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and substance of all that ever appeared in the Edinburgh Review on the old Drama. And to what does it amount? To this-that neither the editor nor any of the writers in the Edinburgh Review know any thing about the old English drama and were originally disposed to think and speak of it with contempt-that long afterwards, when all the men of knowledge in England had, in all publications of note, spoken with zeal and power of that mighty drama, the Edinburgh Review fell into their wake, and by and by, finding itself left behind and alone, hoisted its flag somewhat pertly, and with a great press of sail, but in a vessel by no means well-trimmed, kept firing away guns, as if returning from a successful voyage of discovery, of strange hands. The truth is, that the study of the old dramatists had for a long time been revived in England before the Edinburgh Review had been set a going; and has, indeed, been one great cause of the surpassing excellence of our modern poetry. But we must not be led into disquisition; so let us just hint, that the Edinburgh Review seems to us to have about as good a title to be declared the regenerator of the true spirit of dramatic literature, as to that of the defender of the faith-the supporter of the altar -the upholder of the throne-the liberator of Spain-the destroyer of Napoleon-the restorer of the Bourbon dynasty-the saviour of Europe and the prophet of peace, liberty, and happiness, all over the world. For our selves, we frankly confess, that we are more indebted to the old dramatists than they are to us; and this all will acknowledge who have read the admirable articles on them in this work articles which, though absolutely written by one single individual, a well-employed surgeon in a country town, do, without question, combine the learning and acuteness of Gifford, the fine tact of Lamb, the deep originality of Coleridge, the ingenious speculations of Jeffrey, and the agreeable gossip of J. G. Collier. As to the German Drama, it is to be found almost exclusively in our pages. We, (that is, Mr Gillies, and an accomplished young Dublin gentleman,) take, every now and then, one of the finest German Tragedies, and selecting all the best passages, transfuse the very soul of

the writer into noble blank verse, or, as in the case of Faustus, into metres accordant to the wild measures of the original. We, that is, Christopher North, then string the diamonds of poetry on a well-spun prose-string, adding admirable head and tail-pieces. The effect is prodigious. Mullner, Grilparzer, and Ehlenschlaeger, are all writing away at tragedies now, like perfect devils, under the inspiration of our praise, and old Goethe's autograph is to be seen lying at 17 Prince'sstreet, in the form of a grateful letter of thanks to us for what he calls the "Gar umschaffende Verpflanzung meiner Tragedie auf das Brittische Boden." We are too deeply impressed with the awful uncertainty of human life, to venture ourselves into an examination of our articles on general literature. Suffice it to say, that some of the best informed men we know have, for some years, confined their reading entirely to Blackwood's Magazine; if, indeed, for the word "confined," it would not be adviseable to substitute "extended." In conversation such men talk like angels, or Mr Coleridge they seem pure ethereal essences-mere spiritual knowledge impersonated-the breath, as it were, of intellect-They have become great simple IDEAS. Others, again, there are, of quite a different stamp, whom you hear railing "at us and at our Magazine," as if they would not condescend even to look on us with the tail of their lordly eye. But just observe them when they begin to open their mouths a little wider, and you find that they do nothing but covertly quote Ebony. They have evidently applied to the Magazine Feinagle's Art of Memoryand have all its treasures under their command, at the beck of symbols.They soon talk us down when we begin to speak; and we confess that we have often felt excessively mortified to be so snubbed before company, till we recollected that out of our own mouths had we been outargued-and our ignorance exposed by our own erudition. Though we forget many of the fine and profound things we are so constantly saying, they do not. When we give battle, it is distressing to meet our own troops drawn up against us, and one is apt to lose his temper at being taken prisoner, wounded, or killed by his own men. It was only last Thursday that we were

driven from a strong position by not more than half-a-dozen young Whigs, by a fire kept up on us, without intermission, for two hours, from a battery which we ourselves erected in the month of July last, for though the rogues were but sorry artillery-men, the guns were most excellent, and we had left, on the redoubt, a vast quantity of the strongest ammunition.

