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want of a congenial soil, but that its seeds have either never arrived in this country or have been at once destroyed by the measures adopted for expurgation.
The late plague at Malta affords a strong reason for attributing our long exemption to our quarantine system. Malta had been free from plague for one hundred and thirty-six years, and dated this freedom from the period when its quarantine laws were improved and enforced. Its climate is salubrious, the habits of its people cleanly; and its Quarterly Reviewers might in 1812 have asserted, like our's, that " it did not seem probable it could ever receive a sufficient measure of contagious miasmata to cause the prevalence of positive plague." But in 1813 a vessel arrives at Valetta with the plague on board, it is received into quarantine, and the crew placed in the Lazaretto. In a few days the disorder appears in the town; it spreads first among relations and friends, and at last becomes general. A communication between the family of the first sufferers and the infected ship is clearly traced. Well may the writer in the Quarterly venture to think it "next to impossible to doubt the connexion of the plague at Malta with the arrival of the San Nicolo 1" This is indeed almost the nearest approach which he makes to a decided opinion; but it is produced by a strong and overpowering fact, supported by the most unquestionable proofs. This fact alone is enough to uphold our quarantine laws, and to make us tremble at the idea of their alteration; for although the forty days of restriction might be reduced without danger to a shorter term, still we feel a kind of superstitious reverence for the system to which we attribute our long freedom from the attacks of plague. No dodbt, however, were it to appear amongst us to-morrow, our danger would be aggravated as much by learned pertinacity as by vulgar ignorance ; hundreds would dispute its contagion, and die to prove their error; and as Dr. Russell observes, "If out of one hundred persons exposed to plague by a near approach to the sick, ninety only should become ill, the inability to assign reasons for the escape of the other ten would be converted into a positive argument against .the disease being taken by contagion."
Where are now the dreaming flowers.
Which of old were wont to lie,
In the pale blue sky?
Where's the once red regal rose?
And the lily love-enchanted?
Like a thought earth-planted?
Some are wither'd—some are dead—
Others now have no perfume;
That hath lost its bloom.
Passions, such as nourish strife
In our blood, and quick decay,
Till it fades away. B,
l, ETTER ON THE TIM BU CTO O ANTHOLOGY..
SIR,-With every respect for the acknowledged ability with which you conduct your journal, and with all the hesitation which should belong to a country curate in a first attempt to appear in print, I venture to address you on the subject of an article in your last number, on “Timbuctoo Anthology,” concerning the authenticity of which I entertain some serious doubts. You must know, Sir, that the New Monthly Magazine is upon the list of our reading club, and a general favourite with its members, who are in the habit at their nightly meetings of canvassing the various topics, literary and political, which are started by the current publications of the day; and it is upon the joint opinion of a respectable majority of these gentlemen, and not upon the unbacked suggestions of my own mind, that I presume to insinuate a suspicion that you have been grossly imposed upon by the person who professes to give specimens of Timbuctoo literature; that Mr. Muggs has never visited the interior of Africa; and that the whole communication is neither more nor less than what you Londoners call “a dead hoax.”
