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close-shaving-Few literary ladies in the old town under the 18th flat-We meet and rebut the charge of personality-Have denied, but are willing to allow the private character of the Edinburgh Review-A clergyman does not act privately, in publicly renouncing the Christian religion, and writing against miracles-An incestuous person is a man who publicly recommends incest, like a certain Cockney-To say so no attack on private character―The enormity of mentioning names reduced to its proper level-Inquiry into the origin of proper names-Compliments to Mr Hogg and Misses Gubbins-Encomium passed on the personal and nominal comeliness of Bob Miller and Mr Constable, and compliment paid to them on their good humour-The law stated in cases of horrific repulsive and ludicrous names-Determination expressed of rigid adherence to our present popular practice-Consistency recommended to those persons who advertise themselves in yellow letters on the sides of houses, and in open type in the newspapers, but who faint on being syllabled in italics in Ebony--Comparison of human life to a beer-barrel not an apt one-Reference to Mr Rogers' poem on the same subject—We talk shortly and sensibly of other periodical works-Impertinence of Tims-The public falls asleep on our hands--We beg her pardon, and retire.

AN HOUR'S TETE-A-TETE WITH THE PUBLIC.

WE opine that we cannot better con-
clude our October Number this year (it
was an October Number, our readers
will recollect, that gave to the world
the Chaldee Manuscript), than by com-
municating to our subscribers a little
private information concerning our-
selves and our affairs. This is no
more than is reasonable. The world,
we well know, is apt to be curious
overmuch; but the world is not yet
quite a subscriber of ours, so it is not
to the world we at present speak, but
only to those millions of souls who
feel their temporal happiness in a great
measure dependent on our Miscellany.
It is with them that we wish to have
a little private conversation; we posi-
tively will not detain them above forty
columns,

And the great Light of Day yet wants to run
Much of his course, though steep; suspense

in heaven,

Held by our voice, our potent voice he hears,
And longer will delay to hear us tell
Our generation, and the rising sale
Of Numbers from the unapparent deep.
As there seems, then, to be a very
general wish, among the more civilized
nations, that we should inform them
how we have been going on of late, we
are by much too good-natured to re-
sist the feverish anxiety felt on that
point, and beg leave, accordingly, just
to whisper a few confidential words in-
to the car of the public.

OUR SALE IS PRODIGIOUS AND WE
ARE ABSOLUTELY COINING MONEY.

I. Our Sale is Prodigious.-During the first year of our mortal existence here below, our sale was respectable. It was about 3,700. Our first six numbers were but so-so. They were like loaves made of tolerably fair flour, but with indifferent yeast-poorly kneaded and baked in a cracked oven. They did not rise well-felt heavy in hand-when cut up looked blueand were, to young people at least, of slow and difficult digestion. Still they went down; for, as articles, they were not so musty as those of the old Scots Magazine—not so wersh.* The Chaldee Manuscript, which appeared in our Seventh Number, gave us both a lift and a shove. Nothing else was talked of for a long while; and after 10,000 copies had been sold, it became a very great rarity, quite a desideratum. Why some people should have taken such grievous offence at a piece of composition so perfectly harmless, and indeed amiable (considering one thing with another), as the Chaldee Manuscript most assuredly was, is inexplicable to us even at this day; but true it is, that it was so; and no less than two of the most distinguished lawyers at the Scotch bar not only returned their copies of the Magazine on the hands (already too full) of our worthy publisher, but most magnificently and magnanimously issued orders" to have their names erased from the list of our subscribers!" This was a severe wound to our peace of mind; but it

* See Dr Jamieson, whom, by the bye, we have not seen for a long time past.

healed with what is called the first in tention, and we were not, so far as we recollect, confined to the house for a single day. One of these scrupulous moralists afterwards purchased a secondhand copy of Maga for half-a-guinea, at our clever friend Carfrae's, for the sake of the very piece with whom he had, after all, no quarrel; and the other ingenuous youth, finding it a very absurd sort of a thing to be unable to bear a part in general conversation, once more took in Ebony, and restored the sanction of his great name to our private list, which by that time, if written out like the signatures to a petition to Parliament, would have extended, we do on our conscience believe, to the milestone on the Glasgow side of West-Craigs. The evils, then, done to our sale by the Chaldee Manuscript were more than counterbalanced by the weight of about 4,000 additional steady subscribers thrown into the opposite scale. It could not therefore be said, with any propriety, that the October Number of that year was any thing else than a good speculation. We had only to regret that any of our Christian brethren should have allowed their tempers to be temporarily ruffled by any little enormity of the sort. No harm was intended, so no offence should have been taken. One must not expect, in a composition professedly and notoriously satirical, the same uniform spirit of amenity that reigns through the rest of our Magazine; but read the Chaldee candidly, and you will allow, unless we are greatly mistaken indeed, that, with the exception of a very few verses of a truly fiendish and demoniac nature, the Manuscript is manifestly written by a Christian and a philanthropist.

