[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]


I have been informed, since the present edition went to the Press, that my trusty and well-beloved cousins the Edinburgh Reviewers, are preparing a most vehe. ment critique on my poor, gentle, unresisting Muse, whom they have already so be-deviled with their ungodly ribaldry:

« Tantæne animis cælestibus Iræ!". I suppose I must say of Jeffrey as Sir Anthony Ague. cheek saith, “an I had known he was 80 cunning of “ fence, I had seen him damned ere I had fought him." What a plty it is that I shall be beyond the Bosphorus, before the next number has passed the Tweed. But I yet hope to light my pipe with it in Persia.

My Northern friends have accused me, with justice, of personality towards their great literary Anthropophagus Jeffrey; but what else was to be done with him and his dirty pack, who feed by "lying and slandering," and slake their thirst by “ evil speaking ?" I have adduced facts already well known, and of Jeffrey's mind I have stated my free opinion, nor has he thence sustained any injury ;-what scavenger was ever soiled by being pelted with mud? It may be said, that I quit England because I have censured there “ persons of honour and wit about town," but I am coming back again, and their vengeance will keep hot till my returo. Those who know me can testify that my motives for leaving England are very different from fears, literary or personal ; those who do not, may one day be convinced. Since the publication of this thing, my name has not been concealed; I have been mostly in London, ready to answer for my trausgressions, and in daily expectation of sundry cartels; but, alas! “ the age of chivalry is o'er," or, in the vulgar tongue, there is no spirit now-a-days.

There is a youth ycleped Hewson Clarke, (Subaudi, Esquire) a Sizer of Emanuel College, and I believe a Denizen of Berwick upon Tweed, whom I have introduced in these pages to much better company than he has been accnstomed to meet; he is, notwithstanding, a very sad dog, and for no reason that I can discover, except a personal quarrel with a bear, kept by me at Cambridge to sit for a fellowship, and whom the jealousy of his Trinity contemporaries prevented from success, has been abusing me, and what is worse, the defenceless in. nocent above mentioned, in the Satirist, for one year and some months. I am utterly unconscious of having given him any provocation ; indeed, I am guiltless of having heard his name till coupled with the Satirist. He has therefore no reason to complain, and I dare say that, like Sir Fretful Plagiary, he is rather pleased than otherwise. I have now mentioned all who have done me the honour to notice me and mine, that is, my Bear and my Book, except the Editor of the Satirist, who, it seems, is a gentleman-God wot! I wish he could impart a little of his gentility to his subordinate scribblers. I hear that Mr. Jerningham is about to take up the cudgels for his Mæcenas, Lord Carlisle; I hope not: he was one of the few, who, in the very short intercourse I had with him, treated me with kindness when a boy, and whatever he may say or do," pour on, I will endure." I have nothing further to add, save a general notice of thanksgiving to readers, purchasers, and publişhers, and, in the words of Scott; I wish

“To all and each a fair good night,
“And rosy dreams and slumbers light."






I had rather be a kitten, and cry, Mew !
Than one of these same metre ballad-mongers.


Such shameless Bards we have ; and yet, 'tis true,
There are as mad, abandon'd Critics too.


[ocr errors][graphic][subsumed][ocr errors][merged small]
« ForrigeFortsett »