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What limit can th' Almighty goodness know, the sphere of amusement, I beg leave Since seas can harden, and since rocks can heartily to congratulate you. I mean flow?
that wild, black-bill Hazlitt. Cum fugerent Pharaona,suis duravit aquarum
You do not, I perceive, know what Mollitiem Dominus, perque mare ire dedit;
a paltry creature this is, otherwise you Duritiem rupis mollivit, cum per arenas
would either have said more or less Errarent, saxoque arcuit ille sitim : about him than you have done. I am Quis modus huic, dic, Artifici- quo nempe a very brief man, and can neither jubente,
write sounding letters like IdoloclasFit rupes mollis, durus et oceanus?
tes, nor doleful ones like Presbyter
Anglicanus, nor jeering ones like TimXIV.
othy Tickler, nor torturing ones like On a Lady who died in Childbirth.
gruff old General Izzard.” But I
will, in three or four sentences, underThe breath which you surrender, I receive; také to give you some little insight I enter on a world— 'tis yours to leave:
into the real character of Hazlitt. My cares are all to come, yours all are past,
He is a mere quack, Mr Editor, And my first moment proves my mother's last. My life your death, your pangs my power that lounge in third-rate bookshops,
and a mere bookmaker ; one of the sort supply: I kill in birth, and you in bearing die.
and write third-rate books. It were
well if he were honest in his humble Mater quas perdis vitales filius auras trade. I beg, through your MiscelHaurio; quamque fugis das mihi luce frui: lany, to put the following queries to Tetua præteriit, mea nondum est orta procella; Prima eademque mihi est, ultimaque hora tivi. him, which I hope he will answer by Mors tua vita mea est, vitam mihi morte
return of post. dedisti:
Query I. Mr William Hazlitt, exEt neco ego nascens, tuque necare parens.
painter, theatrical critic, review, essay, and lecture manufacturer, Lon
don, Did you, or did you not, in XV.
the course of your late Lectures on Say, why on lovely Chloe's face
Poetry, &c. infamously vituperate and The lily only has a place ?
sneer at the character of Mr WordsIs it because the absent rose
worth-I mean his personal characIs gone to paint her husband's nose ?
er; his genius even you dare not Sola Chloes vultum decorant cur lilia ? nasum deny? Anne viro ut pingat, fugit ab ore rosa ?
IÍ. Is it, or is it not, true that you owe all your ideas about poetry or cria
ticism to gross misconceptions of the XVI.
meaning of his conversation; and that Unde rubor vestris, et non sua purpura you once owed your personal safety, lymphis ?
perhaps existence, to the humane and Quæ rosa mirantes tam nova mutat aquas ? firm interference of that virtuous man, Numen, convivæ, præsens agnoscite numen: Vidit, et erubuit, lympha pudica Deum.
who rescued you from the hands of Crashaw.
an indignant peasantry whose ideas of Whence has the stream its flush, unknown to outrage ?
purity you, a cockney visitor, had dared before ?
III. Is it, or is it not true, that you The rosy glow, which through its veins has rush'd?
did some time ago, in your occupation A present Deity, ye guests, adore
of scribbler, play off upon one of your “ The bashful stream has seen its God, and task-masters or employers, the two folBlush'd.”