Well, from the 7th till the 24th month of our age, considering the badness of the times, we had no great reason to complain. We were, what well might be termed, a promising lad, much admired and respected, nay, even caressed; though, like all other meritorious and flourishing persons, we were assailed occasionally by the missiles of envy, few of which reached higher than our knees; and were shook off contemptuously from the gaiters of our rheumatism. It

was not in general supposed, that they who went out of their way to attack us who attacked nobody, acquired either gain or glory. Some entered

the ring in very bad condition, and immediately got a-piping, like hot mutton pies-fell on their own blows, and knapped it every round, till they shewed the white feather and bolted. Others, whose wind was better, wanted science altogether, hit over our shoulders, and gave their own heads to the most cruel punishment. Some had a smattering of science, without either bone or bottom; and could not be brought to the scratch after the first cross-buttock. While a brace of good ones, one an Irishman, (Paddy from Cork), and the other a Londoner, with whom we had a turn-up, gave us, after reciprocal floorers, their "bunch of five," in token of amity; and with them we have since confined ourselves to the mufflers.

Such is a hasty but spirited sketch of the difficulties we had to encounter. We are Othello, and the public is Desdemona. She loves us for the dangers we have passed, and we love her that she did pity them. What drugs, what charms, what conjuration, and what mighty magic, we win the public with-has often been asked of us by the good and unsuspecting lady herself-but once more we de clare, on our word of honour, which has never yet been called in question, so far as we have heard, that we gained her affections by the most upright and straight-forward practices and hope to merit a continuance of her favours by the same unremitting assiduity, and the same strenuous exertions, that first won her virgin heart.

To proceed. From the 24th till the 40th Number, our sale has been progressive. Positively, we have barely face to whisper the amount. SOME WHERE BELOW 17000! Compare this with the known sale of other periodicals, and you will not find it inferior to that of the best of them. The sale of the Quarterly, is about 14000-of the Edinburgh, upwards of 7000-of the Gentlemen's Magazine, about 4000

of the British Critic, 4000-of Baldwin, 1100-of the British Review, between 3 and 400-of the Scots Magazine, as we have been assured by authority, that we think may be depended upon, from 100 to 150. We have not received lists of the other periodicals, but they are all in proportion, more or less. It is not our intention, at present, to suffer our sale to go beyond 17000. Rather than

do that, we would publish once a fortnight, which might, one would fain hope, suffice to keep down the sale to 17000; and, at the same time, relieve the load of matter-long oppressive, now insupportable.

Our readers must be naturally anxious to know where lie those favoured spots of earth, more especially warmed by the moral and intellectual light of our Magazine. Each particular reader can so far answer for himself and his own neighbourhood, but this is not enough. He wishes to know more than this, and he shall know more. But a general outline of our empire must suffice. We have traced with blue ink, on a map of the world, the courses of Blackwood's Magazine, from kingdom to kingdom. The earth seems intersected with a million floods. In an early Number we shall publish this map. Meanwhile, to allay the general desire, we give the following particulars of what Mr Wordsworth would call" the mighty steam of tendency" of our sale.

"

EUROPE.

France. Our work was not so much known in France, as might have been expected, till Monsieur Biot very kindly and considerately laid "a set, as far as No XXXIII. on the table of the National Institute. He recommended it as a work of pure science, having been probably deceived by the translation of his own voyage to the Shetland Isles-by our excellent Meteorological Tables-by our frequent and flattering mention of Professor Leslie and by our review of Mr Accum's great culinary work, Death in the Pot. We fear that it was under this delusion that the National Institute acted, when they made us an honorary member of their body -an honour conferred, we believe, on no other British subject, but the late Mr Watt and Sir Humphrey Davy. When it was discovered that Blackwood's Magazine, though unquestionably valuable as a scientific work, did not rest its character principally on its science, like Brande's Journal and the Aberdeen Almanack, the Institute, as we have been told, were considerably agitated, and there was some talk of recalling our diploma. This absurd proposition originated with Benjamin Constant, whose motives were sufficiently apparent to other members of