In the first place, Sir, let me call your attention to a remark of the worthy rector, whose curacy I serve; namely, that Mr. Muggs (I beg his pardon, Captain Jonathan Washington Muggs) is a subject of the United States, and that we have the best authority in the world, the Quarterly Review, for believing that the Anglo-Americans are by the perversity of their moral and social institutions, much given to lying, and are indeed the most unprincipled vagabonds on the face of the earth. Now though I am not, I trust, deficient in that Christian charity which should accompany the cloth I have the honour to wear, yet I cannot but adhere to my rector's opinion (who is a very loyal and learned man, and a justice of the peace to boot), because the Americans are notoriously without a church establishment, and consequently without that “sound learning and religious education” which the people of these happy realms derive from a more steady adherence to the customs and laws of their wise and pious ancestors. To this observation, Lieutenant Longbow, H.P. Royal Navy assented, remarking at the same time, that nothing was more likely than for Jonathan to trump up such a story, exactly as he did about the superiority of the American navy in the last war; notwithstanding that it was notorious that the Yankies gained all their victories by pure hazard, or superior weight of metal. The jealousy of the Americans respecting our supremacy in arts, commerce, arms, policy and legislation, is notorious to all readers of the ministerial journals; and it may be easily imagined, that in order to deprive the African Company and the indefatigable English adventurers of any praise they might merit, by ultimately reaching the object of
their destination, the malignant Captain Muggs would not scruple falsely
to assert, that he had been beforehand with us, and patch up a silly tale, every line of which (by the way) contains its own refutation. If Mr. Muggs be not altogether a fictitious personage, and we may trust his own account of his life and adventures, it is not improbable, that he acquired from his cradle a habit of lying from his Timbuctoo mother : for we all know how little credit is due to a negro slave: seeing that
our Colonial legislators, who ought to know best how the case stands, have wisely ordained, that the evidence of such creatures should not be receivable in a court of justice; which sufficiently proves not only that negroes are constitutionally liars, but that white men never speak any thing but truth. Indeed it will not be believed that the West India planters would set their faces against educating and proselyting their slaves, if they were not convinced that (as Aristotle wrote of the barbarians) the negroes were a degenerate race predestined to slavery, and were perfectly unable to enter into moral and religious relations. It is not therefore too much to infer that Mr. Muggs's whity-brown complexion ought of itself to suffice for justifying our taking his wonderful narratives cum grano sails, and trimming his pages by the light of reason and probability.
And here, Sir, let me call your attention to Captain Muggs's assertion that the Timbuctoos are cannibals, and sacrificed an author to their idol Mumbo Jumbo; which bears internal evidence of being a downright falsehood. Who is there that does not know that an author, long before the reviewers have done with him, is not worth picking up by the dogs? The whole anecdote is much more like a sneer upon our missionary societies for not having sooner converted the savages to Christianity; a sneer the more worthy of a Yanky antiepiscopalian, inasmuch as the discovery of the city of Timbuctoo must, in rerum natura, have preceded the conversion of its inhabitants. But such is the nature of national jealousy, that it overlooks the grossest impossibilities, and never pauses to correct its own suggestions by the dictates of candour and forbearance.
Mr. Muggs makes a great parade of literature and learned research; but I shrewdly suspect that all his inquiries into Carthaginian antiquities have enabled him to attain to nothing but the true punicajides, in which, to say the truth, he seems a perfect adept. As for his nation of curry combers, his imagination must have been very hide-bound to hit upon so low a conceit: however it is what might be expected from the "saucy groom," so I shall say no more upon the subject. Then is not his story of the lake of molten lead, the merest Munchausen that ever was told. Lucian, in his " true history," a work of great credit and authority, mentions rivers of wine containing fish of such intoxicating qualities, that they could only be eaten when diluted with fresh-water fish. But a lake of molten lead beats cock-fighting, as our villagewit, Tom Marksby, the gamekeeper, has it; besides, Mr. Croton, our apothecary, at my desire has consulted Cuvier, whose book contains no account of salamanders living on live coals; and I am sure that the telling such untruths to deceive the credulous public is a burning shame.
One thing, I own, surprises me, and that is, that you, Mr. Editor, did not suspect something, when the rogue stole a line from the Latin grammar and passed it off for an African inscription. For you must have known that "Hie Niger" was no river, but a Roman gentleman that went up and down speaking ill of his neighbours, just as the Yankies do of us English.
But, Sir, when we arrive at the specimens of Timbuctoo poetry, the "plot begins to thicken;" and the daring malignity of the Jacobin comes to the surface; or as my neighbour Captain O'Blunder is wont to say, "all the bother comes out of the stirabout." The account of the Timbuctoo levee day is plainly intended as a parody upon the august ceremonies of our legitimate allies, with all their chivalric and pious ceremonies; and there is no special jury in Westminster-hall but would convict the publisher on the innuendo, for the " fat and grease" can only allude to the anointing the sacred person of kings; unless perhaps it is a sly hit at the Macassar oil with which our peers and peeresses anoint their heads when time begins to "thin their flowing locks," and that, you know, would be flat scandalum magnatum, to say the least of it. The supposed translation of " Hoo Tamarama bow wow" is also a libel upon our laureate odes: and the assertion that Quashiboo is descended from the great baboon tends plainly to hurt the feelings of some (whose station should protect them from such indecency) by reference to the failings of their great great grandfathers. By the by, Sir, could not this new but most sound principle of law be brought to bear more directly in support of social order and our holy religion 1 for as the royal family is generally believed to be descended from Adam, any abuse of any of the descendants of that common parent, cannot but prove painful to the feelings of their royal relations. To this there is indeed but one objection, that the radicals are of the same blood; an objection too trifling to notice; since the upper classes agree in rejecting the relationship,—classes of which it may more especially be said, "regis ad exemplum totus componitur orbis,"—a plain proof that the said radicals may be libelled with impunity, if induction has not lost its whole force and efficacy.
