It is not in vain that we have stimulated the industry of our members, for the supply they have furnished to the Chest has been ample and brilliant, and gives promise of a splendid season.
We trust that our members have not forgotten the “Memoirs of Ridicule”, read last year, nor the “Replication” on the part of defendant Ridicule — in the cause Pocket versus Ridicule. We have now a plea ex parte Pocket Handkerchief, on the side of the Pocket. The cause is urged with a great deal of wit and ingenuity.
We are obliged to the correspondent who has favoured us with the “Words for Portuguese Airs Called Modinhas”, or according to fashionable nomenclature, Portuguese Melodies. We are most pleased with that called the “Exile”, which we think has much of the style and spirit of some of the beautiful songs introduced by Mr Scott in his works; but we wish that we had been favoured with the music, as we should then have been enabled to judge more correctly of the merit of the poetry. Perhaps, as more are promised, the author may oblige us by attention to this request. We were flattered in our last number by the assertion that “the Attic Society encouraged all the Arts.”
The Lines spoken by Mr Impey in the character of Mr Coutts are excellent. They may probably not be new to some of our hearers, but we trust they have not been printed. Not that we might think it necessary to exclude from the Chest, works of merit which may have appeared in print, but are yet not generally known, but in such cases we request our correspondents will have the kindness to send an intimation of the circumstance, lest our members should risk the imputation of plagiarism.
We are a little puzzled by the Reply from Tabby Hall, as we were informed that that Worshipful Society was dissolved at least two years ago by the conjugation of all its members. Neither do we perceive that the lottery proposed, as a means of disposing of their joint stock, is a very pertinent answer to the request of the Hermits, that these antient maidens might be petitioned to assist in the election of a seventh brother, to supply the place of the fugitive. If a new firm has been established, we have not been informed of the event, and till we have some certificate from the ladies themselves, of the existence of a new society in Tabby Hall, we shall be inclined to treat the whole as a forgery.
We are happy to receive Electromagus’s Essay on Light, in which we have not met with many ideas that are new to us, tho’ possibly they may not be so to others. It has at least one merit of some importance in an essay: it is not long. We shall be glad to receive that which he promises on the nature of electricity.
According to the letter from Sir Pertinax, and to what we remember from former communications, Mr Peregrine Project is not deficient in invention. Indeed the number and variety of his plans for enabling persons to dispose of superfluous wealth in the cause of science and their country, would have done honour to the ablest projectors in the age of alchemy.
We are much pleased with the Voltaic Battery. It is delightful to see pupils express so much of zeal and veneration for their instructors as Mr Scriblerus displays towards Electromagus. We perceive in every line of his poem that he is deeply impressed with the conviction that to the inspiring power of the battery alone he owes the spirit with which he writes, and that he looks up to Electromagus as superior to all philosophers, antient or modern. His muse loves to sport in elevated regions, but when she descends to breathe a more didactic strain and describe the power and properties of the battery, we are amused with her cool correctness, which contrasts whimsically with her former and subsequent flights.
When such the theme, becomes the poet’s task;
Yet must he try by modulation meet
Of varied cadence and selected phrase
Exact yet free, without inflation bold
To dignify the theme.” 1
Mr Scriblerus is sometimes even ludicrously correct till, as it should appear, fresh application to the battery renews his inspiration and he soars again on fresher pinions.
The Bard of Mince Pies seems inclined to set up as a rival to Electromagus, by deriving all poetic fervour from the mystic ingredients of this Christmas dish, but we must acknowledge that we are inclined to espouse the cause of Electricity. It is to indulge in a pun which would tell better in French than in English — at least more spiritual.
The Seventh Brother’s Tale is beautiful, and so is their accompanying address, but we are sorry to take our leave of the Hermitage.
Our members are respectfully informed that the next Attic Meeting is adjourned to Wednesday January the 17th 1816.
Mason’s English Garden. ↩