F. R. S. lowing tricks ? 1. Sending him a
translation verbatim from a common French book, and demanding pay for
it as your own original composition. 2. HAZLITT CROSS-QUESTIONED. Quoting a book upon tobacco-pipes as a
book upon tides ; and thereby exposMR EDITOR,
ing you, him, and the work itself, to In the course of your practice as a
the eternal derision of all who undercritical sportsman, you have already stood either the subject on which you had the merit of discovering, winging, were writing, or the German tongue, and bagging some new kinds of game. or the rules of common honesty ? Upon one of these, your additions to IV. Being expelled, as you desery
ed, from the Edinburgh Review, and than you know that Latin is not obliged to take refuge in the New Greek, or that the foam of the sea is Series of the Scots Magazine (a work not a tobacco-pipe? much better fitted for your merits and 11. Do not you pretend to claim attainments), Is it, or is it not true, acquaintance with Bishop Waterland, that you have been going on for some and must I have to tell you no such time past, abusing the good-natured man ever existed ? ignorance, and unsuspecting simpli- 12. Do you not, you impudent city, of the worthy Conductors of that charlatan, quizz the poor Editors of Miscellany, and doing all in your the Scots Magazine into publishing a power to injure their reputation and sweeping sentence, wherein the folthat of the said Miscellany, by play- lowing great men are all represented ing off upon them, and procuring to as having lived and written in vain, be inserted in their book, all manner viz. Butler, the author of the Analoof gross blunders, and impudent false- gy; Berkeley, the bishop of Cloyne; hoods, and outrageous extravagancies, Bull, whom Warburton calls one of which might happen to come into the most masculine of English intela
lects;" St Augustine, the Plato of 1. For example, in an essay of yours Christianity; Scioppius, Cardan, and on the “ Ignorance of the Learned,” Scaliger, three of the greatest schodo not you congratulate yourself, and lars, and one of them, if you mean the rest of your Cockney crew, on Julius Cæsar Scaliger, (but indeed I never having received any education ? do not suppose you know there were
2. Do you not, in that essay, pass two of that name) one of the greatest off for original communication, a quan- men modern Europe has ever produtity of trash already printed by you ced; and, last of all, (mirabile dictu!) in another publication ?
Puffendorf and Grotius, who of all mo3. Do not you call Mr Canning, dern writers have been the most exone flash of whose eye, one word of tensively and lastingly useful to their whose lip, would wither you into an- own and all the other countries of nihilation--the most contemptible char- Europe, --but of whose works, your acter of the day?
personal as well as your literary cha4. Do not you, who cannot repeat racter affords every presumption, you the Greek alphabet, nay, who know have never read one word even in a not of how many letters it is formed, translation ? pretend to give an opinion of the lite- 13. Is it possible to be guilty of a rary character of Professor Porson ? more mean trick than thus deluding
5. Do not you assert, that Dr Bur- into derision, under the mask, and ney undertook to point out solecisms claiming the recompense of good will, in Milton's Latin style? I now tell two men, who, hard-hearted Cockney! you that your assertion is false that
“ did thee no wrong?” Dr Burney never did undertake any 14. Do you not, on every occasion, such thing but that he did write describe the Editors of this said Scot some observations on Milton's Greek tish Magazine as perfect ninnies, and style, valuable to scholars, but unin- heir work as a millstone? and do you telligible to Cockneys.
not despise yourself, for mixing, for 6. Do you know the difference be the sake of a few paltry pounds, your tween Milton's Latin and Milton's madness with their idiocy? and do not Greek?
you say so at all times and in all places? 8. Did not you say
knew V. Did not you publish an answer to be false, when you said, that Dr to Malthus, though at the same time Burney, in his preface" (there is you knew that you did not understand no preface), had hardly a sentence the difference between arithmetical of common English ?”
and geometrical proportion ? and did 9. Do you know any thing what- you not pollute its pages with obscenever about the late Dr Burney or his ities hideous as those of Aretine, and writings, or have you not been vilify. dull as those of Cleland ? ing a great scholar, in all the malig- VI. Did you not insinuate, in an nity of ignorance and drunkenness of essay on Shakspeare in the Examiner, folly?
that Desdemona was a lewd woman, 10. Do you know what is English, and after that dare to publish a book or what is not English, any more on Shakspeare ? VOL. III.