Sixthly, We have created, spread, and rendered everlastingly popular, a warm, cheerful, jolly, unaffected, and bounding spirit of glee, not formerly supposed to be possible under our cloudy clime, and which, we have not the slightest doubt, will do more than even Sir John Sinclair's Code of health and longevity, to antediluvianize the term of man's life, and make octogenarians appear to be men cut off in early youth. We are, certainly, the wittiest of human beings. That our jokes are often extremely bad is but too true, but then we are always aware of that, and out we come with them, slap-dash, not caring a doit though they lose us a score of subscribers. It is scarcely possible to help being pleased with us even in our most unsuccessful moments, and often have we seen people laughing, like to burst their sides, at things of ours, which we almost wished unsaid, they were so very poor or illtimed. But when we are really in the key, we cannot deny that we are irresistible. We have not unfrequently written long articles, of which every sentence was perfectly witty. We could point out some papers, that seem to us models of grave humour, others of delicate irony, others of attic salt, others of outrageous fun, others whimsical to a degree, others most comic, and not a few without a vestige of meaning, that yet address themselves to some mysterious part of man's nature, and throw whole districts into convulsions. We have a power peculiar to ourselves, of so uttering the most wild fictions, as not only to make them infinitely more credible than the tamest truths, but absolutely to give any truths that happen to appear in the same number of the Magazine very much the appearance of falsehoods. Thus, we review and give most interesting extracts from books that have no existence, and these reduce to nonentities large volumes, published at a very heavy expense. Our biographies

of wretched persons unborn are so affecting, that the weeping public hath no tears to bestow on men and women actually in poor circumstances and bad health. Crimes of so deep a dye are committed by persons unknown be yond the pages of our Magazine, that murders at Woolwich, and other small brick towns, are deemed incomplete, and create little or no sensation. And after the marriage of our housekeeper with the Bagman, elderly maiden ladies are seduced into matrimony by young gentlemen, without a single whisper. In short, nobody can well tell what to make of us, farther than that we are a set of delightful Incom◄ prehensibles, that keep the whole world in hot water, or the tepid bath; and then all of a sudden, down comes the shower bath upon our readers, making them hurry off in puris naturalibus. This, by the way, is an example of our absurd mode of writing. It has little or no meaning, and yet you observe, that you cannot help being amused with it.

Seventhly, We have destroyed the reign of Fudge. With all our great abi lities we assume no airs of superiority over others, and we do not suffer others to assume any over us. This is, of itself, an improvement sufficient to create a new era in periodical criticism. What pompous affairs, editors and contributors were before we flourished! How prodigiously they mouthed, "ore rotundo"

"Deep from the vault the Loxian murmurs flow,

And Pythia's awful organ peals below."

Though invisible to mortal eyes, what awful ideas the world had of men dressed in black, with mighty wigs, and spectacles reflecting all created things! No one knew where they dwelt.-VOICES!

"Mortalia corda Per humiles gentes stravit Pavor."

Twelve times per annum the whole race of authors fell flat upon their faces till the breath of the Monthly had passed by. How completely is the scene now changed! There is nothing terrible in our tones. We reign by love, not fear. We have not the monotonous voice of a despot, who speaks in the same accents to all his slaves. Now we speak earnestly and fervently-then with a grave solemnity to some we are facete-and to others jocose. When people misbe

have, we chastise them sharply, but not cruelly-their amendment being the final cause of our stripes. When we praise, we do it with all our heart; when we censure, with all our spleen! Our sincerity is seen both by saint and sinner-and we have often received presents of books from writers whom we had cut up, till they had scarcely a leg to stand upon. Nothing but the consciousness of great abilities, as was well remarked by one of our contemporaries, could have suggested to us this mode of conduct, and enabled us to persevere in it. We know our strength, and despise Humbug. That personage, so well stricken in years, would not do at Ambrose's,Odoherty and he quarrelled first time they met. The Adjutant accused him of being the editor of the British Review in disguise-and though he maintained doggedly that he had been conductor of many other periodical works, the Standard-bearer insisted upon his making himself scarce. Let no one think that our dignity is lessened by this theory and practice. It may be true that no man seems a hero to his valet-but we are always an Editor to our contributors.

In our case familiarity breeds respect -nor can any thing be conceived more touching than the filial tenderness with which we are treated by all our coadjutors. A dinner at Ambrose's is a fine moral lesson. With what benignity Mr Tickler, who is generally at the head of the table, and by whose side we love to sit, makes a long arm, and brings to our plate, from afar, with a yard-long ladle, most choice peasesoup, that steams so fragrantly, in a vast turin, in the middle of the feast! How like a cherub smiles the Adjutant, when requesting Mr Ambrose to bring Mr North's plate for fowl! He knows our little tastes and sends us, with a slight wink of his nether peeper -both liver'd wings. Sweet is the voice of a when it breathes "Mr North-may I have the honour of drinking with you a glass of stingo?" And when the Shepherd asks us, in his honest blunt way, "if we wull hae a cawker,"

No nightingale did ever chaunt
So sweetly to reposing bands
Of travellers, in some shady haunt,
Among Arabian sands.

After dinner the most marked attention is paid to every thing we say.