the Institute, who, by this time, had come to understand our politics-so it was withdrawn without a division; and we, Christopher North, are still of the National Institute. Our sale, however, is pretty much confined to Paris-only a few hundred copies go to the different provincial towns; we mean to French subscribers. It is true, that nearly two thousand copies go to our countrymen in France; and, incredible as it may appear, it is nevertheless the fact, that a party of gentlemen (consisting of nine) came over, a few weeks ago, from St Omers, to rectify some mistake about the sending of their copies, which had not of late reached them regularly; and, soon as they had discovered where the cause of the delay resided, they returned to St Omers, with only a single day of the Queen's trial. We mention this fact from no paltry vanity, but merely to do justice to the ardent love of literature which our countrymen carry with them into other lands, and which, when directed, as in this case, to worthy objects, cannot fail to spread the lustre of the British name.

Italy. We are much read at Genoa, Milan, Florence, and Rome. The British population of the Eternal City, indeed, do little else than read Blackwood's Magazine, which is wrong; for we can assure them, that there are many things exceedingly well worth seeing there. We lately met with a very agreeable young Devonshire gentleman, who had just returned from Rome, but whom we could not, for our life, get to speak on any other subject than Blackwood's Magazine. "Surely," quoth we, " you did not occupy yourself wholly with that excellent work, during your year's residence in that ancient city?"-" Why,” said he, laughingly, "I did; for, Mr North, when one is at Rome, one must do as they do at Rome;" and we had nothing farther to say about it. What effect the late business at Naples may have had, or may have, on our sale, we know not. These villanous Carbonari are sworn foes to all that is honourable among men. Mrs Maria Graham introduced our work into Calabria during her Three Months' Residence among the Mountains-(by the way, read that amusing book)and a good many copies have at different times been circulated among the more retired parts of the country, by

those friends to free discussion, who have established various Peripatetic schools in the south of Italy, and who, though somewhat too much given to plagiarism, are useful in circulating the treasures of the British literati.

Germany.-Copies have long gone to all the Protestant Universities-and the young Germans, so ardent in all things, discuss our character with a passionate earnestness that has some times led to disastrous consequences. At Yena, in particular, there are two great leading parties, the Lauerwinkels and the Anti-Lauerwinkels, who have, more than once, decided the dispute by the sword.

It is needless to observe, that the late unhappy youth Sandt was a violent chief of the latter faction. To give some slight idea of the extent of the bustle we make all over Germany, our friend Weidmann, the bookseller of Leipsig, writes us that he has an edition of the whole Magazine (Voss' translation) of 3000, which he expects to dispose of bodily this fair. At Easter-fair, scarcely a dozen remained on hand of a large impression printed in the beginning of the year; and he has now, all over the country, but principally in the small Saxon States, not less than 4000 regular subscribers for his monthly translation. He adds, that no joke passes current, either at the Club at the Baviere, or at the Hotel de Saxe, which does not bear the epithet of Schwartzholzisch. In Hamburgh (which has always appeared to us to be a sort of second Glasgow) we are, as might be looked for, as popular as may be. Nothing but Blackwood is talked of in the Barschensaal-no sound but Ebony slips from the merry tongues of the evening Amsterwalk-all up Hanover and Hesse, the country rings with our fame. We penetrate into Holland, Indeed two "Translations of Select Articles from Blackwood" are monthly published in the dominions of his Netherlandish majesty-one in low Dutch at Utrecht -the other in Latin (we must own rather lumpish in its way) at Leyden. All this looks well-it speaks volumes in our praise, and must go far to lower the vulgar prejudices concerning " Batavian lead" and the like. We had almost forgot to mention (what we consider as the most valuable kind of compliment that can be paid us) that lots of contributions arrive on our VOL. VIII.

hands from all quarters of Germanyhigh and low. Some of our most exquisite poetical pieces of the humorous kind are translations from the MSS. of the celebrated Dr Spielman of Wolfenbüttel, and we could mention other names of equal importance, but let this suffice. We have also received several capital sham-notices to correspondents from one of the town council of Dort, but this gentleman would on no account have his disguise laid open. Spain. We are not read in Spain. Portugal.-About 20 copies go to

Lisbon.