ACCOUNT OF SOME CURIOUS CLUBS IN
VII. Did you not wantonly, and have told more effectually on the age grossly, and indecently, insult Mr than one year's transactions of the Conway, the actor, in your View of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Those English Stage, and publish A RETRACT- members spoke--and what they said ING LIE, in order to escape a caning ? is forgotten. These members wrote
VIII. Do you know the Latin for a and what they did write, if not forgoose ?
gotten, is, at least, not remembered. As soon as Mr Hazlitt answers these But the clubs to which I allude exeight simple questions, other eight of erted a living influence,--they blenda more complex nature, and worded ed with the spirit of the age—they more gravely, await his attention, from coloured it, and were coloured by itAn Old FRIEND WITH A New Face. in every company some unknown Greenwich.
member lurked-their jokes, their gibes, their criticisms, their manners, their speculations, their opi
nions, sometimes won, and sometimes LONDON, ABOUT THE BEGINNING
forced their way into ordinary life,OF THE 18TH CENTURY.
and thus the dress, the language, the MR EDITOR,
deportment, the current ideas of the The perusal of that admirable poem day, were all, by means unperceived of William Wastle, “the Mad Banker by dim-eyed moralists, charactered by of Amsterdam,” in which the Dilet- these all-powerful Associations of contanti Society of Edinburgh makes so vivial spirits. Were any future phidistinguished a figure, recalled to my losopher to attribute to the Dilettanti recollection a curious enough volume or Royal Societies of Edinburgh, an published in 1709, entitled, “ the important influence on the spirit of Secret History of Clubs in London, the age, he might indeed refer to the with their original, and the characters Report of the former on the Church of of the most noted members thereof.” St Giles, and to Mr MʻVey Napier's Perhaps your readers may not be dis- Essay on the writings of Lord Bacon in pleased with some account of these the latter in support of his theory ;clubs of a former age, which seem, but then, it might be shewn that the if I mistake not, to have been wor- magistrates of Edinburgh preferred Mr thy of vying not only with that Elliot's design to that of the “ Comwhich “ is pleased to call itself the mittee of six;" and that, in spite of Dilettanti," but even with the Anti- even the favourable character given of quarian and Royal Societies of Edin- him by the Librarian of the Writers to burgh, the Union and Bain-Waters. the Signet, Lord Bacon's writings were True indeed, that, unlike some of these, almost as little known in Scotland as they neglected to publish their trans- those of his most erudite eulogist. actions and reports,-by which the But I intend, with your leave, to “ world has been defrauded of many a enter more fully into this subject on a high design.” But they have found a future occasion, and to attempt an contemporary historian, who has philo- “Estimate of the Character and Influsophically described the ruling spirit ence of our present Philosophical Instiof each, and from his work we can tutions, from Bain Waters down to perceive what a powerful influence the Royal Society of Edinburgh inthey must have exercised on the cha- clusive. Meanwhile, allow me to ocracter of the times. Perhaps the influ- cupy a few columns of your inimitable ence of such clubs was stronger when Miscellany (I observe, the contributors confined to vivâ voce and extempore to Constable's facetiously call his, communications between themselves your valuable miscellany),” with and the public, than can be justly some details of the principal London claimed by any of the above modern Clubs that flourished about the end of Philosophical Institutions. It is un
the 17th century. deniable that much truth evaporates The volume in which their history in conversation, and lost-but is is recorded, is dedicated to that “ luciequally so, that much truth is com- ferous and sublime lunatic, the Empressed in written documents, and is peror of the Moon,” as an expression never found. Thus, one year's un- of the author's gratitude
ilpublished transactions of " the Kit- lustrious highness for the wonderful Cat," and " the Golden Fleece," may favours I have oft received, at late
hours, from the refulgent horns of to believe, it can be thought no breach of your revolving throne. The dedica- morality or good manners to expose the va. tion breathes throughout a noble spirit nity of those whimsical clubs, who have of independence, and a strain of dig- been proud to distinguish themselues by such nified satire against the great men of amusing denominations, that the most mothe world, who then, as now,
rose Cynick would be scarce able to hear flattered
their titles without bursting into laughter ; . poor authors but to betray.
nor have the frantick customs, jocular dipect nothing but your moonshine to versions, and preposterous government of reward my labours."
