It is with genuine pleasure that we greet our friends assembled after so long an absence, and we sincerely hope that no unfortunate circumstances will again occur to interrupt the course of mar the festivity of our Attic Evenings.
We have found the Chest abundantly stored at the commencement of former seasons, but perhaps tho’ deficient in bulk the productions of the present year might overbalance their predecessors in the scale of merit.
Our readings will commence with an address from the Spirit of the Attic Chest on its opening, expressive of regret at the sudden interruption of our last year’s meetings and of the pleasure of the present moment.
We have next a very pleasing poem entitle The Elfin Harp which is as beautiful as the lyre which accompanied it. We hope often to hear its witching tones, as the strings tremble beneath the hand of many of our Attic Bards and that its elegant historian will not often suffer them to be mute.
The circumstance of our having affixed a figure of Mercury to our cards of invitation has excited considerable alarm in one of our contributors, who is terrible afraid of his thievish propensities, but it should be remembered that as our meetings are now under his immediate protection, he bound as our Messenger and Vice President to steal only for our use, and to bring all the stray Rhymes and Fragments of Poems that he may find in the portfolios of our members home to our Arch Patron Apollo, who will weave them together into a web as beautiful as the shawl which forms the subject of the Second Brother’s Tale. This story is not of the same serious character with that of the first Brother, but it possesses equal merit, and many beautiful passages in which the Giaour and the Bride of Abydos are very happily parodied. The Hermits appear to be indeed “Odd Fellows” and seem to feel a whimsical dread lest we should think them a club of young ladies in disguise, and truly there is reason to fear that the practice of stealing shawls is not entirely confined to the gentlemen, but that many belles of the present day are apt disciples of Hermes himself.
We know not by what means our assemblies were made known to Aulus Gellius in the shades, but he has addressed an invocation to the Spirit of Attic Nights which he supposes to be the same with that which presided over his own evenings when he compiled his entertaining Collection of Anecdotes and critical observations. This antient gentleman hints that he may sometimes honour us with his presence; we shall not be sorry to see him, but we hope he will put himself in modern costume, lest our porter should refuse him admittance as a suspicious character. At any rate we shall request Mercury to be the bearer of thanks to the learned Roman, the next time he visits the Stygian shades.
We recognize with pleasure the style and signature of our old friend Moth. Her flights have been more rare of late, but we hope they will now be long and frequent and that her favorite glow worm will never neglect to light her evening way.
We have received many communications from Positive House. The addresses to Lord Aircastle are unhappily disjointed from the sprightly letters that described his visit last year, but the numbers which contain them shall be laid on the table for the perusal of any of our circle who may wish to refresh their memories, tho’ we fear our time will not permit us to give them a second reading.
We think we can trace the several characters, as described by the first Letter of Electromagus, in the style of their respective offerings, but we hope that their future productions will make us better acquainted with them. The Letters of Electromagus and Sir Pertinax Townly are welcome. The “Attempt” enclosed by the latter is beautiful and is a very promising specimen of the talents of Mr Scriblerus Junr. if he be really the author.
In the course of the evening the third Lecture on Natural History will be introduced, drawn chiefly from those delivered by Dr Roget at the Royal Institution, with additions from other sources. The two former Lectures lie on the table.
The Adventures of a Ridicule and several other pieces are deferred till the next reading. In the meantime we hope that our friends will not be idle, but will set the Armourer Industry to scour off the rust which their weapons my have contracted in the long interval since our last campaign.