England.-Our sale in London, during the time Messrs Baldwin, Craddock, and Joy, were our agents there, was respectable. The work was then occasionally stupid, which it never is now-but still, we should suppose, that our friend Baldwin sold more of us than he now does of John Scott, who does not circulate so well as he deserves. Mr Murray, under whose auspices our magnum opus issued for a few months from Albemarle-street, began to suspect that we might be eclipsing the Quarterly Review. No such eclipse had been foretold; and Mr Murray, being no great astronomer, was at a loss to know whether, in the darkness that was but too visible, we were eclipsing the Quarterly, or the Quarterly eclipsing us. We accordingly took our pen, and erased his name from our title-page, and he was once more happy. Under our present publisher, we carry every thing before us in London. We see ourselves upon every table. All parties read us. Even in Cockaigne our name has waxed great. We do not wish to be more read in and about London than we are; and we think, that we might be advantageously laid aside for a few months in certain quarters, where we are rather a bitter pill, we fear. During this unpleasant business of the Queen's, our name has not been quite so much in the mouths of the public-but we have no doubt, that the people of England will soon return to a right way of thinking and feeling. At Oxford we are excessively popular. We are a constant and welcome guest in all the common rooms. Even the haughty fellows of Oriel deign to take us into their dainty hands. Blackwood is seen strutting in Peckwater, under the arms of tufted men. In Brazenose his character

L

is deeply felt, and duly estimated. And at Jesus College, Huge Plinlimnon bows his cloud-capt head." The groves of Magdalen resound with his praise; and in Queen's, the bold men of the North love him for our name's sake. We are afraid we interfere, in some instances, with studies that ought not to be neglected, even for us. For many under-graduates (and graduates too, it is whispered), carry us with them to chapel, and lower their heads to devour us during service. Now, "bread eaten in secret is pleasant,' but yet this is wrong, for what must come of the responses? If you look into the Bodleian, you will see Mr Nicol himself hugging us quietly in his own little peculiar going. Dr Ireland, the most worthy of men, the most patriotic of Scotchmen, is always seen waiting at Mr Bliss's the day we are expected-and a proud man is he when he proposes the health of "Christopher North," on the 30th day of November, which all the world knows is sacred to the thirstiest saint in the calendar. We form the chief topic of discourse at Mrs Marlow's routes. We are thumbed horribly at Mrs Seale's and Jubber's-and at Wicken's we are splashed all over with sweet spots. Mr Joy never appears so worthy of his name as on the evening of the first of the month-and we now and then put in a sly thing or two for the express purpose of making old Thorpe leap half over the counter with delight. In short, we are all in all to that seat of genuine port and Peripateticism. Isis ever eyes us with rapture; we keep Charwell in a constant chuckle; between gownsmen and townsmen now-a-days the only dispute is, which shall most honour Blackwood. In Cambridge we are the only true Classical Journal. We are King's men every inch, yet the Johnians love us. Mr Waddington of Trinity has been heard to call us clever; and the last year's wooden Spoon, when reading us, felt as if he were changed into silver. We infuse a new spirit into all the wateringplaces. And as for the great manufacturing and commercial towns, such as Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester, and Liverpool, we have shoved them forwards two centuries of civilization. About a thousand copies, on an average, go to each of those happy towns.

Nottingham, Derby, and Leicester are not slow to subscribe-Sheffield, Leeds, and Hull, put some hundreds per annum into our pocket-and we are the first who ever found the speculation pay of sending coals to Newcastle.This is a miserably meagre sketch, indeed, of our English sale. So just take the map, and distribute us through the population of that kingdom, according to the population of Liverpool, 1100.

Scotland. We sell about 3,500 in Scotland, which is, we believe, nearly double the sale of the Edinburgh Review. In Edinburgh great opposition was made to us for some time-but the opposition was not of a kind to be successful. A better work than ours should have been set a-going in this citybut that was beyond the power of Whiggery. We were, really, considerably hated at one time in Edinburgh-and still are by people of a certain set. But the more we are known, the more we are liked, loved, respected-and some who were, a while ago, our bitterest enemies, would now die to serve us. One gentleman, who talked of prosecuting us for merely mentioning his existence, is now one of our most amusing contributors-and about two years ago we had been nearly torn to pieces in the mail coach on our annual visit to London, by three infuriated literary men, who are now all giving themselves out as Editor, each in his respective circle. These little literary anecdotes spout quartos in our favour-and in favour, too, of the good people of Edinburgh, who, with all their failings, possess many excellent points. It would not be very safe to utter one syllable against us now in any respectable company in Edinburgh. Indeed, in places of public resort, where our person is not always known, it is impossible to help blushing at our own praises. Several reading rooms have been established merely for us-no other publication is admitted; and we have frequently amused ourselves by taking a peep into the window on the 20th, when the Magazine has been just delivered.Such a show of heads all chained down to the various tables, feasting on the product of our brains! All other created matter seems forgotten but the matter in Blackwood's Magazine-and yet we hobble on through the crowd

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