such fuddle-cap assemblies been less remarkOur author likewise favours us with able than their several distinctions. a very entertaining little preface, of which the following sentences would 1.-The Virtuoso's Club. almost seem to have been written with
This club was at first established by in these three months, so applicable are
some of the principal members of the they to the worthy gentlemen in this Royal Society, and its design was to City, who have sung out so dolefully propagate new whims, advance meagainst the poetry of Mr William Chanical exercises, and to
useless as well as useful experiments.” Tagging of verse, and writing of books,
“ Some, by those hermetical bellows, are become as sharp trades in this keen age,
call’d an Æolipile, would be trying, with as making of knives and scissors; and if the
an empty bottle, whether nature would adformer, as well as the latter, are not well mit of a vacuum. Others, like busie changround to a smart edge, they may lie upon dlers, would be handling their scales to the bookseller's stall till they are bought up nicely discover the difference in the weight by the band-box maker. Yet, if they hap- betwixt wine and and water. A third sort pen to be so sharp as to scratch a courtier on the forehead, cut an alderman for the sim, smoak of their tobacco into oyl upon their
of phylosophers would be condensing the ples, scarrify a knave that is but rich and pipes, and then assert the same, in spite of powerful, cut off a leg that is not worth her nine lives, to be rank poison to a cat. standing upon, or shave the smooth face of
A fifth cabal perhaps would be a knot of some booby who is fat withal, there is pre- mathematicians, who would sit so long sently a worse roaring with 'em than there wrangling about squaring the circle, till
, is with a foolish child that has hook'd his with drinking and rattleing, they were ready fingers into a clasped knife,” &c.
to let fall a nauseous perpendicular from Our author then proceeds to deliver their mouths. his sentiments on clubs in general. The following is an animated deThe object of clubs, he says, is often scription of a fuil night. asserted to be the promotion of trade, humane conversation, the communica- night, when some eminent maggot-munger,
“ This club of Vertuoso's, upon a full tion of curious and scientific matter; for the satisfaction of the society, had apbut, in his opinion,
pointed to demonstrate the force of air, by “ Most considerate men, who have ever some hermetical pot-gun, to shew the difbeen engaged in such sort of compotations, ference of the gravity between the smoak of have found, by experience, that the general tobacco and that of colts-foot and bittany, end thereof is a promiscuous encouragement or to try some other such like experiment, of vice, faction, and folly, at the unneces- were always compos'd of such an odd mix. sary expence of that time and money which ture of mankind, that, like a society of ringmight be better employed in their own bu- ers at a quarterly feast, here sat a nice beau siness, or spent with much more comfort in next to a dirty blacksmith ; there a purblind their several families."
philosopher next to a talkative spectacleHe then declaims with great elo- maker; yonder a half-witted whim of quaquence against all political clubs, lity next to a ragged mathematician ; on which, according to him, have produ- the other side, a consumptive astronomer ced all the revolutions that ever at
next to a water-gruel physician; above flicted mankind; but wishing to give
them, a transmutator of mettals next to a no offence to any party or person,
philosopher-stone-hunter ; at the lower-end, excludes such clubs from his work, mason ; at the upper end of all, perhaps,
a pratting engineer next to a clumsie-fisted and thus limits his subject-matter. an atheistical chymist next to a whimsie
“ But as all ages have been made merry headed lecturer; and these the learned of by the fantastical whimsies, and ridiculous the wise-akers wedged here and there with affections of such humoursome societies as quaint artificers and noisy opperators, in all have made themselues a town-talk by their faculties ; some bending beneath the load of singular follies, inebrious extravagancies, years and indefatigable labour, some as comical projections, vitious encouragements, thin-jaw'd and heavy-ey'd, with abstemious and uncommon practices, I am perswaded living and pocturnal studdy, as if, like Pha
roah's lean-kine, they were design'd by and forsaken frensical claret, for sober war heaven to warn the world of a famine; tergruel; and worse company, for the peniothers, looking as wild, and deporting them- tential conversation of their own families : selves as frenzically, as if the disapoint- So that upon these misfortunes, the knights ment of their projects had made them sub- put a stop to their collar-days ; laid aside ject to a lunacy."
their installment ; proclaim'd a cessation of At last this club fell into decay and bumpers for some time, till those who were dissolution.
