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sited in a side pocket of my sable surtout, I intend as my portable repository for all fugitive papers, that have any relation to the topics of ridicule.
All my remote, rustic, and unlearned readers must be apprised that the fashionable ridicule, which forms part of the drapery of the fair, is, in fact, a sort of pouch, intended as a graceful substitute for the awkward pocket of the petticoat, which has so frequently marred the personal symmetry of our aunts and our grandmothers. I am credibly informed, on the authority of certain gallants, who are admitted to a nearer intimacy with the nymphs and graces, than my bashfulness can aspire 1o, that this sort of ridicule is nothing buí a mere receptaclc for thread, ribbon, needles and tassel; and contains no literary papers, but such billets doux and assignation cards, as the genius of a Philadelphia Lovelace may happily dictate. But my ridicule is quite another affair. I carry it constantly with me, in no despair of filling it with a mass of more solid materials. Any inquisitive lounger, who may watch me varrowly in the streets, or at the theatre, will perceive that the inside pocket of my thread bare coat, on the left side of my person, and in the immediate vicini. ty of my heart is remarkably prominent, conspicuous and distendcd. All this is in consequence of the swollen state of my spleeny ridicule. In fact, iny ridiculc, like the leathern coat of the persccuted stag in Shakspear's forest, is stretched full, almost to bursting. The contents shall soon be visible; I shall exultingiy harangue at the display,
“ And, if I'm not a roaring boy',
Let Gresham College judge it;
Come then, archest Humour, with aroguish trinkle in thine eye, come solemn Irony, concealing thy face of ridicule with a vizor mask, nor leave my darling Pascal, my Swift and my Gibbon lagging far behind; come Banter, with thy quiss and cranks; comé, Laughter, holding both thy sides; come, Sarcasm, with thy bale of bitter wormwood; come, Sneer, with thy turned up nose, turned and cocked up, much higher, than the coquet nose of gypsy
Rox. alana; come Parody, with monkey mischievousness, turning tapestry the wrong side out. Come, Waggishness and Jest, in full
communion with that holy friar, the pious Rabelais; and lastly come, Contempt, looking down from thy proud pedestal on the fantastic follies of mankind; aid me with all your magic powers, while I chastise the absurdities of the age. Supply me with all your nettles, loan me all your whips; and let me in my scourging mood, spare nothing but the sanctity of religion, the purity of morals, the honour of the fair, the majesty of genius, and the dignity of literature,
BROWN STUDIES FOR THE PORTFOLIO.
Just when our drawing rooms begin to blaze
In the red cinders, while with poring eye
Cow PER's Task. By one oi those casual association.s, formed sometimes in childhood, sometimes in youth, and so.c:imes in maturer years; one of those associations which would puzzle all the wisdom of the Egyptians to analyze, my passion for solitude increases, as the day declines, and I am always peculiarly pensive at the twilight hour. In merry spring time, when the weather is soft and inviting, in the dusky hours of ardent midsummer, and invariably during my autumnal vespers, I go out, like the contemplative Patriarch, to meditate in the field at even tide. But in the dolefulness of December, the inclemency of January, and the boisterousness of March, I sequester myself in the deepest shades of study, and emphatically love the life remote. By the legacy of a remote relation, there has lately been bequeathed me a very curious couch or sofa, which, I am credibly informed, was manufactured by a poetical upholsterer, exactly after the model of that, on which the immortal Cowper reclined. At the head of this vehicle of repose, I have contrived, by the aid of a sharp penknife, and the kcener acuteness of the little French
milliner to cut a sort of pouch or pocket, just sufficient to contain two cigars. These while I smoke, with a sort of sacred solemnity and diplomatic deliberation inspire a train sometimes of merry · but oftener of mournful reflections, which constitute the evening's reverie. During the tranquil hour, at which I indulge myself with the most delicious cates of intellectual luxury, I am sometimes at peace with myself, and the world. The rude asperity, the foul injustice, and the turbulent clamour of the multitude are forgotten. Complacency has her ample reign. Väcuna, goddess of leisure, hovers o'er my happy head,
Glowing visions gild my soul
At other, and less genial moinents, when my head throbs with anguish, or my heart with anxiety, when “the bleak affliction of the peevish East” assails every perre, or the black demon of Misanthropy whisper's the most injurious suggestions at the expense of poor human nature, I am then like BURTON'S melancholy man, and not even the placid power of tranquilizing tobacco can restore me to repose. In an hour so rude, I strive to summon, at a call, all the valiant troops of mind.
I court all the consolation of philosophy; and by intense thought, or ardent application struggle to mitigate, though I may not banish the ills of life.
I have long been of opinion that a simple and honest record of my emotions and habits, at those hours when the majority of mortals are in a state of lethargy, might be useful to some and agreeable to others.
Now wintry night falls. In fleecy flakes, the silent snow descends, and clings to my casement. The hoarse wind moans through the sullen street, the * knell of parting day is tolling; the † laboured ox, in his loose traces, from the furrow comes, and the drudging drayman urges his toil no more. Now, whatever sound of gentle or rude is without, all is solitude and silence within. . My study is my kingdom in the profoundest peace. Seated on my throne of tranquillity, I involve myself in my Spanish mantle, and suffer vagrant thought to run to and fro,
as the wanderer will. I throw the reing on the neck of Fancy, and permit that horse aerial to scamper at pleasure over a boundless expanse. With what budget this same steed will return, after this rhapsodical commencement of the animals journey must be referred to the scrutiny of those who may take the trouble to peruse our next speculation.
AN AUTHOR'S EVENINGS-FOR THE PORT FOLIO.
I have always been of opinion that modern Englishmen are tuo partial to many of the Scottish writers. These have their value ; but to prefer the style of lord Kaimes to that of lord Bolingbroke, the phrase of Campbell to the phrase of Harris, the periods of Thomson to the periods of Pope, is a most outrageous and absurd preference. Our opinion is strongly supported, by one who was not only a Scotchman himself, and a very judicious critic, but a more successful emulator than
of his countrymen, of Addison's luckiest expression. I allude to Dr. Beatrie, who, in a familiar letter, thus refutes a standard opinion, at least on one side of the Tweed. His conclusion is perfectly modest, as it respects Caledonia, and perfectly just as it respects the genius of South Britain.
“We, who live in Scotland, are obliged to study English from books like a dead language. Accordingly when we write, we write it like a dead language, which we understand, but cannot speak; avoiding, perhaps, all ungrammatical expressions, and even the barbarisms of our country, but at the same time without communicating that neatness, ease and softness of phrase, which appears so conspicuously in Addison, lord LYTTELTON, and other elegant English authors. Our style is stately and unwieldy, and clogs the tongue in pronunciation, and smells of the lamp. We are slaves to the language we write, and are continually afraid of committing gross blunders; and, when an easy, familiar, idiomatical phrase occurs, dare not adopt it, if we recollect no authority, for fear of Scotticisms. In a word, we handle English, as a person who cannot sence, handles a sword ; continually afraid