Our

The Standard-bearer gives us his arm till we reach our arm-chair, by the fire-side-and with all the softness of one of the other sex, places the little red stuffed stool under our most rheumatic foot. Our health is always the second that is drunk-and a dozen snuff-boxes are, in a moment, at our command. "You will find this pear ripe, I believe," murmurs 4. "Use the nut-cracker, my dearest North," quoth Tickler-" Allow me to recommend to you the red herring," says Odoherty-" Tak a sook o' an orange, my man," urges James Hogg," they're as fu's they can haud!" It is thus the great interests of mankind are, once a month, arranged at Ambrose's-and the world kept from standing still. Let not the Public, we beseech her, imagine that we never dine any where else than at taverns. We are intense family men, and dine not in any taverns above once a fortnight-twenty-five times a-year. This leaves quite sufficient of home for any person reasonably domestic. Neither let the public imagine that we dine at no other taverns than Am brose's. This would be a fatal misconception indeed. No, no. grand dinners are at Ambrose'sand ever shall be. So are our monthly suppers. But when the Dilettanti are not sitting in their hall, we rejoice likewise to feed at Young's, than which a better and more reasonable house is not. We have seen four complete courses-soups, fish, flesh, fowl-at four shillings a head (with drams) and then a brace of contributors may dine, cheek by jowl, right well, for two shillings per contributor. Then we are always happy when Wastle comes to town, for he will dine no where but at Oman's-and it may, without exaggeration, be said that he who has never dined at Oman's, never saw, strictly speaking, a DINNER. In our waking hours we think of the dinners of many men-but it is of Oman's alone that we dream in our sleep. A few nights ago we had a vision of a table spread for us in the new Waterloo Tavern; it would require the pen of the author of Khubla Khan to describe it: just as we were sitting down before a dish of mysterious beauty-such as youthful poets and aged editors fancy when they love, but for which they can never after form an intelligible receipt the glorious

shew was at once dissolved-the hoarse voice of an infernal fish-wife came in distinctly bawling by "fine caller haddies," and the image of her great greasy creel took place of a vision of all most exquisitely edible to the stomach of man. But not such an empty dream was the feast we enjoyed on the 16th instant with our noble friend the Thane, at the Royal Hotel-royal indeed in all things-both in its permanent and transitory furniture. We had not had the delight of seeing the Thane since he brought Prince Leopold to our tent-for last time he was in Edinburgh our rheumatism was so bad, that Liston positively forbid us to stir out. We were delighted to find him in high health and spirits, and with all his usual flow of graceful conversation, that, after all, we literary men can never acquire. It is not to be acquired-and when nature does not give the gift, art may seek to win the accomplishment in vain. We lived over again that happy and joyous evening of the tent-his Lordship told us that Old Parr never ceased praising "those wild Tory dogs," as he calls us, and that Prince Leopold has got the frontispiece of the August Number, and also his "Arrival at the Tent," framed and hung up in his study. Such is the delightful picture of our private hours. That every editor may have such contributors-and that all contributors may strive to deserve such an editor, is the ardent prayer, my Public, of your sincere friend and well-wisher, Christopher North.

Eighthly, We cannot but now shortly insist on the merit due to us, for being the first to carry on a periodical work, without that vile anonymous disguise, under which such unwarrantable liberties are frequently taken with you, my Public. It is true, that at first we wore the veil-but that was a mere temporary whim, and the face of old Christopher North now gladdens the open day. But not only are we onymous ourselves, but so are all our contributors. People had contracted such a constant habit of talking of anonymous slander and so forth, that they

See Dr Jamieson.

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forgot at last the very meaning of the word anonymous, which is certainly not synonymous with onymous. There were we all gathered together in every Number, writing away, each man with a name of at least two syllables, yet was the cry of the pack still kept up. North, Wastle, Tickler, Morris, Lauerwinkel, Kempferhausen, A, Odoherty, the two Mullions, the Shepherd, the Dentist, and others equally with their own names, were all most impertinently declared anonymous by persons of whom the world know not the appellatives even unto this day. And while it is no unusual thing to hear of publications strictly anonymous, and published only once or twice, such as Don Juan and Anastasius, talked of with the names of the authors, an attempt was made to fasten anonymity on Blackwood's Magazine, (wonderful anomaly!) though monthly graced by at least a dozen of the very highest names in our British literature. Most assuredly cool impertinence can go no farther than this.

