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The Scots Magazine.
The Correspondents of the EDINBURGH MAGAZINE and Liter&RY
Printed by J. Ruthven & Sons,
SOME time ago we received a very clever and piquant Essay “ On Bulls," signed * Taurus ;" and we take shame to ourselves for not acknowledging it sooner. wicked spirit predominates in this writer's specilegia. We like him the better, bow. ever, that he has shown but small tenderness to ourselves; although we think he will admit, that he has not been só successful in poaching on our manor, as he expected. We give, as a specimen, the last bull in his collection, for which he is in. debted to the Literary Gazette, June 22d; “ We should have been glad to have given the account of the Chamois hunting ITSELF, which is interesting, and well described; we must, however, pass it by;" i. e., we “ must pass by the Chamois hunting itself!!!"
The following, among other articles, are destined to appear in our next, and suc. ceeding numbers : “ Illustrations of Scottish Ballad Poetry, No. I. ;"' « The Witch of Edderton ;” “ Poetical Epistle to W. W.;" “ The Translation of the Italian of Lorenzo de' Medici—Quanto e bella giovanezza, &c. ;” “ The Charter of Thomas of Ercildoun;" “ The early Dramatic Writers, No. I. ;” “ Songs of the Exile, &c. &c.;" “ On the Influence of the Moon upon the Seasons ;" “ The Love Adventures of Francis Corkincap, Esq. Canto I. ;" « Emendation of a passage in Macbeth ;" “Review of Simond's Travels in Switzerland ;" “ Reminiscences of Auld Langsyne, No. II. ;" “ On the Early Italian Romances, No. II. ;” “ Cornicula's Peep into Par. liament, No. II. ;" “ Foreign Slave Trade, No. II. ; " “ Adventures of Casanova in Warsaw, Part II. ;" “ Eben. Anderson's Visit to Windsor ;” “ The Reporter's Budget, No. II.;" “ Review of Gillespie's Sermons ;” “ Review of Kerr Porter's Tra. vels ;" “ Review of Sir Marmaduke Maxwell ;" &c. &c. &c.
The quantity of “ Dreams” we receive exceeds all belief. Life, say the moralising Poets, is but a dream ; and hence we explain the phenomenon. Among others, ore has been sent us, signed “ Veritas," which the author assures us is a “ Rondo." We supposed that Truth never dreamed; but it seems we were mistaken. Surely, never before was Truth enwrapped in such a mystical and unintelligible jargon. We are told, “ the Sun forsook his earth-borne Throne;" that “ the Evening was beauti. fully roan;" that “ the Harp of Esh journied past, slumber-cast o'er Echo's ear ;" that “ the very rosy clouds kissed about the Sun;" that the author's soul, “ on a word's breath, took wing ;" and, in short, that the whole “ Dream," vouched for by Truth itself, is beautifully pleasing !" We are sorry to say that, for once, Truth and We are at issue.
“ Love's Labour Lost" (an absurd title) contains many beautiful lines ; but the story is clumsily developed, and, as a whole, it falls below the mark to which the talents of the author might have obviously raised it. As we have been talking of Dreams, we shall quote the following couplet, which we think both original and striking :
“ Oft come and go the Moon's pale beams,
Like glimpses of Truth through hurrying Dreams." “ The Village Old Maid” is not " original," as the author assures us, but a tolerably close parody of Southey's “ Mary the Maid of the Inn ;" one of the best-known and most popular of the Laureate's short pieces. How could L. L. P. ever imagine that he could pass off such a thing, as an “ original" attempt of his own? We every day see more reason for adhering rigidly to the rule laid down in last Number.
The penmanship displayed in “ The Monastery” and “ Vincentio" is quite beautiful
“ The Portrait, a Monitory Epistle from the Dead to the Living," is too long, and too much in a moralising strain, to be effective or poetical. In its present state, we do not think we can insert it. The author, however, has our thanks and best
" Sir Alan Mortimer, a Legendary Ballad,” we have not had time to peruse ; but it shall meet with that attentive consideration which the author's talents and his modesty entitle him to expect at our hands.
The Review of " Millar's Poems" is in types, and will appear in our next Number.
The brutum fulmen of “ Cincinnatus Caledonius" has proved quite harmless. He may, for ought we care, be a very important person in his district, and even an Elder of the Kirk, notwithstanding he deals out blasphemy at second-hand ;—but we know nothing, either of him or of the subject of his complaint. His “ Kenitish MS.” is the most contemptible jumble of dullness and profanity we ever read; although the author seems to think it vastly biting and clever. He is, forsooth, a marvellous proper man” to vapour about “ imitations," which have no existence, except amidst the vagaries floating about in his own attic story. We consign him to the unqualified admiration of the whole Servum Pecus of Blasphemers, and Parodists of Holy Writ!
« On Chivalry and its Tules" is under consideration. The accompanying Verses, not being exactly adapted to our Miscellany, shall be returned to the author, as he desires.
“ On the Exhibition of Gladiators at Rome" is highly respectable. We shall be happy to hear again from the author.
Judging from the “Specimen” sent us, “the Poetry of the Kandyans" is not very inviting.
A great number of other pieces have been received, which do not require any parti. cular notice.
*.* Contributors, as all Editors know, to their cost, are a somewhat testy race; and as we dare not presume to say a word ahout their habits and practices ourselves, we shall take the liberty to transcribe, for their benefit or amusement, as it may happen, the following passage from a communication we have just received ; premising that we think the author one of the fraternity himself—so well versed is he in the secrets of the prison-house. “A Contributor is like nobody else, or rather no one else is like him. His ideas are all for his Magazine. Does any thing extraordinary happen to him ?-it will make an article. Does he hear a good story ?-it only needs an extraordinary walk to the hills, or a pilgrimage to Lyddal Cross, and the thing is done. The memorandum-book of his mind often exhibits, " This in my next to the
- He gives vent to all his feelings in his Magazine : grief, love, jealousy, &c. are all, in their turns, subservient to his grand purpose--Article-making. His sentiments are no longer his own; he lays open bis heart's-core ; he parades his no. blest, or describes his wildest sensations; he goes about, like a roaring lion, seeking whom and what he may devour ; he spares not the most recent occurrences, and works up the simplest incident into a story :--moreover, he borrows largely, like Mr Vansittart, funds the principal, and generally forgets to pay the interest. Washington Irvine would make an excellent Contributor, in many respect3. Every thing he writes about seems to have occurred on purpose to fill a leaf in his Sketch-Book. He sketches few views without taking advantage of Gilpin's instructions. Reading his articles (for articles they are, and nothing else,) is like sailing on a canal-soft and smooth-diversified sometimes with rich and beautiful scenery. He is occasionally, though but seldom, grand,—deep enough, but never rapid. He would make a most excellent Contributor !"