The more I look into your correspondent's article, the more evident does it become to me that the whole is a disguised satire upon every thing that is respectable. Even the gentle Shenstone cannot escape him; and Isaac Walton comes in for his share of abuse, whose piscatory propensities to impale live worms, and to put a hook into a frog, "as gently as if he loved him," are plainly sneered at in the verses—
And sew up live worms in a ring
And all this is done by the Jacobin Yanky, because Shenstone's banks were "covered with bees" instead of modern philosophers, and because Walton did not make use of decapitated kings for his bait instead of live reptiles.
Thus far, Sir, I had written when I received a letter from a friend, who has himself been a great traveller, and is a perfect adept in the history of languages. He assures me that the specimens of the Timbuctoo language given by your correspondent are analogous to no known dialect on the face of the earth. He likewise mentions a MS. extant in the Vatican (No. X. 25,674) which contains the narration (written, as Hamlet would say, in choice Latin) of a noble Roman, who during the Jugurthine war was sent an ambassador into the interior of Africa to the Timputani, a nation whom he describes as '' homines teterrimi, Anthropophagi. Among this nation he resided for two years and a half, the better to maintain the "relations of amity" between them and the Romans, usually observed between civilized nations. From many collateral circumstances, as well as the identity of name, there can be no doubt that the Timputani the Timbuctoos are one and the same people. If I am right in this conjecture, the falsity of Mr. Muggs and his narrative is matter of pure demonstration. For the anonymous author of the abovementioned MS. (who, from internal evidence and similarity of style, may be taken for a relation, or at least a schoolfellow of Sallust the historian) expressly states that the Timputani spoke a corrupted dialect of the Carthaginian; and every body knows that the Punic was identical with the Irish language; now Captain O'Blunder, before-mentioned.whoconducts the war-department in the debates of our reading club, and is a man of undoubted veracity, solemnly declares upon "his honour as a gentleman," that your forged specimens are no more like Irish "than a pine-apple is like a Munster potatoe :"—those are his very words.
This, Sir, is the sum of what I have gathered from my own researches, and those of my friends on the subject; and Mr. Gage the exciseman having moved, and our worthy rector having seconded, a resolution to communicate with you and denounce the plot in which you have so unsuspectingly borne a part, I have willingly undertaken the office of secretary; upon the sole condition of being exempted from writing a sermon for the ensuing Sunday—the Doctor engaging to preach himself, par extraordinaire, in my stead. Our Squire insists upon it that the whole business is a covert attack on the corn laws, being intended to recommend the opening of British markets to African grain; which is the more curious an hypothesis, as I am certain the Squire never heard of Egypt having been the granary of Rome. But of this you may (being on the spot) learn something more positive in Mark-lane. For my own part, I doubt that the sting, besides its more general objects, is rather directed against the building of new churches; and that the architecture of the mud city of Tumbuctoo is a sarcasm upon the religious structures now raising by Act of Parliament m Regent-street, London, and in various other parts of the kingdom. This, however, I refer to your superior sagacity, and take my leave by assuring you that I am, with great respect and admiration,
Your very obedient servant and friend,
&c. &c. M.
Ok tiptoe, laughing like the blue-eyed May,
There standeth she whom Midnight never saw,
Nor Fashion stared on with its arrogant eye,
Nor gallant tempted;—beautiful as youth;
Waisted like Hebe; and with Dian's step,
As she, with sandals newly laced, would rise
To hunt the fawn through woods of Thessaly.
—From all the garden other beauty nought
Has flown; no rose is thwarted by pale hours;
But on her livine lip bright crimson hangs.
And in her cheek the flushing morning lies,
And in her breath the odorous hyacinth. B.