Sir Robert Wilson, the enterprizing Rumble his bellyful, nor thus disturb

Pray thee proceed, and let the choleric hill member for Southwark.

The wary utterance of thy deep intents. The play opens with a grand scene What would you say ? in a hilly country, in which Mount

Archb. To-morrow, my dear Count, Ætna is discovered in the back ground. The Carlo Aurenzebe, your sworn foe, Butero, who had a chief hand in the And our fair Sicily's detested tyrant, plot, enters at midnight, followed by the Holds in Palermo, with all antique rites, Archbishop of Palermo, whom he ad- His royal coronation. dresses in the following spirited lines,

Count Butero. I know that.
his right hand stretched towards the Archb. And 'tis your part, an old time-
burning mountain.

honour'd right,
“ There, spitting fires in heaven's endur. To place the diadem upon his brow.

Count Butero. Proceed-go on.
ing face,
Behold where Ætna stands sublime, nor

Archb. And 'tis my duteous service dreads

To touch and smear him with the sacred oil. The vengeance of the foe he so insults

Count Butero. I am all ear what then? For what to him avails the thunderbolt ?

Archb. What then, my lord ? what It cannot harm his adamantine head,

might not you and I
Nor lavish showers of rain hiş burning To free the world of one so tyrannous ?".

In that solemnity perform on him,
quench :-
The wonted arms with which the warring

The traitor archbishop then proceeds skies

to develope the treason which he had

course

hatched, and proposes, instead of the some political reflections, rather of a consecrated oil, to anoint the King with radical nature, are made on the Sici. a deadly venom, of which he had pro- lian government and road trustees. In vided himself with a phial. Occasional the end, however, as the poor woman borrowed expressions may be here and is quite bankrupt, by the sinking of there detected in the dialogue ; but, in her quadruped Argusey, Gaffer Curioso general, they only serve to shew the persuades her to go to the city, where variety of the Doctor's reading; we fear, she may perhaps gather as much mohowever, that the following account ney by begging in the crowd assembled of the preparation, which the arch- to see the coronation, as will enable bishop had procured, must be consi- her to set up again with another ass dered as a palpable imitation of the and baskets. The whole of this scene history of Othello's handkerchief: at is managed with great skill, and the the same time, it certainly possesses breaks and sparklings of natural pathos, much of an original freshness, and of here and there elicited, are exceedingthe energy that belongs to a new con- ly beautiful. The little incongruity of ception.

making the Sicilians converse in our “ The stuff in this (shewing the bottle] be deemed a blemish; but when it is

doric dialect, may, perhaps, by some, a gypsey did prepare From a decoction made of adders' hearts,

considered, that the different high And the fell hemlock, whose mysterious characters in the piece speak in Engjuice

lish, the propriety

of making those of Doth into mortal curd knead the brisk the lower order talk in Scotch, we are blood,

convinced, must, upon serious reflecWherein the circling life doth hold its tion, appear judicious and beautiful.

When the peasants, with the gypsey, A friar saw her sitting by a well,

lave quitted the stage, the scene is again Tasting the water with her tawny palm, And bought the deadly stuff.”

shifted, and we are introduced to Carlo

Aurenzebe, the King and the beautiful The count and archbishop, having Splendora, his royal consort, in their agreed “to infect with death" their bed-chamber. His majesty has been lawful and legitimate monarch, while up some time, walking about the room, he is undergoing the fatigues of his anxious for the coming of his Lord inauguration, then go to the palace on Chamberlain, whose duty it was, acpurpose to confer with certain others cording to ancient custom, in such a of the rebellious nobles; and the scene morning, to dress him; but the Queen changes to a narrow valley, and pea- still presses her pillow asleep; in this sants are seen descending from the situation, the King happens to cast his hills, singing “God save the King,” eye towards the bed, and forgetting being then on their way towards Pa- his own anxious cares about the imlermo to see the coronation.

pending cereinony of the day, addressHaving descended on the stage, and

es her in the following tender and finished their loyal song, one of them,

touching verses : Gaffer Curioso, sees an old gypsey wo “ How like a rose her blooming beauty man, the same who sold the poison to

presses the friar, standing in a disconsolate The smooth plump pillow, and the dent it posture, and going towards her, he makes gives her a hearty slap on the back, Is as a dimple in the guileless cheek and says, in a jocund humour, Of some sweet babe, whose chubby inno“ What's making you hiig your grun

cence t'e, lucky, on sic a day as this ?

Smiles to provoke caresses. 0, my love Gyp. Och hon! och hon !

But let her sleep-too soon, alas ! too soon Gaffer Curi. What are ye och-honing She must be roused, to bear her heavy part fur?

In the great business of the coronation.” Gyp. Do ye see that bell in the dub there? His majesty then, in the most afGraffer Curi. Weel, what o't? fectionate manner, steps towards the

Gyp. It's a'that's left me for an ass and bed, and stoops twa creels."

?" to taste her cheek, The carlin having thus explained the That, like a full-ripe peach, lures the fond cause of her grief, namely, the loss of lip." her ass and paniers in the mire, a con- In the attempt he awakens ber, and versation arises respecting the bad and she leaps out of bed, startled and alarm, neglected state of the roads, in which cd, exclaiming

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