We have frequently had occasion, since the commencement of our meetings, to return our acknowledgements to our friends for their liberal support, and we feel ourselves at the present moment, particularly called on to repeat this pleasing duty, as at no time has the Chest been honoured with such a number and variety of contributions. Indeed so numerous are they, that we are under the necessity of deferring many pieces of considerable merit to a future evening, and we trust that none of our correspondents will imagine themselves neglected from this unavoidable delay. A delay which their own liberality has occasioned.

Some of our sarcastic writers have feigned that necessity is the mother of the Muses, and that a poet, only feels the genuine fervor of inspiration when his larder is empty. The fallacy of this supposition, we think however sufficiently proved by the overflowing and unprecedented richness of our repository, at a season of the year above all others devoted by John Bull to the gratification of good eating, and, have no doubt that the members of the Attic Society like the rest of his children would share his Christmas festivities. One of our bards indeed, appears to have been present at some of those festivals (which distinguish the civic meetings of this Island) and warmed by the unusual sight, has recounted with considerable fire the roasting as well as the toasting of a celebrated Northern Belle, and the lamentable fate of two unhappy youths who subdued by the combined force of love and wine, did not like Alexander sink upon the breast of the lovely cause of their smart, but dropt supinely underneath the table. In either case the cause was the same tho’ the effect was different and happy may the inhabitants of a Northern City esteem themselves that our Timotheus did not assist at the feast as they might otherwise have viewed the monuments of its ancient splendour flaming to destruction.

The feast here alluded to might rival the memorable one given by Nevyll Archbishop of York when the store of herons, cranes, curlews, bitterns, bulls, peacocks, porpoises, and seals, and many other rare birds, and the enormous quantity of wine and ale, might have saved the army of Cambyses from perishing with famine among the barren sands of Lybia.

We cannot dismiss this subject without expressing our admiration of the versatility of talent displayed by the ingenious author, who if we mistake not our object, fingers with equal ease the Minstrel’s Harp, and the Lyre of Pindar.

The Elegy on the Death of the Old Year and the bard who assumed its signature, signed Annus Mirabilis we hope will melt into tears such of our auditory, as feel a due respect for the phoenix commemorated.

The Ballad of Lord Edward so long delayed by the pressure of more temporary matter, we hope will be heard with pleasure; as it possesses in a considerable degree, most of the excellencies of this species of composition. We are ignorant whether it be modern, or what it pretends to be, A Tale of other Years, preserved from oblivion by some industrious antiquary. It is probable that, like the poems of Ossian or the ancient ballads published by the Bishop of Dromore it is partly one and partly the other. The over-charged praises, which Addison in the Spectator bestowed on the Ballad of Chevy Chase, induced our small poets, about the middle of the last century, to sicken us with legendary tales and tragic ballads which with more elegance, and less simplicity, told of hermits, valiant knights, and wandering damsels, and sometimes we were terrified by the ghosts of headless horses, with frightful saucer eyes. To these criticisms of Addison, however, we may also attribute in some measure Dr. Percy’s Work, before alluded to, and the abundance of similar collections by the lovers of ancient lore, of which the pieces, though now and then possessing passages that interest our feelings by their simplicity, and unaffected pathos, are chiefly recommended by the force of the story, and valuable for the representations of the manners of our semi-barbarous ancestors; manners which a late writer has said, are seen to most advantage at a distance from the picture. To the excellences of genuine poetry, such as we admire in the classic compositions of Greece and Rome, of Milton, Dryden and Pope, of the exquisitely natural and feeling Burns, and many of the writers whose pieces grace our Attic repository, they have rarely any pretensions.

The Query respecting the Dunmow Bacon we leave to our Auditors. We think the original question completely answered.

We are diverted with the lucubration of “The Odd Fellow” and from his animated description of the party, we are sorry that we were not his companions at the conversazione. The piece does honour to his comic power.

To the friend who has communicated the French Epitaph we shall be obliged for any anecdotes that he may be able to collect respecting the person commemorated. The Stanzas to Memory bespeak a feeling mind, but we hope they were written at a moment of temporary gloom, which has since given place to permanent cheerfulness. Many of us have had occasion to say with the poet,

“Of Joys departed never to return
How painful the remembrance”

yet we trust that the lenient influence of time will in all of us, soften the bitterness of grief into pleasing melancholy. We are much obliged to the authoress for the compliment contained in the neat little song of “Cauld Kale” which we hope she will indulge us with singing at her supper. The fair lady, by this and her former productions, seems to have imbibed the genuine spirit of Scottish poetry. The tale of “The Tapster” is neatly told, and, with hearts brimful of gratitude we this and every other Attic evening, promise the author full measures.

The fluent sweetness of the “Introduction to a Lady’s Miscellany” is much in the manner of Langhorne’s “Effusions of Friendship and Fancy” which we consider as the parent of the Della Cruscan School and will delight those whose ears are turned to the melody of verse, and who relish exuberant description, unembarrassed by solid sense.

We shall not trouble our readers with the list of compositions which are unavoidably deferred, but their authors may rest assured that they will hereafter be respectively brought forward in the manner, which we think will do most justice to their merits. We have received two other pieces in continuation of Vox Stellarum, which appears to be the conclusion of that poem, and we propose to read the whole, with Vox Planetarum, as its precursor at our next meeting.

Since these remarks were written the Chest has been honoured with many pieces which we have not had time to notice.