sick ħad recover'd their health, and others • Many jests, by the ridiculers of ingi. their senses ; and then, the better to prevent nuity, usd to be put upon this grave assem
the debasement of their honour, by its growbly of philosophizing vertuoso's, till, at ing too common, they adjourn'd their socielength, quite tir'd with the affronts of the ty from the Fleece in Cornhill, to the Three town, and their own unprofitable labours, Tuns in Southwark, that they might be they dwindl'd from an eminent club of ex
more retir'd from the bows and compliments perimental philosophers, into a little cinical of the London apprentices, who us'd to sacabal of half-pint moralists, who now meet lute the noble knights by their titles, as they every night at the same tavern, over their pasid too and fro about their common occa five-penny nipperkins, and set themselves sions." up for nice regulators of their natural appetites, refusing all healths, each taking off his thimble-full according to the liberty of III.-The No Nose Club. his own conscience, paying, just to a farthing, what himself calls for; and starting at
The origin of this club is thus, faa minute, that they may have one leg in cetiously related. A certain whimtheir beds exactly as Bow-bell proclaims the sical gentleman, having taken a fancy hour of nine.
to see a large party of noseless per
sons, invited every one he met in the II.-The Order of the Golden Fleece. streets to dine on a certain day at a
tavern, where he formed them all inThe worthy knights of this order are
to a brotherhood bearing the above thus emphatically described.
“ This rattle-brain'd society of mechanick worthies, were most solemnly, establish’d, ing ordera a very plentiful dinner, ac
" The gentleman, against the time, hav. several years since, by the whimsical contrivance of a merry company of tipling citi- his guests, that he might not be surpris’d at
quainted the vintner who were like to be zens, and jocular change-brokers, that they
so ill-favour'd an appearance, but pay them might meet every night, and wash away that respect, when they came to ask for him, their consciences with salubrious claret, that that might encourage them to tarry: When the mental reservations, and falacious assurances, the one had usd in their shops ; and
the morning came, no sooner was the hand the deceitful wheedles, and stock-jobbing the hour prefix’d, but the No-Nose com
of Covent-Garden dial upon the stroak of honesty, by which the other had out-witted their merchants, might be no impediment heads and cripples to a mumper's feast, ask.
pany began to drop in apace, like scald. to their nights rest, but that they mighting for Mr Crimpton, which was the feign'd sleep without repentance, and rise the next day with a strong propensity to the same
name the gentleman had taken upon him, practice.”
succeeding one another so thick, with jar
ring voices, like the brazen strings of a Each member, on admittance, had a
crack'd dulcimore, that the drawer could name assigned to him, descriptive of scarce shew one up stairs before he had anhis peculiar character and endowments, other to conduct ; the answer at the bar beas, for example, Sir Timothy Addle- ing, to all that enquir'd, that Mr Crumppate, Sir Talkative Dolittle, Sir Ninny ton had been there, and desir'd every one Sneer, Sir Skinny Fretwell, Sir Rum- that ask'd for him would walk up stairs, and bus Rattle, Sir Boozy Prateall, Sir he would wait upon 'em presently. As the Nicolas Ninny, Sir Gregory Growler, number encreasod, the surprise grew the Sir Sipall Paylittle, &c. This club greater among all that were present, who
star'd at one another with such unaccusflourished amain till the suicide of its
tom'd bashfulness, and confus'd odness, as leading member, the effects of which if every sinner beheld their own iniquities in are thus stated.
the faces of their companions. However, “ And then the dull fraternity, thro' want seeing the cloth laid in extraord'nary order, of a merry Zany to exercise their lungs with every one was curious, when once enter'd, . a little seasonable laughter, and unhappily to attend the sequel : At length a snorting neglecting to be shav'd and blooded, fell old fellow, whose nose was utterly swallow'd into such a fit of the melancholly dumps, up by his cheeks, as if his head had been that several of the order were in great dan- troubl’d with an earthquake, having a little ger of a straw-bed and a dark-room, if they more impudence than the rest of the snufflehad not neglected their nocturnal revels, tonians, · Egad,' says he, if by chance we