Ninthly, We just now felt rather exhausted, having never laid down the pen for more than a single half minute at a time these last six hours, and then only to fling over copy to the little invisible devil behind the high back of our most blessed easy-chair, whose place, soon as he evaporated, was filled by another strange rizzard speldron.* We say that we just now feel rather exhausted-so, with your leave, we shall take a tiff of Campbell and Sommerville's best black strap, without occasional aid of which, it is our faith that no periodical work can be successfully carried on in these emulous times. And, while the reader is waiting for us to go on again with our article, which we divine he thinks almost insupportably entertaining, we cannot offer him a better advice than just to lay down the Magazine, and follow our example. If Campbell and Sommerville are not his wine-merchants, let him drink off his stock as fluently as possible, and get a supply instanter from Clydestreet. Well, having wiped our mouths, let us proceed, and observe (we think)

Let it not be thought that we have any sinister view in thus eulogizing the port-wine of Messrs Campbell and Sommerville. Our object is the happiness of mankind in general. We never even saw these gentlemen, though we have dealt with them since the establishment of the Magazine; and were they to send us a present of wine, we should return it with our compliments. But we wish our readers to be happy-and therefore it is that we now recommend to them a liquid, under whose influence, if they are not doubly blest, this world is not for them, and we fear that we cannot long calculate upon them as subscribers.

ninthly, that we have hugely improved the tone, spirit, and character of general conversation in Britain. But, in the mean time, let us confine ourselves to Edinburgh. Till we began to flourish-and while the aloe flourishes only once in the hundred years, we flourish once a month-the Edinburgh conversation had got very distressing. The talk was not of cat tle, but of criticism, which was much worse; and blue-stockingism was in its cerulean altitude. Every female leg was azure-absolutely painted blue like a post. A slight beard was becoming visible even on young women still marriageable-a certain consequence of incipient literary habits; so you may imagine the upper lip of wellinformed women of forty. A single number of the Magazine was equivalent to a thousand razors-for as our fair friends gave up book-reading, that of which we found so much reason to complain subsided into a pleasing down and then from such lips "not words alone pleased us." We still permitted a little poetry-by way of pomatum and even let the sweet creatures continue to smooth their cheeks with a novel. But politics and political economy were strictly prohibited, under pain of being inserted in the Magazine. Of all sorts of labour, productive or introductive, we cautioned young ladies never more to speak; and we behaved tenderly to such as shewed a becoming ignorance of all forms of government whatever, except an absolute monarchy, and a total indifference to the present alarming state of the nation. By such gentle and judicious treatment with the young disease, in its first symptomsand occasionally too by sterner practice with those whose legs were not only blue, but had begun to swell we came at last almost to extinguish the epidemic; and it is now confined nearly to some of the higher flats of the eighteen-storied houses, from which the inhabitants very rarely come down

to town.

Tenthly, We seem to be led very naturally, by these remarks and remembrances, to take notice of one supposed feature in our character which our enemies represent as excessively unbecoming, but of which our friends altogether deny the existence-we mean, our PERSONALITY. We do not surely intend, in one sense, to deny VOL. VIII.

our personality as an attribute of ours: We have a personal existence, and our name is North. But our enemies assert that our style of writing is personal, and that we make too free with people's names and private characters

nay, some folks have gone the length of saying that we are impertinentslanderous. This is a serious charge so let us examine it a little.

Personality, in all its bearings, is a subject by much too wide for discussion in a work of this kind-so we must be both brief and general, which is difficult.

If by personality be meant the dragging of private individuals before the public, and attacking their characters, personality, to say the least of it, is quite indefensible. But, pray, what private gentleman have we dragged before the public, and what particulars of his domestic hours have we been graciously pleased to lay before the world? Is the Edinburgh Review a private gentleman? Why, certainly, he is less out than he used to be-still we cannot think that we were the first to give him publicity. Is there a single author in great Britain who wishes to be considered as a private gentleman? If so, he has only to publish his love of privacy a little more extensively, till it reaches our ears, and we pledge our word of honour, that we never shall mention his name again while we breathe. We wish we had a list of these sensitive plants, which we would paste upon our screen, that when drawing ourselves in near the fire, in those happy moods when we are most apt to be cutting, our eyes may meet the names of such lovers of the shade, and our souls soften towards them in their deep seclusion.

Having thus satisfactorily shewn that we never, since our name was North, which it has been upwards of threescore years, attacked, or even in the most distant manner alluded to the private character of any man-wc beg leave to lay down a distinction.

When a person publishes a book, in prose or verse, encouraging, upon principle, all kind of licentiousness, or seeking to undermine the foundation of religious belief, is it an attack on his private character, to say that such an author deserves the hatred and scorn of all good men? If a poet recommends incest-is it an attack on private character to call him incestuous? N

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