The liberality of our correspondents has made such ample provision for the amusement of this evening, that we are under the necessity of deferring several pieces of merit to a future meeting, selecting such as by their connection with the challenges of Thalestris and Tymon have a temporary claim to priority. The Faults of the Ladies has proved a fruitful theme, and the Faults of the Gentlemen we trust will equally exercise the ingenuity of our society. When these are exhausted we shall call its attention to another topic that we believe will not be less prolific or less pleasing.
The triplets calling upon the Nymph Opis to defend Thalestris from the treachery of Aruns is giving the handmaid of Diana unnecessary trouble, as Aruns like Braggadochio stalks about in borrowed armour and his sword like the mordure of Prince Arthur will refuse to injure the gallant Amazon. Indeed we think Aruns has been repaid in his own coin by Clytiae in the lines on seeing Florio at a masquerade; which, if we understand the note subjoined, is equally original with the Latin of Aruns but with this difference that it is less common.
The Quartraine on the faults of women, like the distich of Aruns was probably written before the flood, and might have served as a motto; but cannot be read as an original communication. We are glad to receive into our repository pieces of intrinsic merit, although they may have appeared in print, if they happen not to be generally known; but stale conceits with which every one is acquainted, introduced without preface or connection, yields no information or instruction, and may be compared to one of Joe Millar’s jokes related as a thing of yesterday. We shall prefix it these lines to the verses addressed to Lysander which is a neat reply to his slanders and poetically just. This production with the Fop and the Dowry, exhibited at our last meeting, & the verses signed Camilla we think have revenged the cause of the ladies, and ought to quale the crests of Timon & Lysander. Camilla indeed appears in armour of such celestial Brightness, that Aruns must melt before her like the snow-form’d phantom before the beauteous Florimel.
To this reply valiant as she calls it all who hear it must give unqualified praise, not only for its easy versification, and well turned compliment to the British fair; but for the justice and happy arrangement of the thoughts. “The unsatsifactory answer to Incognita” by Non Œdipus we hope will produce one perfectly satisfactory, to that lady’s paradoxical assertion that all the virtues of the female sex may be comprised in the compass of a silver penny. We think it may be explained and defended to the highest honour of the ladies — but we ill not by anticipation diminish the merits of invention in any of our correspondents who may undertake the explanation. We commend the author of the poem signed “my last new name” for dwelling on the virtues rather than the faults of her friends, a practice which we recommend to all our auditory as both more pleasing and more beneficial, than that of viewing the dark side of the picture. Those who brood over storms and vices disturb the serenity of their own minds and render them gloomy and morose while those who look on the sun shine of life and the amiable features of human nature, gradually assimilate to the objects they contemplate and become more virtuous, more pleasing, and more happy.
Having dismissed the Thalestrian conflict, we shall present to our auditors the charade we alluded to in our last readings, as an example of elegance and ingenuity not common in this species of composition, and also an enigma which in contradictions and obscurity seems to rival the far famed Aelia Laelia Crispis.
And after these, two pieces of amatory poetry of very different characters though equally excellent in their respective kinds.
“The verses to her I love” have the tender simplicity and sweetness which always characterises the poetic effusion of delicate affection, while “The Love Fit” describes the delirium of passion somewhat in the manner of Sappho’s celebrated ode beginning
“Blest as the immortal Gods is he
The youth who fondly sits by thee”
to which the author is much indebted. He indeed sometimes strikes the lyre with force and feeling scarcely excelled by the Amorous Lesbian. We consider this a poem of uncommon merit in its kind.
We shall conclude with “Roscius the Peer and the Taylor” a tale to which the Editress despairs of doing justice in the reading.